top 20 sad films

Top 20 Sad films

Top 20 Sad films

Top 20 Sad filmsTop 20 Sad films… creating a definitive list of the top 20 sad films is subjective and can vary greatly depending on personal preferences.

Why do people enjoy sad films?

Mainly for 2 reasons… realism, and involvement.

Sadness enhances a perceived reality and increases a sense of involvement, leading viewers to enjoy a sad film more than usual.

Here are our choices of the top 20 emotionally impacting and often regarded as sad films from different genres and eras:

1. Schindler’s List (1993) – Directed by Steven Spielberg, this film depicts the Holocaust and the story of a man who saved hundreds of lives.

2. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) – An animated film that explores the heartbreaking struggles of two siblings in Japan during World War II.

3. The Green Mile (1999) – Based on Stephen King’s novel, this film tells the story of a death row prison guard and a miraculous inmate.

4. Requiem for a Dream (2000) – A dark and harrowing tale of addiction and its devastating consequences.

5. Manchester by the Sea (2016) – A deeply moving exploration of grief and guilt.

6. Million Dollar Baby (2004) – A powerful drama about a female boxer and her trainer.

7. Dancer in the Dark (2000) – Directed by Lars von Trier, this musical drama tells the story of a Czech immigrant struggling to save her son’s sight.

8. The Pursuit of Happiness (2006) – A heart wrenching story of a father’s determination to provide for his son while facing homelessness.

9. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – A forbidden love story set against the backdrop of the American West.

10. Schindler’s List (1993) – A Holocaust drama that follows the experiences of a Jewish family.

11. Atonement (2007) – A period drama about a young girl’s false accusation and the consequences it has on the lives of those involved.

12. Blue Valentine (2010) – A raw and honest portrayal of a disintegrating marriage.

13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – A sci-fi romance that explores the pain of lost love and memories.

14. Sophie’s Choice (1982) – A Holocaust survivor’s heartbreaking decision haunts her for years.

15. Life Is Beautiful (1997) – A bittersweet story of a father’s attempt to shield his son from the horrors of a concentration camp.

16. The Fault in Our Stars (2014) – A young adult adaptation dealing with cancer and young love.

17. 12 Years a Slave (2013) – A harrowing account of a free African American’s kidnapping and enslavement.

18. My Girl (1991) – A coming-of-age film that deals with themes of friendship and loss.

19. Beaches (1988) – A tearjerker about the enduring friendship between two women.

20. Terms of Endearment (1983) – A family drama that explores the ups and downs of a mother-daughter relationship.


These films offer various perspectives on sadness and are known for their emotional impact on audiences. Remember that what one person finds sad, another may not, so this list may not resonate with everyone in the same way.

We think there’s something in there for everyone who loves a great sad film!

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