Movies do an amazing job tugging at your heart strings and introducing memorable characters in your life. By the time the movie ends, you care so deeply for them. So when they experience pain, tragedy or even triumph, it stabs you right in the heart.
Women cry at movies all the time, but society tells us that boys don’t cry. Men are supposed to be strong and never show the emotions that make them look weak, but if you are like me, I cry at movies and I know you do to. It’s ok. It’s not a sign of weakness, but rather that you have a heart. Most tearful scenes involve the death of a loved one, a sacrifice for the betterment of others or having to say good bye.
So grab your tissues and check out twenty movies (in no particular order) that will make you cry like a little girl. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.
**** SPOILER ALERT ****
If you haven’t seen these movies, major plots or endings are revealed. You have been warned.
20) The Green Mile – 1999
On September 3, 2012, Hollywood lost an amazing actor when Michael Clark Duncan passed away. Ever since Armageddon, I loved watching him on screen. He was big in stature with a powerful voice, but you could kind of tell he was a kind soul. The Green Mile is his most iconic performance as the gentle giant, John Coffy. He was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe, but sadly he didn’t win.
In this scene, John just wants the pain of suffering everyone’s burden to end. He has the opportunity to be acquitted for his crime, but refuses. All the prison guards know his secret, but must remain silent in order to let John go to heaven. The powerful moment is when Paul Edgecomb, played by Tom Hanks, shakes his hand.
19) Forrest Gump – 1994
Tom Hanks won his second Oscar for his portrayal of a guy who just happened to experience everything in life. When everyone made fun of him for being slow or disabled, Jenny became his first real friend. The years passed and Jenny and Forrest went their separate ways, but Jenny was always Forrest’s muse. Eventually Jenny came back to Alabama to be with Forrest.
In this scene, Forrest is at Jenny’s grave. He buried her under the tree they use to dangle from like “peas and carrots.” The powerful moment is when Forrest leaves the letter that their son wrote and he just breaks down and tells Jenny that he misses her.
18) The Lion King – 1994
Even though this is a cartoon, The Lion King is such a heart breaker. How can you not tear up when a father makes the ultimate sacrifice? Simba is like any typical child and gets into trouble. While on a walk, Simba wanders off from his father, Mufasa. But it’s a trap set up by Scar. He orders his hyena lackeys to make a herd of wildebeest stampede.
Mufasa runs into the herd to rescue his son. Knowing that Simba is safe, Mufasa tries to climb out of the gorge. He begs his brother Scar to help him up, but Scar instead digs his claws into his paws and lets him fall to his death. The powerful moments are when young Simba watches his father fall and eventually goes to his father’s lifeless body to try to wake him, but to no avail.
17) Marley & Me – 2008
It’s always been said that dog is man’s best friend. If you are an animal lover, there is absolutely no way in hell you didn’t cry at the ending of Marley & Me. This movie currently really hits home with me. I have a pug that is thirteen years old and I know for a fact that it’s almost his time to go. Either him dying in front of my kids or me having to put him down will absolutely wreck me. My black Pug, Loki, is the first dog my family has ever owned. For those who loved Old Yeller, Marley & Me was a lot more powerful.
In Marley & Me, John and Jennifer Grogan get married. Jennifer wants to be a mother, but John instead takes her to buy a dog to see if they would even qualify as parents. The dog becomes an untrainable headache. Eventually Marley becomes the family’s emotional common bond of all the events they experience. In his old age, Marley suffers from painful arthritis and is nearly deaf. After a second attack of gastric dilatation volvulus, Marley’s vet gives John the bad news that it’s inoperable. The powerful moment is when John is at the vet talking to Marley, thanking him and saying goodbye. You see the vet insert the syringe into the IV to euthanize Marley and then his eyes close. Meanwhile, John’s kids are watching home movies to remember their favorite moments with Marley.
(Note: I couldn’t write this last segment without getting choked up and teary eyed. I had to take a break. If you own a dog, you’ll understand.)
16) E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial – 1982
Being a kid in the 80’s was great. Movies like The Goonies and E.T. absolutely personified what it was like to be a young man. I remember watching it and wishing I had a space man visit me and become my best friend. E.T. was also responsible for me calling everyone, “Penis Breath.”
E.T. has a double whammy when it comes to balling your eyes out. First powerful moment is when E.T. is found nearly dead in the river. He then dies on the operating table to break his physical bond with Elliot. You know he’s dead, because Gertie’s flower also withers and dies. Miraculously, E.T. comes back to life and Elliot and the gang hop on the bikes to take him to his space ship. This is when powerful moment #2 hits. Elliot then has to say goodbye to E.T, but he reassures Elliot that he will always be in his heart and memories. If you ever had to say goodbye to your best friend, you’ll know exactly how Elliot felt.