20 Movies That Even Real Men Cry At

Article Header Movies Real Men Cry At

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.


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.

Page 2: Movies 15-11

Pages: 1 2 3 4

  • Hafidz

    Tell me why is Hachiko didn’t conclude as this?

  • Patrick

    Solid list. Personally I would have included big fish, stand by me, and the land before time

    • Those are also great suggestions! I had to try to limit ones that I personally was affected by. Also I had to limit to 20 or I’d still be writing this article. Thanks for checking out the site.

  • kevincsullivan

    I was never abused one iota as a child, verbally, physically or emotionally and yet that Good Will Hunting scene made me sob like a hungry, angry baby.

  • Scoobster21

    Where’s Gladiator?!

  • Alex

    For me, in the Wrath of Khan, aside from the final moments of Spock’s life, the real tear jerker for me was at his funeral, when Kirk is eulogizing Spock, and his voice cracks during.
    This always stayed with me because as a kid growing up for some reason it made it feel acceptable to choke up, if Kirk can get emotional, it was ok for me to.

  • lil rudeman

    I was a kid at the time of watching these, so probably not well suited for this list (for men)…but Air Bud, Land Before Time, My Girl, and The Fox and the Hound really got to me. Actually, I just watched The Fox and the Hound a month or so ago and I still got choked up watching it. Up’s opening minutes (and moments throughout the film) had me feeling pretty much every emotion, so that’s a great pick. Who knew that PG or G movies (usually associated with Disney) are the ones that usually bring the most tears. Good list

    • Thanks for the compliment! My Girl is indeed powerful. And I can agree with Fox and hound. Especially the Bear scene

  • Jim Guida

    No FIELD OF DREAMS? Feh. Fail. :) Actually, I disagree with a lot of the films above, but that’s what lists are for.

  • JaySin420

    Great article, I don’t think TDKR belongs with these other movies but that’s just my opinion.

    I’d put My Life at #1, that movie had me crying like a baby the entire time.

  • Excellent list. I actually scrolled through all of these before reading only to make sure that ‘My Life’ was on this list. That is the one movie that always tugs at my heart strings. Especially the part when he finally gets his circus themed birthday party.

  • Jim Knight

    Marley and Me is the tear jerker for me as my Boxer had to be put down and watching life leave her killed me. Then this past spring my replacement Boxer I had for 9 years looked at me one morning, took 4 breaths and died on me! Took me a couple of months to get over it. It is just me and my dog living together for the last 15 years and they mean the world to me. Unconditional love and always glad to see me and be around me. Dogs are truly Mans Best Friend!

    • Dale

      I feel for you. Don’t watch the movie called Hachi a dogs tale then. To me that was a lot more sad than Marley and Me by a long margin.

  • Dale

    “Hachi A Dogs Tale” is a movie that will make you cry more than all these movies on this list combined.

  • DarthDiggler

    Armageddon is an over hyped piece of shit. 90% of the movie is people saying good bye and saying good bye again after the head fake of them getting in the ship.

    It was by far one of the most well produced pieces of shit in history.

    • Phil T

      Completely agree. I cannot get over the scenes of people huddled around their Tvs and radio as the world is about to end.

    • John

      NO, Armageddon is an awesome movie and deserves to be a box-office hit.

      It’s awesome and kickass.

  • The deleted

    Optimus prime a d the iron giant for me. But toy story 3 pretty much made me a wreck.

  • Tresix

    I didn’t shed one tear during THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. A movie that should definitely be on this list is GLORY. Tripp (Denzel Washington) crying while being whipped, Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) being promoted to sergeant major, the men praying before the big battle the next day (and I’m an Atheist!), the results of the final battle. ALL of those moments have me reaching for the Kleenex every time I watch this movie.

  • Tresix

    Another movie that should be here: TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.

    • Terms of Endearment is more of a “Chick Flick” I was trying to get nerdy or manly movies

      • Tresix

        Still made me cry.

  • Phil T

    Drop Armageddon from this list and add the last half hour of Deep Impact. For a movie it feels a lot more real. The goodbyes are sadder and sarifices more dire.

  • OMG where are the classics like “Old Yeller”, “Where the red fern grows”, “My Girl”, and “Stand by me??

    • I didn’t put old yeller because i included Marley & me. I can agree with My Girl, but like others I thought people would bitch because I included too many dead people because of a disease, that’s why I included Mask and My Life, and Brian’s Song

  • Want to see a film that will get your tear ducts going? Watch The Deer Hunter, the final funeral scene will get you blubbering. The ultimate male bonding film.

  • blisteringlogic

    LAME!!! Where;s Field of Dreams?

  • Stan

    For some reason the movie “Warrior” put me into tears. When they’re on the mat and the older brother says “its ok,” “I love you tommy” I lost it. Very powerful scene.

    • leo

      OMG that movie made me cry too! that scene and when the dad relapses in the hotel room and tommy (who didn’t show any emotion up till that point) goes and lays with him

  • Cranston

    As a Scot Braveheart doesn’t make me cry but I vomit profusely at the mere mention of the steaming pile of sharn that it is. The only people who would cry at Armageddon would be the investors who sank their money into it.

  • “Grave of the Fireflies”. I cried like a baby.

  • M. Neumann

    I can’t believe they left out Field of Dreams. The only time I saw my ex-husband cry in a movie. “Hey, Dad, wanta catch”?

    • gshon

      It took the entire ride home from the theater to gather my composure after that line.

  • Gshon

    How could you possibly not include Field of Dreams!!!

  • We Are Marshall should be on this list!

  • while i didnt agree with some of selections (or i should say i didnt cry as you projected) there is one movie that always gets to me! my father was never a very demonstrative man in showing his love for us children, and having passed away a while back, it stands to pass that fatherly affection can get to me sometimes – in the movie “October Sky” (1999), when Homer Hickmans father comes out to watch the last rocket launch, oh yeah, i get a might “verklempt” – and it isnt a bad movie even if you dont feel like shedding a tear!

  • How can The Shawshank Redemption not be on this list? The moment Red and Andy reunite at the end is a killer.

    • That movie didn’t effect me like that. I thought it was more sad when the old guy hung himself.

  • Thanks to everyone for the extra suggestions, sorry for not including them on the list, but this are just 20 movies, not the TOP 20 movies. Of course there are other movies out there that weren’t included, but these are 20 movies that impacted me throughout my life.

  • miguel morales

    there’s one other cartoon that managed some water works from me…..that was “how to train your dragon”…at the end where hiccup and toothless killed the big dragon and everyone thought that hiccup was dead

  • dinidi


  • screw watching the green mile the book made me cry delacroix’s death was sad too

  • Kyle

    Dude what about titanic when Rose dies and she meets with Jack at the clock
    Or when Jack dies and rose calls out his name.

  • Jalen

    When I first saw Radio I cried like a silly fuck. A lot of it just the overall bullying and him not understanding it but the scene where his mom died just killed me.

    Also that movie Brothers almost made me cry. Just seeing Tobey Maguire’s character realizing how messed up he was with PTSD.

  • WeepyBitch

    The Abyss
    The Bear
    Dancer In The Dark
    Empire of the Sun
    Fellowship of the Ring
    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
    Grave of The Fireflies
    Legend of 1900
    Leon/The Professional
    A Simple Plan
    SLC Punk!
    Star Trek III
    The Wind That Shakes The Barley

  • jjb1991

    pursuit of happiness has to be on there????

    • AstralWriter

      Amazing movie, especially when Chris is called into the office in the ending. Powerful and inspirational. Tear jerker ending. We sense the end, but Will Smith’s reaction speaks volumes.

  • im

    What ?!!?! Arma-fucking-geddon didnt make me feel a thing! Real men have to be real wuss to be crying to that shit !
    What about Schindler’s List when Oskar breaks down realizing that he could have saved few more people.
    Or Million Dollar Baby where Frankie euthanizes Maggie right after he explains to her what Mo Cuishle means…
    And oh ! ever heard of Hachiko or Hachi-A Dog’s Tale?
    And Holy Mother of God, the subway bathroom scene from The Pursuit of Happyness ?????

  • Lu

    The scene in Schindler’s List with the survivors give him the ring and he regrets that he didn’t save more.

  • ace13

    “Old Yeller” if you’ve seen it you know the scene.

  • Nightlord

    Worst list ever

  • Urhmm… maybe four of those…. plus “The Elephant Man” – all he wanted was to sleep laying down …. and the end of “Silent Running” – yes a droid alone in space did make me tear up …. and just about every ‘Game of Thrones Episode’

  • Geo

    “La vie en Rose.” The scene where the father gives his daughter a doll she had seen earlier that day through a store window.
    Runner up…
    “Les Miserables”(1998). The scene where the priest tells the authorities that Jean didn’t steal the silverware but, in fact, forgot the best ones.

  • Kobossy

    Pokémon the Movie. When Pikachu is trying to revive Ash

  • Yvonne Dominguez

    Every time i watch Mask, Omg i always end up crying, i love that movie.

  • Rolo_Tomasi

    No Field of Dreams? The list is null and void

  • Eli Hanson

    oh my god up had me in tears pretty much the whole movie, i lost my girlfriend of three years around the time i saw it and man i sat in the theater and cried for about half an hour after the movie ended..looking back i bet i scared the hell out of the teenage ushers that worked there a 6 foot 4 330lb 30 year old man acting like that surprised i didn’t get locked up lol

  • jayb

    how about home alone 2. that made weep like a little girl.
    titanic maybe.

  • Bob Kane

    The Dark Knight Rises was so terrible that I cried.

  • Brian Lavin

    “Dad, wanna have a catch?” – Field of Dreams, gets me everytime

  • Tiberon97

    Robin Williams flick- What Dreams May Come. I dare you not to shed a tear!

  • Musikonica

    The Dark Knight Rises shouldn’t have made this list, and definitely not in 5th place. My condolences to you, author, but you specifically point out that one was chosen solely on your own emotional feelings. This is about making real MEN cry, not about just the guy who wrote it. You were too emotionally attached, and as such, The Dark Knight Rises was worthy only of a personal touch in the intro.

    That said, I’d replace it with Light It Up. But maybe I just get too attached to the quiet artist kid in it.

  • john

    Ladder 49???

  • bonecollector

    What about Of Mice and Men ??? Hachi ?? :'( thise made me cry like a sissy

  • Jamie

    Where the hell is ‘Watership Down’? You’re not even human if you didn’t cry over that.

  • bill

    how about Act of Valor…the funeral made me cry

  • Mike Brown

    Brian’s Song is one of the most gut wrenching movies of all times. When I Am Third came out I was in high school and everybody was carrying it around reading it….and you could tell they were at the end because they would find a corner to sit and cry while they read it.

  • disqus_1xxdx8orYL

    Cant even look at a picture of michael caine anymore thanks to the dark knight trilogy.
    “I’ve Buried Enough Members Of The Wayne Family”
    Goddammit here i go again

  • John W. Thackery

    Wow, the following movie endings get me every time and deserve a spot on this list: Rocky, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dead Poets Society, The Shawshank Redemption, Schindler’s List. And the following films don’t make me cry but their endings do indeed stir up powerful emotions: Glory, Field of Dreams, The Sixth Sense, Warrior, Saving Private Ryan. I even welled up a bit at the end of Moneyball. How did you miss all these? Or perhaps you need to see more films.

  • Jelly Ace

    Wheres (Miracle In Cell No. 7)? It must be on top.

  • lou

    what type of queer bait wrote this list. no band of brothers no saving private ryan. this list is grabage.

  • M ax

    Where is Hachi: A Dog’s Tale? This list is so wrong

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  • adit

    nothing made me cry but marley and me. i have 3 dogs :( eventually they will die. god should have atleast given them 35 years. oh man can i die a day before any of my dog does.

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