Ready for a tearjerker? Binge all the sad movies on Netflix
Is there anything like a good cry? In a world so wrought with struggle during the emotional rollercoaster of 2021, there’s never been a better time to lose yourself so fully in a story that you completely forget about your own little place on this insignificant planet. Sad movies are the perfect way to take in a sad story.
Sad movies can help us forget about our own problems or allow repressed emotions to bubble over in sweet release (there, there, let it out). It can be exhausting trying to exercise, craft, or work the pain away, and sometimes it’s most comforting to stay in our feelings with a good sad movie. Grab the tissue box, because we’ve compiled our favorite sad movies on Netflix to help sob the pain away.
Move over, Blue Valentine, there’s a new anti-romance movie climbing to the top of the 21st century mountain of films that say “love stinks” with none of the humor of The Wedding Singer. Marriage Story is one of the best sad movies on Netflix.
Noah Baumbach’s divorce story took audiences by storm in 2019 and put a new spin on the burgeoning genre of films which unpack the mythology of romantic love so ingrained in American culture.
Woody Allen fans (the movies, not the man) will gush at the aesthetics of Marriage Story, while theatre kids will be entranced by the demanding on-screen performances (and not just of the leads, i.e. national treasure Laura Dern). You’re left with a film which tells us love just ain’t enough, and if you’ve put your bae on a pedestal, this pick from the sad movies on Netflix will leave you in tears.
Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight won best picture at the Oscars in 2016, and for once the Academy got it right; Moonlight lives up to the massive hype the film earned in the year it was released and is one of the best sad movies on Netflix.
The three act film presents the heart-wrenching tale south Florida tale of Chiron, and his search for direction in life with the odds stacked against him.
Moonlight plays out like a dream, with beautiful moody cinematography that feels like much of the movie was filmed quite literally by moonlight. Chiron rides the wave of institutionalized oppression, and we feel right there with him, as each era of his life contributes an added weight on our backs. Struggle, love, and survival tie together Moonlight, and it’s all a recipe for waterworks.
The Kindergarten Teacher
Sara Colangelo’s 2018 American remake of the Nadav Lapid’s Israeli film of the same name may have been buried under Netflix’s heap of films from the last three years, but it shouldn’t have been.
The Kindergarten Teacher tells the heartbreaking (and at times nauseating) story of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Lisa Spinelli, an aspiring poet hack who gets tunnel vision for her poet prodigy student.
Gyllenhaal delivers arguably her best performance to date (it’s jaw-dropping) in a cringefest for the ages that’s also a depressing affirmation the talentless sometimes have no hope and will remain just that. If you have any, uh, hopes & dreams you better be ready to spill some tears.
Silver Linings Playbook
We leave you with the only sad movie on Netflix from our list with a truly happy ending, but it’s a guaranteed tear-jerker; Silver Linings Playbook is a modern classic of emotionally-exploitive gushy movies.
The tears hit harder without spoilers, so we’ll just give you what you need to know: woman leaves man; man goes to the looney bin; man tries to win back woman with help of new woman.
David O. Russel nailed it with Silver Linings Playbook in 2012 and gave us an emotional adventure that’s hard to look away from. If you haven’t leaked from the eyes in a while, we challenge you to take Silver Linings on, you might surprise yourself.