30 Sad Flicks You Can Watch On Netflix When You Are Feeling Low
On most days we just want to smile, laugh and make the most of every good thing life has on offer, but there are certain days when nothing seems right. It may be the frustration over a failed plan or just the fact that it has been a while since we have had a cry, feeling blue is certainly a normal thing. And when it hits you, there’s nothing wrong in tapping into that emotion and watching a sad movie or two on Netflix.
We checked out the Netflix library and zeroed in on a few flicks that would cater to your raw emotions. Right from timeless classics to new hits, as well as those never-heard-of stories that are sometimes based on fiction and sometimes on true events, we have compiled a list of thirty sad movies on Netflix that you can enjoy when you’re feeling sad. While these flicks wouldn’t cheer you up obviously, they will definitely let you tap into your emotions and let you feel that melancholy space until you can get yourself ready for something fresh.
First They Killed My Father (2017)
An Angelina Jolie directed flick; it is based on Loung Ung’s 2000 memoir that takes place in Cambodia during the period of 1975-79 when it was under the rule of Khmer Rouge. Loung’s family is forced to let go of their homeplace and work at a labor camp where they are asked to build their own shelter and work without any food. Loung’s family is separated and her father was taken away right in front of her eyes, while she was hired as a soldier for the regime. This is obviously a lot to take, especially for a child.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
This is one of those movies that everyone has heard of, but very few people have actually watched it. This movie won Matthew McConaughey an Oscar, and that isn’t the sole reason you should watch this movie. McConaughey plays a man diagnosed with AIDS in the eighties, when the disease not only lacked viable treatment and proper medical research, it also lacked societal understanding – themes that movie explores in detail. After he loses his job and family and is given only thirty days to live, he goes in pursuit of a medicine that can save his life. And while he finds a drug that can possibly save his life, the drug isn’t allowed in the United States. This leads to the character smuggling the drugs and then selling them to other similar people who are HIV-positive.
Blue Valentine (2010)
With Ryan Gosling in it, this flick can’t be sad for sure, right? Well, it is a sad movie. A dramatic indie film, it features one of the best performances of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. The duo plays a couple who is going through a struggling phase – almost on the verge of a divorce – they decide to go for a short vacation to let go of all the stress. The movie flashes back and forth between the past and present, which shows their courtship days and the present-day issues, and draws a contrast between the two and how any future hopes can eventually work out, if at all. The movie is a great story of love and disappointments, expectations and reality.
Milk is the story of Harvey Milk, the first public official in the state of California who openly came out as gay. Played by Sean Penn, the movie tells the story of how he galvanized the movement in San Francisco in the late 1970s. The movie also explores how he rose to prominence, as well as the relationship he shared with a fellow politician, Dan White, who also murdered him in his office. This biopic takes a very serious and realistic look at the 1970s rights movements, which unfortunately, continues to even today.
Pixar movies aren’t really meant to make you feel sad, but it is perfectly fine to feel sad at some point. Coco is certainly one of those movies that would make you misty at a few occasions in the movie. The story revolves around El Día de los Muertos and a young boy who is stuck in the land of the dead, where he ultimately decides to be a musician – against the wish of his family. You wouldn’t obviously feel misty throughout the movie – the bright and colorful 3D scenes are one of many things that would bring a smile on your face – but the movie does have a few things that would make you feel sad.
Room is a movie based on a novel that came out in 2010. The plot revolves around a woman (played by Brie Larson) who has been locked up in captivity for more than seven years now. She also has a five-year-old son, and they live in a small place that they call “room”. To make her son feel normal, she convinces him that there is no outside world and that it only is a creation of TV. However, one day, the two do try to find an escape. The story showcases resilience and hope, and we’d not be surprised if you find yourself crying during this movie.
My Sister’s Keeper (2009)
A story that delves into subjects such as terminal illness, family strife and emancipation, it will definitely make you feel blue. The movie is an adaptation of a novel by Jodi Picoult, and follows the story of a thirteen-year-old girl who is suing her parents for medical emancipation when she comes to know that she was genetically designed through IVF, so that her body parts could be donated to her cancer patient elder sister.
To The Bone (2007)
In this 2017 Netflix drama, the story revolves around a twenty-year-old girl who is suffering from anorexia nervosa. She goes through a number of recovery programs, but she only becomes lighter every passing day. It is a great movie that showcases the journey of self-discovery and while that can be often painful to watch, it is worth it nonetheless.
Seven Pounds (2007)
A Will Smith classic, the movie is definitely a great watch when you feel the need to let it out. Smith plays an IRS agent who is trying to improve the lives of several strangers who he feels need a second chance in life. The movie is definitely great, and so is Will Smith’s performance in this. A highly recommended movie.
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (2008)
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas is set in the World War II era in Poland, where a young boy becomes friends with another boy living on the opposite side of the border. What the boy doesn’t know is that his new friend is a Jewish prisoner. Based on a novel by John Boyne, this movie will definitely move you. A must watch.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
If you are planning a girl’s night out anytime soon, you cannot get a better chick flick than The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Based on coming of age stories and heartbreaks and family struggles these girls go through, the movie stars Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel and America Ferrera in leading roles.
Brain on Fire (2016)
Brain on Fire follows the story of a young New York City journalist who is suffering from repeated seizures and memory loss, who is looking for its diagnosis. And even though doctors are baffled at what they see, she is more than determined to find an answer to the problem. The pain and suffering her mind and body go through can be unbearable for most.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
A Wrinkle in Time is a Disney flick, and it certainly won’t make you cry all throughout the movie, but it will definitely make you misty on a few occasions. Following the story of a young girl who goes through time in order to find her dad, using love and science in the process. The flick stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and many more, making it a great all-star cast. Do watch this movie.
About Time (2013)
If a movie has Rachel McAdams in it, you can count on one thing – it will have tons of emotions, and it will possibly make you cry. About Time isn’t an exception. Following the story of a man who travels back in time in order to win the heart of woman he loves; you will definitely find yourself feeling blue throughout this movie. If you are someone who loves romantic flicks, you’ll absolutely love this one. Highly recommended.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
A movie that allowed Eddie Redmayne to not only win an Oscar, but also BAFTA and Golden Globe, The Theory of Everything will surely touch your heartstrings. Playing Stephen Hawkins on the big screen, Eddie Redmayne masterfully presents him and how his body suffered because of ALS, which increased his dependence on his dear wife, Felicity Jones.
Night in Rodanthe (2008)
This list of sad movies would surely be incomplete without a Nicholas Sparks adapted movie on it. Night in Rodanthe is the story of two people (Richard Gere and Diane Lane) who get stuck in North Carolina because of a hurricane. What follows is lots of romance and quite a lot of tears as well. Do watch this flick, you won’t regret it.
Little Women (1994)
A nineties classic, Little Women is definitely one flick that can make you cry every time no matter how many times you have already watched it. This Greta Gerwig’s adaption has also got itself a new adaption that stars Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan, but do watch the original if you want to let it out. The original flick even helped Winona Ryder win herself an Oscar nomination.
Now and Then (1995)
Another 90s flick that we all love and appreciate, Now and Then is also available on Netflix now. This coming of age drama will surely make you misty. The story revolves around four girls who recall a summer they spent in 1970. Enjoy this flick that boasts of finest seventies music, fashion, and quite a heavy dose of nostalgia.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society follows the story of a London based writer, Lily James, who goes to Guernsey island, where she discovers a book club founded by a group of friends in the WWII era when the island was under German occupation. A story that showcases romance, history and friendship, you will definitely find yourself crying throughout this movie.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Saving Mr. Banks is a typical Disney flick that would definitely bring a tear or two in your eyes. The plot revolves around how Walt Disney got the rights to a very popular book, Marry Poppins. Tom Hanks is amazing, as always, while Emma Thompson deliver a flawless performance as well. Expect a heavy dose of nostalgia and an ever charming Disney magic in this flick.
Irreplaceable You (2018)
Irreplaceable You follows the story of a girl who is diagnosed with cancer who decides to find her fiancé and childhood bestie a new lover. She does, however, find out ultimately is that by focusing on future, she is missing out on enjoying the present. This journey is truly full of romance, selfless love and you can expect your eyes to get misty. Though the movie is full of humor at times, most of it will make you cry.
What a Girl Wants (2003)
This Amanda Bynes movie is a coming of age drama that follows the story of a young girl’s relationship with her father whom she has never met before. The movie also has some great shots of the city of London, and will definitely make your watching experience worthwhile.
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Eat Pray Love stars Julia Roberts in the leading role and explores food and travel and has plenty of laughs. However, this real-life tale has moments that would make you shed a tear or two. A movie about self-discovery, love, spirituality, it was shot in parts of India, Rome, and Bali.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
The Spectacular Now is a perfect movie for those of you who love high school romance. Starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in leading roles, the story is all about the school romance that brews between this unlikely couple. While he is someone who parties hard, she is focused and goal driven. A typical first-love story, it will surely touch your heartstrings and make you emotional for sure.
Then Came You (2019)
If you are already missing Maisie Williams’s acting, Then Came You is a perfect opportunity to see her in action again. This flick is a quirky comedy about a girl who is terminally ill who is getting help from a hypochondriac in order to make her bucket list. You will definitely laugh at the funny moments, but it will also make you cry – basically, it will touch all your emotions.
Mamma Mia (2008)
If you are in the mood to feel all the emotions at once, watch Mamma Mia. This flick will make you laugh, cry, dance, and sing – in just one movie. The movie has great music, amazing scenic beauty from Greece, and some amazing star cast that includes Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan. By the end of it, you’ll definitely have tears in your eyes.
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
If you seriously wish to let it all out, watch The Fundaments of Caring. Starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez, this dark comedy will make you weep. Paul Rudd plays a caregiver to a teenager who is going through muscular dystrophy. The two of them decide to take a road trip, and the story of friendship that follows will definitely leave you crying at the end.
The Imitation Game (2014)
The Imitation Game is a story that will make you feel proud, but at the same time, some parts of the movie will make you sad for sure. The story is set in World War II era, and revolves around a team of secret British Intelligence personnel who are trying to decode the Enigma Nazi codes. This insurmountable task is headed by none other than the brilliant English mathematician Alan Turing, who comes up with an idea of a machine that can decode Enigma codes. However, what follows is the sad part. After the war is over, he is arrested for being gay.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
P.S. I Love You stars Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank in the leading roles, and is a story that would make you cry for sure. Swank’s character is left distraught when she loses her husband (played by Gerard Butler) to brain tumor, and ends up visiting all the places that they went together and fell in love with. The movie showcases romance, love, scenic Irish beauty and by the end of it all, you’ll find yourself crying.
Schindler’s List (1993)
Set during Word War II and based on a true story, this Steven Spielberg masterpiece is considered one of the best movies ever made. The plot follows the life of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who tries his best to save more than twelve hundred Jewish people from the Holocaust. In the initial parts of the movie, we see him as a businessman living in Krakow, Poland who is also a member of the Nazi party. And thanks to his powerful connections, he opens a factory that has numerous Jewish workers. When the war breaks out and persecution of Jews escalates, he makes use of his factory to save people. It can be a very difficult and painful movie to watch, but if you want to take a real and honest look at the Holocaust, this is highly recommended.