These Are The Best Movies To Watch When You Need An Ugly Cry

Because who doesn't want to sob on a plane?

It's the holiday season, and the combination of eggnog, family, travel and gloomy weather may make you a little weepy. But if you need some cover for the tears, HuffPost has your back (again). 

Here are some of our suggestions for the best movies to cry through. Needless to say, ALL THE SPOILERS ahead.


I have no idea what happened during 99 percent of "Up" because it was impossible to see through my tears after the first five minutes, which was one of the sweetest opening scenes in a movie ever. -- Amanda Terkel

Cast Away

When Chuck Noland loses Wilson, your soul is crushed. And when Wilson drifts away into the ocean -- his spiky hair disappearing on the horizon -- you just want to drown in that water along with Chuck. And then, the gut punch: Chuck's longtime love Kelly Frears went and got a WHOLE NEW FAMILY. -- Sam Stein

Beasts of the Southern Wild

When adorable 6-year-old Hushpuppy swims to the floating bar in the Mississippi Delta in search of her dead mother, and she finds a cook who she thinks might be her mother, and the cook hugs her but isn't her mother. Then she goes back to her father, Wink, an alcoholic, and she sits with him while he dies and listens to his last heartbeat. -- Laura Bassett

Inside Out

The saddest/sweetest moment for me was when Joy and Bing Bong are trying to escape the Memory Dump. Bing Bong sacrifices himself to make sure Joy gets back, and as he slowly turns to dust, he looks up and says, "Take her to the moon for me." -- Hollis Miller


Watching Jackie (the mom) and Isabel (the stepmom) navigate their relationship as Jackie is dying of cancer is heart-wrenching. The scene when Jackie gives her kids their Christmas gifts might require a whole box of tissues to get through. And when they take a family photo -- with both mom and stepmom included -- you'll basically fall apart. -- Paige Lavender

Dancer in the Dark

Once, in college, a friend walked in on me while I was watching the very end of the movie, when Selma is singing for the final time, and I was -- as this movie always makes me do -- bawling hysterically. She thought a family member had died. Nope, I said, just a whimsical, wonderful fictional character dreamed up by Lars von Trier and Queen Bjork. -- Joseph Erbentraut

12 Years a Slave

The soundtrack, the quiet, the crying, everything. The scene where Patsey begs for soap made me want to break something. -- Mehreen Kasana


The movie does such an amazing job at rightfully making you fall in love with the joy, spirit and talent that Selena had. But this film was made in honor of her after she was murdered just days before turning 24. TWENTY-FOUR. She was a star! She had already won a Grammy! She had SO MUCH LIFE AHEAD OF HER! Life is cruel and unfair. -- Carolina Moreno


When Annie walked out to the kitchen after a night with Rhodes and saw that Rhodes had bought her baking supplies in an attempt to push her back into baking, I started to cry. I felt like Rhodes' gesture was a truly beautiful expression of love -- he loved her so much that her loving him back wasn't enough. He wanted her to pursue what she loved, too. I also liked the scene where they all poop. -- Maxwell Strachan

About Time

It's somewhat rare to have a movie where people are nice to each other, which made me happy-cry. It's less rare, but also extremely sad, when people who are nice to each other die or have bad things happen to them, which made me sad-cry. -- Elise Foley

Toy Story 3

When the whole gang, after all they've been through, are about to get incinerated in a garbage fire, they reach out for each other's hands, resigned to their fate, only to have The Claaaaw save them -- that's a moment. Also, when Andy and that little girl are playing at the end and she reaches into the box to grab Woody and Andy's heart jumps, my heart jumps, too. -- Matt Fuller

Jodai e Nader az Simin/A Separation

The scene where Hodjat is crying in anger after finding out his little daughter's teacher has been spreading awful rumors about him is one of the most powerful scenes from Iranian cinema. It touches upon class, religion, gender, social stratification, marriage, miscarriage, law, bigotry, all at once. And how often we assume the poor are less human, less deserving of dignity. -- Mehreen Kasana

The Fault in Our Stars

It's a movie about love and teenagers with cancer and a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime trip to Amsterdam. -- Megan Robertson

Steel Magnolias

This movie about female relationships is so beautiful, and M'Lynn Eatenton's monologue at the cemetery gets me every time. She captures so many emotions in such a short time, from anger to despair to catharsis through laughter. -- Caroline Bologna

The Pianist

A Polish pianist tries to escape the Holocaust. About two-thirds into the movie, he meets a Nazi soldier who's discovered his hiding place. But instead of taking him away, the soldier gives him food and lets him play the piano. He plays this beautiful Chopin piece, and everything is at peace for a moment. -- Marina Fang


Lack of historical accuracy be damned, I still can't make it through Disney's "Pocahontas" if I don't keep an entire box of tissues handy. After all, if an animated princess can't find and keep true love, is there any hope for the rest of us? -- Curtis Wong


This movie isn't what you'd call a tearjerker and it's got some distracting plot problems, but, man, the scene when Cooper and his now-elderly daughter Murph see each other again after Cooper's journey through time, space, and whatever the hell was inside that black hole is simultaneously heart-wrenching and joyful. -- Jeffrey Young

My Girl

When I first watched this movie, I did NOT see the tragic death plot coming at all, and I cried like a baby. Even now that I know what happens to Thomas J., I still get so weepy. Damn bees! -- Caroline Bologna

The Fox and the Hound

After Tod (the fox) saves Copper (the hound) from a bear and they fall down a waterfall, Copper's owner walks up on Tod and prepares to shoot him. But Copper stands over Tod and won't move. Copper and Tod were friends when they were babies and ended up on opposite sides of things. But in the end, they saved each other. -- Julia Craven

The Mighty

It's the story of two boys -- Kevin, who has Morquio syndrome, and Max, a victim of bullying -- who live next to each other. They become great friends who use their imaginations to escape the realities of everyday life. All seems like it's going to end well, and the boys are actually happy for once, but then Kevin ends up DYING. -- Julia Brucculieri


Every time I watch it, I am reminded of the first time I learned that bad things can happen to moms, that wanting to be a famous singer doesn't just make you one, and that best friends can be very cruel to each other. These are among the most heartbreaking revelations of any little girl's life. -- Amanda Duberman

Marley and Me

Spoiler alert but the dog dies. If you don't cry during this scene, you are legally a horrible person. -- Alana Horowitz Satlin

Life Is Beautiful

When a dad and son are taken to a concentration camp, the dad makes up a game to help his young boy survive. The most gut-wrenching moment is when the father is taken to be executed -- he sees the son one last time. But instead of a somber goodbye, he stays in character and continues to play the game, not letting his son know the reality of what is happening. -- Carolina Moreno


I don't know if it's because I grew up in Texas and also had divorced parents and an unreliable dad, but I saw that movie twice and just, like, cried through the whole thing. -- Zoë Triska

Lost in Translation

Bob Harris gets out of his taxi headed for the Tokyo airport in the final scene to say goodbye to Charlotte one last time. It got my hopes up that Harris would give in to his love for her and abandon his boring life and family back in the U.S. Instead, they just share a final romantic kiss and a few knowing words and he gets back in the taxi. -- Daniel Marans


It's sci-fi, drama and thriller all rolled into one, and it bounces back and forth in time, but none of that is even why this movie is so great. It's mostly about the bond between father and son, and it's so heart-wrenchingly complex. -- Jenna Amatulli 

The Shawshank Redemption

Toward the end, when Red is so lonesome and lost, wondering if there's any real reason to live. He's rummaging through the rocks under the tree where his old pal Andy said he left him something. He finds it: hope (and an envelope of cash, with directions to Andy). It's the first time Red is excited about anything, and he gathers up his few belongings and catches a bus to Andy, and they embrace on a deserted beach. -- Jennifer Bendery


There's a sequence in this movie that is weaponized tragedy. Linda Partridge is trying to kill herself in a rainy parking lot, an old man estranged from his family is painfully dying of cancer in bed at home, Jim Kurring isn't getting laid -- and then there's a montage of every sad character singing Aimee Mann's "Wise Up," for crying out loud. -- Damon Beres



The Family Stone

Not only the best holiday movie ever with a stacked cast, but watching the matriarch of this lovable, dysfunctional, large family die of cancer gets me every time. -- Molly Bangs

Turner & Hooch

When Hooch dies after taking a bullet for Turner. Gosh, the dog that played Hooch probably really is dead now. I hope they have that zany saxophone music in Dog Heaven. -- Arthur Delaney

The Notebook

Noah and Allie die together lying in the same hospital bed. Pretty much sums it up. -- Willa Frej


A German writer is reluctantly pulled into the Nazi Party to write a treatise on euthanasia, justifying the genocide of Jews and other persecuted groups. In one scene, his best friend and drinking buddy -- a Jewish doctor in Berlin -- pleads with him to get him exit papers. He's so desperate and still so shocked by how quickly the state stripped him of his rights, his humanity. -- Alexander Kaufman

You've Got Mail

The look on Kathleen's face when she realizes her AIM crush was Joe all along says it all. -- Mollie Reilly

Heaven and Earth

A Vietnam War veteran returns to the states with his Vietnamese wife, and they start out happily building a family and a life together. But he can't deal with the acts he's committed, so he eventually commits suicide. But she lives on with their children. For all that is lost, life goes on. -- Mariam Baksh

Milo and Otis

Tears come to my eyes the second I hear the tagline, "A puppy needs a buddy, and a kitten needs a pal." If Milo and Otis' unlikely, heartwarming friendship isn't enough to make you weep, you will when you find out there's a more-than-decent chance that 20 kittens were killed during filming. -- Hilary Hanson 


As soon as the first notes of that freakin' song play, I'm a total goner. And don't even get me started on the scene with the elderly couple holding each other. -- Taylor Pittman

Boys Don't Cry

The story about the life and death of a trans man in the early '90s -- it's brutal and sad on about a million levels. It's hopeful to see Brandon fall in love and seemingly succeed in carving out a niche in this Nebraska town, but then you see it all ripped away until he's murdered at the end. And then the film closes with "The Bluest Eyes In Texas." -- Kim Bellware

Grave of the Fireflies

I picked this Studio Ghibli anime thinking it was going to be a fun, mystical movie (I somehow ignored the "grave" in the title), only to find myself emotionally devastated by a beautiful anti-war film about siblings and death. -- Melissa Jeltsen

Aimee & Jaguar

In 1940s Berlin, two women meet and fall in love: one a queer Jew who secretly works within the Reich, one a mother of a few kids who also happens to be married to an SS soldier. They fight so hard to be together, and the mere fact that this story is BASED ON A TRUE STORY adds to the gravity. -- Christy Havranek

Woman in Gold

Maria Altmann is the sole surviving daughter of a prosperous Jewish-Austrian family, whose father purchased/commissioned Gustav Klimt's "Woman in Gold." The scene that made my heart fall out of my body is a flashback of young Altmann saying goodbye to her parents for the last time, because they could not flee with her. -- Mia Fermindoza

The Good Dinosaur

There's parental loss, there's friendships formed and ended, there's happy cries too. My 3-year-old made it through just fine, only to look at Mommy and Daddy and ask, "What's wrong with you?" -- Chris McGonigal

In the Mood for Love

Two neighbors, a man and a woman, bond over the fact that both their spouses are cheating on them. Easy fix, right? Leave your inadequate partner and shack up together? NOT SO FAST. This is the early 1960s and society, not happiness, wins. -- Irina Ivanova

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day!" Need I say more? Also seems apt for the kind of 2016 presidential election we've been having. -- Laura Barron-Lopez