20 Best Sad Movies To Watch On Netflix [Updated 2023]

Looking for escapism from a rainy day by watching a few movies that’ll make you cry?

Our list features 20 Best Sad Movies on Netflix that work great for a good cry! Be warned that all of these are serious tear-jerkers, but once you’re done watching them, you might feel a million times better.

There are, of course, many reasons why people enjoy crying their eyes out in front of the TV. Sometimes it’s because they want to get caught up in something moving. But, sometimes, watching a sad movie is a great way to connect with other people who feel the same way. 

Critics say that many sad movies on Netflix have the capacity to help us accept and cope with the painful realities of life.

Check out the list of 20 Best Sad Movies on Netflix to take a break from a mundane reality or just to experience sad emotions.

The Lovely Bones (2009)

Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh.
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Saoirse Ronan.
Runtime: 2h 15m
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10

Grab a box of tissues, because one of the best sad movies on Netflix, The Lovely Bones, is here. This heart-wrenching drama tells the story of 14-year-old Susie Salmon who is murdered by her neighbour. As Susie tells her story from the in-between place between Heaven and Earth, you see how her murder affects the lives of everyone around her. Enjoy a sad yet ultimately uplifting movie, The Lovely Bones today on Netflix.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Audrey Niffenegger, Bruce Joel Rubin.
Cast: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Michelle Nolden, Alex Ferris, Ron Livingston.
Runtime: 1h 47m
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

If you’re looking for a sad, emotional movie on Netflix, look no further than The Time Traveler’s Wife. This movie follows the story of a Chicago librarian who has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel. This creates complications in his marriage, as you can imagine. But despite the challenges, this couple’s love is strong enough to weather any storm. This is a moving film that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

Five Feet Apart (2019)

Director: Justin Baldoni
Writers: Tobias Laconis, Mikki Daughtry.
Cast:  Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson,  Moises Arias, Parminder Nagra, Kimberley Hebert Gregory.
Runtime: 1h 56m
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

When you’re fighting a terminal illness, the last thing you want is to be away from the love of your life. Five Feet Apart plot based on two young people with cystic fibrosis. They fall in love, despite the fact that they must keep their distance from each other for fear of exacerbating their conditions. This Netflix sad movie, Five Feet Apart is a poignant reminder that love can thrive even in the darkest of times.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Director: David O. Russell
Writers: David O. Russell, Matthew Quick.
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver,  Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Bradley Cooper.
Runtime: 2h 2m
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Laugh, cry, and think with one of the best sad movies to watch on Netflix, Silver Linings Playbook. This moving drama tells the story of Pat Solitano, a former teacher who has recently been released from a mental institution. Pat’s mission is to reconcile with his ex-wife, but things become complicated when he meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with her problems. Witness a moving and ultimately uplifting film that will leave you hopeful and inspired.

Marriage Story (2019)

Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johanson, Julia Greer, Azhy Robertson, Wallace Shawn.
Runtime: 2h 17m
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

If you’re looking for a heart-wrenching and realistic portrayal of marriage from the list of sad Netflix movies, then Marriage Story is perfect for you. Noah Baumbach’s incisive storytelling takes a compassionate look at what can happen when a relationship starts to unravel. Find emotionally charged performances as a couple who are trying to figure out how to move on with their lives after their divorce. The film captures the complex nuances of marital breakdown with humour and insight.

Roma (2018)

Director: Alfanso Cuaron
Writers: Alfanso Cuaron
Cast: Marina de Tavira, Yalitza Aparicio, Diego Cortina, Marco Graf, Carlos Peralta.
Runtime: 2h 15m
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Cry your eyes out with all-time sad movies on Netflix, Roma. This powerful film tells the story of Cleo, a young domestic worker tasked with helping to take care of Antonio and Sofía’s four children. But things take a turn for her when Antonio runs away with his mistress. This leaves Cleo to deal with the fallout, including her own pregnancy. Roma is a heart-wrenching film that will leave you feeling all the feels. 

Irreplaceable You (2018)

Director: Stephen Laing
Writers: Bess Wohl
Cast: Michiel Huisman, Steve Coogan, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jacki Weaver, Timothy Simons.
Runtime: 1h 36m
IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

Find a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of love and loss, Irreplaceable You, one of the best sad movies on Netflix. After being childhood friends, the two are destined to be together until death. But one of them dies and leaves the other struggling to move on. This movie will make you appreciate the loved ones in your life while also making you cry like a baby. A perfect watch to make you cry your eyes out

The Pianist (2002)

Director: Roman Polanski
Writers: Ronald Harwood, Wladyslaw Szpilman
Cast: Adrien Brody, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Michal Zebrowski, Emilia Fox,  Julia Rayner, Ed Stoppard.
Runtime: 2h 30m
IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Enjoy one of the all-time great sad movies on Netflix, The Pianist. It tells the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish musician who fights the battle of survival during the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Find the true story of Szpilman’s life that is heartbreaking and inspirational. The Pianist is an essential film for anyone interested in World War II history. If you’re looking for a powerful, emotional film, be sure to check out The Pianist.

Someone Great (2019)

Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.
Writer: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Gina Rodriguez,  DeWanda Wise, Brittany Snow,  Michelle Buteau.
Runtime: 1h 32m
IMDB Rating: 6.1/10

Get over a break-up with this Netflix sad movie, Someone Great. This Netflix original follows Jenny on her last hurrah in New York City after she splits from her long-term boyfriend. With her two best friends’ help, she experiences all the city offers before starting anew in San Francisco. Whether you’re looking for a movie to laugh and cry both or an inspiring story of female friendship, this film is sure to hit the spot.

First They Killed My Father (2017)

Director: Angelina Jolie 
Writers: Angelina Jolie, Loung Ung
Cast: Sareum Srey Moch, Sveng Socheata, Mun Kimhak, Phoeung Kompheak,  Heng Dara.
Runtime: 2h 16m
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

Get your hands on a searing account of the Khmer Rouge’s four-year reign of terror in Cambodia in this sad emotional movie on Netflix. An autobiography of the Loung Ung, the film follows Loung and her family as they are forced to flee Phnom Penh and navigate the deadly landscape of a country ravaged by war.

With unflinching honesty, “First They Killed My Father” pulls no punches in its portrayal of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge. 

The Impossible (2012)

Director: J.A Bayona
Writers: Maria Belon, Sergio G.Sanchez.
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Oaklee Pendergast, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin.
Runtime: 1h 54m
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Introducing The Impossible all-time sad movies on Netflix- the perfect way to experience the tragic events of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. This moving film is about a tourist family caught in the middle of a disaster and their struggle to survive and rebuild in its aftermath. With an emotionally charged story, The Impossible is a must-watch for anyone interested in this devastating natural disaster. Cry your eyes out from beginning to end with this movie.

Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

Director:  Ron Howard
Writers: Vanessa Taylor, J.D. Vance.
Cast:  Glenn Close, Amy Adams, Gabriel Basso, Freida Pinto, Haley Bennett.
Runtime: 1h 56m
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

Everyone has that one guilty pleasure movie that they watch when they’re feeling down. Find this sad emotional movie on Netflix, Hillbilly Elegy, for those who want to really wallow in their misery. Based on the best-selling memoir by J.D. Vance tells the story of his troubled upbringing in a poor, rural town in Ohio. The powerful and engaging story will leave you thankful for your own life long after the credit rolls.

Rain Man (1988)

Director: Barry Levinson
Writers: Barry Morrow, Ronald Bass.
Cast:  Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino, Jack Murdock, Gerald R.Molen.
Runtime: 2h 13m
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

Step away from the pint of ice cream and box of tissues; it’s time to watch Rain Man. This 1988 classic follows the story of Charlie Babbitt, an emotionally distant tax accountant, and his estranged autistic savant outcast brother Raymond. As they travel across America together, Raymond helps Charlie see that there’s more to life than material possessions.

Rain Man is a heartwarming tale that will make you laugh, cry, and think about what’s really important in life. 

Other People (2016)

Director: Chris Kelly
Writers: Chris Kelly
Cast: Molly Shannon, Jesse Plemons, Maude Apatow, Bradley Whitford, Madisen Beaty.
Runtime: 1h 37m
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10

Get all the emotional feel with another film from the collection of sad movies to watch on Netflix. Other People is for anyone who has ever struggled with family, fitting in, or finding their way in the world. Duncan returns home to care for his dying mother, only to find himself right back in the place he least wants to be: childhood. Find Duncan tries to reconnect with old friends and deal with his mother’s looming death.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Director: Aaron Sorkin
Writers: Aaron Sorkin
Cast:  Alex Sharp, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, John Carroll Lynch, Jeremy Strong.
Runtime: 2h 9m
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Looking for a Netflix sad movie with a thought-provoking plot? Look no further than The Trial of the Chicago 7! This true story follows the behind-the-scenes actions and calculated betrayals leading up to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. We see seven prominent anti-war activists who were found guilty of conspiring to stage a protest that erupted into open violence on the streets of Chicago, leading to a police riot. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Director: Joe Berlinger
Writers: Elizabeth Kendall, Michael Werwie.
Cast: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Sydney Vollmer,  Angela Sarafyan, Ava Inman.
Runtime: 1h 50m
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

If you love true crime, then check out Extremely Wicked Shocking Evil and Vile from the list of Sad Movies on Netflix. This series is based on the actual diaries of Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers in history. You’ll get a glimpse at the perspective of his victims, and how they refused to believe the truth about him. This is an in-depth look into his crimes, and what happened behind the closed doors.  

Les Miserables (2012)

Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: William Nicholson, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil.
Cast: Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron, Amanda Seyfried.
Runtime: 2h 38m
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

This heart-wrenching tale of love and loss is perfect for those days when you need a good cry. Jean Valjean will make you laugh, weep, and everything in-between as he searches for redemption. With stunning performances from Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe, this movie is sure to keep you entertained from start to finish. So put on your best French accent and get ready for a roller coaster of emotions.

Hugo (2011)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John Logan, Brian Selznick
Cast:  Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron
Runtime: 2h 6m
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Experience an emotionally charged movie that will leave you with tears, Hugo. This beautifully crafted film is set in 1931 and follows the story of an orphan, Hugo Cabret, who maintains the clocks. After a tragic accident leaves him alone in the world, Hugo befriends Georges Melies, an elderly man who has a broken automaton that was left to him by his late father. Together, they try to repair the automaton and uncover the mystery surrounding Melies’ past. 

Greater (2016)

Director: David L. Hunt
Writers: David L.Hunt, Brian Reindi
Cast: Leslie Easterbro, Neal McDonough, Michael Parks, Christopher Severio, Nick Searcy. 
Runtime: 2h 10m
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

Do you love a good underdog story? Then this documentary Sad Movies on Netflix is for you. It chronicles the life of former Arkansas Razorbacks football player Garrett Webb, who was drafted into the NFL as the 298th pick. Despite his humble beginnings, Garrett quickly rose to legendary status on the team. However, his career didn’t last long because he tragically died in a car accident on his way to his brother’s wedding. 

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Director: James Marsh
Writers: Jane Hawking, Anthony McCarten.
Cast: Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Prior, Harry Lloyd, Sophie Perry.
Runtime: 2h 3m
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Witness one of the best sad movies on Netflix yet the inspirational story of one of the world’s greatest minds.

Stephen Hawking, a brilliant physicist, unlocked some of the universe’s biggest secrets. But what lies behind his public image is an even greater love story between Stephen and Jane Wilde Hawking that has endured triumphs and tragedies for more than half a century. The Theory of Everything is the first film to explore their romantic partnership fully.

What to watch on Netflix in UK using VPN


So, these 20 Best Sad Movies on Netflix will give you all the feels. From heartbreaking dramas to gut-wrenching documentaries, these films are sure to leave you in tears. So grab some tissues, curl up on the couch, and let the sadness wash over you.

You’re bombarded with comedies, action movies, and rom-com when you turn on the TV every time. But what about when you want to feel something real? 

Our list of Sad Emotional Movies on Netflix has covered you when you need to witness something to feel sad.