10 Biggest Tear Jerker Movies

If you grab one of these ten best tear jerker movies, be sure to grab a friend/spouse you won't be embarassed to sob in front of and enough tissue to last a few hours.

Everybody watches them, but few people admit it. Of those brave souls who will admit they even watch these types of flicks, even fewer will admit to loving them. I speak of the classic tear jerker movie. I, myself, am an easy cry. Give me a good Hallmark commercial or a commercial that shows a dog aging right along with his master and I'm in hysterics for hours, wasting all of my cell phone minutes calling old friends and family members to tell them how much I love them. Some may, thus, scorn my choice of the ten best tear jerkers movies; however, try and view it this way. I have such a long list of tear jerker movies that it took more thought than the average Joe to come up with those that were list-worthy.

Terms of Endearment

There are two scenes in this movie that, even if you were to pull them straight out of the movie, they would send people into a depression. One occurs when Shirley MacLaine, as a distraught mother dealing with her daughter's illness, screams to the nurses that her daughter is in pain and needs her medication. The other scene takes place when Debra Winger, as the daughter, is tearfully saying her goodbyes to her two sons who have come to see her at the hospital.

My Life

Michael Keaton plays a man dealing with his terminal illness who wants only one thing: to stay alive long enough to see the birth of his baby. He videotapes himself reading bedtime stories and giving lessons on shaving so that his unborn child can still learn from his father after he has passed away. Tender moments include one where Michael Keaton's character sits quietly in the nursery watching his new baby sleep.

Steel Magnolias

This is one of those movies where "laughter through tears" becomes commonplace. A tight group of friends in the deep South experience life's ups and downs together, including the death of one of the women's daughters. You will laugh so hard through one of the biggest tear-jerking scenes that the possibility of snot coming out of your nose is 100%.


I think that the issue of an untimely death seems to be the running theme in this list of tear-jerkers. Two close friends, played brilliantly by Barbara Hershey and Bette Midler, struggle to make ends meet, eventually finding success in their respective fields. When one of the characters becomes terminally ill, the other must use every ounce of strength she has to be there for her best friend and her best friend's young daughter.

The Pianist

This true story about one man's plight during the Holocaust will forever be etched in your memory. As the tide of prejudice and hatred quickly overwhelm him, he must deal with the loss of his entire family and the loss of the life he had grown to love. Never again will you flippantly think of the Holocaust as "just another" tragic event in our history.

Il Postino

A young Italian fishermen takes on a job delivering mail. On his route is the recently exiled poet, Pablo Neruda. As the young postman begins to fall in love with a local woman, he gets help from Neruda with poetry to woo the woman. The poignant film is a lasting tribute to seemingly hopeless love and friendship.


Tom Hanks plays a brilliant lawyer fired because he is gay and dealing with AIDS. With the help of a homophobic lawyer, he sues his former company and becomes a champion of gay rights and the rights of those living with this dreadful disease. His friendship with his lawyer and the love he gets from his supportive partner and family are almost tearfully overwhelming at times.

Life is Beautiful

Another Italian movie makes the list. This movie has a perfect and harmonious mix of comedy and drama. The first half deals with an eccentric Italian man winning over the woman he has fallen in love with. The movie takes a dramatic turn as the effects of the Holocaust begin to be seen everywhere. The Italian man and his son are taken to a concentration camp where the father makes the entire horrific event a game to help his young son.

What Dreams May Come

Two soulmates lose their children in a horrible automobile accident. Soon the husband loses his own life and is transported to his own private heaven. Helpless, he watches as his wife, still on Earth, slowly deteriorates until she commits suicide and is now imprisoned in her own private hell. With the help of friends, he risks everything to find her and bring her to him. This is the ultimate romance story.

The Notebook

This recent movie has made the list due to its beautiful take on the classic love story. Everyday, an old man reads to an old woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home. This story is about two young lovers who go through trial after trial to be with each other. As the storyline progresses, you come to find that the old man is reading this story to his wife, and the story is their own. You will sob aloud, and so will your husband, I promise.

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