What are some movies or TV shows that will make me cry continously?
November 13, 2013 1:49 PM   Subscribe

I've recently realized how therapeutic it is for me to have a nice, long, crying session. Watching something emotional that makes me cry has been my way of releasing stress, but I'm having a hard time finding material. I've been able to find lists of "movies to make you cry", but they tend to be romance movies or feel-good dramas with a sad ending. What about movies or TV shows that are sad, sweet, or emotional throughout the length of the film?

I'd like to stay away from romantic films and prefer those focused on friends, family, the human condition, and life in general. An example of a show that makes me cry multiple times is ABC's What Would You Do? (when someone shows compassion for a stranger I just choke up).
posted by daisies to Media & Arts (111 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't do it for me but a lot of people cry at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (same idea as What Would You Do?).

Friday Night Lights makes me cry often but not at every single moment. There is romance, but I'd say the main thrust of the show is friends, family, and the human condition.
posted by telegraph at 1:51 PM on November 13, 2013

There's a pretty long, brutal stretch in Steel Magnolias.
posted by something something at 1:54 PM on November 13, 2013

I sobbed quite a bit through Six Feet Under.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:54 PM on November 13, 2013 [9 favorites]

Undercover Boss, although its drama is manufactured, they seem to be good people. And I'm one of those people who is moved by Extreme Makeover Home Edition. With bonus Ty Pennington, a human energizer bunny whose enthusiasm for the projects and the people is sincere & contagious, so you alternate between tears and cheers.
posted by headnsouth at 1:55 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

You'll only have to watch Grave of the Fireflies once to get a lifetime's supply of tears.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:55 PM on November 13, 2013 [14 favorites]

Parenthood makes me cry almost every episode. Not necessarily continuously, but it can be pretty emotionally cathartic.
posted by fancyoats at 1:56 PM on November 13, 2013 [8 favorites]

Up! (Especially the first ten minutes, but I also cried through the end).

I also wept through large parts of The Reader.
posted by coraline at 1:56 PM on November 13, 2013 [8 favorites]

I've always bawled my head off through much of The Elephant Man. If you're into foreign films, the first episode of The Decalogue is lay-on-the-floor-sobbing material. Chaplin's City Lights is one of the iconic sweet/sad movies (I have seen the final scene bring grown men to their knees).
posted by scody at 1:56 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Synechdoche New York had me bawling my eyes out, personally, but I think you may have to be approaching middle age and starting to wonder whether it's all worth the effort for that to apply.
posted by ook at 1:57 PM on November 13, 2013 [5 favorites]

I've been watching The Fosters, on ABC Family, lately, and have choked up multiple times. This is embarrassing, because full disclosure, I work for the show and have absolutely no romantic notions about it. (Note: I am not recommending it as a plug because I work there, it really is a total tearjerker of a show.)

It's a drama about a lesbian couple with a multi-racial blended family. There's a biological kid from a previous relationship, two adoptees, and some foster kids. Episodes deal with the moms' ongoing struggle to make a difference in the kids' lives, and two of the kids in particular who are just coming out of a long string of abusive situations. There's also a lot of general parenting/family/love stuff, which, I dunno, maybe it's because I have an unconventional family myself but it makes me tear up constantly.

Six Feet Under is a great example of a tearjerker show I don't have any involvement with.
posted by Sara C. at 1:57 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Parenthood. My wife is a bawling mess at least once every episode.
posted by JaredSeth at 2:00 PM on November 13, 2013

La Vita é Bella, aka Life Is Beautiful. Funny, sad, heartwarming, it has it all.
posted by fearnothing at 2:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Synechdoche New York had me bawling my eyes out, personally, but I think you may have to be approaching middle age and starting to wonder whether it's all worth the effort for that to apply.

I saw that movie when I was 24 and it did make me cry (like, really heavy sobbing crying) for a good solid 20 minutes or so near the end, but mileage my vary, of course.
posted by muddgirl at 2:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I cry my dumb face off at the end of Big Fish.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 2:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [5 favorites]

I'm a new mom and tried to watch "Call the Midwife" series. I was crying at the first birth and was trying so very hard not to cry at the end of that first episode. That's as far as I got with the series. Maybe try that one?

Otherwise, the only other movie that makes me emotional and cry out loud was American History X. But that's not feel-good crying.
posted by jillithd at 2:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

Also, The Happiness of the Katakuris. Ending makes me cry. It's a happy kind of crying, but there it is.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 2:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Field of Dreams does me in - any baseball subtleties are lost on me but the family stuff gets me every time.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 2:04 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

Are you ok with documentaries? War Photographer is one of the most moving movies I've ever seen and I cried continuously. Whoever said that it's impossible to make an anti-war movie needs to watch this.
posted by dilaudid at 2:05 PM on November 13, 2013

Larkrise to Candleford (or, as my longshoreman buddy likes to call it "Larkspur to Candlestick") does it to me almost every time.
posted by Floydd at 2:05 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I feel silly saying it, but for me, it's How I Met Your Mother. The little monologue at the end of each episode gets me pretty much every time.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:06 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Tree of Life" is one big tone-poem of sadness, just check out the trailer!
posted by steinsaltz at 2:07 PM on November 13, 2013

The documentary The Bridge, which is about suicides, is extremely moving and beautiful and heart-rending.
posted by janey47 at 2:08 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Big Fish.
posted by usonian at 2:09 PM on November 13, 2013

the iron giant.
posted by changeling at 2:10 PM on November 13, 2013 [9 favorites]

A League of Their Own has at least six points that make me bawl.
posted by donajo at 2:12 PM on November 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

Though there is certainly a romantic element to it, Pushing Daisies was brilliant at this. Nearly every episode made me cry for one reason or another.

Not only was it a wonderfully moving, funny little show, it was beautiful to look at as well.
posted by BrianJ at 2:12 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've cried many happy tears from sweet moments in Parks and Recreation episodes.
posted by littlesq at 2:13 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale isn't weepy all the way through, but it's enchanting, loving, whimsical, wise, nostalgic and mystical in a very very English way. I choke up about half an hour before the end when the beauty and fragility and hope reach the point of unbearability and degenerate from there into a weeping heap of particles. OMG that final scene.

I also started crying about 10 minutes into Life in a Day and didn't stop till the credits, though, so YMMV.
posted by stuck on an island at 2:26 PM on November 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've cried during Up, The Wild Parakeets of Telegraph Hill, and The Sweet Hereafter, and the last episode of Six Feet Under.
posted by matildaben at 2:31 PM on November 13, 2013

Seconding Friday Night Lights.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:32 PM on November 13, 2013

Dancer in the Dark made me cry almost as much as Grave of the Fireflies.
posted by daikaisho at 2:32 PM on November 13, 2013 [6 favorites]

Saddest movie of all time for me is Alex: the Life of a Child. It was a book made into a TV movie with Craig T Nelson. It's the true story of a Sports Illustrated writer and his 8 year old daughter who is dying of cystic fibrosis. Headache inducing tears as I recall!

Another that makes me cry is Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. Has some comedic elements to break it up, but it's basically the story of a woman (Joan Plowright) living in a retirement home, ignored by her family who strikes up a friendship with a young writer (Rupert Friend).
posted by cecic at 2:33 PM on November 13, 2013

I basically only like movies that will make me cry. Some of my favorites:

Steel Magnolias
It's a Wonderful Life
What Dreams May Come
Schindler's List
A Very Long Engagement
Brokeback Mountain

And on the TV front, I agree that Parenthood is good for tears almost every episode.
posted by msjoannabanana at 2:35 PM on November 13, 2013

Parenthood again, the TV show. Every damn episode. Some are sad cries but most are just cathartic, this is how families work sometimes cries.
posted by magnetsphere at 2:37 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Truly, Madly Deeply can be very cathartic. As a bonus, Alan Rickman.
posted by bonehead at 2:39 PM on November 13, 2013 [6 favorites]

I just saw What Maisie Knew and that had me weepy throughout. Tree of Life and Beasts of the Southern Wild did it for me too. In fact, anything about childhood and with children as lead characters is good. Empire of the Sun, Fly Away Home, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and The Kid with the Bike are a few that come to mind.
posted by megancita at 2:39 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Philadelphia. I really wasn't expecting it, but holy crap did that turn on the faucets.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:40 PM on November 13, 2013

Oh, bonehead reminded me -- Love, Actually. The scene where Alan Rickman gives Emma Thompson a Joni Mitchell CD, EVERY GODDAMN TIME.
posted by Sara C. at 2:42 PM on November 13, 2013 [10 favorites]

I think the hardest I ever cried in a movie was actually while watching Riding in Cars with Boys. I'm sure it had to do with identifying with the child in it who has a parent with addiction issues, but ooh boy, I was straight-up ugly-sobbing in the middle of the theater.
posted by lovableiago at 2:43 PM on November 13, 2013

Stand by Me (wistful tears, intermittent, to low keening, continous)

Also La Haine (sudden startlingly snotty sobs)

(romance but) Untamed Heart (silent tissue consumption, accelerating)

Watership Down (all of the above)

And seconding Grave of the Fireflies and Truly Madly Deeply
posted by runincircles at 2:43 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

This will probably be considered an odd one, but the end of Save the Green Planet! got to me. Also, The Plague Dogs and Spring Forward.
posted by Gentlemanhog at 2:53 PM on November 13, 2013

Oh and a few that got me even as a kid (and I'm sure still would): My Girl, The Bear, and Milo and Otis. Oh AND Radio Flyer (which I don't think I'll ever watch again, as I remember being pretty upset by it).
posted by lovableiago at 2:57 PM on November 13, 2013

Seconding Call the Midwife. It's hard for me to get through an episode without tearing up.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:58 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I cried throughout the entirety of Where the Wild Things Are.
posted by jeudi at 2:59 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

"Up" and "Fruitvale Station."
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:00 PM on November 13, 2013

My possible top three films in this category get me before the opening titles have even finished, and then hit me again and again:

It's a Wonderful Life
The Sound of Music
The Wizard of Oz

Others that affect me both early and late:

Ben-Hur (the 1959 version)
An American Tail
The Hudsucker Proxy (I blame the well-chosen music in this one)
The Royal Tenenbaums
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 3:06 PM on November 13, 2013

Thirding Call the Midwife. And I am not a new mom, nor am I sure I ever want to be. I still cry at least once an episode, often more.

My second choice for catharsis would be The Body episode of Buffy, or really, anything where Alyson Hannigan cries. Or Lauren Graham, for that matter.

Which brings me back to Parenthood. I'd focus on the second season -- that had a lot of gutwrenching.
posted by natabat at 3:07 PM on November 13, 2013

Mr HotToddy and I are working our way through Call the Midwife right now and are both in tears at every episode. He cries even more than I do, which I find amusing. And we don't even have kids, or want them.
posted by HotToddy at 3:10 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, I found Fritz Lang's Metropolis to be surprisingly moving.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 3:12 PM on November 13, 2013

Longtime Companion, after the first years of the AIDS epidemic in America. Nothing has ever made me cry this much. Also, ET :)
posted by purenitrous at 3:19 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

The film that made me cry the most is "To Live" which is in Chinese and stars Gong Li.

Every time I watch this movie, I am not okay for days and it's what brings me to shame when I complain about the trivial shit in my life.

To Live.
posted by loquat at 3:24 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

The most recent version of Les Miserables is one of those movies that starts you crying at the end of the first act (or so) and then hits you several more times.
posted by soelo at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

The Fox & The Hound breaks my heart.
posted by fireandthud at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

I am a big movie cryer, but the last movie I remember crying the entire time at was Beasts of the Southern Wild, as mentioned above - that movie DESTROYED me.
posted by luciernaga at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Who Will Love My Children? had me, my Mum and sister in fits of chest-heaving sobs for the vast majority of it.

When A Man Loves A Woman also had me snivelling from pretty much the opening credits.

(I also cried hard at a couple of scenes in The Full Monty but I may have been hormonal...)
posted by billiebee at 3:47 PM on November 13, 2013

Jesus, how could I forget Marley & Me? That was horrible. Such a stupid movie and there I was, watching it on a seatback movie player on a plane, desperately trying to stifle sobs while pouring tears all over my tray table.
posted by HotToddy at 4:05 PM on November 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

For ultimate sadness you want the movie The Champ (the 1979 Jon Voight) version. Don't click on the wikipedia link unless you want spoilers.

The Champ has also been called "the saddest movie in the world", and the final scene has been used in numerous psychology experiments to elicit a strong emotional response. According to Smithsonian magazine two psychologists, Robert Levenson and James Gross, conducted a study of more than 250 movie clips, and subjected them to 500 subjects in 1988, and concluded the last three minutes of the movie, where... REDACTED ...elicited the saddest response from a majority of the subjects.
posted by merocet at 4:13 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Young@Heart is a 2007 documentary about a New England choir of senior citizens (with an average age of eighty) who sing pop and rock songs from bands such as Talking Heads, The Ramones, Outkast, Springsteen, Sonic Youth etc. Goddamn if I didn't bawl all the way through that thing.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

One born every minute makes me cry ugly chest wracking HAPPY sobs every single time. There are heaps of episodes on Youtube and I often watch it when I'm washing up, much to my boyfriend's consternation.
posted by Wantok at 4:22 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I cryed almost throughout Dancer in the Dark. I wouldn't say it's a feel good crying movie though, it's pretty horrible, same with Stonewall. Also cried during large part of Grave of the Fireflies. Also, Ordinary People's really sad when the main character's friend commits suicide.
posted by Blitz at 4:41 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Don McKellar's Last Night, which also stars a then-largely-unknown Sandra Oh (and Sarah Polley! And David Cronenberg! And Genevieve Bujold! And Calum Keith Rennie!), is my go-to weepie. Some spoilers here, if you can't contain yourself.

The scenario: It's New Year's Eve, 1999, and the world is set to end at midnight, with no apparent explanation (go with it, it's quirkily Canadian, although that Keira Knightley/Steve Carell movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World totally ripped it off). This is NOT a disaster movie or a horror movie. It's about life, and how we live it, and how we should enjoy it while we're here.

Some people are celebrating, some people are working through their bucket lists, some people are just sitting at home. It's hilarious, and sad, and moving, and even sexy, all at once. And as the countdown begins in earnest, and people settle in place and figure out that the end of the world really is coming, you'll be bawling. I guarantee it.
posted by vickyverky at 4:44 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also the Japanese movie After Life, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, in which when people die, they go to a sort of limbo train station place.

They are interviewed by "admissions counselors," who tell them they can keep one of their memories, and only one, for eternity. Then a film crew re-creates that memory for them to keep.

The WW2 pilot who gets to fly again in a cardboard plane with little cottonwool clouds ... that one really got me. But there are plenty of other really sweet moments. I'm amazed there hasn't been a Hollywood remake of it yet.
posted by vickyverky at 4:53 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sophie's Choice
Torch Sing Trilogy
posted by K.P. at 5:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Your comment on compassion makes me think of "The Lives of Others." Totally devastating.

Also, I'll put in a vote for 50/50. Not sure why it struck a chord, but I had an epically long cry during and after that movie.
posted by soonertbone at 5:23 PM on November 13, 2013

The Great Santini.

Even if some of the main themes seems unrelatable (military, father/son, racism) I highly reccomend it in general, but in my book it's second only to Edward Scissorhands on the waterworks scale.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:41 PM on November 13, 2013

Ordinary People: A family copes with the death of a son/brother. Get out the Kleenex.
Dead Poets' Society: There's humor & passion in Robin William's role as a prep school English teacher. Then things go badly, tragically wrong and a student is dead.
And weirdly, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. I totally lose it when ET dies.
posted by tuesdayschild at 6:16 PM on November 13, 2013

Hm, I cried nearly non-stop through Never Let Me Go which does have a bit of romance in it but that's not why it's sad. Also Moon didn't start out like that but after about halfway through I just started bawling and couldn't stop. It was really good though.

I cry at a lot of things, but those ones stand out in my memory so I think they are probably good choices.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:23 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm not a TV cryer, and Friday Night Lights still got me choked up like once an episode for most of the first season.
posted by jameaterblues at 6:29 PM on November 13, 2013

Toy Story 3
We Bought a Zoo

Some old classics like Bambi, Old Yeller and My Girl. And maybe Free Willy.

But I cry at everything, even TV ads!
posted by Youremyworld at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2013

For TV, you might want to try Freaks and Geeks, which is a sweet -- but never maudlin -- look at the sometimes awkward, sometimes confusing, often hilarious, lives of teenagers and their relationships with each other and their parents/teachers.
posted by LynnDee at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2013

Ponette is a heartbreaking movie about a young toddler trying to cope with the loss of her mother.
posted by invisible ink at 7:35 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I never cry at movies, and Tarsem Singh's The Fall got me in the end, mainly through the device of having people crying on camera( and one of them a little kid!). I thought I was too cool for that movie and then it got me anyway.I think it will provide the overblown yet ultimately life affirming pathos you were looking for, plus really amazing costumes.
posted by velebita at 7:42 PM on November 13, 2013

I have been watching Grey's Anatomy and it is very much focused on friends, family, and the human condition. I cry all the time and there are many many seasons to go through... I am only caught up to season 5 and they're still making new ones.
Available on Netflix!
posted by rubster at 7:54 PM on November 13, 2013

I'm not a cryer. My Sister's Keeper made me bawl my face off for an hour straight until my body hurt.
posted by blahtsk at 8:29 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing "Six Feet Under" for gross sobbing. In fact, when I need a good cry, I pull up the last bit from the finale on Youtube and just...let go with the tears.

I cry through most episodes of the first couple of seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" (blatantly manipulative, but extremely effective). "Friday Night Lights," "Joan of Arcadia" (particularly the episode titled "Jump," OH MY GOD, THE WEEPING), certain episodes of "Scrubs" (believe it or not, for a sitcom, that show knew just how to twist the knife), the episode of "Doctor Who" "Vincent and the Doctor" (I can't even look at stills or gifs from that episode without tearing up). A rewatch of "My So-Called Life" might be surprisingly emotional. I got the DVDs for Christmas after not having watched it since I was a teenager in the 90s and cried at almost every episode.

I cry at most Disney/Pixar movies. "Wreck-It Ralph," "Brave," "Toy Story 3," and "Up" had me in floods of tears. I sobbed so much at "Rachel Getting Married" that I think my mom thought I was going to have to leave the theater. I, um, also sobbed at "Pacific Rim" and "Captain America."
posted by Aquifer at 8:39 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Never Let Me Go (The book is one of my all time favorites and I start crying at the start of the movie in preparation for the rest. Pure story telling genious.)

What about the Terms of Endearment? I tear up even thinking about it (the book too, fwiw).
posted by mamabear at 8:47 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood does it for me, every single time. Also, The Help - watched it and cried through the second half.
posted by undue influence at 8:57 PM on November 13, 2013

The Littlest Angel is a children's book that has me crying the entire 15 minutes it takes to read it. There is a movie based on this book, but I haven't seen it so I can't make any recommendations.
posted by JujuB at 9:08 PM on November 13, 2013

Whale Rider. Also see this previous related thread.
posted by hooray at 9:29 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fellini"s La Strada is a real heartbreaker by the end. It doesn't have those odd surreal bits like his other films, it's just a touching human story. Note: sad in places.
posted by ovvl at 10:19 PM on November 13, 2013

2nd-ing vickyverky's recommendation for After Life. Also from 2001 (I believe) is the French film, The Dreamlife of Angels, which just broke me. Uneven fraught friendship between two roommates.

Korean directors / screenwriters are maestros at making you cry. The one I can think of offhand that is NOT a romance is Ddongpari (Breathless). Korean American director So Yong Kim also does amazing tear-generating things in Treeless Mountain.

Last, an oldie but goodie in Jean de Florette. I remember sitting in the half-furnished basement at my parents' house as a teen just wracked with sobs after watching this.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:12 PM on November 13, 2013

My only guaranteed weeper is a book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which apparently they're making into a movie! It might be a bit of a wait, though.
posted by clerestory at 11:20 PM on November 13, 2013

Never Let Me Go!
posted by amileighs at 11:21 PM on November 13, 2013

Seconding Up and Iron Giant -- I cry in many spots in that.

My big one is Lilo & Stitch. I sob uncontrollably at the end, but there are multiple spots in that movie -- well, tons -- that bring on the waterworks. It's one of the best animated movies ever made and I don't know why it doesn't get the love it should.
posted by emcat8 at 11:32 PM on November 13, 2013

I cried my way through The Cats of Mirikitani. 9/11, homelessness, acts of kindness and past injustice.
posted by rdnnyc at 12:00 AM on November 14, 2013

Brian's Song?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:05 AM on November 14, 2013

The two movies that made me cry maybe harder than I ever have in my life:

Kramer vs. Kramer

and really one of the most devastating stories you will ever hear,

Dear Zachary

Dear Zachary will destroy you because it's true. And I implore you not to read anything about it before you watch. It's on Netflix Instant.
posted by therewolf at 1:15 AM on November 14, 2013

How Green Was My Valley
posted by TrialByMedia at 1:50 AM on November 14, 2013

Iron Giant
Field of Dreams
Big Fish (if you've lost your father, and he happened to be a massive bullshit artist, this movie will reduce you to immobile blubbering)

Heisei Tanuki War (from Ghibli, not Miyazaki) is a beautiful story about the destruction of the largest remaining Tanuki habitat in central Japan to make way for the construction of new high rises, but with the idea that it's not just the literal animal being decimated, but the traditional Japanese trickster spirit. They wage war against humanity and (not really a spoiler) don't win. Even the 'happy' ending is horribly sad.

The 25th Hour, and the ending thereof is amazing, and never fails to make me cry.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:09 AM on November 14, 2013

'The Color Purple' made me cry many times. 'Red Dog' destroyed my mother and son. 'Jude' is devastating. 'Requiem for a Dream', particularly Ellen Burstyn's character, destroyed me. 'Snowtown' is incredibly disturbing and made me cry horrible tears of despair. And because I'm a terrible dag and I love conclusions the last 30 minutes of 'The Return of the King' makes me weep continuously. "You bow to no-one". Sob!
posted by h00py at 4:26 AM on November 14, 2013

I watched The English Patient in a half sleepy hangover daze at my friend's college campus apartment and to this day I don't really know what that movie is about but I do remember I was crying at the end of it.
posted by like_neon at 4:30 AM on November 14, 2013

"The Tree of Life" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" put me on the precipice of tears for their entire run-time. There's an emotional vibe to them that is continuous.
posted by jbickers at 6:14 AM on November 14, 2013

N-thing Grey's Anatomy, which is ridiculous (it's like a game to see how much emotional trauma one group of coworkers can experience per episode), but: guaranteed tears. If you like it, Private Practice is an equally emotional spin-off in the same vein.
posted by rebekah at 6:54 AM on November 14, 2013

'Derek' is excellent, too. Forget everything you think you know about Ricky Gervais and give in to this character. Really very good.
posted by h00py at 6:58 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Grave of the Fireflies
Sophie's Choice
Requiem for a Dream
posted by eviemath at 7:30 AM on November 14, 2013

Response by poster: Wow everyone, thanks so much for all the suggestions. Almost every answer has something I haven't seen yet. Thank you!
posted by daisies at 8:52 AM on November 14, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes - It doesn't make me cry the whole time, but it is certainly chock-full of happiness, sadness, joy, love that get me at least once or twice.
posted by muddgirl at 9:26 AM on November 14, 2013

Two big ups for What Dreams May Come and parts of the new movie, Enough Said. The airport scene alone did it for me quite nicely.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 10:09 AM on November 14, 2013

I'd like to second both Sophie's Choice and The Great Santini.

But one of the best tearjerkers of all time was Love Story. An oldie from the 1970s but if you want to cry, this will work perfectly.

For a more contemporary film, one of the best tearjerkers I've seen is The Butterfly and the Diving Bell. Not only will it make you cry, it's one of the best movies I've ever seen.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:09 AM on November 14, 2013

Wow, no one's mentioned Beaches yet. Gets me every time!
posted by Falwless at 11:46 AM on November 14, 2013

Over 100 answers and no one has mentioned Futurama season 4 episode 7 - Jurassic Bark?

If DVDs could be "worn" then this episode would be like new on my disk. Tearing up just thinking about it. You'll never hear "Walking on Sunshine" the same way again.
posted by trialex at 2:36 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

An Angel at my Table made me cry buckets. And the second time I saw Truly Madly Deeply I barely stopped crying at all.
posted by little fish at 3:17 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I cried all through Brothers
posted by oomny at 9:23 PM on November 14, 2013

Just as a warning, though, about Grave of the Fireflies: it's being shown on TV tonight in Japan. All week, there have been promos on that channel about the Friday movie of the week. Just the first notes of the theme, the first image of the commercial has been enough for Mrs. Ghidorah to curl up into a ball of sadness, unable to communicate for roughly ten minutes at a time.

She's only seen the movie once, many, many years ago. Watch at your own risk.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:55 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I watched Taking Chance this morning and I almost ran out of tissues.
posted by Requiax at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2013

Punky Brewster.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:58 PM on November 15, 2013

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but P.S. I love you had me sobbing at several points.
Both Dancer in the Dark and Kids had me ugly crying in the theater all the way through the credits. Those are not feel-good films though.
posted by natasha_k at 5:46 AM on November 17, 2013

I haven't seen it for ten years, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind made me sob.

Also, seconding Ordinary People.

I haven't watched Gates of Heaven yet because I'm scared it will reduce me to a gibbering wreck.
posted by mippy at 2:34 AM on November 18, 2013

Another vote for Call the Midwife. I've just watched the first two episodes, and while not in constant tears, there's definitely a lot more crying coming from these eyes than normal—like, several times per show.

(Oddly enough, biggest cry so far was from something along the lines of, "And because of the National Health, Mrs. McEntee was able to have a c-section and a healthy baby." Socialism, bringing me to tears!)
posted by ocherdraco at 6:50 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh, man, Call The Midwife.

Just in case you maybe thought it was one of those TLC reality shows about babies, it's not. It's along the lines of Downton Abbey, but sort of in reverse: the working poor seen through the eyes of nurses who mostly have middle/upper class backgrounds.

Constant tearjerker. Constant. I'm watching the Christmas episode right now (first episode of the second season, on Netflix), and I've had to pause it and go look at silly internet stuff about five times to prevent breaking down in sobs.
posted by Sara C. at 10:32 AM on December 1, 2013

Speaking of constant....

The Constant Gardener. It's an unrelenting car accident of 'can't look away' while Ralph Fiennes' character tries to understand his pregnant wife's death, and how deeply involved in her death the people around him were, and is forced further and further away from any kind of world he's ever understood. The ending is inexorable, you know what's coming, you can't look away.

As Mrs. Ghidorah said after the movie when I asked her what she'd thought, she replied "My heart hurts."
posted by Ghidorah at 10:34 PM on December 1, 2013

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