There’s always something therapeutic about watching a sad movie that makes you get in touch with your sensitive side. Whether the plot is filled with themes like death, loss or despair, there’s nothing quite like the emotional rollercoaster of a sad movie on the right day. That said, here’s my pick for the top 5 tearjerker movies of all time.
Starring Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan, this film will move you to tears watching how, John Coffey, a gentle giant with a pure soul (played by Michael Clarke Duncan) is convicted for a crime he did not commit, put on death row and later executed for the same crime. Tom Hanks gives an incredible performance as a prison officer in charge of the death row wing of the prison and his interaction and fascination with John Coffey (who is also awesome in this movie) form the main part of the plot.
This film is centred on the theme of love and loss as two unlikely high school students, from virtually different worlds and from extreme ends of the spectrum inevitably fall in love, albeit one’s terminal illness. Landon (played by Shane West) is the coolest kid in school who’s constantly in trouble while Jamie (played by Mandy Moore) is the quiet naïve girl who’s always in check and whose father is a preacher. It is quite interesting and a bit funny to see how the two interact at the beginning of the film but all that humour quickly dies down when Landon finds out about Jamie’s terminal illness.
Arguably the film that introduced Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to the world (for which they both won Oscars for). The film sees Will (played by Matt Damon) as a young genius with an extremely troubled past, who works as a janitor at MIT. When he solves a difficult math problem, his abilities are discovered by Professor Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgard) who decides to help Will reach his full potential. After Will is arrested later on in the film, the professor makes a deal to continue to help Will only if he agrees to see a therapist, Dr. Sean Maguire (played by Robin Williams), who later on becomes his mentor and helps Will deal with his past demons and pushes him to fulfil his full potential.
Another Tom Hanks and coincidentally Matt Damon film, this Steven Spielberg classic is a sure tearjerker, encapsulating the military values of bravery, honour, brotherhood and the one for all and all for one attitude. The Film revolves around Captain Miller, a military commander who’s been given direct orders to go behind enemy lines and find Private James Ryan (played by Matt Damon) whose three brothers have been killed in combat and get him back home immediately. With the help of his team, Captain Miller embarks on the search for Private Ryan, a journey which quite sadly, he and other members of his team don’t return from as they die in battle. The film’s main plot is centred on bravery and sacrifice and how a team of soldiers risk their lives to go on a search for an unknown private officer.
This film stars Sean Penn as Sam, a mentally handicapped man who is trying to raise a daughter, Lucy (played by Dakota Fanning) all on his own. As his daughter gets older, her mental capabilities and intellectuality surpass her father’s and when a concerned social worker learns of their queer living situation, she files for Lucy to be taken away from Sam and placed in foster care. Sam then enlists the help of brusque, cold and unfeeling lawyer Rita Dawson (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) to help him keep his daughter. During the course of the trial and their interaction, Sam unwittingly teaches Rita the value of love and family and inspires her to make changes in her personal life.