7 Films That Will Make You Cry (And Kill Bacteria)

If you’re anything like me, you save your tears for the cinema, where the dimmed lights and powerful speakers can mask you completely, no need to keep a stiff upper lip. Consequently I have to be a bit selective if watching a movie during a flight, but in a worst case scenario I could always tell a stranger visibly uncomfortable with my sobbing that tears kill bacteria, remove toxins and lowers stress. These are seven great (and sometimes not so great) films that will have you feeling cleansed and relaxed in a matter of hours.

Edward Scissorhands

Tim Burton’s 1990 film about an artificial man with scissors for hands tells a classic story of a love that was doomed from the very beginning. Danny Elfman’s haunting soundtrack is the icing on a cake baked with a clever, touching script and exquisite performances from a perfectly assembled cast (just try to imagine anyone but Johnny Depp playing Edward. Impossible. The film was also responsible for a huge increase in topiary across America. Probably.

Toy Story 3


I’m usually not the biggest fan of 3D movies, but I was happy to have my tears obscured by the dark plastic of the glasses on this occasion, if only so my 8 year old nephew couldn’t see me crying at a ‘kid’s film’. The film perfectly captures the heartbreak involved in growing up and having to let go of childhood in a way that will have parents crying not only for their own lost youth, but the inevitable fact that their own kids won’t be young forever.



Referring to the odds of survival given to Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) once he’s diagnosed with cancer, 50/50 is, unlike any synopsis might suggest, a genuinely funny film – but there are plenty of excruciatingly painful moment. After Adam breaks down and accuses his friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) of not truly caring about him, but just feeling pity, he finds a book on surviving cancer in his bathroom. The book is filled with extensive notes and marked pages, proving that Kyle really does care, and proving that you don’t need romance to make an audience cry – sometimes a bromance will do just fine.


Ellie and Carl in Up

Are Carl and Ellie the most perfect couple in the history of cinema? Yes, which is what makes it all the more heart-breaking when their plans to start a family, to travel the world, to live happily together forever are cruelly denied by the most unforgiving and ruthless of villains: life. It’s something we can all relate to, whatever our dreams and aspirations are, and it’s something that not even a talking dog can make us forget about.

P.S. I Love You

By the end of P.S. I Love You, it’s perfectly clear that Hilary Swank is more suited to gritty roles like Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry or Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby. Meanwhile it takes five minutes to confirm Gerard Butler couldn’t fake an Irish accent if his character’s life depended on it. Then there’s the complete absence of any subtlety anywhere in the movie – it attempts to bludgeon you over the head with sentimentality and heartache. And it works. While some movies might have one or two big scenes that turn on the waterworks, P.S. I Love You extracts a steady stream of tears that only add to the sense of relief that overcomes you once the credits roll.


If you can ignore the fact that when Patrick Swayze is kissing Demi Moore it’s really Whoopi Goldberg making out with her (it would’ve been nice if they could’ve included that as a deleted scene), watching Molly Jensen being able to say goodbye to Sam Wheat properly is a magical movie moment. While not as iconic as that pottery wheel scene, this is the one that will have you weeping and watching again and again, almost 25 years later.


In 1997 you didn’t need to be the most perceptive moviegoer to realise it wasn’t going to end well for Jack and Rose – this was a film about the tragic sinking of an unsinkable ship and the loss of hundreds of lives after all. But even if you started preparing yourself for the worst from the opening credits (and there is plenty of time for preparation in this mammoth film 3+ hour film) keeping a dry eye is near impossible as Rose promises Jack she’ll ‘never let go’, before doing just that and watching him sink to the bottom of the Atlantic.

This post was written by a moist-eyed Matt Harris.



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ScreenInvasion Staff

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