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12 Movies That Will Make You Cry a River Like J.T.

Marriage Story (2019)
Image Credit: Netflix
  • From heartwarming tales to heart-wrenching dramas, movies can make you ugly-cry like a baby. There’s something about a well-crafted story, a stellar performance, and a tear-inducing moment that can turn even the most stoic among us into a sobbing mess. Grab a box of tissues and get ready to dive into a selection of films that will make you cry a river like J.T.

1. The Nightingale (2018)

The Nightingale (2018)
Image Credit: Transmission Films

Prepare yourself for an emotional journey through human suffering with The Nightingale. Directed by Jennifer Kent, this Australian period drama set in 1825 in Tasmania is an intense and harrowing tale of loss, resilience, vengeance, and, ultimately, redemption. A fan shares, “I’d always thought of myself unmoved by emotions any movie tries to exude until I watched The Nightingale. Man, that movie messed with my emotions big time.”

2. The Worst Person In The World (2021)

The Worst Person In The World (2021)
Image Credit: AB Svensk Filmindustri

Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World displayed themes of love, life, and all the messy in-between moments. This Norwegian film follows the life of Julie, a young woman navigating the complexities of adulthood and relationships. With its honest portrayal of love’s highs and lows, it’s a bittersweet symphony that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you contemplating the beauty and chaos of life.

3. Shoplifters (2018)

Shoplifters (2018)
Image Credit: GAGA

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters is a poignant exploration of family. Set in Tokyo, the movie tells the story of an unconventional family living on the fringes of society. As their secrets unravel and their bonds are tested, this masterpiece reminds us of the importance of human connection and the lengths we go to protect the ones we love.

4. Nobody Knows (2004)

Nobody Knows (2004)
Image Credit: IFC Films,

This Japanese film tells the heartbreaking story of four children abandoned by their mother for her new lover. Based on an actual incident, this tragic tale of abandonment follows Akira as he struggles to care for his younger siblings with little money or resources. The movie explores themes of innocence, resilience, and the devastating consequences of neglect in young minds.

5. Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler's List (1993)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is a cinematic masterpiece depicting the horrors of the Holocaust with unflinching honesty. The movie tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman whose efforts saved the lives of nearly 1200 Jewish employees over the course of WWII. The film is a reminder of the capacity for compassion and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of unthinkable darkness.

6. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby is a gritty and emotional sports drama that will both inspire and leave you emotionally drained. With outstanding performances by Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, and Eastwood himself, it tells the story of an underdog female boxer and her relationship with her hardened trainer.

7. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life is Beautiful (1997) 
Image Credit: Cecchi Gori Group.

Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful is a film that seamlessly blends humor and heartbreak. Set against the backdrop of World War II, it depicts a father’s unwavering love for his son and the lengths he goes to protect him from the atrocities of war. This Italian gem will have you laughing through tears as it showcases resilience, perseverance, and the power of love in the face of unimaginable adversity.

8. The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook (2004)
Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Based on Nicholas Sparks’ beloved novel, The Notebook is a timeless love story that will make even the toughest souls shed a tear or two. Set in the 1940s, it follows the passionate and enduring romance between Noah and Allie, portrayed flawlessly by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The on-screen chemistry gives audiences hope for a romance that withstands the test of time.

9. Marriage Story (2019)

Marriage Story (2019)
Image Credit: Netflix

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is an emotionally raw and painfully honest portrayal of a crumbling relationship. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, it navigates the complexities of love, marriage, and the pain of separation. This thought-provoking film had me pondering the fragility of relationships and the sacrifices we make for the ones we once loved.

10. Aftersun (2022)

Aftersun (2022)
Image Credit: BBC Film.

“There is a saying that when you leave where you’re from, you don’t totally belong there again,” says Paul Mescal in this movie. Aftersun is a dynamic exploration of a father-daughter relationship with heartwrenching and unexpected moments that hold you captive until the end. One person shares, “There’s a scene where Paul Mescal is sobbing and, it sounds painful. He’s choking on his tears and you can hear it in his guts. That is exactly how I cried both times I saw it-big, disgusting, painful, cathartic tears.”

11. The Artist (2011)

The Artist (2011)
Image Credit: Warner Bros. France

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of silent cinema with The Artist. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius, this black-and-white masterpiece pays homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Set in the 1920s, The Artist is the story of a silent film star facing the decline of his prestigious career. With its nostalgic charm and heartfelt performances, it’s a powerful reminder of the transient nature of fame and the resilience of artists.

12. Ondskan (2003)

Ondskan (2003)
Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Based on Jan Guillou’s novel, Ondskan (which translates to “Evil”) is a Swedish drama set in a prestigious boarding school in the 1950s. It follows a young boy named Erik, who battles against the sadistic abuse of his classmates and teachers. The movie’s exploration of violence, redemption, and the struggle for justice will stir many emotions, leaving you questioning the true nature of evil.


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Written by Boloere Seibidor

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