Best Happy/Sad Movies on Netflix to Make You Cry

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Sometimes, you just need a big ugly-cry to get it all out. Hey, who are we to judge? If you’re feeling some things at the moment, don’t keep them bottled up. Grab those tissues, and settle in for a sob-fest with our pick of the greatest weepies on Netflix. You’ll feel much better afterwards, we promise. 

Whether you’re into romance, historical movies, or dramas, we’ve got you covered.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Let this sweet Netflix Original take you back to the days of high school crushes, and notes passed in class. Of course, at the time that drama all felt pretty life or death.

Like most teens, Lara Jean has had a few crushes in her time. Whenever she gets a secret crush, she writes the boy a letter and posts it in a box in her closet. Disaster strikes when someone leaks Lara Jean’s letters to their (un)intended recipients.

The mole insists they were just trying to help Lara Jean get a boyfriend. But this leak propels good girl LJ deeper into the world of high school gossip and scandal than she’s ever gone before…

Available worldwide. And if you liked this, there’s also a newly-released sequel.

Weep Analysis: You’ll tear up, but it’s a pretty light and fluffy movie. 

Shawshank Redemption (1994)

If you need a good cry but you’re not willing to compromise on your movie buff principles, this one’s for you.

Although technically a box office flop, The Shawshank Redemption is now considered a classic by critic and fans alike. Protagonist Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) faces terrible cruelty and injustice during his incarceration at Shawshank Prison. But he also makes some incredible friends and he never loses hope. Supporting case include Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, and Gil Bellows.

Available to stream in the US and Australia.

Weep Analysis: It’s heavy, but also inspirational. 

My Girl (1991)

Here’s another ’90s classic to get those eyes leaking. We follow best friends Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) and Thomas J. Sennett (Macaulay Culkin) in this cute coming-of-age comedy-drama.

Thomas like Vada because she isn’t like other girls: she’s obsessed with death and she only hags out with people she finds intellectually stimulating. The local kids say they’re more than friends, but Thomas doesn’t see it. One eventful summer, though, Vada starts acting a little weird.

My Girl is available in the US and Canada.

Weep Analysis: We really wish this one had a happy ending… 

The Pianist (2002)

This heart-wrenching biopic explores the horror and tragedy of the Holocaust.

The story follows Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish-Polish pianist played by Adrian Brody. An extremely gifted pianist before the war, the heroic Szpilman takes part in several attempted uprisings. He is eventually forced into hiding, with nothing but a piano for company.

Available on Netflix in the UK and the US.

Weep Analysis: This is obviously really heavy, but the inspirational true story of Szpilman is so worth it. 

The Theory of Everything (2014) 

Another biopic, this one following the life of scientific genius, Stephen Hawking.

After falling in love and starting a promising academic career at Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking (played by Eddie Redmayne) receives the devastating news that he has motor neurone disease. The doctor predicts Stephen has just two years to live. Despite all advice, Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones) declares she will stay with Stephen, and the story follows the intimate details of their marriage, as well as Stephen’s growing fame and success.

Available in the US and the UK.

Weep Analysis: It’s sad, romantic, but also inspirational. Ticks all the boxes. 

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

This moving biography follows homeless salesman Chris Gardner (Will Smith), as he tries to better himself and make a life for his young son. The down-and-out Gardner faces relationship issues, trouble with the law, and many other adversaries. If that wasn’t enough to get you crying, the little boy is played by Will Smith’s own son, Jaden.

Available on Netflix in the US, UK, and Canada.

Weep Analysis: Things get better eventually, we promise. 

Queer Eye (2018-)

Only have 50 minutes to get those feelings out? Hit play on an episode of Queer Eye. 

Each episode sees the Fab Five (Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Tan France, and Antoni Porowski) provide a makeover and general life overhaul to someone who really needs it. Often, the guests have faced some terrible hardships in their past, and they just need a little TLC. The Fab Five are so open, tender, and friendly that pretty much any episode is guaranteed to get you sobbing.

Available worldwide.

Weep Analysis: Expect anything from a few tears to full-on sobbing. But in a good way. 

What emotional movie on Netflix is guaranteed to get you sobbing? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.

Written by

Melissa is a freelance writer from Norwich. She has over seven years' experience running company blogs, social media, and PR campaigns. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and studied journalism with the NCTJ. In her free time, Melissa runs her own book club and tells people she's writing a novel. Usually, she's just watching period dramas on Netflix.