Movies That Make Us Cry | The BridgeMaker

Movies That Make Us Cry

By on Nov 08, 2008

I want to feel passion, I want to feel pain. Come make me laugh, come make me cry. Just make me feel alive. – Joey Adams

Article written by Alex Blackwell. Connect with me on Facebook.

Good movies not only provide entertainment and chance to shut-off the outside world for a little while; good movies also allow us an opportunity to get in touch with our emotions in a very real way. Good movies can also make us cry.

If you sometimes find it difficult getting in touch with your emotions, trying watching an inspirational movie to rekindle and to reconnect with some strong feelings that can be laying under the surface of your hectic and sometimes stressful life.

A good cry at a movie can be a very therapeutic and healing event. Crying is a valuable release that can make us feel better. However, based on your gender, the type of movie that elicits an emotional response from you can be very different.

Respecting the fact not all women fit into one box and men in another, in general, women identify with relationship movies and with characters who try to make some sense out of their lives. Men, on the other hand, are impacted by movies that resonate with themes of honor, bravery and loyalty.

Movies That Make Women Cry

A recent online poll (source: listed the top movies that can bring a tear to the eyes of women. Here are the top five emotionally evoking movies for women.

  1. Ghost: Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) and Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) are happy and madly in love. Things take a tragic turn when Sam is murdered. Now in the form of a ghost, Sam enlists the help of Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), a psychic, to communicate with Molly and save her from impending harm.
  2. Bambi: This animated classic was first released in 1942. Bambi, the young deer, learns valuable life lessons after the sudden death of him mother.
  3. E.T.: Elliott (Henry Thomas) finds a new friend in the form of an alien that was accidentally left behind on Earth. E.T. and Elliott both learn the meaning of true friendship in this 1982 Steven Spielberg film.
  4. Titanic: While traveling on the luxury liner Titanic, Rose (Kate Winslet) meets Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio) and the two fall in love. Will they live happily ever after or will fate intervene?
  5. Beaches: The friendship of Cecilia (Bette Midler) and Hillary (Barbara Hershey) was the focus of this 1988 hit film. Two girls from different worlds meet one summer and begin a friendship that sees them through the highs and lows of their lives.

Movies that make the women who read The BridgeMaker cry

  • Lorraine: The Last of The Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe has me sobbing. There are so many powerful messages. The willingness to stand up in the face of oppression – even to give one’s life to fight for what you believe in, to champion and protect someone or something you love and cherish.
  • Andrea: My all time favorite “move me to tears” movie is definitely Like Water for Chocolate. I think it’s just a beautiful movie. It’s sensuous and passionate and all about love.
  • Shann: Into the Wild made me cry for a myriad of reasons. I cried because I could relate to Christopher’s McCandless’s sense of loss, surrender and adventure. I was deeply moved to witness his new life- shaping friendships on the road to Alaska.
  • Lexi: August Rush – while you know how it will ultimately end, because of the music and the beautiful way the story is told, it is a highly uplifting movie.
  • Lola: One of my favorite films is A League of Their Own with Tom Hanks and Madonna. It ALWAYS makes me cry because it’s about sisterhood and all that involves both with a sibling relationship and as a group of girls. It’s nostalgic, bittersweet, warm, loving, and funny and captures so many real life emotions.
  • Patricia: Steel Magnolias with Sally Field and Julia Roberts is the story about a group of friends with Sally and Julia playing the central characters. The theme of the movie is about how, on the surface, women are seen as flowers, but underneath have backbones of steel. In the movie, Sally Field’s character is the only one who has the strength to watch her daughter’s last breath. All of the men left the room before her final breath.
  • Edith: I love The Ultimate Gift because of the movie’s central message: Our lives should not be lived avoiding problems, but welcoming them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we will be victorious in the future.
  • Kristen: Movies that move me the most are usually about World War II, like Schindler’s List, Mrs. Miniver, and The Longest Day. Works like these remind us of what that generation went through, how they had to keep going in the face of fear and destruction.
  • Pat: Pay It Forward – not only emotional, but thought provoking in how one idea, if pursued and put into action, can change the world.
  • Ellesse: I’m not exactly a movie fan, but if I really have to choose one, it’s definitely Rocky Balboa. At that time, I’ve just quit my job and Rocky’s words to his son resonate with me so well. So much so I cried in the theatre. Yes, it was that sensational.
  • Louise: One of the best movies I have seen in a long while is Juno. It was very human and hugely touching. I was touched mostly by how her parents didn’t pass judgment on her and accepted and supported her through her ordeal. Yes, I cried.
  • Karen: So many movies have made me cry! But as I thought about it, and I must say consistent, as I have seen it four to fives times now and it still makes me cry is Bridge to Terabithia. I cry because the movie is magical and mystical. It reminded me of being a kid and magical places.

Movies That Make Men Cry

Even though most men may not shed a tear during Steel Magnolias or Beaches, doesn’t mean that men are heartless; it just means men look for a different kind of movie in order to feel and show emotion. Here are the top five emotionally evoking movies for men (source:

  1. Brian’s Song: This Emmy-winning movie of the week focuses on Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and his friendship with fullback Brian Piccolo (James Caan). Coach George Halas (Jack Warden) encourages Piccolo to be Sayers’s roommate during the season — the first white-black pairing of its kind in professional sports. When Piccolo develops cancer, Sayers stands by his pal.
  2. Rudy: In this fact-based drama about the triumph of the human spirit, scrawny high schooler Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) dreams of playing football at Notre Dame. But his father (Ned Beatty) can’t afford to send him, and his mediocre grades don’t cut it, so he ends up at a college across the street instead. Undaunted, Rudy eventually transfers to Notre Dame, where he begins assisting the groundskeeper (Charles S. Dutton) and joins the practice squad.
  3. Saving Private Ryan: As U.S. troops storm the beaches of Normandy, three brothers lie dead on the battlefield, with a fourth trapped behind enemy lines. Ranger captain Tom Hanks and seven men are tasked with penetrating German-held territory and bringing the boy home.
  4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: The first movie since It Happened One Night to win all five major Academy Awards (picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay), Cuckoo’s Nest still has the ability to entertain and inspire.
  5. The Natural: A bat made from a tree struck by lightning and a passion for baseball define Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford). But when he’s shot and severely wounded, his career gets cut short. Years later, Hobbs tries out for a struggling team. He steps to the plate and knocks the ball out of the park in this mythic film that’s as epic as America’s national pastime.

Movies that make men who read The BridgeMaker cry?

  • Albert: I cry at heroic scenes of self sacrifice and nobility. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon from ages back was awesome.
  • CG: There are two movies that really had an impact – both are examples of the human spirit what would not be held down. The Pursuit of Happyness – just the power of a person overcoming all odds to create a sustainable life for themselves and their child. The other one is Good Will Hunting – something about overcoming the impact our childhood environment really got to me on this one.
  • Tejvan: The Trail of Joan of Arc (1962) was filmed with great simplicity and lack of pretension. The director, Robert Bresson, allows the powerful story to speak for itself.
  • Alex S. The Color Purple is one of my favorites. To see the courage of Whoppi’s character, Miss Celie, shows at the end of the movie when she leaves her abusive husband is inspirational and moves me to no end.
  • Luke: The number one movie that had that kind of effect on was My Life.
  • Tim: Field of Dreams – the end sequence. Not really sure why because I always had a good relationships with my dad.

Please join in on the conversation. Tell us the movies that have made you cry in the Comments below!

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Sophia

    High School Musical 3. I watched it on TV yesterday and before I put it on, I thought, “Let me go get tissues.” When I saw it in theaters, I was the only one crying. Because it was the saddest movie I ever saw. I would tear up slightly at a couple other movies, but with this one I cry so hard. Every time I see it, I still cry even though I know what’ll happen. It’s just terribly sad. No one ever thinks it is, I’m like the only one. Even though evertone says The Notebook and A Walk to Remember are sad, when I say that HSM3 is sad in forums, people are like, “It’s just a movie. Get over it.” Even though they say, “Oh, I cried so hard at ______.” It’s also sad in a sweet way. Near the end where Troy goes to get Gabriella from college and misses the school’s prom….that just makes me cry so mush because it’s too sweet. It shows how much he really loves her. Then in his graduation speech he talks about his friends and how they’ll stay his friends for the rest of his life and how he met the ‘right one’ at the school. Though the sad part is when Gabriella calls him and forces herself to break up with him-right after she says “I love you.”

  • Jade

    Atonement…the book made me cry even more so.

  • “BIG” – I am just an old softie!


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  • I cried during my last trip to the movies when i went to see Fireproof. I recommend it to every Godly couple for it will definitely “fireproof” your relationship. There were many couples who also cried during this movie too. I can’t wait to get it on DVD.