Last Updated: May 22nd
Sad movies take a lot of forms, but this list of good Netflix films to watch hits the big buttons, including some of the best movies to watch about love, star-crossed love, concentration camps, death, and children/dinosaurs in peril.
Regardless of what gets your tear ducts primed and pumping, there is something in this list of must watch streaming sobfests that will get at your heart’s sorrow spot. “Enjoy” the 15 saddest movies on Netflix right now responsibly.
Schindler’s List (1993)
Run Time: 195 min, Metascore: 93
It took decades in the industry for Steven Spielberg to finally earn an Oscar for one of his movies, but his win for Schindler’s List is well deserved. The film focuses on wealthy businessman Oskar Schindler, who spends his fortune and risks his life to save the lives of 1,100 Jewish men and women after taking in the horrors of WWII and the concentration camps. Between the three hour running time, the cold, unrelenting cruelty of Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of Amon Goeth, and its realistic style, it’s a bleak film. But there’s hope to be found in the grim black and white images. It’s an important story told movingly by a filmmaker at the height of his powers.
Run Time: 123 min, Metascore: 85
Is there anything sadder than young lovers torn apart before their feelings can truly blossom? Well, besides real issues plaguing the world like war and famine, but come on, star-crossed lovers are still pretty sad. Atonement paints a vivid tale of just that (along with some war as well). After a series of misunderstandings, youthful naiveté, and false accusations drive Robbie (James McAvoy) away from Cecillia (Keira Knightley), 13-year-old Briony spends the rest of her life struggling with her mistakes as the couple longs to be reunited. It’s a tragic story, but one that works beyond the tragedy and sorrow. It won an Oscar for its original score and was nominated for Best Picture, facing off against some tough competition in No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood.
The Land Before Time (1988)
Run Time: 69 min, Metascore: 66
Director Don Bluth helmed a few memorable animated kids’ films during the ’80s, including An American Tail and All Dogs Go To Heaven. But none have proven as enduring as The Land Before Time. Launching a baker’s dozen sequels (the last of which came out in 2016), this charming adventure focuses on a band of young dinosaurs as they try to reach the safe haven of The Great Valley. With its adorable characters and simplistic yet relatable coming-of-age message, it’s reminiscent of familiar tales like Bambi, but Bambi has got nothing on the tears that come from Land Before Time‘s protagonist Littlefoot. Imagine Bambi seeing his mother get killed, having a deathbed conversation with her, and then being haunted by her ghost through the rest of the film, and that’s what Littlefoot has to go through. As one of the best sad movies hiding in an animation, it’s a somber but not overwhelming for a young audience.