Whether it’s a cartoon classic, quirky indie film, or uproarious comedy, everyone loves a feel-good movie, but sometimes it’s just not what you want. Sometimes you want something glum, something dark, something sad. Netflix has a great selection of all kinds of movies, and plenty of it is perfect for when all you want is to sit in the dark and really stew in it. Here are some of the saddest movies on Netflix right now.
Saddest movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as sad movies leave and other new arrivals debut on Netflix.
1. Dear John
You know you are in for a tearjerker when a movie is made that’s based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. In this case, this 2006 adaptation stars Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum as a young couple who fall in love with each other. Tatum’s character is about to be discharged from the US Army, but the September 11 attacks make him want to reenlist. Years pass as Tatum serves in Afghanistan, but he and Seyfried’s character keep in touch with letters. Ultimately, Seyfried gets tired of waiting for Tatum to come home. She sends him a “Dear John” letter to let him know their relationship is over.
That would be an end to many movies, but that’s really just the beginning for this tearjerker. It’s definitely one of the best sad movies on Netflix.
Written, produced, shot, edited, and directed by Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, Roma follows indigenous Mexican live-in maid Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio). Living and working in the affluent Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, Cleo struggles to navigate the strained relationships of the family she works for and the rising class tension in the region, all while dealing with an unplanned pregnancy to boot.
Throughout the movie Cleo is hit with one hardship after another. The results sometimes are life affirming, but this is still one of the saddest movies on Netflix.
3. Irreplaceable You
This is a 2018 Netflix original movie about a young couple, Abbie and Sam, who have been together since childhood. They make plans to marry, but then Abbie learns she has terminal cancer. However, she doesn’t want Sam to be lonely after she dies. Her last job is to find a new girlfriend for Sam before she passes away. This movie isn’t just about lost loves; it’s also how a woman deals with knowing she doesn’t have long to live. It’s one of the best sad movies on Netflix.
This comedy-drama focuses on Tallulah (Ellen Page), a homeless teenager who steals a baby from an alcoholic mother, and uses it to ingratiate herself into the life of her ex-boyfriend’s mother, Margo (Allison Janney).
This awkward film skillfully walks the line between comedy and tragedy. Sometimes it’s a heartwarming look at an increasingly dysfunctional family, other times it’s one of the saddest movies on Netflix. Either way, you’re in for tremendous performances from Janney and Page.
Paddleton follows neighbors and best friends Michael (Mark Duplass) and Andy (Ray Romano), as they come to grips with Michael’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. The film takes place over the few days after Michael decides not to seek treatment and instead take medication that will end his own life. Much of the story finds the two watching kung-fu movies, making pizza, and fighting over Michael’s decision.
It’s a touching and heartbreaking story of friendship and loss, full of all the inside jokes and habits that accumulate when two people have been friends for years. It’s without a doubt one of Netflix’s saddest comedies, let alone one of the best sad movies on Netflix.
Okja is rather perplexing to categorize. The Korean-American Netflix original from director Bong Joon-ho follows Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun), a young girl chasing her best friend across South Korea, and eventually the world, after she is kidnapped by a multinational corporation. If that sounds too mundane, Mija’s best friend is a genetically modified giant pig named Okja, bred specifically to be a new form of livestock.
This movie takes tragic, comic, and horrific turns in equal measure. It can shift in tone dramatically quicker and more skillfully than any other film. One moment it’s one of the saddest movies on Netflix, the other it’s one of the most absurd. At the center of it all is a star turn from Seo-hyun, backed by oddball supporting performances from Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, and Steven Yeun.
7. A Silent Voice
Based on a manga series of the same name, A Silent Voice is the follow-up anime feature from the creators of smash hit Your Name. The film follows depressed high school pariah Shoya as he tries to make amends to Shoko, a deaf girl he mercilessly bullied in elementary school. Shoya has lived with the guilt of his actions for years, and after a failed suicide attempt he decides to seek redemption.
A Silent Voice is a coming of age story about dealing with and accepting guilt, and the unintended consequences of casual cruelty children subject each other to. Don’t let the film’s colorful art style fool you, this is easily one of the saddest movies on Netflix.
This movie is so sad that watching it more than once is unbearable. In this heart-breaking story, Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) is kidnapped, raped, and held captive in a small room. She becomes pregnant and gives birth to Jack (Jacob Tremblay). This boy knows nothing but this small room, from which they later escape.
This film takes you through the adventure that it is to discover the outside world Jack has never seen. It is full of innocence, fears, and excitement. It’s one of the best sad movies on Netflix.
9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
This movie’s title won’t be the only thing that will have you shedding tears. This sweet film has multiple levels of sadness. Writer Juliet Ashton (Lily James) goes to the Guernsey island to learn about a book club with the same name. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was created while Nazis occupied the island. Four friends were out after curfew time and they invented this club on a whim to avoid prosecution.
Juliet visits the island and soon becomes invested in its people, the club, the town, and Dawsey (Michiel Huisman). Even sadder stories are uncovered as the story unfolds.
10. Dallas Buyers Club
The 1980s was the decade of the AIDS epidemic in the US, and this 2013 movie tells the true story of one person who tried to help himself and others who got infected with the disease. Matthew McConaughey won the Academy Award for Best Actor for playing Ron Woodroof. Infected with AIDS, he decides to bring in drugs from outside the US that were not approved by the government to help with his illness. He also smuggles in these drugs to other AIDS patients to help them as well. Jared Leto also won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a trans woman who helps Woodroof in his efforts.
That’s it for our list of the best sad movies on Netflix. There are tons of other great options if you’re looking for more melodramatic stuff, but this should be a good start. Have fun (if you can)!
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