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 that includes films that just make you get emotional. But what are the saddest movies on Netflix right now?
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We have our list of the top 10 saddest movies on Netflix you can stream and watch right now. From children’s classics to romantic tear-jerkers, you should find something to make you sad from this collection of films. You can sign up for Netflix right now at the link below, with a 30 day free trial for new users.
Saddest movies on Netflix:
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as sad movies leave and other new arrivals debut on Netflix.
1. The Notebook
You know you are in for a tearjerker when a movie is made that’s based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. This 2004 adaptation certainly qualifies. Indeed, while this movie got mixed reviews when it was released, it has since become a romantic classic. It tells the tale of a young couple, played perfectly by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, who fall in love in the 1940s. However, Gosling’s character doesn’t come from money, and McAdams’ family disapproves of their relationship. We see Gosling and McAdams go through life separately, but we know in the end they will get together.
Did we mention there’s also a modern-day framing device that will also make you cry? The Notebook is 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 (Elliot 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 the 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.
8. Marriage Story
Marriage Story is a Netflix original movie that tells the story of a relationship that is both breaking apart while also staying together. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson play the married couple who have a son but are now heading for divorce. This movie is both sad and painful to watch at times. That’s especially true in one crucial scene where the couple finally allow themselves to say things they have always wanted to say to each other. 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)!