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The saddest movies on Netflix

We all need a good cry, and Netflix has the right films to get those tears out.
By
January 1, 2022
Netflix Originals next to popcorn stock photo 1

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, including films that make you get emotional. What are the saddest movies on Netflix right now?

Read more: What’s new on Netflix

We have our list of the top 10 saddest movies on Netflix. 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.

Netflix icon
Netflix
Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.
 

The saddest movies on Netflix:

Editor’s note: This list will be updated as sad movies leave and other new arrivals debut on Netflix.


My Girl

my girl netflix sad movies
Netflix

This 1991 movie was marketed as a cut coming-of-age comedy. However, it ends with one of the most devastating sad sequences in a movie aimed primarily at kids. We won’t spoil it here but get your tissues ready to go. It’s is definitely one of the best sad movies on Netflix.


Roma

Roma movie 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.


Irreplaceable You

Irreplaceable You movie on Netflix

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.


Tallulah

Tallulah 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

Paddleton on Netflix

Paddleton follows neighbors and best friends Michael (Mark Duplass) and Andy (Ray Romano), as they come to grips with Michael’s terminal cancer diagnosis. The film takes place over the few days after Michael decides not to seek treatment and instead takes medication to 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

Okja movie 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 a multinational corporation kidnaps her. 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.


Fatherhood

Fatherhood movie on Netflix

We’re not used to seeing Kevin Hart taking on serious roles. He did a great job playing a widowed man whose wife passed away soon after giving birth. He must go through the struggles of being a father as he mourns his wife. And while the movie has its funny moments, this is definitely one of the saddest movies on Netflix. It’s bound to bring out a tear or two.


Marriage Story

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.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie on Netflix

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 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.


Midnight Sun

midnight sun
Netflix

This teen romance from 2018 centers on a girl who can’t deal with the sun. Literally, she will die if she is exposed to too much sunlight. So she goes out at night and stays trapped inside her house in the daytime, homeschooled by her father. When she sees a cute guy as a new neighbor, she wants to see what a normal romance might be like with him. But can she have that kind of experience, and what will his reaction be when he finds out about her condition?


Best sad movies on Netflix – Honorable mentions

Here are a few more movies that didn’t quite make our top 10 list:

  • Five Feet Apart – A teen girl who physically cannot get close to anyone wants to get to know a new boy at her hospital.
  • Kiss and Cry – A teenager with throat cancer tries to make herself feel better by singing to her online followers.
  • I am Sam – Sean Penn plays a father with disabilities who wants to have custody of his young daughter.
  • Brain on Fire – A young newspaper reporter tries to find the cause of her seizures and memory loss.
  • The Florida Project – A girl and her mother struggle to make ends meet while living in a budget hotel in Florida.