25 Sad Movies to Watch on Hulu When You’re in Your Feels
January 27, 2023
Sometimes, we just need a good cry to let it all out.
Whether you’re reeling from heartache, coping with loss, or simply stuck in your feels, you can always count on these classic tear-jerker movies for the emotional release you’re craving.
From A Star is Born to Cast Away, check out this list of the best sad movies on Hulu right now.
Best Sad Movies to Watch on Hulu Right Now
1. I, Tonya (2017)
This sports film is based on a true story, which makes it even more heartbreaking. I, Tonya tells the real-life tale of Olympic figure skater, Tonya Harding, and the career-ending scandal that shook the world just weeks before the 1994 Winter Olympics.
What makes this movie so sad? Success doesn’t happen overnight, but as we discover from this story, success can certainly be lost overnight. As a viewer, you can feel the weight of Tonya’s life work as it crashes around her after enduring a lifetime of abuse.
Watch: I, Tonya
2. Cast Away (2000)
There are few emotions sadder than loneliness, which makes Castaway the perfect film when you just need a good cry (grab some tissues and don’t say we didn’t warn you about the “Wilson” scene).
What makes this movie so sad? Just as you begin to have hope for Tom Hanks’ character, Chuck Noland, he endures another gut-wrenching blow. He spends years in extreme isolation and somehow musters the courage to survive just to find the things he held onto for hope moved on without him.
Watch: Cast Away
3. A Star Is Born (2018)
A Star is Born has had many revivals since its original released in 1937, and the most recent adaptation has been met with critical acclaim (probably for bringing all the feels). Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper play two musicians who fall madly in love, but is love enough to endure the turmoil and sacrifice that comes with life in the limelight?
What makes this movie so sad? A Star is Born is a story of love, sacrifice, addiction, and making difficult decisions. Experience the euphoric highs of love and success and the harrowing lows of loss and mourning along with the movie’s talented main characters.
Watch: A Star Is Born
4. The Last Song (2010)
Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus star in this film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, The Last Song. Cyrus plays Ronnie—a rebellious teenager grappling with her parent’s divorce. Forced to spend the summer with her estranged father in a small town, Ronnie unexpectedly meets a boy who feels like he could be the love of her life.
What makes this movie so sad? Falling in love is a beautiful thing. For Ronnie, it opens her heart to the importance of all of the relationships in her life, including the one with her father. But, just as they finally reconnect, their father-daughter relationship is cut short due to circumstances outside their control.
Discover this and more movies based on books streaming now.
Watch: The Last Song
5. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Sophie (Meryl Streep) is a Nazi concentration camp survivor after the Holocaust. The critically acclaimed film, Sophie’s Choice, is told from the perspective of an aspiring novel writer, Stingo (Peter MacNicol), who becomes invested in telling Sophie’s life story.
What makes this movie so sad? Sophie’s Choice delves deep into the horrifying treatment of Jews in Germany during the Holocaust. Though some time has passed, the physical and mental scars Sophie and her partner Nathan (Kevin Klein) still carry are daily reminders of the darkest moments of their lives.
Watch: Sophie’s Choice
*Sophie’s Choice requires SHOWTIME® on Hulu add-on subscription.
6. Forrest Gump (1994)
“Run, Forrest! Run!”
Forrest Gump is one of those classic films that spans generations. It’s funny, quotable, and (mostly) light-hearted. This film does a great job of delicately balancing the line between tragedy and comedy through the likeability and innocence of the main character, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks).
What makes this movie so sad? For every comedic and feel-good moment, you discover that Gump’s life is filled with even more moments of devastating loss. But the thing about Forrest Gump is that he never stops moving forward. This 142-minute film is longer than most, but it has unforgettable scenes that make your eyes water no matter how many times you’ve watched it.
Watch: Forrest Gump*
*Forrest Gump is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription.
7. The Lion King (1994)
No one can make an animated movie that hits you right in the feels quite like Disney and The Lion King is no exception. This Disney classic follows Simba, a lion cub who experiences grave loss at a young age and is forced to grow up on his own (with a little help from an aloof warthog and a slightly anxious meerkat).
What makes this movie so sad? Even if you haven’t watched The Lion King in years, the stampede scene probably lives in your head rent-free and still makes your eyes swell.
Watch: The Lion King*
*The Lion King is available with The Disney Bundle. Access content from each service separately.
8. The Spectacular Now (2013)
Based on the novel of the same name, The Spectacular Now is about Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) and Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley), two polar-opposite high school seniors who make an unexpected connection. As their relationship grows, so does Sutter’s maturity and sense of self-worth. But, is falling in love enough to completely rid him of his inner demons?
What makes this movie so sad? The Spectacular Now encompasses what it’s like to be a teenager—turbulent, quirky, and emotional. You can’t help but feel bad for the cards Sutter has been dealt in life, but his destructive ways will break your heart for Aimee—the only girl who has ever seen the best in him.
Watch: The Spectacular Now*
*The Spectacular Now is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription.
9. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Who knew Andy leaving his toys behind to go to college would become the most gut-wrenching Toy Story plot line imaginable? In Toy Story 3, the animated gang of misfit toys you know and love get packed away and moved to the attic…almost.
What makes this movie so sad? Everyone can relate to the agonizing idea of the inevitable move from childhood to adulthood. While Woody, Buzz, and the crew fight to keep a space on their owner’s shelf, Andy is in the process of letting go in the most heart-warming (yet heart-breaking) way possible.
Watch: Toy Story 3*
*Toy Story 3 is available with The Disney Bundle. Access content from each service separately.
10. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort) are two teenage cancer patients who meet by fate and fall in love. With a unique understanding of the fragility of life, they decide to embark on the trip of a lifetime together.
What makes this movie so sad? Everything about this incredible story are equal parts painfully sad and beautiful. Grab tissues now—you’re going to need them from start to finish.
Watch: The Fault in Our Stars*
*The Fault in Our Stars is available on Hulu with HBO Max® add-on subscription.
11. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
After it seems like his on-again, off-again girlfriend Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) has finally broken up with him for good, Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) looks back on the 500 days that have passed since he met her. As he reflects on their time together and the aftermath, Tom has to reevaluate his views on life, love, and relationships.
What makes this movie so sad? 500 Days of Summer is a true breakup movie in every sense. What makes it so sad is how real and brutally honest it is. This film will become your heartbreak go-to whenever you need a moment to sit in your feelings.
Watch: (500) Days of Summer
12. Nomadland (2020)
The Oscar®-winning film Nomadland follows one woman’s journey as a modern-day, van-dwelling nomad after losing everything in the great recession. Through the eyes of a fictionalized character, Fern (Frances McDormand), the film honors real-life places and nomads from Jessica Bruder’s New York Times best-selling novel.
What makes this movie so sad? The main theme of the movie is tremendous loss and the search for healing. You can’t help but feel deeply for the real-life stories portrayed in Nomaland.
13. Endless (2020)
Recent high school grads Riley (Alexandra Shipp) and Nicholas (Chris Douglas) are madly in love with the world at their fingertips when a tragic car accident tears their world apart. Endless — a story of love, heartbreak, and hope — is a beautiful reminder that true love transcends life and death.
What makes this movie so sad? The characters in this film deal with loss, guilt, grief, and deep depression — all real-life subjects that feel impossible to navigate.
14. Titanic (1997)
Titanic is sure to leave you blubbering into your popcorn long after the credits roll (and it doesn’t matter if you’ve already seen it, it cues the waterworks again and again).
Set aboard the infamous ship that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912. This classic ’90s drama follows a brief whirlwind romance between unlikely lovers, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet).
What makes this movie so sad? Aside from being a tragic true historical event, The Titanic is a heart-wrenching story that follows passengers on a luxury steamship succumbing to an unexpected disaster in the last moments of their lives.
*Titanic requires SHOWTIME® on Hulu add-on subscription.
15. Inside Out (2015)
If you’re looking for a practical approach to facing your emotions, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the Disney-Pixar tearjerker, Inside Out—a heartwarming look at the feelings and emotions that live in our minds (plus it’s a great watch for the whole family).
What makes this movie so sad? Though Inside Out is more inspiring than sad, you can’t help but shed a few tears as the film brings forth the reflection of our own memories and emotions.
Watch: Inside Out*
*Inside Out is available with The Disney Bundle. Access content from each service separately.
16. Terms of Endearment (1983)
You’ll definitely need a box of tissues for this one.
The ’80s classic film, Terms of Endearment, tells the story of an unbreakable mother-daughter bond between Aurora (Shirley McLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger). The Academy Award®-winning film follows the pair through life’s ups and downs and a heart-breaking battle with terminal cancer.
What makes this movie so sad? Though any movie surrounding illness and loss is incredibly sad, Terms of Endearment has humorous, uplifting, and inspiring moments, too, envoking both sad and happy tears.
Watch: Terms Endearment
17. The Ultimate Playlist of Noise (2021)
After learning he must undergo brain surgery that will render him deaf, Marcus (Keenan Johnson), an audio-obsessed high school senior, decides to seize control of his fate by recording The Ultimate Playlist of Noise — a bucket list of all his favorite sounds.
What makes this movie so sad? Movies depicting any type of loss are always emotional. The loss portrayed in this film is unique, but undeniably gut-wrenching.
18. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
The soulful drama, If Beale Street Could Talk, follows a young couple, Tish (Kiki Layne) and Fonny (Stephen James), whose hopes of achieving the American dream are derailed when Fonny is falsely convicted of a crime.
The film was nominated for three Academy Awards®, with Regina King ultimately taking home the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
What makes this movie so sad? The subtle intensity of If Beale Street Could Talk will weigh on your emotions as you follow the film’s characters through experiences of racism, injustice, sexual assault, and police brutality.
Watch: If Beale Street Could Talk
19. Coco (2017)
Family, connection, and remembrance are the main themes of the animated Disney film, Coco. Miguel, the great-grandson of Mama Coco, embarks on an adventure of forbidden music when he stumbles upon the Land of the Dead on Día de Muertos — a Mexican holiday to honor family members who have passed on.
What makes this movie so sad? In true Disney fashion, Coco uses clever storytelling and catchy music to tug at your heartstrings. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ugly crying as Miguel discovers his history through the help of his ancestors.
*Coco is available with The Disney Bundle. Access content from each service separately.
20. Beaches (2017)
Idina Menzel and Nia Long star in this Lifetime channel remake of Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey’s original 1988 movie, Beaches. Polar-opposite school girls form an unlikely friendship — one that spans decades of cross-country moves, successes, failures, fall-outs, make-ups, and life-altering diagnoses.
What makes this movie so sad? Beaches depicts what it’s like to have a lifelong best friend. Turbulence is inevitable, but you know deep down that you’ll always have your bestie to lean on. But what do you do when you have no choice but to continue life without them? Cue the waterworks (and give your BFF a call).
21. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good Will Hunting may be the movie that put Matt Damon and Ben Affleck on the map in Hollywood, but did you know the iconic duo wrote this legendary American film as well? Set in Boston, Damon plays Will Hunting, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) maintenance worker with a brilliant mathematical mind. University professors try to convince Hunting he’s destined for greatness, but he can’t see beyond the limitations of his down-and-out upbringing. Can Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) convince him otherwise?
What makes this movie so sad? “I have to go see about a girl.” Enough said.
Watch: Good Will Hunting*
*Good Will Hunting requires SHOWTIME® on a Hulu add-on subscription.
22. The Roads Not Taken (2020)
Leo (Javier Bardem) and his daughter Molly (Elle Fanning) share an unbreakable bond, not even a dementia diagnosis can shake. As they try to move forward down this road together, Molly attempts to map out her future while her dad daydreams his way through all the lives he could have lived.
What makes this movie so sad? The Roads Not Taken is based on the true story of filmmaker Sally Potter’s brother who she lost to dementia in 2010.
Watch: The Roads Not Taken
23. The Sweet Life (2016)
Kenny (Chris Messina) and Lolita (Abigail Spencer) are two down-and-out people struggling with their mental health. When their paths cross by fate, they form a genuine connection and make a pact to set out on an unhinged cross-country drive, with the final goal of ending their lives on the Golden Gate Bridge.
What makes this movie so sad? Deep depression and suicidal thoughts can feel all-consuming, which is depicted with intense emotion in The Sweet Life. But this film serves as a reminder to hold on — the best days of your life are just ahead of you.
Watch: The Sweet Life
24. The Worst Person in the World (2021)
Unstable in love and life, Julie (Renate Reinsve) is convinced she’s the worst person in the world. This film recounts four pivotal years of introspection for Julie as she quests to find her purpose and identity.
What makes this movie so sad? Everyone can relate to feeling stuck, broken, and purposeless. Julie’s struggles and setbacks are painfully realistic, surfacing insecurities of our own — especially for millennials entering their 30s.
25. Little Fish (2020)
Jude (Jack O’Connell) and Emma (Olivia Cooke) are soulmates struggling to hold on to each other as a memory loss-inducing virus jeopardizes the life they’ve built together.
What makes this movie so sad? Little Fish is a heart-shattering window into all that is lost with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Watch: Little Fish
When you’re ready to laugh, check out the best comedies streaming now.