Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cry Already 2: Biggest Tearjerkers

I'm already crying
          Somebody asked me what I find to be the most manipulative movie I've ever seen. I responded with Crash. I stand by that answer. I've never seen a movie scream at me so hard to cry already. Michael Pena's screaming scene (pictured in the below blog) is bundled with all of the plot devices string pulling necessary to build a bridge out of Dolly Parton movies.
          That said, I'll admit it. I cried the first time I saw Crash. I was very much manipulated by its dark magic. However, the second time I saw the movie I couldn't help but cringe. After being asked that question, and thinking about Crash's effect on me, I got to thinking about tearjerkers that are consistent with their manipulation.
          What are the movies that always seem to make me cry, no matter how many times I've seen them?
          I'm going to break these down by category, rating the films by the mileage they get out of my tear ducts.

The Denzel Tear
So what, I'm crying

  • The Champ
    • If any of you can sit through this scene without shedding a Denzel, then I suggest you buy a coffin and lay in it. Seriously. 
  • Rudy
    • You see a pattern emerging? Sports movies tend to illicit the coveted Denzel tear from me. You've got the basic question, can this underdog really do it? And when that resounding yes is finally given, how can you not cry? HOW CAN YOU NOT CRY!
  • Into the Wild
    • This movie's ending is not what makes me cry. It is instead the entire performance of Hal Holbrook. Almost every moment this man is onscreen is completely heartbreaking, especially the moment where Holbrook's character pleads for permission to adopt Chris, only to be met with, "Can we talk about this when I get back?" Holbrook knows he'll never see Chris again and breaks down as he watches the young man walk away. Powerful stuff. 
  • Toy Story 2
    • Don't act like you didn't shed a Denzel when Jessie sang her song about being forgotten by her owner and left on the side of the road. Don't. Even. Act like it. 

The Sniffle
What? It's sad!
  •   Life is Beautiful
    • You cried. I cried. We all cried. Admit it. When that little boy tells his mother that he's won a tank, all I've won is the condescending stare of the dude that only caught the ending. "That's not dust," I say, mildly flexing my biceps as I wipe my tears, "I'm freaking crying." 
  • Big Fish
    • Oh yeah. Billy Crudup's final monologue, and ultimate acceptance of his father, rips me a new one every time. A new tear duct. 
  • Paths of Glory
    • Often accused of being emotionally distant, Stanley Kubrick fans are quick to point out the  heart wrenching ending to this often overlooked masterpiece. 
  • Cast Away
    • You cried too. Right? Right...?

The Uncontrollable Sob
Go away!
  • Breaking the Waves
    • This movie does terrible things to me. Every time I see those bells ringing at the end I lose it. It doesn't matter if that's the only part I saw. 
  • Toy Story 3
    • And we thought Jessie's song was sad. Andy's beautiful farewell to his toys at the end of Toy Story 3 is like watching my childhood get folded into a bottle and thrown to sea. 
  • Cinema Paradiso
    • OH MY GOD
  • Dancer In The Dark
    • Either Lars Von Trier has a direct line to all things sad, or I have a lot in common with the man. Either way, I'm scared. This movie slaughters all things good in the world and leaves you in a kiddie pool made of salt water and snot. If you ever watch this movie with another person, apologize to them in advance for the emotional sewage you will become. 

What are your biggest tearjerkers? Let me know in the comments section or below the link on Facebook.


  1. The Wizard... Jimmy made it to California.

    Where the Wild Things Are. I've never cried in a movie theater until "I'll eat you up, I love you so."

  2. I felt like something horrible had been done to my by way of my tear ducts when I finished Dancer in the Dark. Sheesh. I'm just glad I watched it alone!

    Castaway gets me every time. Not a big sob, but, yeah, a sniffle.

    Midnight Cowboy destroyed me.

  3. moulin rouge. its kind of pathetic, but i seriously cry every time.

    and every single harry potter movie. even the first one.

    up. that first bit? every time. i bawl like a baby.

    but i clearly cry at everything...

  4. Yes! Dawson made an appearance on your blog!

    I'd have to add Wall-E to the sniffle section.

    Marley and Me belongs the sob section. I think I'm still crying because of that movie.

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  6. Yeah, Big Fish had me going the full fountain by the end. The ending of Sunshine got me as well, for whatever reason (specifically, the bit where he jumps between the ships and when he activates the bomb), and several parts of Children of Men always tend to get me going. Especially the bit towards the end where they leave the building with everyone watching. I find myself somewhere between a Sniffle and an Uncontrollable Sob, every time.

    Oh, and pretty much every single Pixar movie has some parts that get me tearing up (naturally). Someone already mentioned Up and WALL-E, but I think the one that always really gets me is Ego's speech at the end of Ratatouille. Not even a sad moment, but it just finds a way to get me so emotional that I can't help but start to cry.

    Would Requiem for a Dream and it's soul-crushing/empty-void style of depression-that-brings-tears count as well?

  7. Shadowlands and The Piano, for sure (always my go-to's for a cathartic cry), and I can add the new Pride & Prejudice.

  8. I hardly ever cry, especially during movies..you know this. I was sobbing at the beginning of Up, though...oddly enough. Breaking the Waves came close though, i felt more numb than anything. Almost too sad to cry, haha u_u

  9. You already called "Big Fish" where my boyfriend and I were crying as the credits rolled. We both went into our gender separate restrooms and I sobbed, big time and a woman had to ask me if I was ok. I am sure she thought my boyfriend and I had a fight and broke up or something. All I could muster between sobs was "the movie was sad".

    Also, my girlfriend and I saw "My Life without Me" and the same scenario except we were both in the same bathroom sobbing in separate stalls. I am sort of annoyed at that movie now at how manipulative and narcissistic the plot was but I love Sarah Polley. So all's good.

    Cinema Paradiso! Yes.

    Mysterious Skin - through out the entire film and especially at the end.

    Titanic - Come on, trajedy. My boyfriend cries because Rose should have made room on that door for Jack.

    I know there are more because I cry during commercials, but these are the ones that come to mind.