15 Sad Movies on Netflix to Watch When You Just Need to Let It Out

Tap into your emotions.

sad young woman

Oliver Rossi/Getty Images 

When feeling a bit moody, you can always turn to one of the best sad movies on Netflix for a little company. We scrolled through the Netflix library to zero in on the types of movies that meet this raw emotion. From long-standing classics to new favorites, as well as stories based on true events and tales rooted in fiction, these are the movies you should watch when you're feeling blue. They won't exactly cheer you up, but they will let you ruminate in that melancholy space until you're ready for something new.

Here are our picks for the best sad movies on Netflix right now.

01 of 15

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

dallas buyers club


McConaughey (who won an Oscar for his role) plays Ron Woodroof, a man who is diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s when the disease lacked societal understanding, medical research, and viable treatments. After he is ostracized from his loved ones and loses his job and home—all while given 30 days to live—he tries to find medicine to save his life. He finds a promising drug with help from a disgraced doctor, but it's illegal in the U.S., so he decides to smuggle and sell it to other HIV-positive people.

Available on: Netflix

02 of 15

First They Killed My Father (2017)

first they killed my father


This Angelina Jolie-directed film takes place as the Khmer Rouge captures the capital of Cambodia and rules it from 1975 to 1979. Loung and her family are forced to leave their home and go to a labor camp, where all of their possessions are confiscated from them, and they are told to build their own shelters and work without food. Soon after, Loung's family separates (she sees her father taken away by officials) and she's then recruited to be a soldier for the regime. There's obviously a lot to take in, and it's even more difficult to do so from a child's perspective.

This film follows Loung Ung's 2000 memoir of the same name. Read it before you stream the movie!

Available on: Netflix

03 of 15

Room (2015)



Based on the 2010 novel, this movie centers around Brie Larson's character, a woman who has been held captive for seven years and had a son during that time who's now 5. Together they live in a shed they call "room." She makes her son believe that the outside world only exists on TV, but one day the two find a way to escape. It's a story about resilience and imagination, and we won't be too surprised if you ugly cry. 

Available on: Netflix

04 of 15

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

boy in the striped pajamas


Taking place in Poland during World War II, this film follows a young boy who befriends another boy on the other side of the fence. Unbeknownst to him, he's a Jewish prisoner.

Available on: Netflix

05 of 15

To the Bone (2017)

to the bone


Lily Collins stars in this 2017 Netflix original drama, following a 20-year-old girl with anorexia nervosa. She enters various recovery programs but only gets thinner each time. It's a journey of self-discovery that's oftentimes painful to watch, but so poignant.

Available on: Netflix

06 of 15

Brain on Fire (2016)

brain on fire


This movie follows a young New York reporter, played by Chloe Moretz, in search of a diagnosis for her recurring seizures and memory loss. Though doctors are baffled, she's determined to find an answer. It's heartbreaking to watch as this mystery illness devastates her mind and body.

Available on: Netflix

07 of 15

The Theory of Everything (2014)

theory of everything


Eddie Redmayne landed the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and more for his incredible and touching performance in this film. We watch as Stephen Hawking's body is overtaken by ALS, increasing his dependence on his wife, Felicity Jones.

Available on: Netflix

08 of 15

About Time (2013)

about time


You can always count on a Rachel McAdams romance film to make you cry, and this one is no exception. A man travels back in time to win the woman of his dreams, and you will be feeling all the feels. When you're in the mood for pure romance, this is it.

Available on: Netflix

09 of 15

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

saving mr banks


This film is the story of how Walt Disney obtained the rights to the book, Mary Poppins. Tom Hanks delivers another flawless performance, while Emma Thompson is touching as author P.L. Travers. Expect nostalgia and heartwarming Disney magic—the kind that always stirs up a tear or two.

Available on: Netflix

10 of 15

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

guernsey movie


A Netflix original film, this movie follows a London writer, Lily James, who travels to the island of Guernsey, learning about the book club a few friends there formed during the WWII German occupation. It's a story of romance, friendship, and history, and you'll definitely be shedding some tears.

Available on: Netflix

11 of 15

Irreplaceable You (2018)

Irreplaceable You


When a girl is diagnosed with cancer, she decides to find a new love for her fiancé and best friend since childhood. She finds that focusing on what comes next makes her miss out on the "now." It's a little bit humorous in parts, but for the most part: Cue the waterworks.

Available on: Netflix

12 of 15

The Spectacular Now (2013)

spectacular now


This film, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, is about a high school romance between an unlikely couple. He's hard-partying; she's driven and focused. It the story of a first love, and is heartfelt, emotional, and inspiring.

Available on: Netflix

13 of 15

Then Came You (2019)

then came you


See Maisie Williams step outside of Game of Thrones in this quirky comedy about a terminally ill teen girl (Wiliams) enlisting the help of a hypochondriac to help her complete her bucket list. You'll cry, you'll laugh—basically, this movie is an all-around win.

Available on: Netflix

14 of 15

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

fundamentals of caring


Paul Rudd takes on a heavier role, starring in this dark comedy with Selena Gomez. Rudd plays a caregiver to a young boy suffering from muscular dystrophy, and the two take a road trip together. It's an inspirational story of friendship, and it'll have you weeping.

Available on: Netflix

15 of 15

Blue Valentine (2010)

blue valentine


Looking at Ryan Gosling for two hours can't be too sad, right? That's the silver lining of this dramatic indie film, although you're likely to get swept up in his and Michelle Williams's strong performances, too. They play a struggling couple on the verge of divorce who decide to take a short vacation to get away from some stress at home. The story flashes back and forth between their initial courtship and present issues and shows how their hopes for the future eventually panned out. It's a story about love and expectations, as well as harsh realities and disappointments.

Available onNetflix

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