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

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, based on the memoir of the same name. Loung Ung and her family are forced to leave their home and go to a labor camp. Soon after, Loung's family separates and she's then recruited to be a soldier for the regime. There's a lot to take in, and it's even more difficult to do so from a child's perspective.

Available on: Netflix

02 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

03 of 15

Brain on Fire (2016)

brain on fire


This movie follows a young New York reporter, played by Chloe Grace 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

04 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, played by Felicity Jones.

Available on: Netflix

05 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

06 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

07 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

08 of 15

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

fundamentals of caring


Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez star in this dark comedy. He plays a caregiver to a boy suffering with muscular dystrophy, and this inspirational story of friendship will have you shedding some tears.

Available on: Netflix

09 of 15

Remember Me (2010)

Remember Me movie poster

New on Netflix

Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin star in this tearjerker about two young adults who find love in the wake of family tragedies. From start to finish, this movie bluntly exposes the deep pain and damage that comes with trauma and loss.

Available on: Netflix

10 of 15

Pieces of a Woman (2020)

Pieces of a Woman movie poster


When expectant parents Martha and Sean tragically lose their infant daughter shortly after birth, both struggle to cope with her death and quickly spiral in their grief. This tale of grief ends on a hopeful note, but you'll definitely want to keep tissues nearby.

Available on: Netflix

11 of 15

The Lovely Bones (2009)

The Lovely Bones movie poster

New on Netflix

A mystery and tragedy wrapped up in one, The Lovely Bones follows the aftermath of the murder of a 14-year-old girl as her loved ones mourn and keep up the search for her killer. This film is based on the award-winning novel of the same name.

Available on: Netflix

12 of 15

All the Bright Places (2020)

All the Bright Places


Despite the name, this film tells the emotional story of two struggling teens whose relationship changes their lives and outlooks forever. It's a tale of struggle, trauma, mental illness—a lot of hard-hitting topics.

Available on: Netflix

13 of 15

Marriage Story (2019)

Marriage Story


It's hard to think of a list this Academy Award-winning film doesn't belong on, as it really takes you through a roller coaster of emotions. Marriage Story chronicles the very relatable story of a crumbling marriage and a family struggling to stay together.

Available on: Netflix

14 of 15

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape


If you haven't seen this classic coming-of-age film starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp, it's long past due. The young Gilbert Grape struggles with the pressures of taking care of his troubled family while forging his own path.

Available on: Netflix

15 of 15

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain movie poster

Projected Realities

In 1963 Wyoming, two sheepherders (played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late and great Heath Ledger) find themselves falling into a passionate love affair that they must painstakingly hide from their wives. Needless to say, watching this level of forbidden passion unfold on screen is an emotional roller coaster.

Available on: Netflix

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