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Movies That Make Men Cry (51 Movies That Make Them Emotional)

by Sonya Schwartz

People who have blood running through their veins feel all sorts of emotions when watching a well-scripted movie. While a good old epic war or history saga is what does it for some, some can’t watch a good romantic drama without a box of tissues nearby. However, despite how normal this reaction is, we have designated it as a chick thing for way too long. 

There is no such thing as movies that make it okay for a particular gender to cry to, as personal experience plus emotional state can contribute to how you react. Nevertheless, the following set of films (in no specific order) will make your man well up regardless of his mood before lights out.

51 Movies That Make Men Cry

1. It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life is that relatable feelgood watch depicting that despite everyone having a limit to what we can endure, we’re all special in our own way. It stirs in men, not tears of sadness, but joy.

2. Big Fish

Most men I know who have seen Big Fish have wept big time, and I’m talking grown-ass ‘hard guys’ here. But then again, who wouldn’t after tan ending like that?

3. Field of Dreams

If your man is a huge baseball fan or has lost a father/parent/loved one, get the tissues ready before the popcorn. It’s been out for over 30 years and is still very much capable of inducing the waterworks.

4. Inside Out

Do you know how Pixar flicks tend to bring the tears? Well, this one has been called their biggest tearjerker yet, and for good reasons.

5. Dead Poets Society

It’s bad enough that the Dead Poets Society is both happy and sad. The fact that Robin Williams, who so brilliantly portrayed Professor Keating took his life years later, would stir something in any guy. 

6. Rocky

An inspiring story, Rocky is mostly centered on the life and struggles of the underdog, Rocky Balboa, written and played by Sylvester Stallone. Not much more needs to be said about this film series other than the fact that the emotional aspect contributed immensely to its $1.6 billion box office gross.

7. Up

This is another good one by Pixar. The Academy award-winning comedy-drama adventure movie pairs Ed Asner, an old widower following his dreams with Jordan Nagai, a cute little tag-along. Need I go on?

8. Interstellar

This Christopher Nolan film is one of the movies that could make some men cry over and over again. You’ll see why. 

9. Stand by me

Another oldie but goldie, it’s the relatable exploration of childhood innocence and friendship that evokes male sentiments the most for a film like this. 

10. Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men is a period drama film adapted from John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name focusing on farmers George and a mentally-disabled Lennie hoping to live the American Dream. The discrimination and loneliness in this movie will make a man misty-eyed, at the very least.

11. Saving Private Ryan

Tom Hanks is famous for having the emotional button of men worldwide, and Saving Private Ryan remains one of the legendary actor’s highest-rated films of all time. Of course, Matt Damon’s portrayal of Private Ryan is nothing short of mesmerizing either.

12. The Shawshank Redemption

Speaking of legends, The Shawshank Redemption features a heartwarming bond between Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins with an equally gut-wrenching death. Oh, and it is a Stephen King story, movies like this will have many men dabbing those tears away before the end credits.

13. Avengers End Game

As you can probably tell by now, The Avengers End Game evokes tears, but they will be from overwhelming joy and sadness. The part where Captain America handles Mjolnir in the final battle scene? Also, that scene where Happy talks to Stark’s daughter? If your man is a fan of the MCU and he doesn’t tear up at those, I don’t know what’ll do it.

14. Mask

No, not the one with Jim Carrey. I’m talking about the earlier 1985 Peter Bogdanovich’s work on a guy with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a rare bone disorder. Yeah, that one.

15. Forrest Gump

Another classic thoroughly bodied by Tom Hanks is Forrest Gump. Playing the titular character, this beloved actor outdid himself in this epic drama. Multiple scenes here can potentially break a hard guy down, but two very specific ones will definitely do it.

16. Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise’s portrayal of the eponymous character in this romantic sports drama film is where chick flick meets manly movies. He may not cry like a four-year-old, but it will surely cause him to choke on a tear or two.

17. Toy Story 3

What do Pixar and Tom Hanks have in common? They both understand men and bring their juice to the Toy Story franchise. This third installment, in particular, is so relatable that it appeals to the child in every guy.

18. Born on The Fourth of July

Born on The Fourth of July is a multiple award-winning war drama film based on a true story. In it, Tom Cruise portrays the life of Ron Kovic who joins the military in hopes of serving his country but ends up paralyzed. 🙁

19. Logan

This is arguably the saddest installment of the X-men franchise. After playing the role for almost 20 long years, it’s hard to separate the beloved superhero from Hugh Jackman whose weary exit alone is more than enough cause for tears.

20. Oculus

This 2013 horror thriller directed by Mike Flanagan follows the struggle of two siblings who violently lost their parents at a young age. Movies like this would definitely inspire a tear or two.

21. About Time

Science fiction fans with an interest in romantic fantasy will especially appreciate this highly-rated feelgood movie. Imagine being able to pursue your love at an entirely different time?

22. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

It’s supposed to be a comedy adventure film but what warm-blooded man can bear to watch three dogs go in search of their owner thinking they’ve been abandoned without dropping a few tears?

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23. Coco

If you thought the end of Toy Story 3 was sad, try watching Coco. “Watch and you’ll see, someday I’ll be part of your world.” Oh, that end. 

24. The Dark Knight Rises

Who can bear to watch the part with Bruce’s last words to Gordon without tearing up? 

25. The Pursuit of Happiness

 A touching true-life story of a father and son portrayed by a real-life father and son, and Will and Jaden, no less! The raw sentiment this film inspires alone is enough to get the waterworks going for a guy.

26. Glory

This intense civil war drama won Denzel Washington his first Oscar over three decades ago and will surely leave a lump in anyone’s throat even today.

27. Gladiator

No one should have to fight that hard over anything. It’s bad enough that Maximus lost everyone he loves, he also had to fight until the death. And for what? A lot of men can relate to his pain, and that’s why this list would be incomplete without Gladiator.

28. Marley and Me

This one would have you wishing yet again that dogs didn’t have to die. Unfortunately, Marley, a Labrador retriever owned by Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson’s characters does. And every single dog lover I know that has seen it cried at the end.

29. The Iron Giant

Has your guy always insisted that crying over a film is a feminine thing? Make him see the finale of The Iron Giant and watch him blub.

30. I Am Legend

Don’t let your boyfriend watch this if he’s ever had to put a pet down. Will Smith’s best friend paid the ultimate price in ’I am Legend,’ so he wouldn’t be able to take it. 

31. The Fly II

Since we’re on the pet subject, this horror science fiction flick would be nothing short of a horrific watch for any animal lover, male or female.  

32. Wolf Children

Is he a fan of anime? Have him watch Wolf Children.

33. Old Yeller

If he somehow manages to get through the other sad dog films without breaking a tear, I bet this would be the one that does it. Young or old, male or female, anyone who’s ever been remotely attached to a pet would bawl at this 1957 classic.

34. Good Will Hunting

Written by and starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the relationships formed in this movie are to cry for, literally.

35. Rudy

Something about true-life stories and underdogs who end up winning makes it hard for guys to stay tough. Daniel Rudy Ruettiger’s several relatable struggles on his way to achieving his dream can’t help but touch even the strongest of hearts.

36. A star is born

This heartbreaking story features a dwindling male celebrity giving his all into helping a rising female singer and actress find fame, even as his own career goes down the drain.

37. First Blood

Rocky star Sylvester Stallone’s performance in the 1982 action film First Blood still gets many guys in their feelings to date.

38. The Green Mile

Another Stephen King’s story featuring Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, this film contains one of the most heartrending deaths in film history and would make anyone sob.

39. Armageddon

Who can bear to watch Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) say goodbye to his daughter (Liv Tyler) as he sets off to save the earth without losing it? Most likely not the guy you have in mind.

40. The Dirty Dozen

The only way you can say for sure this classic war film didn’t make your dad or grandpa tear up is if they haven’t seen it. Young guys don’t stand a chance with it either; they just have to cry.

41. E.T the Extra-Terrestrial

Seasoned director Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, exemplifies children’s sheer unadulterated capacity for compassion. This film features the kind of friendship and kindness we all hope to experience at least once in life.

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42. Krrish

Krrish made me cry the first three times I watched it or was it four? I hardly get emotional at movies but my crying didn’t surprise me half as much as finding out my brothers did too. If you’ve seen the franchise, you get what I’m talking about.

43. The Notebook

Here’s another classic tearjerker set in the 1940s, those with fragile male egos won’t love watching this romantic drama as their emotions would betray them any time they try.

44. 3 Idiots

Another international banger from India, 3 Idiots was way ahead of its time as of 2009 when it came out. The songs, the story, the way the guys weren’t afraid of expressing their emotions? Aal Izz Well!

45. Au Revoir les Enfants

A drama war story set during WWII, the unlikely bond formed in this film would tug at anyone’s heart.

46. A Goofy Movie

Many millennials grew up watching this casual feelgood animated musical comedy by Disney and if your male friends tell you it never made them tear up even once? They’re probably not telling the whole truth.

47. Flags of Our Fathers

Clint Eastwood’s gripping patriotic film about the ’45 Battle of Iwo Jima explores war and heroism – Two of men’s biggest undoing. 

48. Braveheart

Starring and directed by Mel Gibson, the sheer bravery exhibited in this movie by Gibson’s William Wallace and his clan is bound to resonate with a lot of guys. You may have seen the memes where he holds up a sword with war paints on his face.

49. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

You may need to read the book first or watch the film twice before piecing it together, but when it hits you, it really does. It wouldn’t be Charlie Kaufman if the confusion didn’t keep you up at night now, would it? 

50. Champions (1984)

Another true story of a British steeplechase jockey Bob Champion, who despite battling cancer, refused to stay down. He eventually won his battle with the disease and went on to win the Grand National steeplechase of 1981.

51. Schindler’s List

Though this list has been put together in no particular order, it just feels right to end with another one of Steven Spielberg’s masterpieces. The story follows Nazi German industrialist Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who saves his Jewish employees from Nazi camps.

FAQs

Is it OK for guys to cry at movies?

Not only is it okay for guys to shed tears at something that makes them emotional, but it is also advisable. Movies tend to bring out all sorts of feelings from its viewers, and making males feel less manly for this natural reaction is unhealthy and can promote toxic masculinity.

Which movies will make you cry?

There are tons of movies capable of eliciting fears in anyone. Some examples include Forrest Gump, The Notebook, Old Yeller, Marley and Me, Inside Out, The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Poets Society, Stand by Me, and Jerry Maguire, to mention a few.

Is it OK for a man to cry?

Yes, it is absolutely OK for a man to cry. Shedding tears is one of the ways we express our emotions as humans, and it would be unfair to guys if they can’t freely let their feelings out. As it is a natural reaction, going against this would be suppression, and that is highly unhealthy.

What is the saddest movie scene of all time?

It is nearly impossible to pinpoint the saddest movie scene of all time as there are too many of them, plus it would vary based on individual sentiment. Notwithstanding, scientists have apparently verified The Champ (1979) to be the one if any.

Why do I cry at happy endings?

Tears of joy are as normal as those we shed when we’re sad. Though it seems more natural to weep at a tragic movie ending, happy ones are also just as capable of evoking emotions in us. Personal sentiments can also influence the possibility of crying at a happy end.

The Bottom Line

This was a hard list for me to compile as there are way too many movies that could fit in this category. If you found some of your man’s favs on here or think I missed any worthy one, let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to share the article if you enjoyed it or found it helpful.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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