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across the streaming-verse

Best of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Streaming: Sad Movies That Make You Cry

This weekend, as you search for a movie to watch, you can go see The Fault n Our Stars or pick one of approximately 14 billion options available on streaming over a variety of services, be it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, On Demand, or other sites. Every Friday, Vulture tries to make life easier by narrowing it down to a handful of heartily recommended options. This week, a healthy serving of trauma and truncated romances to get the tear ducts flowing. Because everyone needs a good cry once in a while.


Angels in America
Director Mike Nichols's six-hour adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play arrives on Amazon Prime as part of the streaming service's new pact with HBO. A sublime mix of human drama and fantasy theatrics, the filmed play leaves no facet of the AIDS epidemic unturned. Gay or straight, conservative or liberal, religious or secular — it's all part of Kushner's tapestry of loss, grief, and recovery. If you caught and enjoyed The Normal Heart, Angels in America makes for a fitting follow-up. (Stream on Amazon Prime)

Imitation of Life
Fifty years later, Douglas Sirk's melodrama remake is as potent as ever. Chronicling a decade in the lives of two single mothers, Lora and Annie, and their two daughters, Imitation of Life wrestles with race, gender, and marital politics, observing how big picture issues seep into life's tiniest crevices. Annie is black, but her daughter appears white and rejects any African-American heritage. Lora dreams of becoming an actress, but her romantic interests insist she stay at home. Sirk's brutal honesty keeps the door open for a weepy conclusion. If you think the world's grown past the toxic behavior of the '50s, take in Imitation of Life for a biting reminder to the contrary. (Stream on Netflix)

How to Die in Oregon
If the phrase “physician-assisted suicide” puts a tear in your eye, brace yourself for this intimate documentary spotlighting the men and women of the Beaver State fighting for the right to perform the controversial practice. The Sundance award-winning interviews doctors and patients, with a focus on Cody Curtis, a 54-year-old mother who suffers from liver cancer. Filmmaker Peter Richardson embeds himself in Curtis' final days, as she jumps the hoops that lead her to conducting assisted suicide. Heartbreaking and heroic in the face of passionate opposition. (Stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Target Ticket)

Rabbit Hole
Another stage play-to-movie, this time from writer David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole is the rare tearjerker that starts with a punch to the gut — the death of a couple's four-year-old son — and keeps on jabbing as characters try to climb back from the devastating event. A return to directing and classical drama from Hedwig and the Angry Inch director John Cameron Mitchell, the overlooked 2010 movie boasts the emotional tightrope walking skills of Nicole Kidman and one of Miles Teller's first performances. Nothing will melt you into a pool of emotion as quickly as a teenager confessing guilty actions to a grieving mother. (Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox)

A Walk to Remember (Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Beaches (Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Brief Encounter
(Rent from iTunes, Amazon)
Brokeback Mountain
(Stream on Netflix, Hulu, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Target Ticket)
Dancer in the Dark
(Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Xbox)
The English Patient
(Stream on Netflix, Amazon, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox)
Ghost (Stream on Netflix, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Hotel Rwanda
(Stream on Netflix, Amazon, Rent on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
The Ice Storm
(Stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
In America
(Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Love Story
(Stream on Netflix, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Million Dollar Baby
(Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox)
The Notebook
(Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube, Xbox)
Ordinary People
(Rent on Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Philadelphia
(Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon)
Silverlake Life: The View From Here
(Stream on Hulu)
Sophie's Choice
(Rent on iTunes, Xbox)
Steel Magnolias
(Stream on Netflix, Rent on iTunes)
Terms of Endearment
(Stream on Netflix, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox, Target Ticket)
Titanic
(Stream on Netflix, Rent on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Xbox)

Photo: Columbia Pictures; Lionsgate; HBO