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Vulture Readers on What Movies Made Them Cry

Last week, Vulture’s editors opened up their hearts about the movies that had made them cry and asked readers for their sad cinema selections. Many shared stories of breaking down inside theaters, on airplanes, or in the privacy of their own homes. Here are some of the best stories:

Toy Story 3. Watched it the day my parents moved me across the country. The three of us were all bawling in the back row of the theater. Still can’t watch it without breaking out into some crazy tears.” —Commenter loakey

“The opening scene of Up is pretty tough, but I don’t fully lose my sh*t until Carl affixes the grape soda bottle cap to Russell’s chest as the Ellie Badge. Oh god.” —Commenter Classicist

All Dogs Go to Heaven. I was 6. My mother discovered me bawling in our family den, having just completed the VHS rental. I could not be consoled. Her hugs were no match for the endless stream of mucus. For some reason, I’ll never forget that.” —Commenter megDeeWannaWrite4Thees

Toy Story 3: The scene where they are all in the garbage melter and they think they have met their maker so they all grab hands and accept death. So emotional. Even though I know it has a happy ending, I start crying ‘This scene is so beautiful tears’ every time I watch it.” —Commenter ead310

“Six words will communicate my sorrow, my redemption: A Goofy Movie — Hi Dad Soup. Join me in my solemnity, weep with me for the father, weep with me for the son.” —Commenter Blueline

The Fox and the Hound. Especially when the old lady has to leave her little pet fox in the forest and she drives away crying, and he just looks at her, confused and heartbroken. Or when the titular fox and hound, old childhood buddies, are grown-up and realize they can never be friends again because one will always have to hunt and kill the other. What kind of sadistic monster thought that that would be a sweet children’s movie to make?” —Commenter KateA

“This is super embarrassing, but The Brave Little Toaster when no one would snuggle with Blanket. It DEVASTATED ME!” —Commenter lindz566

Animal Films
Homeward Bound. As a child at the theater, I actually screamed out ‘Shadow!!’ when he falls through the hole. My auntie was so embarrassed she pushed my head down between my knees so no one could see where the shout came from … It’s now one of the classic stories of my childhood within my family. But I still can’t even talk about the scene (or the last one, when Shadow comes running over the hill) without choking back tears.” —Commenter

Almost anything with a dog is a guaranteed sob-fest. Wendy and Lucy gutted me.” —Commenter KerrieDC

50/50 — he’s so ‘over’ his cancer for most of the film, and then when he’s about to go in for surgery his Alzheimer dad finally recognizes him, and he looks at his mom and has this completely childlike cry for comfort ‘Mom?’ it’s unbearably heartbreaking.” —Commenter your_huckleberry

“I cry during the submarine scene in The Life Aquatic, which makes me cry more because I feel like there’s something wrong with me.” —Twitter follower @malanconnelly

“[Bridesmaids] when she eats the sad cupcake! I cried. And when Melissa McCarthy confronts her and says ‘you’re your problem, and you’re also your solution.’ BAWLED.” —Commenter Prettycrabby

“I know it’s sappy, but in The Princess Bride, when Wesley says ‘I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?’ and Buttercup says, ‘Well, you were dead.’ And he replies, ‘Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile.’ Kills me, no matter how many times I’ve seen the movie.” —Commenter erickstheone

50 First Dates. Yep, an Adam Sandler movie; go ahead and judge. When she comes above deck on the boat and sees her daughter, all that effort and commitment and love that floods in at that moment … I sob every time.” —Commenter maggiebex

“The first time I saw Waitress (in theaters) I inexplicably started sobbing — from the instant she beheld her new child, to the very end of the film. Just ugly sobbing. Even into the credits. The friend with whom I saw it was extremely perplexed.” —Commenter TheDilettantista

“I think my worst cry at the movie theater was for Simon Birch (the movie version of A Prayer for Owen Meany). The movie wasn’t all that great, but the scene where he talks about what it is like to lose someone in bits and pieces (the mail stops coming to their name, etc.) hit me right to the gut (I had lost my mom a few years earlier).”  —Commenter tmackmd

“Has anyone seen The Guilt Trip? Oh, man. That one took me by surprise. When Barbra Streisand lays into Seth Rogen, her son, for treating her badly, ‘like some thing to be tolerated.’ Plus she had an unhappy marriage to his dad. Lots of emotional layers. ” —Commenter mikesee901

That moment in Bridges of Madison County when Meryl almost opens the truck door and runs to Clint Eastwood? SOBS. —Twitter follower @mrtylermartins

“I cried my eyes out at Anne Hathaway’s rehearsal dinner speech in Rachel Getting Married.” —Commenter dman108

Billy Elliot every single time! When the father becomes a scab to have the money to send Billy to ballet school and he breaks down, I break down with him.” —Commenter Surely_Funke

It’s a Wonderful Life. When the bank collectors put their own money into the till, I lose it. And the brother comes home. And the Mark Twain book. I just can’t. For like 20 years straight. On cue.” —Commenter Aravis

“Brian Cox’s monologue in 25th Hour, especially when he gets to the part about the grandchildren. I was not prepared for how that last 5-10 minutes of the movie made me feel.” —Commenter rockmarooned

“Could not deal with Dead Poets Society. COULD NOT. All the worse when a couple years after I saw the film, I had an English teacher who was sort of like Keating to a whole generation of us; we were the last class he taught before he retired, and at the end of the year we said goodbye to him with ‘O Captain! My Captain!’ Just thinking about the closing moments of the film is making me tear up right now.” —Commenter patchthehavoc

“The scene in Forrest Gump when Jenny tells him he has a son and the boy isn’t ‘slow’ like his dad. If you don’t tear up at that you have no soul.” —Commenter Ryler

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I made it through the entire movie without crying … then that scene at the end when Sandra Bullock reveals to her son that she knew what he was doing, and visiting all the people on his list before he got to them … I burst into tears and cried for at least 30 mins.” —Commenter robbierob

Stand by Me. I watched it recently after having not seen it — I think — since River Phoenix died, which made Richard Dreyfuss’s speech at the end even more poignant (and sob-worthy).” —Commenter RagsMcTattershanty

It’s a Wonderful Life. When George is sitting in the bar praying. His desperation is palpable and utterly touching. And then of course at the end when the town rallies behind him and his brother says ‘to my big brother George the richest man in town.’ I’m actually tearing up as I write this … ” —Commenter snarky404

The first time I watched Beaches was in college in a roomful of people at a movie night. I bawled. Like wailing bawling. Like a professional mourner. To the point where people laughed at me and I shouted at them. It was not my finest hour.” —Commenter MissTelling

Sports Movies
A League of Their Own. Between the learning to read and Betty Spaghetti’s fallen hero husband, I DIE EVERY TIME.” —Twitter follower @KristinaLuca

Million Dollar Baby: I am still furious at the dozens of people who recommended that movie to me without a word of warning. When she goes in for her big fight, I just thought the film would be all Karate Kid/Rocky-style — you know, she’d get banged up pretty good then go in for the triumphant kill. But oh no, fresh hell was waiting just around the bend. Wracking, uncontrollable sobs in the theatre. I ended up with a migraine.” —Commenter RhodasPenmanshipMedal

Hoop Dreams. I saw Siskel & Ebert freak out about this movie so had to go see it by myself at the theater. I was in my early 20s, I still think it is one of the best crafted documentaries, while I admit to crying several times throughout the movie the scene that I completely lost it was when Arthur Agee’s mom gets her test score from her supervisor. If you saw it you know what I’m talking about, there is something completely gratifying about bawling in a movie theater by yourself.” —Commenter hellogorgeous

Disaster Movies
United 93. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to root for an ending you know is impossible. And then it cuts to black … ” —Commenter w0rryw0rt

“The last movie that made me really cry was The Impossible. When those boys found each other at the hospital. It just wrecked me. I was sitting in an airport watching it and just lost it.” —Commenter nycgg4233

“Me too for Armageddon. Which only makes it worse because otherwise it’s a terrible movie, and I’m sobbing for people who are still alive, and very wealthy.” —Commenter PBRthur

Fantasy Movies
“When I started crying during
Beasts of the Southern Wild right as the dad told Hushpuppy not to cry. It was like I as an audience member became the protagonist in the film. Incredible.” —Commenter joanna.or.joey

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when **spoiler alert** Cedric Diggory comes back through the portkey dead with Harry and his dad is screaming, ‘MY BOY!!! THAT’S MY BOY’ atop his lifeless body. Every. Time.” —Commenter chrisiannu

And then, finally, our own Jada Yuan had her own story to tell.

Spoiler alert, this may be a buzzkill! I used to make fun of my mother for crying through anything: MacGyver, a phone commercial, etc. Seems now that I’m not a kid, I’ve inherited the gene. I’ll find something to cry about in most movies, but my most memorable cry of the past few years has been Michael Haneke’s Amour, which I saw, hungover, at an afternoon screening at Cannes. I could feel the cry coming, but it didn’t come easily, and when it did, it welled up from a deeply personal place, in punishing, convulsive bursts, relegating every other cry I’d had in a movie to a some lesser category of “surface cries.” (I wrote about it at the time.)

Perhaps the beauty of a movie cry is that it is a little “surface,” that it triggers emotions attached to people who don’t exist, or attached to personal experience only tangentially related to what you’re watching. A good movie cry is in its way an escapist release. But Amour felt all-too real; I knew exactly where that cry was coming from, and when I left the theater, those reasons didn’t evaporate. I’m glad I saw Amour, and I can’t forget it, but I’ll stick to Up — a cry, then laughter and hope — for a while. “

Vulture Readers on What Movies Made Them Cry