Top 5 Movies that Make Men Cry

Kenny D April 22, 2013 15

dawson crying, dawson's creek, ugly crying, crying movies, man tears, movies that make men cryI’ve always done my best to not cry during movies. I don’t really have a heart, it’s more of a cold chest cavity where my heart once was. Though there are times when a film’s soundtrack can hit you right in the feel-goods (get your mind out of the gutter) and you are swept up in the emotion of it all. This happened to me as I was watching The Impossible. I got so caught up in the story of a family trying to find each other after the Tsunami, that I had to intentionally hold back my man tears.

I took a poll of FB friends and came up with several great honorable mentions. This list is comprised of Old Yeller, Marley and Me, Warrior, Saving Private Ryan, Les Miserables and strangely Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Please feel free to add any movies that were missed in the comments below.

Here are the top 5 movies where it’s okay for a man to cry.

5 – Big Fish

big fish, sad movies, tim burton, men cry moviesIt seems that men sob more freely in stories about fathers and sons. Big Fish is a fun and vibrant movie, but there is always sadness underneath. Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) has been exposed to his father’s outrageous stories throughout his life and wants nothing to do with him anymore. At the end, Will sits by his father’s bedside, after he suffered a stroke, and has to finish his dad’s story. At his dad’s funeral, he meets the people behind the legends and realizes the truth behind his dad’s stories. Sappy, yet effective.

4 – Field of Dreams

field of dreams, man tears, saddest movie moment, Though this movie hardly centers a team or particular player, it is one of the most memorable sports movies out there. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) forgoes common sense and plows his crops to build a baseball diamond. He encounters several legends, but no moment hits you in the heart like when he sees his dad as a young man. They chat about the field and talk about heaven, but the music and emotions really come to a head when Ray asks his father, “Hey Dad…you wanna have a catch?” No man should be blamed for losing control of their eye ducts at this point. I’m pretty sure that crying at this moment is a rite of passage for every guy.

3 – The Patriot

the patriot, mel gibson, patriot, saddest movie, man tears, men cry moviesBy putting The Patriot at number 3, I’m really including Braveheart and Gladiator as well. Both of those movies gut-punch you right at the end with overwhelmingly emotional moments, but neither were as tragic as The Patriot. Even as Benjamin Martin tries to avoid the inevitable Revolutionary War, his entire family is affected. Let’s just put it this way, if you like a character, they’ll probably die. But it wasn’t even the barrage of death that made me sob like a baby. It was the moment when Martin was going back to war and was saying goodbye to his family. His young daughter, who hasn’t spoken to her father since her mother’s death, runs to him crying and telling him not to go. I am a pansy because I lost it.

2 – Life is Beautiful

life is beautiful, saddest movie, man tears, italian movie, concentration campI often hear, “You didn’t cry in this movie? You don’t have a heart.” Life is Beautiful is one of those movies that if you didn’t feel anything, then you don’t have a soul. It’s almost a given for every Holocaust movie to be on a sad movie list, but I had to pick one. This one affects me because it was very funny, inspiring and then heart breaking. This entire movie tugs at your heart strings, especially as Guido (Roberto Benigni) puts on a brave face and tries to convince his young son that the horrific concentration camp is anything but. Even though Benigni has gone nowhere in Hollywood, he deserved the Oscar for his role here.

1 – The Neverending Story

the neverending story, atreyu, swamps of sadness, artax, saddest movieHow could I not include this one? This is the first movie to make me cry. I was probably 7 years old when I first saw Atreyu lead his horse, Artax, through the Swamps of Sadness. Their long journey was too much for Artax and he started sinking. I still get chills when I see Atreyu try to convince Artax to keep moving and then start to panic as the horse sinks lower and lower. Oh man, even writing this, I’m getting sad. Sure it’s a giant plot-hole that Atreyu didn’t sink in the Swamps of SADNESS right after his horse drowned, but I love that movie so much that I’m willing to forgive it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have something manly in my eye….


  1. C-Dawg April 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm -

    Field of Dreams is my number 1 OK to cry movie. Gets me everytime.

  2. Heidi April 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm -

    My life with Michael Keaton

  3. Quinn Nielsen April 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm -

    Phenomenon…when John Travolta dies and Kiera Sedgewick just breaks down the morning after…hard to keep the tears back.

  4. Christopher Larson April 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm -

    Just as a thought on Neverending Story. Atreyu almost did sink into the swap. That was when the Luck Dragon came and pulled him out. He was going along and then his grief almost got to him. This is what I remember. I haven’t seen the show in almost 10 years. So, all things considered, I may be misrepresenting the movie totally.

  5. Casey L. April 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm -

    I seriously think you have some obsessiveness with the Never Ending Story…

  6. Chris Partridge April 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm -

    What about Forrest Gump? When he saves half his squad in Vietnam just trying to help Bubba? Or when he finds out he has a son?

  7. Jack April 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm -

    October Sky gets me every time. It’s another father/son in conflict movie.

  8. Duncan April 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm -

    Cast Away, when he loses Wilson.

  9. The Former 786 April 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm -

    This list should be called “Top 5 Movies That Make Kenny D Cry.” If you were going to make this a general list of man-tear movies, you should have included the tried and true man drama stalwarts of Rudy and Braveheart (instead of The Patriot and Neverending Story). It probably would have also included a dog movie – because they are man’s best friend.

    That being said, I did, and probably will continue to cry (manly tears) at all of the movies on this list.

  10. Sarah Washburn April 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm -

    No man need ever be ashamed for crying during these movies. 🙂

  11. Joshua Snow Hansen April 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm -

    I can’t believe you left out Marley & Me?! You must be one of those insensitive cat people.

  12. Bobo April 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm -

    The movie “Charlie” got to me when the mom was about to pass away and trying to get her young son to say “mama”. I geez. Here come the man tears.

  13. Billy G. May 5, 2013 at 11:36 pm -

    Star Wars: Episode 3, at the end when Obi-wan Kenobi defeats Anikan Skywalker.

  14. Jesse June 4, 2013 at 4:37 am -

    How could none of the Rocky movies make it on this list? Sly may talk like a half retarded alien, but the man knows how to tug on the heart strings of men everywhere. Every one of those movies had a man-cry moment.
    Rocky: When he goes the distance with Apollo Creed. Even though he lost in decision, he completed his own personal goal. That was good enough for him.
    Rocky II: This movie has 2 man-cry moments. 1: when Adrian wakes from her coma and simply tells Rocky to “Win.” And 2: When he beats Apollo, and says “Yo Adrian! I did it!!”
    Rocky 3: When Micky dies. (I’m tearing up just thinking about it)
    Rocky 4: When Apollo dies.
    Rocky 5: When Rocky appears beaten by Tommy Gun, and he remembers Micky, who almost appears to come to him in his time of need, and tells him “GET UP YOU SON OF A BITCH! Because Micky loves ya!”
    Rocky Balboa: As Rocky is sitting at Adrian’s grave in the end. I was just upset that Adrian was dead on principle alone. This was simply the icing on the cake for me.

  15. Robert Alter October 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm -

    The first ten minutes of “Up”.

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