Depressing movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant depressing movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out depressing, realistic, sad, serious, emotional and weird films and TV shows about / with loneliness, storytelling, depression, tragedy, mentor, friendship, death, life & death, brutality and melancholy plots mostly in Drama, Romance and Thriller genres shot in USA, UK, Japan and other countries.
depressing movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as depressing: Manchester by the Sea (2016), Never Let Me Go (2010), Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Requiem for a Dream (2000), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), I Stand Alone (1998), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Tyrannosaur (2011), Mary and Max (2009).

List of depressing movies

Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 137 min.
Story: After his older brother passes away, Lee Chandler is forced to return home to care for his 16-year-old nephew. There he is compelled to deal with a tragic past that separated him from his family and the community where he was born and raised.
Style: depressing, sad, heartbreaking, emotional, psychological ...
Audience: teens
Plot: depression, loss, loneliness, suicide attempt, sadness, death, dysfunctional family, nephew, uncle nephew relationship, death of brother, guardian, uncle ...
Time: 2010s
Place: massachusetts, boston, new england
Is relevant ?
Never Let Me Go (2010)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: UK
Duration: 103 min.
Story: As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy spend their childhood at an idyllic and secluded English boarding school. As they grow into adults, they must come to terms with the complexity and strength of their love for one another while also preparing for ...
Style: sad, depressing, psychological, melancholic, touching ...
Audience: teens, chick flick
Plot: distopia, boarding school, friendship, childhood, cloning, sadness, love triangle, existentialism, loneliness, transplant, love and romance, jealousy ...
Time: 50s, year 1985, year 1978, 70s, 80s ...
Place: england, europe
Is relevant ?
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Genre: Animation, Drama, War
Country: Japan
Duration: 89 min.
Story: In the final months of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his sister Setsuko are orphaned when their mother is killed during an air raid in Kobe, Japan. After a falling out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no ...
Style: touching, depressing, harsh, heartbreaking, emotional ...
Audience: kids
Plot: world war two, hunger, orphan, war, siblings relations, homelessness, survival, desperation, bomb, death of child, anti war, theft ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, year 1945, post world war two
Place: japan, tokyo, asia
Is relevant ?
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 102 min.
Story: The hopes and dreams of four ambitious people are shattered when their drug addictions begin spiraling out of control. A look into addiction and how it overcomes the mind and body.
Style: psychological, disturbing, depressing, emotional, bleak ...
Audience: kids
Plot: addiction, heroin, drugs, drug addiction, insanity, junkie, hallucination, drug abuse, mental illness, loneliness, degradation, drug addict ...
Time: future, 20th century, 90s
Place: new york, usa, coney island brooklyn new york city, brooklyn new york city
Is relevant ?
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We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 112 min.
Story: After her son Kevin commits a horrific act, troubled mother Eva reflects on her complicated relationship with her disturbed son as he grew from a toddler into a teenager.
Style: disturbing, psychological, depressing, bleak, suspense ...
Audience: teens, teen drama
Plot: psychopath, evil child, mother son relationship, guilt, depression, high school, school shooting, prison visit, mental illness, family problems, parents and children, sociopath ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2010s
Place: connecticut, usa, new york
Is relevant ?
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 111 min.
Story: Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
Style: depressing, disturbing, sexual, emotional, sad ...
Plot: addiction, loneliness, alcohol abuse, prostitution, prostitute, casino, sex, alcoholic, love, tragedy, self destructing, romance ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: las vegas, los angeles, nevada, usa
Is relevant ?
I Stand Alone (1998)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: France
Duration: 93 min.
Story: The Butcher (known from Noe's short film Carne) has done some time in jail after beating up the guy who tried to seduce his teenage mentally-handicapped daughter. Now he wants to start a new life. He leaves his daughter in an institution and ...
Style: depressing, disturbing, psychological, rough, gloomy ...
Plot: incest, nihilism, alienation, butcher, incest overtones, loneliness, insanity, revenge, obsession, existentialism, character on the edge, social misfits ...
Time: contemporary, 20th century, 80s
Place: paris france, france, europe
Is relevant ?
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Genre: Drama, Sport
Country: USA
Duration: 132 min.
Story: Despondent over a painful estrangement from his daughter, trainer Frankie Dunn isn't prepared for boxer Maggie Fitzgerald to enter his life. But Maggie's determined to go pro and to convince Dunn and his cohort to help her.
Style: emotional, sad, touching, depressing, harsh ...
Audience: kids, girls' night
Plot: boxing, sport, determination, euthanasia, female boxer, mentor protege relationship, underdog, human spirit, female athlete, athlete's life, strong female lead, boxing trainer ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: los angeles, usa, europe, london, las vegas ...
Is relevant ?
Tyrannosaur (2011)
Genre: Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 92 min.
Story: The story of Joseph a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph's life spirals into turmoil a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship ...
Style: depressing, thought provoking, disturbing, realistic, psychological ...
Plot: abuse, domestic violence, character study, redemption, rage, drunkenness, violence, depression, marital rape, frustration, society, abusive husband ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, year 2010
Place: england, northern england
Is relevant ?
Mary and Max (2009)
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama
Country: Australia
Duration: 92 min.
Story: A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York. In the mid-1970's, a homely, friendless ...
Style: emotional, depressing, touching, sentimental, gloomy ...
Audience: kids
Plot: loneliness, friendship, social misfits, depression, letter, mental illness, young woman, asperger's syndrome, correspondence, unlikely friendships, imaginary friend, character study ...
Time: 20th century, 70s
Place: australia, usa, new york
Is relevant ?
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 129 min.
Story: Desperate characters stake their fortune on a Depression-era dance marathon.
Style: depressing, atmospheric, disturbing, emotional, intense ...
Plot: great depression, depression, dancing, culture clash, social decay, ambition, contests and competitions, life is a bitch, contest, competition, down on your luck, crimes ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, 1920s
Place: usa, california, new york, chicago illinois, dallas texas ...
Is relevant ?
Lilya 4-Ever (2002)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: Sweden, Denmark
Duration: 109 min.
Story: Lilya lives in poverty and dreams of a better life. Her mother moves to the United States and abandons her to her aunt, who neglects her. Lilya hangs out with her friends, Natasha and Volodya, who is suicidal. Desperate for money, she starts working ...
Style: bleak, depressing, bad ending, serious, sad ...
Audience: teens, pre-teens, teen drama
Plot: prostitution, human trafficking, poverty, sexual abuse, suicide, life is a bitch, russian, teenage prostitution, prostitute, youth, rape, social decay ...
Place: sweden, europe, denmark, russia, eastern europe ...
Is relevant ?
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Nobody Knows (2004)
Genre: Drama
Country: Japan
Duration: 141 min.
Story: In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.
Style: depressing, touching, serious, gloomy, bleak ...
Audience: kids, teens
Plot: childhood, poverty, innocence lost, dysfunctional family, young kid, malnutrition, child abandonment, tragedy, children, coming of age, family relations, character study ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: japan, tokyo, asia, california
Is relevant ?
Detachment (2011)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 98 min.
Story: A chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of substitute teacher, Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long ...
Style: psychological, thought provoking, serious, bleak, depressing ...
Audience: teens
Plot: teacher, depression, suicide, teachers and students, dedicated educator, human relationship, school, unhappy, social problems, life is a bitch, social decay, unhappiness ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family, Romance
Country: Japan
Duration: 63 min.
Story: Takaki and Akari are two classmates in elementary school. During their time together they have become close friends. Their relationship is tested when Akari moves to another city because of her parents' jobs. Both of them struggle to keep their ...
Style: depressing, sad, touching, emotional, scenic ...
Audience: kids, date night, teen drama
Plot: romance, love and romance, coming of age, relationships, young lovers, lovers apart, teenage love, hopes, love, friendship, melancholy, bittersweet ...
Time: contemporary, 20th century, 21st century, 2000s, future ...
Place: japan, tokyo, asia
Is relevant ?
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 117 min.
Story: A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.
Style: inspirational, emotional, motivational, dramatic, sentimental ...
Audience: family outing, chick flick
Plot: life, rags to riches, human spirit, life philosophy, rise to the top, against the odds, life is a bitch, ambition, down on your luck, homeless, single father, success ...
Time: 80s, 20th century
Place: usa, san francisco, california
Is relevant ?
An Elephant Sitting Still (2018)
Genre: Drama
Country: China
Duration: 230 min.
Story: In the northern Chinese city of Manzhouli, they say there is an elephant that simply sits and ignores the world. Manzhouli becomes an obsession for the protagonists of this film, a longed-for escape from the downward spiral in which they find ...
Style: depressing, melancholic, serious, emotional, realistic ...
Plot: multiple storylines, suicide, life is a bitch, manslaughter, boyfriend girlfriend relationship, youth, city life, life turned upside down, family problems, chinese, woman with a gun, children ...
Place: china
Is relevant ?
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: After spending eight months in a mental institution, a former teacher moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife.
Style: touching, romantic, dramatic, emotional, depressing ...
Audience: chick flick, date night, girls' night, teens
Plot: mental illness, romance, love, bipolar disorder, life philosophy, depression, character study, social misfits, supportive parent, male female friendship, football, young widow ...
Time: 21st century, 2010s, contemporary
Place: pennsylvania, usa, new jersey, philadelphia, baltimore
Is relevant ?
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Boyhood (2014)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 165 min.
Story: The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.
Style: depressing, emotional, serious, realistic, thought provoking ...
Audience: teens, kids, chick flick, girls' night, teen drama
Plot: coming of age, childhood, teenager, divorced parents, dysfunctional family, youth, brother sister relationship, stepsister stepsister relationship, abusive husband, abusive relationship, divorce, bully ...
Time: 21st century, 2000s, 2010s, contemporary, year 2011 ...
Place: texas, usa, houston texas, austin texas
Is relevant ?
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Genre: Drama, War
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 183 min.
Story: A group of working-class friends decides to enlist in the Army during the Vietnam War and finds it to be hellish chaos -- not the noble venture they imagined. Before they left, Steven married his pregnant girlfriend -- and Michael and Nick were in ...
Style: epic, depressing, emotional, bleak, harsh ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: vietnam war, russian roulette, anti war, hunting, escape, small town, suicide, homecoming, friendship, survival, war, hunter ...
Time: 20th century, 60s
Place: vietnam, pennsylvania, asia, usa, saigon ...
Is relevant ?
The Road (2009)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 111 min.
Story: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the ...
Style: bleak, suspense, harsh, rough, depressing ...
Plot: post apocalypse, survival, apocalypse, distopia, father son relationship, cannibalism, starvation, on the road, catastrophe, journey, loss of family member, worldwide chaos ...
Time: future
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 118 min.
Story: Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life.
Style: touching, emotional, melancholic, depressing, sad ...
Audience: teens, chick flick, teen drama
Plot: disability, dysfunctional family, mentally challenged, self discovery, small town, mental illness, responsibility, brothers, character study, coming of age, life philosophy, compassion ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: iowa, usa
Is relevant ?
Seven Pounds (2008)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 123 min.
Story: An IRS agent with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.
Style: touching, sad, emotional, depressing, compassionate ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: redemption, life philosophy, depression, self sacrifice, true love, life changing experience, sacrifice, fall in love, suicide, hopes, life & death, existentialism ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
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Chernobyl (2019)
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 330 min.
TV show
Story: A dramatization of the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, the catastrophic nuclear accident at Chernobyl. A tale of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.
Style: dark, thought provoking, atmospheric, harsh, rough ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: nuclear power plant, radiation, radiation poisoning, nuclear reactor, save the day, nuclear holocaust, scientist, nuclear explosion, salvation, nuclear threat, abandoned city, disaster ...
Time: 80s, year 1986, 20th century
Place: chernobyl, ussr, ukraine, moscow russia, europe ...
Is relevant ?
Bury Me Behind the Baseboard (2009)
Genre: Drama
Country: Russia
Duration: 117 min.
Story: A small child is trapped in a tug-of-war battle between his frivolous, but loving mother and an emotionally abusive neurotic grandmother, who wants to "shelter" her beloved grandson at all cost.
Style: rough, depressing, heartbreaking, emotional, serious
Plot: domineering mother, child abuse, parent child relationship, power relations, family relations, funeral, mother daughter relationship, dysfunctional relationship, poverty, grandmother, money, doctor ...
Is relevant ?
The Machinist (2004)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Spain, France, UK, USA
Duration: 101 min.
Story: The Machinist is the story of Trevor Reznik, a lathe-operator who is dying of insomnia. In a machine shop, occupational hazards are bad enough under normal circumstances; yet for Trevor the risks are compounded by fatigue. Trevor has lost the ...
Style: psychological, twist ending, surreal, mind bending, surprise ending ...
Plot: insomnia, insanity, hallucination, paranoia, uncover truth, obsession, twists and turns, mysterious character, losing-it hero, schizophrenia, life is a bitch, loneliness ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, los angeles
Is relevant ?
School (2010)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: Russia
Duration: 26 min.
TV show
Story: 9 "A" was an exemplary class, while their class teacher was Nosov Anatoly Germanovich - a strong and experienced teacher, recognized in 2009 as the Teacher of the Year. After his sudden illness, 9 "A" is left without a strong ...
Style: depressing, talky, ridiculous, light, brutal ...
Plot: troubled youth, puberty, school, teenager, teenage life, suicidal tendency, social misfits, family relations, brutality, defloration, blackmail, teenage sex ...
Is relevant ?
Cake (2014)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 102 min.
Story: After having visions of a member of her support group who killed herself, a woman who also suffers with chronic pain seeks out the widower of the suicide.
Style: depressing, psychological, touching, compassionate, bleak ...
Audience: girls' night, chick flick
Plot: depression, loneliness, drug addiction, obsession, suicide, friendship, suicide attempt, support group, character study, tragedy, drugs, honest ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, los angeles, california, mexico, tijuana mexico
Is relevant ?
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Musical
Country: Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, USA, UK, France, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Duration: 140 min.
Story: Selma, a Czech immigrant on the verge of blindness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her son, who has inherited the same genetic disorder and will suffer the same fate without an expensive operation. When life gets too difficult, Selma ...
Style: disturbing, bleak, surreal, depressing, sad ...
Plot: death sentence, factory worker, life is a bitch, blindness, dancing, destiny, tragedy, secret, hanging, tragic hero, death, music ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, year 1964
Place: washington d.c., usa, washington state
Is relevant ?
Precious (2009)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 110 min.
Story: Set in Harlem in 1987, Claireece "Precious" Jones is a 16-year-old African American girl born into a life no one would want. She's pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, ...
Style: rough, bleak, emotional, depressing, sad ...
Audience: teens, teen drama
Plot: rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, illiteracy, social misfits, teacher, aids, life is a bitch, parents and children, dysfunctional family ...
Time: 20th century, year 1987, 80s
Place: new york, usa, manhattan new york city, harlem
Is relevant ?
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