Heartbreaking movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant heartbreaking movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out heartbreaking, touching, emotional, realistic, intense and serious films and TV shows about / with storytelling, tragedy, mentor, catastrophe, death, bittersweet, honest, runaway, life & death and sacrifice plots mostly in Drama, Romance and History genres shot in USA, UK, France and other countries.
heartbreaking
 923
heartbreaking movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as heartbreaking: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008), The Green Mile (1999), Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009), Schindler's List (1993), The Impossible (2012), Wolf Children (2012), My Sister's Keeper (2009), Changeling (2008), Still Alice (2014), 12 Years a Slave (2013).

List of heartbreaking movies

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
Genre: Drama, War
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 94 min.
Story: When his family moves from their home in Berlin to a strange new house in Poland, young Bruno befriends Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the fence where everyone seems to be wearing striped pajamas. Unaware of Shmuel's fate as a ...
Style: emotional, touching, heartbreaking, serious, twists and turns ...
Audience: kids
Plot: holocaust, jewish, world war two, concentration camp, friendship, against humanity, childhood, nazi, nazi germany, wartime life, nazism, young heroes ...
Time: 40s, 1940s, 20th century
Place: germany, poland, europe, berlin germany, switzerland
Is relevant ?
 8.6
 1.1M
The Green Mile (1999)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Country: USA
Duration: 189 min.
Story: A supernatural tale set on death row in a Southern prison, where gentle giant John Coffey possesses the mysterious power to heal people's ailments. When the cellblock's head guard, Paul Edgecomb, recognizes Coffey's miraculous gift, ...
Style: touching, emotional, heartbreaking, sentimental, serious ...
Plot: false accusation, prison, death row, life philosophy, human nature, supernatural, prison life, supernatural ability, convict, confined, death sentence, justice ...
Time: 1930s, 20th century, 30s, year 1999, 1990s ...
Place: usa, southern usa, louisiana
Is relevant ?
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Genre: Drama, Family
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 93 min.
Story: A drama based on the true story of a college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home.
Style: touching, emotional, sentimental, heartbreaking, sad ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: dog, friendship, animals, life & death, loyalty, friends, pets, family, human animal relationship, loneliness, loss of friend, death ...
Time: contemporary, 1930s
Place: japan, usa, rhode island
Is relevant ?
Schindler's List (1993)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Country: USA
Duration: 195 min.
Story: The true story of how businessman Oskar Schindler saved over a thousand Jewish lives from the Nazis while they worked as slaves in his factory during World War II.
Style: touching, emotional, realistic, thought provoking, serious ...
Plot: holocaust, world war two, concentration camp, genocide, against humanity, ghetto, jewish, anti semitism, rescue, nazi, wartime, war ...
Time: 20th century, 1940s, 1930s, 1990s, 90s
Place: poland, germany, europe, central europe, israel
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
 7.6
 192K
The Impossible (2012)
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Country: Spain, Thailand, USA
Duration: 114 min.
Story: In December 2004, close-knit family Maria, Henry and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand. But the day after Christmas, the idyllic holiday turns into an incomprehensible nightmare when a terrifying roar rises from the depths of ...
Style: heartbreaking, motivational, suspense, realistic, emotional ...
Plot: survival, tsunami, natural disaster, family in danger, catastrophe, courage, disaster film, forces of nature, tragedy, destruction, death, fear ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, year 2004, 2000s
Place: thailand, asia, southeast asia
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 37K
Wolf Children (2012)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Country: Japan
Duration: 117 min.
Story: After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident, a woman must find a way to raise the son and daughter that she had with him. However, their inheritance of their father's traits prove to be a challenge for her.
Style: heartbreaking, atmospheric, sweet, colourful, sentimental ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: werewolf, family relations, parents and children, wolf, childhood, human becomes animal, single mother, social relations, supernatural, school, love, imaginary ...
Place: japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
My Sister's Keeper (2009)
Genre: Drama, Family
Country: USA
Duration: 109 min.
Story: Sara and Brian live an idyllic life with their young son and daughter. But their family is rocked by sudden, heartbreaking news that forces them to make a difficult and unorthodox choice in order to save their baby girl's life. The ...
Style: sentimental, sad, heartbreaking, compassionate, touching ...
Audience: chick flick, girls' night
Plot: terminal illness, mother daughter relationship, family drama, cancer, sick child, moral dilemma, life is a bitch, parenthood, childhood, family relations, child illness, lawyer ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, montana, los angeles
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 234K
Changeling (2008)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 141 min.
Story: Christine Collins is overjoyed when her kidnapped son is brought back home. But when Christine suspects that the boy returned to her isn't her child, the police captain has her committed to an asylum.
Style: psychological, heartbreaking, sentimental, tense, suspenseful ...
Plot: missing child, missing person, investigation, fighting the system, uncover truth, life is a bitch, disorder, insanity, serial killer, corruption, desperation, loss of son ...
Time: 1920s, 1930s, 20th century, 20s, year 1935
Place: los angeles, usa, california, canada, seattle washington ...
Is relevant ?
 7.5
 124K
Still Alice (2014)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA, UK, France
Duration: 101 min.
Story: Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.
Style: heartbreaking, touching, emotional, psychological, sad ...
Plot: alzheimer's disease, family drama, supportive spouse, memory loss, relationships, mother daughter relationship, terminal illness, illness, columbia university, life turned upside down, unfulfillment, family bonds ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: new york, usa, manhattan new york city
Is relevant ?
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 134 min.
Story: In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In ...
Style: heartbreaking, factual, motivational, bleak, brutal ...
Plot: slavery, freedom, racism, life is a bitch, interracial relations, torture, master and servant, civil rights, blacks and whites, african american, confined, rape ...
Time: 19th century, 1840s, 18th century
Place: louisiana, new orleans, usa, new york, washington d.c.
Is relevant ?
 7.8
 244K
Atonement (2007)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance, War
Country: UK, France, USA
Duration: 123 min.
Story: As a 13-year-old, fledgling writer Briony Tallis irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.
Style: emotional, touching, dramatic, heartbreaking, realistic ...
Audience: girls' night
Plot: world war two, redemption, tragic love, false accusation, unfulfilled love, forbidden love, innocence, life is a bitch, siblings relations, love and romance, lovers apart, nurse ...
Time: 40s, 1940s, 1930s, 20th century, 30s ...
Place: england, london, europe
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 358K
Room (2015)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Canada, Ireland, UK, USA
Duration: 118 min.
Story: Jack is a young boy of 5 years old who has lived all his life in one room. He believes everything within it are the only real things in the world. But what will happen when his Ma suddenly tells him that there are other things outside of Room?
Style: sentimental, heartbreaking, emotional, touching, intense ...
Plot: kidnapping, mother son relationship, isolation, locked in a room, child born of rape, captive, imprisonment, escape, freedom, hospital, rescue, skylight ...
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
 7.1
 33K
Now Is Good (2012)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: UK, France, USA
Duration: 103 min.
Story: A girl dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity.
Style: heartbreaking, sad, emotional, serious, touching ...
Audience: teens, girls' night, teen drama, chick flick
Plot: terminal illness, fighting illness, teenage love, cancer, teenager, youth, dying, last wish, love and romance, first sex, loss of virginity, virginity ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, england
Is relevant ?
 9.4
 493K
Chernobyl (2019)
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Country: USA, UK
Duration: 330 min.
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: based on true events, thought provoking, atmospheric, dark, heartbreaking ...
Audience: chick flick
Plot: radiation, radiation poisoning, nuclear holocaust, nuclear threat, nuclear explosion, nuclear power plant, nuclear reactor, scientist, save the day, post nuclear, salvation, rescue mission ...
Time: year 1986, 80s, 20th century
Place: ukraine, ussr, soviet union, chernobyl, russia ...
Is relevant ?
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: France, Belgium, Spain
Duration: 180 min.
Story: Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself.
Style: sexual, touching, atmospheric, realistic, heartbreaking ...
Plot: lesbian, strong sexual content, lesbian love, explicit sex, lovers, lesbian relationship, lgbt, coming of age, sexuality, french, lesbian couple, gender ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2010s
Place: france, europe, california
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: heartbreaking, touching, stylized, harsh, depressing ...
Plot: orphan, survival, siblings relations, world war two, hunger, hiding place, loss of parent, death of parent, bomb, theft, war, firefly ...
Time: 1940s, 40s, 20th century, year 1945
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
 7.6
 28K
Loveless (2017)
Genre: Drama
Country: Russia, France, Germany, Belgium
Duration: 127 min.
Story: Zhenya and Boris are going through a vicious divorce marked by resentment, frustration and recriminations. Already embarking on new lives, each with a new partner, they are impatient to start again, to turn the page – even if it means threatening ...
Style: melancholic, heartbreaking, rough, bleak, psychological ...
Plot: missing child, dysfunctional family, divorce, husband wife relationship, disappearance, search, search party, dysfunctional marriage, selfishness, anger, dispute, missing son ...
Time: year 2015, 2010s, year 2012
Place: russia, moscow russia
Is relevant ?
 6.9
 15K
White God (2014)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: Hungary, Germany, Sweden
Duration: 121 min.
Story: Favoring pedigree dogs, a new regulation puts a severe tax on mixed breeds. Owners dump their dogs and shelters become overcrowded. 13-year-old Lili fights desperately to protect her pet Hagen, but her father eventually sets the dog free on the ...
Style: heartbreaking, suspenseful, tense, intense, bloody ...
Plot: dog, human animal relationship, animal abuse, friendship, animal attack, father daughter relationship, homeless, rebellion, brutality, betrayal by friend, redemption, chase ...
Place: hungary, budapest hungary, europe, budapest
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Love Me If You Dare (2003)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: France, Belgium
Duration: 93 min.
Story: As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another's pain, their game might ...
Style: heartbreaking, surreal, dark humor, sexy, feel good ...
Audience: date night, girls' night
Plot: youth, french, prank, love story, best friends in love, friendship, destiny, love hate relationship, love hate, romance, game, best friends ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: europe, france, belgium, paris france
Is relevant ?
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: UK, USA, India
Duration: 120 min.
Story: Jamal Malik is an impoverished Indian teen who becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ but, after he wins, he is suspected of cheating.
Style: touching, realistic, uplifting, motivational, serious ...
Audience: date night
Plot: against the odds, orphan, childhood, destiny, life is a bitch, tv show, poverty, society, true love, street kid, street life, cheating ...
Time: 90s, 21st century, 20th century, contemporary, 2000s ...
Place: india, mumbai india, taj mahal, asia
Is relevant ?
 6.7
 114K
If I Stay (2014)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi
Country: USA
Duration: 107 min.
Story: Mia Hall, a talented young cellist, thought the most difficult decision she would ever have to make would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at prestigious Juilliard or follow her heart to be with the love of her life, Adam, a rock ...
Style: emotional, touching, bleak, heartbreaking, sincere ...
Audience: teen drama, teens, girls' night, chick flick
Plot: teenage love, love and romance, teenage girl, youth, love, teenager, teenage life, death in the family, dealing with death, family drama, family relations, life is a bitch ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, portland oregon
Is relevant ?
 8.5
 708K
The Pianist (2002)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Music, War
Country: UK, France, Poland, Germany, USA
Duration: 150 min.
Story: The true story of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he ...
Style: bleak, emotional, suspense, heartbreaking, contemplative ...
Plot: survival, holocaust, nazi, pianist, world war two, ghetto, against humanity, nazi occupation, anti semitism, genocide, jewish, nazism ...
Time: 1940s, 20th century, 1930s, 30s, 40s ...
Place: poland, germany, europe, warsaw poland, central europe
Is relevant ?
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: UK, New Zealand, USA, India, Australia
Duration: 133 min.
Story: A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat.
Style: melancholic, touching, compassionate, realistic, heartbreaking ...
Plot: lighthouse, love, isolation, ocean or sea, miscarriage, moral dilemma, missing child, island, lost child, childless couple, trying to get pregnant, mother love ...
Time: 1920s, 20s, 20th century, year 1918
Place: australia
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: UK, Ireland, France
Duration: 104 min.
Story: Michael is a 24-year-old who has cerebral palsy and long-term resident of the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, run by the formidable Eileen. His life is transformed when the maverick Rory O'Shea moves in.
Style: uplifting, emotional, touching, dramatic, heartbreaking ...
Plot: friendship, disability, youth, life, loneliness, human spirit, love triangle, character study, friends, cerebral palsy, unlikely friendships, life philosophy ...
Time: contemporary
Place: ireland, europe
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: uplifting, emotional, motivational, inspirational, sentimental ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: human spirit, ambition, rise to the top, rags to riches, against the odds, hopes, life is a bitch, single parent, life, down on your luck, single father, success ...
Time: 80s, 20th century
Place: san francisco, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 5K
East/West (1999)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, Romance
Country: Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, France, Spain
Duration: 121 min.
Story: June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or prison. He and his French wife (her passport ripped up) ...
Style: touching, realistic, emotional, heartbreaking, suspenseful ...
Plot: kgb, love and romance, iron curtain, escape, political unrest, propaganda, emigrant, immigration, survival, josef stalin, brutality, communism ...
Time: 40s, 1940s, 20th century, year 1946
Place: russia, france, ussr, europe, bulgaria ...
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 21K
Dear Frankie (2004)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: UK
Duration: 105 min.
Story: Nine-year-old Frankie and his single mum Lizzie have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember, most recently arriving in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, ...
Style: realistic, emotional, uplifting, heartbreaking, melancholic ...
Plot: single parent, letter, stranger, disability, ship, friendship, father son relationship, family drama, bet, child abuse, elementary school, newspaper ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: scotland, europe, glasgow scotland
Is relevant ?
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, heartbreaking, psychological, emotional, sad ...
Plot: sadness, depression, family drama, loneliness, death, dysfunctional family, house fire, loss, nephew, suicide attempt, last will and testament, funeral ...
Time: 2010s
Place: boston, massachusetts
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 213K
Southpaw (2015)
Genre: Action, Drama, Sport
Country: Hong Kong, USA
Duration: 124 min.
Story: Billy "The Great" Hope, the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion, has an impressive career, a loving wife and daughter, and a lavish lifestyle. However, when tragedy strikes, Billy hits rock bottom, losing his family, his house and ...
Style: touching, rough, sentimental, exciting, serious ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: athlete's life, boxing, tragedy, sport, family relations, contests and competitions, down on your luck, father daughter relationship, rise and fall, death, boxer, rivalry ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, year 2014
Place: usa, madison square garden manhattan new york city, manhattan new york city, new york, las vegas
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 24K
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: serious, bleak, touching, gloomy, contemplative ...
Audience: kids
Plot: dysfunctional family, childhood, poverty, innocence lost, financial problem, survival, young kid, journey, responsibility, greed, tragedy, character study ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: tokyo, japan, asia, california
Is relevant ?