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The Saddest Movies Ever Made

What makes a movie sad? Doomed romance, dashed hopes, the demise of a beloved institution or a way of life … and death, of course — of a loved one, a self-sacrificing hero, a sad-eyed animal.

Everyone has a different idea of what’s sad and what isn’t, to be sure; like humor, it’s a matter of taste and temperament. You might be sobbing through a film’s finale, while somebody next to you is nodding off from boredom. You might be laughing at the absurdity of a cinematic twist of fate, while everybody else in the theater is sniffling and dabbing at their tear ducts.

By researching published lists of sad movies on Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and weighing in ourselves, based on our own film-going experiences and definitions of “sad,” 24/7 Tempo was able to come up with a list of, what we think could fairly be considered, the saddest movies ever made.

The list includes everything from animations to exceptional fact-based movies — these are the 50 best movies based on true events.

Click here for the saddest movies of all time

Methodology

To determine the saddest movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo began with more than 600 movies found on the user-created lists of sad films found on Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Next, we narrowed down the list by choosing films that were the most popular with both amateur and professional viewers, considering the Rotten Tomatoes average critic and audience ratings and the IMDb average user ratings. We picked the films with at least 10,000 user ratings between IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes and 10 approved “Tomatometer” critic reviews. Once we had that list, we brought editorial discretion into play, deleting movies that didn’t seem sufficiently moving and adding some that we deemed essential.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 98%
> RT audience score: 89%
> Directed by: Lewis Milestone
> Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Hailed as one of the best war movies ever made, this World War I epic follows young German schoolboys who enlist in the army and witness the horrors of battle, coming to realize that there’s nothing glorious or romantic about war. The main character, Paul, who at one point tries to save the life of a French soldier he has stabbed, is himself killed at the end as he reaches for a butterfly.

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The Way We Were (1973)
> IMDb rating: 7.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 64%
> RT audience score: 81%
> Directed by: Sydney Pollack
> Starring: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles

Spanning the decades that encompass the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Red Scare, “The Way We Were” follows an unlikely couple with radically different personalities — she a liberal, Jewish political activist and he a Waspy writer who couldn’t care less about politics — as their differences put immense strain on their relationship.

The Towering Inferno (1974)
> IMDb rating: 7.0 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 70%
> RT audience score: 72%
> Directed by: John Guillermin
> Starring: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway

On the night of its grand opening, a poorly-built office building catches fire in this seminal disaster flick. Fire department Chief Michael O’Halloran (Steve McQueen) resorts to extreme measures as he tries to save all those trapped inside. Not everyone makes it out alive.

Autumn Sonata (1978)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 87%
> RT audience score: 92%
> Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
> Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman

An aging world-famous pianist travels to a small village to visit the daughter she hasn’t seen for years. To her dismay, her second daughter, who is mentally disabled, is present in the house. Despite the tragedies all have endured, the mother and the first daughter reveal long pent-up feelings to each other opening the road to reconciliation.

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The Elephant Man (1980)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 92%
> RT audience score: 93%
> Directed by: David Lynch
> Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

David Lynch’s sophomore feature examines the life of John Merrick (John Hurt), a disfigured man with an intelligent disposition. As he goes from circus sideshow to high society, Merrick encounters different forms of exploitation. His story was inspired by Joseph Carey Merrick, the subject of both previous books and a 1979 play.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)
> IMDb rating: 7.6 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 78%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
> Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin

In this film based on William Styron’s novel of the same name, Sophie, a Polish immigrant living in Brooklyn just after World War II, recounts to a young writer the horrible circumstances of her “choice.” Arrested and sent to Auschwitz with her two children, she is forced to decide which one will be killed and which will survive.

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Silkwood (1983)
> IMDb rating: 7.2 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 74%
> RT audience score: 78%
> Directed by: Mike Nichols
> Starring: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson

Meryl Streep plays real-life whistleblower Karen Silkwood in this gripping biographical drama. It follows her efforts to uncover safety violations at her place of employment, the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant. She soon finds herself the target of vicious harassment with tragic consequences.

Mask (1985)
> IMDb rating: 7.2 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 93%
> RT audience score: 83%
> Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
> Starring: Cher, Eric Stoltz, Sam Elliott, Estelle Getty

This award-winning drama tells the true story of teenager Roy L. “Rocky” Dennis (played by Eric Stoltz), who suffers from craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. With support from his no-nonsense mother (Cher), Rocky learns to overcome prejudices and gain acceptance from his peers. Bring tissues.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
> IMDb rating: 8.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 100%
> RT audience score: 95%
> Directed by: Isao Takahata
> Starring: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Animated films are infrequently amongst the saddest, especially when they involve children. “Grave of the Fireflies” is the major exception. The harrowing anime follows the lives of a young brother and sister in Japan during the final days of World War II. Film critic Ernest Rister has called it “the most profoundly human animated film [he’s] ever seen.”

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Paperhouse (1988)
> IMDb rating: 6.6 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 100%
> RT audience score: 71%
> Directed by: Bernard Rose
> Starring: Charlotte Burke, Jane Bertish, Samantha Cahill

This British drama follows sickly 11-year-old Anna into a dream world of her own creation. It’s there that she meets a young boy named Marc, who turns out to exist in real life. The story is based on a 1958 novel, which had previously inspired a six-part TV series called “Escape into Night.”

Dead Poets Society (1989)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 84%
> RT audience score: 92%
> Directed by: Peter Weir
> Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Social and educational dynamics at a private boys’ school in New England in the 1950s provide the setting for this elegiac and inspiring Robin Williams vehicle. An unorthodox teacher (Williams), a resurrected secret society, a martinet father, and a school play lead up to a tragic suicide and the teacher’s dismissal.

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Edward Scissorhands (1990)
> IMDb rating: 7.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 90%
> RT audience score: 91%
> Directed by: Tim Burton
> Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Director Tim Burton channels personal feelings of alienation and artistic ambition through the avatar of Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) in this iconic fantasy. An artificial man with scissors for hands, Edward struggles to find his place in the suburbs. Composer Danny Elfman’s magical score helps bring the story to life.

My Girl (1991)
> IMDb rating: 6.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 53%
> RT audience score: 77%
> Directed by: Howard Zieff
> Starring: Anna Chlumsky, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis

This blockbuster dramedy takes place in 1972 and centers on the adventures of a young girl (Anna Chlumsky) and her best friend (Macaulay Culkin). Chock full of coming-of-age themes, it features breakout performances and an ending that left most viewers in tears.

King of the Hill (1993)
> IMDb rating: 7.4 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 91%
> RT audience score: 84%
> Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
> Starring: Jesse Bradford, Lisa Eichhorn, Karen Allen

Steven Soderbergh directed and wrote the screenplay for “King of the Hill,” which follows a young boy living alone in a hotel after his mother is hospitalized and his father fails to return from a business trip.

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Philadelphia (1993)
> IMDb rating: 7.7 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 81%
> RT audience score: 89%
> Directed by: Jonathan Demme
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

This acclaimed drama is widely considered the first mainstream Hollywood film to directly tackle the AIDS crisis. It stars Tom Hanks as lawyer and HIV victim Andrew Beckett, who sues his former employer for discrimination. Denzel Washington co-stars.

Schindler’s List (1993)
> IMDb rating: 8.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 98%
> RT audience score: 97%
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg
> Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” has amassed great critical and audience acclaim since its release. It’s been included on countless lists of “best movies” and is currently the highest rated film on IMDb. This admiration doesn’t make this Holocaust drama, centered around a heroic factory owner who saves countless Jews, any less harrowing.

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Forrest Gump (1994)
> IMDb rating: 8.8 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 71%
> RT audience score: 95%
> Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, “Forrest Gump” has everything from comedy to romance. Yet the film leaves viewers on a rather low note, related to protagonist Forrest losing the love of his life. The ending didn’t dissuade audiences from flocking to the movie, which grossed over $675 million worldwide.

The Cure (1995)
> IMDb rating: 7.7 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 45%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Peter Horton
> Starring: Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Aeryk Egan, Delphine French

Best friends Erik (Brad Renfro) and Dexter (Joseph Mazzello) journey down the Mississippi river in this heartfelt drama. Their destination is New Orleans, where they hope to find a cure for Dexter’s AIDS.

A Time to Kill (1996)
> IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 68%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Joel Schumacher
> Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey

Adapted from John Grisham’s debut novel, this courtroom drama takes place in the heart of Mississippi. When a young Black girl is brutally attacked, her father seeks righteous vengeance. The trial that follows examines themes of racial injustice in the Deep South.

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Life Is Beautiful (1997)
> IMDb rating: 8.6 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 81%
> RT audience score: 96%
> Directed by: Roberto Benigni
> Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini

When an Italian Jewish poet and his young son are arrested by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp, the man tells his son that they’re on vacation and tries to turn the whole experience into a game.

The Ice Storm (1997)
> IMDb rating: 7.4 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 85%
> RT audience score: 82%
> Directed by: Ang Lee
> Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny

From director Ang Lee comes this acclaimed drama, which captures an ensemble cast at the top of its game. The story follows two upper-middle-class families as they explore taboo behavior in early 1970s Connecticut. It “captures this place, this season, this garish and confused moment in history, with surgical precision,” wrote critic David Ansen for Newsweek.

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American History X (1998)
> IMDb rating: 8.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 83%
> RT audience score: 96%
> Directed by: Tony Kaye
> Starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo, Jennifer Lien

A high school student is assigned to write a paper about his older brother, a former neo-Nazi leader, and becomes involved with white supremacists himself. Both eventually repent, but after he turns in his paper, the younger brother is killed by a black student, leaving his older sibling to mourn.

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
> IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 89%
> RT audience score: 87%
> Directed by: Kimberly Peirce
> Starring: Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III

A young transgender man falls in love with a woman who is unconcerned with his sexual identity. The woman’s unenlightened male friends beat and rape the man. Later, they get drunk and decide to kill him, which they do despite his lover’s pleas.

The Green Mile (1999)
> IMDb rating: 8.6 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 78%
> RT audience score: 94%
> Directed by: Frank Darabont
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Set in the 1930s, this sprawling drama centers on the lives of Death Row guards at a Southern penitentiary. With the introduction of convicted murderer John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) comes a story of injustice, tragedy, magic, and redemption. It’s all based on Stephen King’s serialized novel of the same name.

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Dancer in the Dark (2000)
> IMDb rating: 7.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 69%
> RT audience score: 91%
> Directed by: Lars von Trier
> Starring: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse

This heart-tugging tale, set in Washington state in 1964, stars the Icelandic pop star Björk as a musical-loving Czech immigrant who is slowly going blind from a genetic condition. As she desperately tries to save money for an operation that will prevent her young son from suffering the same fate, she periodically breaks into song and dance. Her cop neighbor, himself in need of funds, steals from her, leading to a deadly confrontation.

Pay It Forward (2000)
> IMDb rating: 7.2 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 39%
> RT audience score: 77%
> Directed by: Mimi Leder
> Starring: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr

A young boy (Haley Joel Osment) takes a social studies assignment to heart in this saccharine melodrama. His idea of “paying it forward” (i.e. passing self-less favors onto others) kicks off a national wave of human kindness. Audiences were more receptive to the film than critics, many of whom found it a bit too self-righteous and sentimental.

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Requiem for a Dream (2000)
> IMDb rating: 8.3 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 79%
> RT audience score: 93%
> Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
> Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Darren Aronofsky’s sophomore feature delivers a brutal examination on the nature of addiction. Based on Hubert Selby Jr.’s similarly gritty novel, it depicts four Coney Island residents as they sink into various states of despair.

One Hour Photo (2002)
> IMDb rating: 6.8 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 82%
> RT audience score: 65%
> Directed by: Mark Romanek
> Starring: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Dylan Smith

A lonely photo technician (Robin Williams) develops a twisted obsession with a family of loyal customers in this psychological thriller. As he plunges himself into their lives, dark secrets bubble to the surface.

The Pianist (2002)
> IMDb rating: 8.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 95%
> RT audience score: 96%
> Directed by: Roman Polanski
> Starring: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Based on the life of Polish-Jewish pianist and Holocaust survivor Władysław Szpilman, this saga follows the man’s experiences during the Nazi occupation of his native country. After his family is shipped off to the death camp, he helps smuggle arms to Resistance fighters, witnesses the unsuccessful Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, is taken in by a sympathetic Nazi officer, and survives the war.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
> IMDb rating: 8.3 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 92%
> RT audience score: 94%
> Directed by: Michel Gondry
> Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” stands out from other films thanks to its relentless creativity, driven by the film’s director Michel Gondry and co-writer Charlie Kaufman. The clever direction and original screenwriting help highlight a story of heartbreak, in which two former lovers attempt to remove all memories of their failed relationship.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 91%
> RT audience score: 94%
> Directed by: Terry George
> Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali

In the African Republic of Rwanda in 1994, civil war rages between the two principal ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi. The manager of Belgian-owned Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, the country’s capital, turns the high-class hotel into a refuge for persecuted Tutsi until he and his family, along with the refugees, are able to flee to safety.

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World Trade Center (2006)
> IMDb rating: 5.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 67%
> RT audience score: 60%
> Directed by: Oliver Stone
> Starring: Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Follow two Port Authority police officers (Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña) as they respond to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and get caught under collapsed rubble. Director Oliver Stone eschews politics in favor of taut visuals and a melodramatic tone.

Atonement (2007)
> IMDb rating: 7.8 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 83%
> RT audience score: 80%
> Directed by: Joe Wright
> Starring: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan

On the eve of World War II, a country house romance between a young woman from a wealthy family and the housekeeper’s son is interrupted when he is unjustly accused by the woman’s jealous sister of raping a young relative. He goes to prison and then into the army. Before he ships out, he apparently has one last meeting with his love, who has remained true to him and believes in his innocence. At the end, we learn that the meeting was invented as part of a novel written by the now elderly sister, as an act of atonement for her lie. The young man died of blood poisoning at the Battle of Dunkirk, and his love was drowned in a London subway tunnel that flooded after a German bomb attack.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
> IMDb rating: 7.2 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 85%
> RT audience score: 70%
> Directed by: Gabor Csupo
> Starring: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick

Katherine Paterson’s heart wrenching novel laid the groundwork for this coming-of-age drama, in which two young outcasts escape to a fantasy world. Rife with CGI visuals and richly drawn characters, it offers an enduring take on the value of friendship and imagination.

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Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)
> IMDb rating: 6.2 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 38%
> RT audience score: 55%
> Directed by: Zach Helm
> Starring: Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman, Ted Ludzik

This children’s fantasy film welcomes viewers to a magical toy store, owned by the eccentric Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman). Manager Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) prepares to take over the operation, but can only do so if she truly believes in both magic and in herself.

Milk (2008)
> IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 93%
> RT audience score: 89%
> Directed by: Gus Van Sant
> Starring: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna

Sean Penn won an Oscar for his portrayal of real-life activist and martyr Harvey Milk in this biographical drama. Set in the 1970s, it chronicles Milk’s rise into politics and his tireless advocacy for gay rights. Gus Van Sant directs.

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Seven Pounds (2008)
> IMDb rating: 7.6 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 27%
> RT audience score: 75%
> Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
> Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy

Forever burdened by a tragic event, a man (Will Smith) seeks redemption by changing the lives of seven strangers. The film makes compelling use of narrative devices such as flashbacks, retaining the air of a mystery as it builds toward one final reveal.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
> IMDb rating: 7.8 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 64%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Mark Herman
> Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O’Brien

The eight-year-old son (Asa Butterfield) of a Nazi Commander befriends a concentration camp prisoner (Jack Scanlon) in this Holocaust drama. Innocence gives way to experience as the story builds toward its unforgettable conclusion.

The Lovely Bones (2009)
> IMDb rating: 6.7 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 32%
> RT audience score: 52%
> Directed by: Peter Jackson
> Starring: Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon

This supernatural thriller drama tells the story of a young girl who is murdered. She now watches over her family and her killer and must choose between revenge and helping her family move on.

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)
> IMDb rating: 6.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 45%
> RT audience score: 61%
> Directed by: Stephen Daldry
> Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow

A young boy (Thomas Horn) uncovers the mysterious key that his deceased father left behind in this sentimental drama. That sends him on a journey across New York City, where the shadow of 9/11 still looms large. It’s based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling novel of the same name.

Restless (2011)
> IMDb rating: 6.7 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 38%
> RT audience score: 48%
> Directed by: Gus Van Sant
> Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper, Schuyler Fisk

This Gus Van Sant drama centers on the romance between a terminally ill girl (Mia Wasikowska) and death-obsessed boy (Henry Hopper). Coping with tragedy provides for an overarching motif.

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Amour (2012)
> IMDb rating: 7.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 93%
> RT audience score: 82%
> Directed by: Michael Haneke
> Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert

This French tear-jerker is about two former musicians and piano teachers, husband and wife, both in their 80s. One morning, the woman has a stroke and ends up partially paralyzed. When she gets out of the hospital, her husband promises she will never go back, and when he can no longer care for her, he tells her a story, then smothers her. He covers her body with flowers and seals the room she’s in, then imagines her washing dishes in the kitchen.

What Maisie Knew (2012)
> IMDb rating: 7.4 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 87%
> RT audience score: 80%
> Directed by: Scott McGehee & David Siegel
> Starring: Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard, Steve Coogan, Joanna Vanderham

A young girl gets stuck in the middle of a bitter custody battle between two self-absorbed parents in this searing drama. As the saga unfolds, it causes potentially irreversible damage to her psychological development. Onata Aprile gives a knockout performance as Maisie.

12 Years a Slave (2013)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 95%
> RT audience score: 90%
> Directed by: Steve McQueen
> Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Based on an 1853 memoir by a free black man from Saratoga, New York, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, this film convincingly evokes the cruelty of plantation life, but it also pays tribute to the resilience of the enslaved. Though the story ends with the hero returned to his home and family, he has lost 12 years of his life and missed seeing his children grow into adults.

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Her (2013)
> IMDb rating: 8.0 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 94%
> RT audience score: 82%
> Directed by: Spike Jonze
> Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara

In the near future, a lonely introvert going through a divorce buys an operating system with artificial intelligence, gives her a female identity, and falls in love with her. She apparently reciprocates. All goes well until she tells him that she interacts with thousands of other people, too, and is in love with 641 of them. She then tells him that she and other similar operating systems have evolved beyond humanity, and leaves for another plane of being.

The Book Thief (2013)
> IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 48%
> RT audience score: 73%
> Directed by: Brian Percival
> Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer

Young orphan Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) develops a passion for reading in this WWII drama, adapted from a best-selling novel. When her adoptive parents take in a Jewish refugee, it puts their lives at risk. Audiences were kinder to the film than critics.

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Still Alice (2014)
> IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 85%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland
> Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth

Grappling with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, a linguistics professor (Julianne Moore) slowly loses her sense of identity. All the while, her family watches on in despair. The film earned Moore an Academy Award for Best Actress.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
> IMDb rating: 7.7 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 81%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Josh Boone
> Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern

Based on John Green’s best-selling novel, this coming-of-age drama follows two teenage cancer patients (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) on a life-changing journey. It was shot on an estimated budget of just $12 million, earning over $307 million at the worldwide box office.

A Monster Calls (2016)
> IMDb rating: 7.5 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 86%
> RT audience score: 81%
> Directed by: J.A. Bayona
> Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell

Beset by his mother’s illness, (Felicity Jones), a young boy (Lewis MacDougall) makes an unlikely friend in the form of a magic tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson). Writing for The Australian, critic David Stratton calls it “a small, almost delicate film that will richly reward those who connect with it.”

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Christine (2016)
> IMDb rating: 6.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 88%
> RT audience score: 71%
> Directed by: Antonio Campos
> Starring: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia

Based on actual events, this biographical drama stars Rebecca Hall as 1970s TV reporter Christine Chubbuck. Determined to succeed in a highly competitive industry, Chubbuck’s growing depression gives way to an unforgettable public act.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)
> IMDb rating: 7.9 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 94%
> RT audience score: 86%
> Directed by: Luca Guadagnino
> Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar

Against a bucolic backdrop, romance blossoms between a male college graduate (Armie Hammer) and a teenage boy (Timothée Chalamet). But it wasn’t meant to be.

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If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
> IMDb rating: 7.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 95%
> RT audience score: 71%
> Directed by: Barry Jenkins
> Starring: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris

Oscar-nominated “If Beale Street Could Talk” tells the story of a pregnant woman in the 1970s in Harlem on a mission to prove that her fiancé is innocent of the crime he was arrested for.

Roma (2018)
> IMDb rating: 7.7 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 96%
> RT audience score: 72%
> Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
> Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta

“Roma” tells the story of an indigineous live-in housekeeper in Mexico City in the 1970s. Problems arise when her boyfriend abandons her after she gets pregnant and her employer runs away with his mistress.

Pieces of a Woman (2020)
> IMDb rating: 7.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 75%
> RT audience score: 85%
> Directed by: Kornél Mundruczó
> Starring: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger

Vanessa Kirby was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as a young woman whose baby dies during child labor. The harrowing movie examines how a family deals with the loss of a child.

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