The best of Netflix right now if you're looking for... tearjerkers

The best of Netflix right now if you're looking for... tearjerkers

If you're anything like us, you're confronted with that same question everyday. What will I watch on Netflix tonight?

The streaming service has soooo much content between TV series, movies, documentaries and specials. How is one meant to choose?

Well we know when it comes to Netflix, mood is a major factor. Sometimes you're in the mood for something dark and brooding. Other times, you just want something light you can switch your brain off to. At times, you're in the mood for something new. Then again, you may want to re-watch an old reliable.

With that in mind, we're assembling a series of Netflix recommendations with plenty to choose from. Every month, we'll give our top picks of shows, filums and specials with a different theme in mind each time.

The first of our series covered romance after which we did comedy. For October, horrors were recommended, given the month that was in it. Then we offered recommendations for 'thriller night'.

This month, in the final of our series for the year, we look at tearjerkers. Christmas signals an emotional time of year for most so we figure this selection makes sense. Grab your tissues and remote/handheld device and check out these heart-breakers on Netflix now.


Queer Eye

'Quuer Eye' sees the Fab Five - Antoni Porowski, food and wine expert; Tan France, fashion expert; Karamo Brown, culture expert; Bobby Berk, design expert; and Jonathan Van Ness, grooming expert - forge relationships with men and women from a wide array of backgrounds and beliefs and rejuvenate their lives by refining their wardrobes, self care, diet, cultural pursuits, and home décor. It's a show as much about what's inside of you as outside, and will have you sobbing with joy.


Bojack Horseman

'Bojack Horseman' launch its final episodes in the new year but it's not too late to catch up. The adult animated tragicomedy sees Will Arnett voice Bojack Horseman, the former star of a 90s sitcom try to relaunch his acting career. Meanwhile Bojack's friends Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) and Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul) also struggle. Here are our picks of the 5 saddest moments from the show.


Marriage Story

One of Netflix’s best movies to date is a simple story at its heart as it follows a stage director, Charlie (Adam Driver) and his wife, actress Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), as they go through a divorce. Driver and Johansson give the performances of their careers and there are some great supports in the cast including Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Julie Hagerty. It’s smart and heart-rending with humorous and compassionate instances. Its subject matter could easily turn repugnant but because the love and care between Charlie and Nicole is so clear, it’s impossible for you not to be moved by their plight.


Call Me By Your Name

‘Call Me By Your Name’ follows the blossoming romance between a seventeen year-old student and an older man, hired as his father's research assistant, in 1980s Italy. It ended up being a runaway success and was responsible for luanching the career of Timothee Chalamet. But the course of true love never did run smooth...


P.S. I Love You

Don't think we'll ever forgive Gerard Butler for that dreadful Irush accents - and fans of Cecelia Ahearn's novel were unimpressed with how much the movie adaptation changed the original. Still, 'P.S. I Love You' is a guilty pleasure for many. And with its narrative of a deceased husband leaving letters to his widow (Hilary Swank) to help her cope with grief, it most definitely inspires plenty of tears.


The Fault in Our Stars

Have tissues at the ready for this one too because no matter how many times you've seen it, the waterworks are inevitable. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (who previously played siblings in 'Divergent', which you'll totally forget about) play two teenage cancer patients who fall in love. Based on a bestselling novel, 'The Fault in Our Stars' will make you wanna head to Amsterdam at once.


13 Reasons Why

'13 Reasons Why' most definitely went off the deep-end with its second and particularly third seasons once it left its original source material (the novel of the same name by Jay Asher). But the first season is compelling television and completely devastating. For those unfamiliar with the series, it sees high school student Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) listen through tapes left by his friend Hannah (Katherine Langford) to understand why she took her own life.


Dear John

When your movie is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel - author of 'The Notebook' and 'A Walk to Remember' - it's a guaranteed tearjerker. This one follows a soldier, played by Channing Tatum, and his girlfriend, played by Amanda Seyfried, who are torn apart when the former is deployed to war. They keep in contact via letters, telling each other everything. Can't get enough of Sparks? 'The Best of Me' and 'Safe Haven' are also on Netflix.

Dear John


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Guaranteed tearjerkers are set during World War II (unless they're parodies). 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' will be familiar to most as a best-selling novel but in fairness the 2008 film did a good job adapting it (even if it changes the ending for dramatic effect). Both the book and film are seen through the eyes of eight year old Bruno (Asa Butterfield, now the star of 'Sex Education') as he befriends a young Jewish inmate at a concentration camp.



It ran for about three seasons too long (which is saying something given the show lasted for six) but in its heyday, 'Glee' was a brilliant series full of impressive covers, lovable characters and an effective balance of comedy and tragedy. It focuses on the lives and loves of a high school show choir in William McKinley High School, Ohio.


The Pursuit of Happyness

As is the case with 'Glee,' don't be misguided by the title here. Starring Will Smith and  Jaden Smith - while they were still cute on screen together and hadn't done the atrocity that was 'After Earth' - it sees a struggling salesman enter a major professional transition at the same time that he gets custody of his son after he and his wife divorce.


The Impossible

J.A. Bayona, who would go on to helm 'A Monster Calls' and 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom', directs this disaster drama based on the true story of María Belón and her family in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The cast includes Naomi Watts - who earned particularly high praise for her performance - as well as Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland.



The kid from 'Room', aka Jacon Tremblay', makes us sob all over again. 'Wonder' follows Auggie, a boy with a rare medical facial deformity caused by Treacher Collins syndrome, as he starts school and struggles to fit in. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play Auggie's parents while Mandy Patinkin plays the principal at his school. A lovely one for families.



To get the emotional impact of this one, it's best to not read the real-life story behind the movie until after seeing it. The extremely talented Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin play a young couple who set sail together but get caught in one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. They fight for survival against impossible odds.


The Theory of Everything

This engrossing romantic drama depicting the life of Stephen Hawking and his relationship with his wife Jane earned Eddie Redmayne an Oscar and was a breakthrough performance for Felicity Jones (who would go on to star in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' and 'On the Basis of Sex'). Their marriage gradually, sadly disintegrates and 'The Theory of Everything' tenderly and sympathetically depicts the breakdown from both sides.



'Breathe' was, admittedly, definitely working off the success of 'The Theory of Everything', but it's still a great feature as a romantic drama, inspiring true story, and weepy that will tug on your heart strings and tear ducts. The film follows Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) and wife Diana (Claire Foy) whose newlywed bliss comes to an abrupt halt when Robin contracts polio, paralysing him from the neck down. The couple are inspired to invent the wheelchair which not only revolutionises Robin's life but those of others who are disabled.



'Stronger' is something of a hidden gem featuring one of Jake Gyllenhaal's most underrated performances. Based on a true story, it follows Jeff Bauman, a victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing who struggles to rebuild his life after losing both his legs in the attack. Bauman also grapples with being heroicised by the media for his survival.



Orange is the New Black

If we think too much about all the tearjerker moments of 'Orange is the New Black', it's going to set us off crying all over again. The series tracks the lives of the inmates of a women's federal prison, Litchfield, primarily Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling). The show wrapped with a seventh, fittingly heart-breaking season earlier this year.


Irreplaceable You

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman star in this romantic dramedy as childhood friends Abbie and Sam who fall in love. They become engaged but then Abbie is diagnosed with terminal cancer. It's not too great and the dialogue is quite cringe but if you enjoy cheesy movies along the lines of 'P.S. I Love You', you should like it. Christopher Walken, Steve Coogan and Kate McKinnon co-star.


I Lost My Body (J'ai Perdu Mon Corps)

An animated movie, but one geared towards adults as opposed to children, 'I Lost My Body' is one of Netflix's most ambitious movies to date. It follows a severed hand that escapes a laboratory and makes its way across a treacherous and dangerous city to find its body. Meanwhile we follow the unhappy life of a pizza delivery boy named Naoufel (voiced in the English dub by Dev Patel), whose parents died in a car crash when he was young. He hopes he has found love when he meets a cute librarian named Gabriele (Arrested Development star Alia Shawkat). Beautiful, heart breaking and deeply contemplative.



Anyone who has a thing with their mom - so yeah, everyone - is going to be moved by this feature based on another bestselling book. 'Big Little Lies' co-stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern reunite to play a mother and daughter. The latter goes on a 1100 mile solo hike as she mourns the death of her mom and end of her marriage.


Gilmore Girls

The pick-me-up-then-make-me-cry seven season-long series follows the highs and occasional lows of single mom Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and daughter Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). The goings on of the quirky town of Stars Hollow that they call home are never dull. Sure don't they say the best tearjerkers out there make you smile and laugh as much as they make you sob?



Love separated by death always hits you right in the gut, doesn't it? Well never has that been more true than for 'Ghost' with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. Swayze's character, Sam Wheat, is murdered, but can't pass on until he is sure his girlfriend, Molly, is safe. He enlists the help of a psychic. (Just don't try to recreate the pottery scene after - it gets messy, trust us)


The Bucket List

One of the last films Jack Nicholson did before retiring was 'The Bucket List' opposite Morgan Freeman. They play two terminally ill cancer patients who head off on a road trip to complete a wish list of to-dos before they die. The fact that it's directed by Rob Reiner ('This is Spinal Tap', 'The Princess Bride', 'When Harry Met Sally') imbues the film with charm.


Les Miserables

It's in the title so yeah, you'll be miserable. The Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Eddie Redmayne starrer is on Netflix now with its long takes, varied singing standard (well, they did all sing live but that's no excuse for Crowe to sound like, well, a crow) and disappointing lives and loves. But the music is great, ain't it?

Les Miserables



We never thought we'd see the day Adam Sandler would make us cry but that's just what 'Click' does. Co-starring Christopher Walken, Kate Beckinsale, David Hasselhoff and Sean Astin, it sees an architect inherit a remote that allows him to pause, fast-forward and rewind through his life. But when the remote starts assuming the architect's preferences, it causes him to rethink how he's living life.


A Silent Voice

If you're in the mood for something a bit left of field, anime feature 'A Silent Voice' is on Netflix. It is deeply moving and will inspire tears but also hope. A boy who bullies a girl in his class tries to become friends with her when the two are in high school, having been rejected by his other classmates for participating in the bullying.


Meet Joe Black

What do you get when you put Brad Pitt and the tearjerker factor together? Joe Black, who you will meet in the film, but hopefully not outside it for a while. Joe Black is, as everyone who has seen the movie knows, Death (don't worry, they tell you early on). He asks a media mogul (Anthony Hopkins) to teach him about life on Earth. Then he falls in love with his guide's daughter (Claire Forlani), which you know can't end well.


Dallas Buyers Club

Just looking at how skinny and sickly Matthew McConaughey looks in this film would make you weepy. In the feature he plays Ron Woodroof, a Texan who works the system to help AIDS patients get medication they need. Jared Leto is stunning as his assistant, Rayon, and he earned an Academy Award - as did McConaughey - for his performance.



There aren’t many memorable Netflix original films, but ‘Mudbound’ truly is a gem. The movie earned four Oscar nominations, including Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song (both for Mary J. Blige), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Based on a novel by Hillary Jordan, the film relates how two World War II veterans, one white and one black, struggle with racism and PTSD when they return home to farm in rural Mississippi.



Boasting an impressive cast between Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel and Rooney Mara, 'Lion' satisfied both audiences - it was a hit at the box office and became one of the highest-grossing Australian films of all time - and critics, earning two BAFTA wins and six Oscar nominations. An Indian man goes in search of his family, having been adopted by a couple in Australia in his childhood.


West Side Story

The ending of 'West Side Story' is probably as familiar now as the ending to 'Romeo & Juliet' (given the former is based on the latter). But the multi-Oscar-winning 1961 musical will still have you bawling by the end every time. Fortunately it has some great tunes like 'I Feel Pretty', 'America' and 'Jet Song' to have you smiling and singing when you're not crying.