Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings

Got a box of tissues handy? Then you're ready to curl up with one of our favorite weepy dramas. From heart-tugging animal tales to three-hanky romances, these are the movies to watch on a rainy day with a warm blanket and a cup of something comforting. These tearjerkers span many genres, from period pieces to science fiction, but what ties them together is the heart, emotion, and compassion you'll feel for the characters. If you're looking for additional serious films, try our list of the Best Biopics.

Browse Drama Movies That Tug at the Heartstrings

Charlotte's Web (2006) Movie Poster Image
Enchanting take on a beloved children's classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Inside Out Movie Poster Image
Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Movie Poster Image
Spielberg's family classic is still one of the best.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Fly Away Home Movie Poster Image
Thrilling, touching adventure for animal lovers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Old Yeller Movie Poster Image
Tearjerker is one of the best early Disney dramas.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1957)
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Bridge to Terabithia Movie Poster Image
Beautiful lesson in friendship for young and old.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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It's a Wonderful Life Movie Poster Image
This classic delivers warmth all year long.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1946)
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Breakthrough Movie Poster Image
Intense peril in faith- and fact-based tearjerker.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Brian's Song Movie Poster Image
Weepy story of interracial pro football teammates.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1971)
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Casablanca Movie Poster Image
Brief violence and lots of tension in top-notch classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1942)
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Hachi: A Dog's Tale Movie Poster Image
Dramatic story of a dog's devotion is emotionally intense.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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October Sky Movie Poster Image
Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Red Dog Movie Poster Image
Emotional dog tale features drinking, violence, and loss.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Remains of the Day Movie Poster Image
Classic period drama tackles issues of gender and class.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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A Shine of Rainbows Movie Poster Image
Magical coming-of-age story is intensely emotional.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Simon Birch Movie Poster Image
Tearjerker is touching but too intense for younger kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Wonder Movie Poster Image
Earnest, emotional book adaptation has strong messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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An Affair to Remember Movie Poster Image
Made for romantics.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1957)
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Dad Movie Poster Image
Dad
'80s tearjerker portrays elderly with depth, dignity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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The Help Movie Poster Image
Poignant, thought-provoking civil rights tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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The Pursuit of Happyness Movie Poster Image
Inspirational but often emotionally wrenching story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Steel Magnolias Movie Poster Image
Three-hanky special, but with lots of laughs, too.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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At Eternity's Gate Movie Poster Image
Fine performance in challenging, arty Van Gogh biopic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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A Bag of Marbles Movie Poster Image
Powerful story of boys' WWII survival has peril, violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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The Burial of Kojo Movie Poster Image
Beautiful indie drama from Ghana has some violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Christmas in Conway Movie Poster Image
Poignant tale of devotion explores grief, loss with honesty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Horse Whisperer Movie Poster Image
Gorgeous, slow-paced '90s horse drama has mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Kes Movie Poster Image
Kes
Depressing but beautiful; a top coming-of-age movie.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1970)
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Land Movie Poster Image
Intimate, occasionally dark portrait of grief and isolation.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Life Is Beautiful Movie Poster Image
Wrenching Holocaust fable with bittersweet humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Lion Movie Poster Image
Great performances in emotional, intense biographical drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Notes for My Son Movie Poster Image
Dying mom writes book for son; language, emotional intensity
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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The Public Movie Poster Image
Inspiring story about homelessness has some mature content.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Still Alice Movie Poster Image
Moore turns Alzheimer's drama into acting master class.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Titanic Movie Poster Image
Great movie, but too intense, racy for younger kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1997)
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Year of the Dog Movie Poster Image
SNL alum shines as grieving, lonely animal lover.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Away from Her Movie Poster Image
Melancholy Alzheimer's drama OK for teens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Beasts of the Southern Wild Movie Poster Image
Devastatingly moving drama has harsh truths, whimsy, wisdom.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Movie Poster Image
Holocaust drama sensitive, but never sentimental.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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The Color Purple Movie Poster Image
Powerful tale of survival with wrenching scenes of abuse.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Elephant Man Movie Poster Image
Heartbreaking drama isn't for sensitive viewers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1980)
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The Father Movie Poster Image
Alzheimer's drama has strong language and adult themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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The Fault in Our Stars Movie Poster Image
Heartbreaking love story is a must-see for fans of the book.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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If I Stay Movie Poster Image
Heartbreaking but faithful adaptation will please book fans.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Movie Poster Image
Deeply moving, irreverent film about friends, cancer, life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Ordinary People Movie Poster Image
Story of emotional honesty is best for teens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1980)
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Our Friend Movie Poster Image
Cancer drama shows power of unconditional love; swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Paper Towns Movie Poster Image
Smart, edgy adaptation captures the humor of self-discovery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Philadelphia Movie Poster Image
Moving, Oscared '90s drama fostered AIDS empathy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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Princess of the Row Movie Poster Image
Heartfelt coming-of-age drama has heavy themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Supernova Movie Poster Image
Heartfelt love story about dementia has intense content.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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The Way Movie Poster Image
Touching movie filled with mature themes, grief, drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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12 Years a Slave Movie Poster Image
Imperfect but must-see epic drama with major cruelty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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45 Years Movie Poster Image
Quietly powerful drama about marriage and memory.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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After the Wedding Movie Poster Image
Troubled women, big emotions in quietly devastating drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Boy Erased Movie Poster Image
Moving, mature conversion-therapy drama has strong cast.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Grave of the Fireflies Movie Poster Image
WWII anime tragedy is the saddest cartoon EVER.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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If Beale Street Could Talk Movie Poster Image
Mature, beautifully acted drama from "Moonlight" director.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Movie Poster Image
Real-life tearjerker shows how lies hurt, truth heals.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Mustang Movie Poster Image
Soulful horse movie has moments of shocking violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Ordinary Love Movie Poster Image
Intimate, well-acted drama explores marriage, illness, loss.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Palmer Movie Poster Image
Mature content in beautiful story of friendship, compassion.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2021)
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Philomena Movie Poster Image
Smart, wrenching, deeply moving drama fine for older teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Rabbit Hole Movie Poster Image
Moving, mature drama about loss is too heavy for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Schindler's List Movie Poster Image
Accurate, heartbreaking masterpiece about the Holocaust.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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The Shawshank Redemption Movie Poster Image
Gritty prison tale has positive messages, lots of profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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The Souvenir Movie Poster Image
Languid, lovely drama is best for patient adults.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Terms of Endearment Movie Poster Image
Glossy, funny, and packs a real emotional wallop.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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The Aftermath Movie Poster Image
Lingerie and tears shed in morally complex historical drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Amour Movie Poster Image
Complex drama with violence is demanding for any age group.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Atonement Movie Poster Image
Stellar literary adaptation too mature for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Blindspotting Movie Poster Image
Smart, thoughtful dramedy explores race and violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Call Me by Your Name Movie Poster Image
Strong sexual content, adult themes in gay romance.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The English Patient Movie Poster Image
Stunning, complex mature emotional drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1996)
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Movie Poster Image
Imaginative, loopy romance has mature themes, profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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The Green Mile Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful, intelligent movie has violence, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Into the Wild Movie Poster Image
Powerful, tragic true story is too heavy for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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The Intouchables Movie Poster Image
Sweet French drama about unlikely friendship has some edge.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Louder Than Bombs Movie Poster Image
Intimate, mature drama deals with a family's grief.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Pieces of a Woman Movie Poster Image
Profound emotional drama about tragic loss; mature content.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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Roma Movie Poster Image
Cuaron's personal meditation on family is masterful, mature.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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A Star Is Born Movie Poster Image
Cooper, Lady Gaga shine in tragic story of love, addiction.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2018)
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Waves Movie Poster Image
Intense drama reflects teen culture; substance use, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Boys Don't Cry Movie Poster Image
Excellent but brutal drama examines life of transsexual man.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Boyz n the Hood Movie Poster Image
Powerful, old-school look at life surrounded by violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1991)
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Fruitvale Station Movie Poster Image
Powerful, mature drama based on tragic-real life shooting.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Manchester by the Sea Movie Poster Image
Searing, insightful drama has intense themes, swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Moonlight Movie Poster Image
Heartbreaking, mature, unforgettable coming-of-age drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The Normal Heart Movie Poster Image
Raw look at HIV/AIDS fight is hard to watch -- but worth it.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Pariah Movie Poster Image
Smart, sad, empowering film about a teen coming out.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Movie Poster Image
Powerful, painful account of Harlem teen's hard-luck life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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