Emotional Rollercoasters: 12 Movies That Deliver Incredibly Heartbreaking Endings

bridge to terabithia

Not every movie has to have a happy ending and, in some cases, a tragic finale makes sense. It's normal for humans to feel sadness and pain, which is why we appreciate it when those feelings are reflected in the films we watch. Here are just 12 movies that end in heartbreak, reminding us what it means to be human.

1. My Girl (1991)

my girl
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

My Girl is still a classic film, even though the ending is so sad and heartbreaking. The movie overall is about growing up and opening up to others around you, but the ending is what viewers remember the most. Some fans remember seeing this film in theaters, thinking it was going to be a cute children's movie but left with tears streaming down their faces.

2. The Green Mile (1999)

the green mile
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

There's something magical about The Green Mile, even if you discount the actual supernatural parts of the movie. Overall, this movie is so moving and groundbreaking that it only makes watching it so much tougher. The film follows an officer who works on death row and meets a man in prison who possesses the power to heal others. With stellar performances and great writing, this movie will have you in tears by the end.

3. No Country for Old Men (2007)

Image Credit: Paramount Vantage – Miramax.

In the film, No Country for Old Men, really no one wins in the end, and the movie ends up not being as cut-and-dry as it may seem. One part about this movie that really hits home and is sad to think about is that sometimes the good people lose in life and the bad ones get away with their behaviors. 

4. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream
Image Credit: Thousand Words.

One person suggested Requiem for a Dream as a great movie, but only if you watch it once. The film follows a group of people who are living in their own drug-induced worlds, but all of that comes crashing down when the drugs and the lifestyle they bring is too much for everyone. It's a brutal movie to watch, but it feels real and raw.

5. Memento (2000)

Memento Guy Pearce
Image Credit: Entertainment One.

Memento is a great thriller, but what's so hard to watch about this movie is that the main character has short-term memory loss so he's constantly getting used and played because of something he can't control, but he wants to do good in the world. A lot of fans expressed that the ending dialogue is still something they think about constantly and that it wrecks them every time. 

6. Pay It Forward (2000)

pay it forward movie 2000
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Pay It Forward was mentioned by some movie fans. Trevor is just a kid who wants to do something good in the world after a school project assignment, and every time he tries to help those around him, it ends up with others getting hurt. Even with all of his effort to be a good kid, he still pays the ultimate price for it.

7. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Distribution/Disney.

The Fox and the Hound is a classic Disney movie, but that doesn't mean it's a happy one. A lot of viewers discussed that Disney movies always go for a happy ending, but this movie was more mature and calculated in the end. Because, sometimes the meaningful friendships we build with people don't last but that's okay because we have the good times to look back on.

8. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

bridge to terabithia
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

If you were unaware of the plot line before going into the film Bridge to Terabithia, you would have thought it was a sweet movie about two friends who create a world together in the woods. But when one of the characters dies, it changes the entire mood of the movie and makes it just heartbreakingly painful to watch.

9. American History X (1998)

Edward Norton in American History X (1998)
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

American History X is full of a lot of dark material and is hard to really take in from beginning to end. Even when the characters change and start to get better, there's still the sad ending of the film. Apparently, the original ending is even darker than what was shown in the movie, according to fans online.

10. Se7en (1995)

se7en imdb new line cinema e1661536417554
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Fans online reflected that Se7en was brutal to watch because the ending didn't offer any warmth at all. We agree it's a hard movie to watch, especially knowing what's in the box at the end.

11. Stand By Me (1986)

Stand by Me (1986)
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Stand By Me hits hard for many movie fans. It's a very relatable movie about growing up and moving on from friends, but deep down, those feelings are so real for all the viewers that it forces us to reflect on those who have come through our lives and aren't around anymore.

12 – The Mist (2007)

The Mist Thomas Jane
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The ending of The Mist is totally different from the book and a lot darker. There's no glimmer of happiness in the end, even though you want to feel relieved. It's really just so painful to watch. Even the king of horror, Stephen King, couldn't have written an ending so brutal.

Source: Reddit.

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