The Best Dramatic Films to Bond Over

Posted on 23 Sep 2016 by Anna Scott
It’s official: watching tearjerkers can be good for us. New evidence from Oxford University suggests that not only does the act of watching dramatic weepies help us bond, but they can also behave like a ‘natural painkiller’, helping us release endorphins into our system which can dull pain. So with this in mind, we thought we’d collate a few of the very best, most dramatic tearjerkers there are, so you have something to watch when you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or just want a film that will help you bond with your nearest and dearest…


The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption DVDYes, we’re going to start with the big guns because you don’t get more dramatic on teary than The Shawshank Redemption. Even thinking about that final scene on the beach can bring tears to your eyes. And although this film now has legendary status, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, it was considered a flop when first released in the cinemas and only grew in popularity once it was released on DVD (and VHS because this was the 90s, after all).


Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 DVDAnyone who doesn’t cry at the end of Toy Story 3 has a heart made of stone: fact. And it’s not just when - spoiler alert - Andy says goodbye to Woody and his friends and sends them off to a new home, but also the adventure that leads up to that point, with the toys facing their own mortality, quite literally when they find themselves plunging towards a furnace at the rubbish tip. And then when they all link hands when they think the end is nigh…well, it’s just too much to bear.


ET: The Extra Terrestrial

ET The Extra Terrestrial DVDYes, it’s another kids’ movie, and no, we’re not apologising. ET has it all, and by ‘all’ we mean aliens, cute kids, car chases, big scares, nasty government officials and yes, tears and plenty of them. Any goodbye scene is tricky but this film has one of the most heart-wrenching in movie history.


Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society DVDThe 1950s wasn’t the best decade for progressive teaching techniques, especially when said teacher is employed by a very strict boarding school, a place where independent thinking isn’t exactly celebrated. There a handful of serious Robin Williams performances dotted amongst those classic comedy turns (in fact, there might be another one featured in this very list), and this is one of the most memorable. The tears could kick in at many different points in the film – the bit where tragedy strikes or perhaps that very different sort of goodbye scene – but you certainly won’t be able to avoid them.


Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting DVDAnother serious role for Robin Williams, but it’s not just his character that inspires the more emotional responses to this film. We are cheating a little bit by putting Good Will Hunting in as it’s not really a dramatic film in the truest sense of the word, but it gets included for that bittersweet teary ending alone.



Beaches DVDThis could so easily have missed the boat, because there’s a big difference between a genuine tearjerker and a film that manipulatively tries to pull at your heartstrings. Even though Beaches is mawkish beyond belief, it manages to stay on the right side of tracks. You spend most of the film thinking you won’t get sucked in, but then Bette Midler starts singing Wind Beneath My Wings and it tips you over the edge into a blubbering mess. We’ve all been there.



Up DVDUp (sorry) until this point most of the most heart-wrenching moments come at the end of these movies, but Up gets you in the first ten minutes, and it’s made all the more emotional because you just don’t see it coming. The section in question briefly takes us through the lives of Carl and Ellie without any dialogue, and before the first half hour of the film has finished, you will be an emotional wreck in need of a big hug. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.



If there are some titles here that you haven’t yet watched and cried buckets of tears over, see if our Zavvi promo codes, Xtra-Vision discount codes or Amazon discount vouchers can help you stock up your tearjerker collection. And because we now know emotional films are good for us, they can help you ease any pain and discomfort you’re currently in. Of course, you will be replacing it with heartache, but you can’t have everything…

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