Emotion Turned Up To 11: Films To Make A Grown Man Weep

Contributor; London
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When did you last shed a tear in the cinema? Or in front of the TV for that matter? What  tugs at one person's emotions may well leave another cold. Personal factors are of course brought into play here and what sets people off varies wildly - if you have kids, cinematic scenarios that put them in peril may resonate more, for example. I rarely find movies that are constructed as 'weepies' or 'tearjerkers' to have that effect on me. That's not to say I don't appreciate them - Brief Encounter is a fantastic film that I could happily watch over and over again, but it leaves me dry-eyed. 

As part of the 'Lists Of Shame' project many of us here have been taking part in this year, I encountered David Lynch's The Elephant Man for the first time, and was surprised by how moving I found it. This got me thinking about all those movies that unexpectedly move you to tears when you perhaps least expect it. 

What follows is, in no order whatsoever, a necessarily personal list of 11 films that troubled my emotions when I wasn't prepared... 

Gran Torino (2008)

Well, who wants to see their heroes die? Despite some mildy irritating performances from the supporting cast, Gran Torino managed to be a funny, humble and genuinely endearing movie. What you get out of it will largely come down to how fond you are of Clint and his catalogue, but if you're partial, his plight will strike a chord. With veiled references to his right-wing Dirty Harry- era persona, he moves from bigot to reluctant mentor across the run time. The final showdown confounds expectations and turns Eastwood from lone gunslinger to sacrificial lamb. Sniff.

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armageddonbutch cassidycross of irongran torinohachikoonce upon a time in americastarmanthe greythe killerthe white diamondup
marshy00August 3, 2013 1:04 PM

Very happy to see ARMAGEDDON on this list, but it's William Fichtner who gets me choked up with his "Allow me to shake the hand of the daughter of the bravest man ive ever met" line - every time!

Dan LockAugust 3, 2013 1:55 PM

Dancer in The Dark is the one film that gets me every time.

ElhombreAugust 3, 2013 8:07 PM

The Grey gets me everytime in the scene where he's remembering his father and the poem and you see the shot of him on his father's knee. What makes it worse is being a dad of three boys, hits me right in the heart knowing one day, every little boy becomes a man and then dies.

Zaike AireyAugust 3, 2013 10:33 PM

please don't become a listicles site, plz twitch

muckermanAugust 3, 2013 11:26 PM

Harry and the Hendersons

Marcel SamsonAugust 4, 2013 3:30 AM

Shit, I cry at everything man....

But most notably I cry everytime I see Grave of the Fireflies. Like cry cry. Buckets and mops are involved...

CECAugust 4, 2013 5:21 AM

The Perfect Storm, John C. Reilly: "My Boy is going to be so sad".

SmeedyAugust 4, 2013 1:07 PM

How anyone can keep it together through the final scenes in 'The Killing Fields', I can't fathom.

Harvey WeinsteinAugust 6, 2013 12:57 AM

The ending of warrior it's ok tommy christ that gets me everytime
and bullet in the head tony leung's final scene with jacky cheung

JonRalphsAugust 7, 2013 5:38 PM

The Deer Hunter greatest movie ever made.

VH5150August 8, 2013 2:37 AM

The green mile

troyAugust 14, 2013 1:06 AM

the pursuit of happiness, extremely loud and incredibly close

EarychJuly 31, 2014 8:50 PM

Armageddon? Seriously? Only thing I was sad about was the money and time I wasted.
Now Up on the other hand. That first segment is brutal!