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Million Dollar Baby (2004)

TragicEmotionalTear-jerkerDramatic

Despondent over a painful estrangement from his daughter, trainer Frankie Dunn isn't prepared for boxer Maggie Fitzgerald to enter his life. But Maggie's determined to go pro and to convince Dunn and his cohort to help her.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Clint Eastwood
CAST:  Clint Eastwood  •  Hilary Swank  •  Morgan Freeman  •  Jay Baruchel

Despondent over a painful estrangement from his daughter, trainer Frankie Dunn isn't prepared for boxer Maggie Fitzgerald to enter his life. But Maggie's determined to go pro and to convince Dunn and his cohort to help her.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Clint Eastwood
CAST:  Clint Eastwood  •  Hilary Swank  •  Morgan Freeman  •  Jay Baruchel

Defendor (2009)

FunnyTragicCharmingRomantic

A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city's criminal underworld. It's a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn't understand and doesn't belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Stebbings
CAST:  Woody Harrelson  •  Kat Dennings  •  Elias Koteas  •  Sandra Oh

A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city's criminal underworld. It's a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn't understand and doesn't belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Stebbings
CAST:  Woody Harrelson  •  Kat Dennings  •  Elias Koteas  •  Sandra Oh

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

TragicDarkAdventurousFantastical

Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Brad Silberling
CAST:  Jim Carrey  •  Meryl Streep  •  Jude Law  •  Emily Browning

Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Brad Silberling
CAST:  Jim Carrey  •  Meryl Streep  •  Jude Law  •  Emily Browning

Amour (2012)

DepressingTragicSlow movingRomantic

Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Haneke
CAST:  Emmanuelle Riva  •  Jean-Louis Trintignant  •  Isabelle Huppert  •  William Shimell

Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Haneke
CAST:  Emmanuelle Riva  •  Jean-Louis Trintignant  •  Isabelle Huppert  •  William Shimell

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

RomanticBeautifulTragicOriginal

In director Baz Luhrmann's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Baz Luhrmann
CAST:  Leonardo DiCaprio  •  Claire Danes  •  John Leguizamo  •  Harold Perrineau

In director Baz Luhrmann's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Baz Luhrmann
CAST:  Leonardo DiCaprio  •  Claire Danes  •  John Leguizamo  •  Harold Perrineau

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

DepressingDisturbingTragicEmotional

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Terry George
CAST:  Don Cheadle  •  Nick Nolte  •  Sophie Okonedo  •  Joaquin Phoenix

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Terry George
CAST:  Don Cheadle  •  Nick Nolte  •  Sophie Okonedo  •  Joaquin Phoenix

A Single Man (2009)

TragicGrippingDarkEmotional

The life of George Falconer, a British college professor, is reeling with the recent and sudden loss of his longtime partner. This traumatic event makes George challenge his own will to live as he seeks the console of his close girl friend Charley, who is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Ford
CAST:  Colin Firth  •  Julianne Moore  •  Nicholas Hoult  •  Matthew Goode

The life of George Falconer, a British college professor, is reeling with the recent and sudden loss of his longtime partner. This traumatic event makes George challenge his own will to live as he seeks the console of his close girl friend Charley, who is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Ford
CAST:  Colin Firth  •  Julianne Moore  •  Nicholas Hoult  •  Matthew Goode

The Pianist (2002)

TragicEmotionalIntenseReal

The true story of pianist Władysław Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Roman Polanski
CAST:  Adrien Brody  •  Thomas Kretschmann  •  Frank Finlay  •  Maureen Lipman

The true story of pianist Władysław Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Roman Polanski
CAST:  Adrien Brody  •  Thomas Kretschmann  •  Frank Finlay  •  Maureen Lipman

Two Lovers (2008)

HeartbreakingRomanticEmotionalDepressing

A depressed man moves back in with his parents following a recent heartbreak and finds himself with two women.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Gray
CAST:  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Gwyneth Paltrow  •  Isabella Rossellini  •  Vinessa Shaw

A depressed man moves back in with his parents following a recent heartbreak and finds himself with two women.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Gray
CAST:  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Gwyneth Paltrow  •  Isabella Rossellini  •  Vinessa Shaw

The United States of Leland (2003)

Thought provokingIntenseEmotionalTear-jerker

A withdrawn young man, Leland Fitzgerald is imprisoned for the murder of a mentally disabled boy, who also happened to be the brother of his girlfriend, Becky. As the community struggles to deal with the killing, Pearl Madison, a teacher at the prison, decides to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Matthew Ryan Hoge
CAST:  Don Cheadle  •  Ryan Gosling  •  Chris Klein  •  Kevin Spacey

A withdrawn young man, Leland Fitzgerald is imprisoned for the murder of a mentally disabled boy, who also happened to be the brother of his girlfriend, Becky. As the community struggles to deal with the killing, Pearl Madison, a teacher at the prison, decides to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Matthew Ryan Hoge
CAST:  Don Cheadle  •  Ryan Gosling  •  Chris Klein  •  Kevin Spacey

The Railway Man (2013)

EmotionalThought provokingIntenseTragic

A victim from World War II's "Death Railway" sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Teplitzky
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Stellan Skarsgård  •  Colin Firth  •  Jeremy Irvine

A victim from World War II's "Death Railway" sets out to find those responsible for his torture. A true story.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonathan Teplitzky
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Stellan Skarsgård  •  Colin Firth  •  Jeremy Irvine

The Children Act (2018)

DepressingHeartbreakingThought provokingEmotional

In the midst of a marital crisis, a High Court judge must decide if she should order a life-saving blood transfusion for a teen with cancer despite his family's refusal to accept medical treatment for religious reasons.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Richard Eyre
CAST:  Emma Thompson  •  Fionn Whitehead  •  Stanley Tucci  •  Ben Chaplin

In the midst of a marital crisis, a High Court judge must decide if she should order a life-saving blood transfusion for a teen with cancer despite his family's refusal to accept medical treatment for religious reasons.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Richard Eyre
CAST:  Emma Thompson  •  Fionn Whitehead  •  Stanley Tucci  •  Ben Chaplin

The Immigrant (2013)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalRomantic

1921 New York. An immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Gray
CAST:  Jeremy Renner  •  Marion Cotillard  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Dagmara Domińczyk

1921 New York. An immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Gray
CAST:  Jeremy Renner  •  Marion Cotillard  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Dagmara Domińczyk

American Honey (2016)

DepressingHeartbreakingRomanticEmotional

A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Andrea Arnold
CAST:  Sasha Lane  •  Shia LaBeouf  •  Riley Keough  •  Raymond Coalson

A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Andrea Arnold
CAST:  Sasha Lane  •  Shia LaBeouf  •  Riley Keough  •  Raymond Coalson

Blue Valentine (2010)

HeartbreakingRomanticEmotionalDepressing

Dean and Cindy live a quiet life in a modest neighborhood. They appear to have the world at their feet at the outset of the relationship. However, his lack of ambition and her retreat into self-absorption cause potentially irreversible cracks in their marriage.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Derek Cianfrance
CAST:  Ryan Gosling  •  Michelle Williams  •  Mike Vogel  •  John Doman

Dean and Cindy live a quiet life in a modest neighborhood. They appear to have the world at their feet at the outset of the relationship. However, his lack of ambition and her retreat into self-absorption cause potentially irreversible cracks in their marriage.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Derek Cianfrance
CAST:  Ryan Gosling  •  Michelle Williams  •  Mike Vogel  •  John Doman

Black Swan (2010)

DramaticIntenseDisturbingTragic

A journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Aronofsky
CAST:  Natalie Portman  •  Chris Gartin  •  Mila Kunis  •  Winona Ryder

A journey through the psyche of a young ballerina whose starring role as the duplicitous swan queen turns out to be a part for which she becomes frighteningly perfect.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Aronofsky
CAST:  Natalie Portman  •  Chris Gartin  •  Mila Kunis  •  Winona Ryder

Anesthesia (2016)

DepressingHeartbreakingSuspensefulEmotional

Multiple lives intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tim Blake Nelson
CAST:  Kristen Stewart  •  Glenn Close  •  Corey Stoll  •  Katie Chang

Multiple lives intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tim Blake Nelson
CAST:  Kristen Stewart  •  Glenn Close  •  Corey Stoll  •  Katie Chang

Angela's Ashes (1999)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alan Parker
CAST:  Emily Watson  •  Robert Carlyle  •  Joe Breen  •  Michael Legge

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alan Parker
CAST:  Emily Watson  •  Robert Carlyle  •  Joe Breen  •  Michael Legge

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

DepressingDarkEmotionalTear-jerker

Selma, a Czech immigrant on the verge of blindness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her son, who has inherited the same genetic disorder and will suffer the same fate without an expensive operation. When life gets too difficult, Selma learns to cope ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lars von Trier
CAST:  Björk  •  Catherine Deneuve  •  David Morse  •  Peter Stormare

Selma, a Czech immigrant on the verge of blindness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her son, who has inherited the same genetic disorder and will suffer the same fate without an expensive operation. When life gets too difficult, Selma learns to cope ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lars von Trier
CAST:  Björk  •  Catherine Deneuve  •  David Morse  •  Peter Stormare

A Time to Kill (1996)

IntenseThought provokingEmotionalDisturbing

A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Joel Schumacher
CAST:  Matthew McConaughey  •  Sandra Bullock  •  Samuel L. Jackson  •  Kevin Spacey

A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Joel Schumacher
CAST:  Matthew McConaughey  •  Sandra Bullock  •  Samuel L. Jackson  •  Kevin Spacey
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