Best sad movies on Hulu: 13 top tearjerkers to watch

Grab your tissues – these Hulu movies will leave you in tears!

Nomadland, I Tonya, and The United States vs Billie Holiday - three of the best sad movies on Hulu

Sometimes, all we need is a good cry to release our emotions and feel better. That’s where sad movies come in. If you’re looking for some tearjerkers to stream, Hulu has got you covered. From heartbreaking dramas to bittersweet romances, we’ve rounded up the best sad movies on Hulu that will have you reaching for the tissues and leave you feeling like you’ve just experienced something truly meaningful.

What are the best sad movies on Hulu right now?

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

Andra Day as Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Andra Day as Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday

The United States vs. Billie Holiday is a musical drama biography based on the life of Black singer Billie Holiday. Based on the 2015 book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari, the movie follows Billie’s life and career as she struggles with drug addiction, fame, racism, and heartbreaking love.

The film highlights Billie’s civil rights activism, which made her the target of an undercover FDN (Federal Department of Narcotics) sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair.

The movie features Billie’s significant contributions to the civil rights movement, including her 1939 controversial ballad, Strange Fruit, which became a powerful song of protest against the brutal and inhumane practice of lynching, which was prevalent in the U.S. during that time.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday stars Andra Day as the titular character, as well as Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Leslie Jordan, and Miss Lawrence, among many others.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday - Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

I, Tonya (2017)

Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya
Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya

A mockumentary cum biography, I, Tonya centers on American figure skater Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 assault on her rival Nancy Kerrigan, which redefines the former’s personal and professional life.

The events depicted in the film are narrated by Tonya and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, which are based on “contradictory” yet “totally true” interviews with the former couple. The film openly acknowledges its unreliable narrators and lets viewers to decide for themselves whether to see the film as the truth or as a version concocted by Harding herself.

Director by Craig Gillespie, I, Tonya reveals the dark side of competitive sports, including how it can lead to jealousy, obsession, and tragedy. The film captures all these qualities perfectly while still maintaining a sense of humor throughout. Overall, I, Tonya is an excellent movie that manages to be both heartbreakingly tragic and inspiring at the same time – leaving viewers emotionally moved by its powerful message.

The movie stars Margot Robbie as the titular character, as well as Tom Ackerley, Steven Rogers, Bryan Unkeless, and many others.

I, Tonya Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers

Boyz n the hood (1991)

Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Ice Cube in Boyz in the Hood
Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood

Boyz n the Hood is a crime drama film about three young African American men growing up in South Central Los Angeles. Directed by John Singleton, it stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as Jason “Tre” Styles III, Morris Chestnut as Ricky Baker, and Ice Cube as Darrin “Doughboy” Baker, along with Laurence Fishburne giving an iconic performance as Jason “Furious” Styles II, the father figure to Gooding’s Tre.

The movie follows the trio of boys as they struggle to survive their everyday lives while facing issues of poverty, racism, violence, drugs, and gang life. Although Tre’s hard-nosed father instills proper values and respect in him, and his devout girlfriend Brandi teaches him about faith, Tre’s friends Doughboy and Ricky don’t have the same kind of support and, so they are all drawn into the neighborhood’s booming drug and gang culture, with increasingly tragic results.

Boyz n the Hood brings attention to police brutality and systemic racism within law enforcement towards African Americans. It serves as an important reminder of how much progress still needs to be made when it comes to racial inequality in America today. Boyz n the Hood offers a realistic portrayal of what life is like for many inner-city communities throughout the U.S. and will leave you feeling moved at its conclusion.

BOYZ N THE HOOD [1991] - Official Trailer (HD)

Endless (2020)

Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton in Endless
Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton in Endless

Endless is a tear-jerking fantasy romance drama that follows two high school sweethearts who become separated after a tragic accident. Starring Alexandra Shipp as Riley Jean Stanheight and Nicholas Hamilton as Chris Douglas, the movie begins with Riley and Chris’ passionate love affair coming to an abrupt end when the latter is killed in a car accident. Stuck in limbo after his passing, Chris transcends life and death by finding a way to reconnect with Jean.

Endless dives deep into themes of grief, mortality, and true love without boundaries. Through its thought-provoking plot and heartfelt performances by the cast, this movie will surely have viewers reaching for tissues as they watch these two star-crossed lovers strive to rekindle their connection despite insurmountable odds. Its unique take on dealing with death makes it a must-watch for anyone looking for a good cry.

Endless Trailer #1 (2020) | Movieclips Trailers

The Worst Person in the World (2021)

Renate Reinsve as Julie in The Worst Person in the World
Renate Reinsve as Julie in The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World is a Norwegian romantic comedy-drama film about a young woman named Julie who battles indecisiveness as she traverses the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path.

Starring Renate Reinsve as Julie, along with Anders Danielsen Lie and Herbert Nordrum, The Worst Person in the World, premiered in competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival to widespread critical acclaim, with Reinsve winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in the film. The film was also nominated for Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards.

THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD | Official Trailer | Exclusively on MUBI

Nomadland (2021)

Frances McDormand as Fern in Nomadland
Frances McDormand as Fern in Nomadland

Based on the 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Brude, the 2021 movie Nomadland tells the story of Fern (Frances McDormand), who has been forced to leave her home due to economic struggles in rural Nevada. She embarks on an epic journey across America as a modern-day nomad, finding solace in nature while searching for a place to call home.

Through Fern’s hardships and triumphs in her new life as a nomad, viewers are able to gain insight into life on the road – with its joys and sorrows – as well as what it means to live without boundaries or restrictions. The stunning cinematography captures the beauty of the open road, taking us on our own journey through Fern’s eyes. At times uplifting and other times heartbreaking, Nomadland speaks volumes about resilience and hope during trying times. It serves as a reminder that no matter how challenging things may seem, there is always something greater waiting ahead if one never stops believing.

NOMADLAND | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures

Terms of Endearment (1983)

Debra Winger as Emma Greenway and Shirley MacLaine as Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment
Debra Winger as Emma Greenway and Shirley MacLaine as Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment

A movie adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s 1975 novel of the same name, Terms of Endearment covers 30 years of the relationship between Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra Winger). It follows Greenway, a strong-willed matriarch, who is determined to keep her family together despite her daughter Emma’s struggles with cancer.

Written by James L. Brooks, the dialogue between characters feels both realistic and powerful. Brooks’ scripts also perfectly capture how fragile yet resilient relationships can be when faced with difficult life circumstances like illness or death. By allowing its viewers to empathize with each character’s pain, fear, confusion, and even joy in facing these obstacles head-on, Terms of Endearment has become an experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll. So whether you’re looking for a good cry or just want to appreciate an iconic piece of cinema history, Terms of Endearment certainly deserves your attention.

Terms of Endearment (1983) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Minding the Gap (2018)

Keire Johnson in Minding the Gap
Keire Johnson in Minding the Gap

Directed by Bing Liu, Minding the Gap is a 2018 documentary film that follows three friends in their late teens as they navigate life and growing up in Rockford, Illinois. This coming-of-age story captures the emotions of young adulthood with an emphasis on skateboarding culture. The film focuses primarily on two of the skaters, childhood friends Zack Mulligan and Keire Johnson.

The audience sees how these boys have had to make difficult decisions due to the lack of opportunities available to them in their Rust Belt hometown. Despite this struggle, we witness moments of joy when they are skating together or just being carefree teenagers. However, underneath this surface level of happiness lies deep sadness and pain resulting from physical abuse suffered by both Zack and Keire at home.

It becomes clear that Minding the Gap is not only about skateboarding but also about understanding trauma and its effects on people’s lives. It shows that although it can be hard for individuals to confront their past experiences and traumas, it is possible to move forward if there is support from family and friends. As such, this movie stands out as one of the most heartbreaking yet hopeful films streaming on Hulu today.

Minding the Gap: Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original Documentary

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Stephan James as Fonny and KiKi Layne as Tish in If Beale Street Could Talk
Stephan James as Fonny and KiKi Layne as Tish in If Beale Street Could Talk

Tugging at the heartstrings, If Beale Street Could Talk is a stellar and sincere tale of hardship, love, and tragedy. Focusing on the young couple Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) who are struggling to stay together amidst her pregnancy and his wrongful incarceration, the film follows their passionate yet deeply difficult journey. With its lush visuals, evocative music, and delicate storytelling, it’s hard not to be swept away into the world of these two lovers.

As the film progresses through its narrative arc of struggle against the odds, we see how Fonny’s family works tirelessly in an effort to prove his innocence while still keeping hope alive. While dealing with immense personal loss as well as institutional injustice, they persevere despite being unable to move forward due to legal issues surrounding him. The end result is a moving piece of cinema that will leave viewers feeling both heavy-hearted and inspired. It serves as a reminder that even during dark times, there is still beauty in life waiting to be found.


The Sweet Life (2016)

Abigail Spencer as Lolita Nowicki and Chris Messina as Kenny Parker in The Sweet Life
Abigail Spencer as Lolita Nowicki and Chris Messina as Kenny Parker in The Sweet Life

Directed by Rob Spera, The Sweet Life stars Chris Messina as Kenny Parker and Abigail Spencer as Lolita Nowicki, two depressed people who are struggling with their own brand of demons. They meet by chance in Chicago and form a pact to travel across the country to the Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide together. This is one of the sad movies on Hulu right now because it explores intense emotions of loneliness, regret, and hopelessness.

The Sweet Life Official Trailer 1 (2017) - Abigail Spencer Movie

The Last Song (2010)

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in The Last Song
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in The Last Song

A tearjerker that will make even the toughest of hearts cry, The Last Song follows a troubled teenager as she struggles to cope with her estranged father’s death and her parent’s divorce. In the midst of her pain, Ronnie finds solace in a summer romance with Will, a local beach volleyball player. Through this relationship, she learns to forgive her father and appreciate the beauty of life.

With its heartbreaking story of grief and loss, The Last Song is easily one of the sad movies on Hulu. But ultimately, it’s about hope and learning to accept life’s struggles. The film stars Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Kelly Preston, and Greg Kinnear.

The Last Song

The Roads Not Taken (2020)

Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning in The Roads Not Taken
Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning in The Roads Not Taken

Written and directed by Sally Potter, The Roads Not Taken tells the story of a day in the life of a father and daughter, as they grapple with the challenges of dementia. Starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Laura Linney, and Salma Hayek, the movie explores the complexities of life, love, and family, and how these can be impacted by the choices we make.

The Roads Not Taken is one of the sad movies on Hulu because it looks at the difficulties that come with dementia and the heartbreaking choices that have to be made when dealing with it.

THE ROADS NOT TAKEN | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street

Supernova (2020)

Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in Supernova
Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in Supernova

Supernova (2020) is a heartbreaking story of love and loss, starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth as a gay couple in the midst of their long-term relationship. The film follows Sam (Tucci) and Tusker (Firth), as they embark on an epic road trip across England to visit friends and family who they haven’t seen for years. Despite their strong bond, Tusker begins to experience short-term memory loss due to dementia, putting strain on his relationship with Sam.

The movie isn’t just about loss though; it’s also about embracing life while we still have time – something that both characters struggle with throughout the course of the film. Through poignant dialogue and meaningful symbolism, writer and director Harry Macqueen paints a vivid portrait of a couple coming to terms with mortality as Tusker’s condition slowly deteriorates. What ensues is an emotional roller coaster ride where Sam must find ways to cope with this new reality while simultaneously trying to savor every moment he has left with his partner.

Throughout its runtime, Supernova succeeds at capturing all aspects of grief without relying too heavily on melodrama or sentimentality – something many other films fail miserably at achieving. It’s ultimately a beautiful ode to true love that shines brightest in its darkest moments, making it essential viewing if you’re looking to stream sad movies on Hulu right now.

SUPERNOVA | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street
Source: Hulu
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