20 of the Saddest Endings in Movie History

20 of the Saddest Endings in Movie History

Most of the saddest movie scenes — Artax’s death, Dobby’s death, just about any adorable creature’s death — come in the middle of a movie (or, in Dobby’s case, the end of a part one that didn’t need to be two movies). That way, the screenwriter can bring it back around to a happy ending so you don’t leave the theater with a far-off stare and a new emptiness inside. Sometimes, though, screenwriters regard your emotions as a preschooler treats Play-Doh: something to pound mercilessly before finally smushing into the carpet. They want you to leave the theater feeling like a hollow shell, so they save the worst for last.

For Redditor DDofD, the award for saddest movie ending goes to the Australian World War I drama Gallipoli. “The whole film is great,” they explained to r/Movies. “Good characters, humour, great soundtrack. The last five minutes or so of the movie just make it even more heartbreaking when you have watched the entire film and followed the two main characters.” 

They then asked, “What is the saddest ending to a movie that you have seen?” and the answers contained a lot of death, melancholy survivors, and surprisingly, only one dog.

Dancer in the Dark

Irreplaceable You

A.I. Artificial Intelligence


Million Dollar Baby

Grave of the Fireflies

The Wrestler

The Green Mile

Silent Hill

Requiem for a Dream

The Banshees of Inisherin

Pan’s Labyrinth

Bridge to Terabithia



In Bruges

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

Marley and Me

The Mist

My Girl

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