We’ve all seen the lists of movies that should supposedly make men cry, and they’re generally all war or sports-oriented. That’s all well and good, stereotypes don’t exist by themselves, after all, but what about the others? What about those movies that men watch, that they just don’t want to admit made them choke up, or even wipe some tears away? Most of the time there’s a reason they won’t admit to this, but that doesn’t mean it never happened. These ten movies are guaranteed to have made many a man at least a little teary eyed, whether they’re man enough to admit it or not.
Short Circuit 2
Remember Johnny Five? Remember the original Short Circuit, and how badly we wanted to see a sequel? When it was delivered, nobody expected it to be much without Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg backing up the world’s most lovable autonomous robot. We were all proved wrong when Fisher Stevens not only managed to play an Indian guy for the second time, effectively, but also because the movie was instantly just as classic as the original. While most of the film is the general ’80s motif of heroic shenanigans mixed with a love overcomes all attitude, it was the end that came out of nowhere. If you claim you didn’t choke up when Johnny Five died in Ben’s arms, only to be resurrected by his heartbroken friend moments later, you’re lying to yourself.
The Lion King
First of all, don’t even act like you never watched The Lion King, because nobody will believe you anyway. Once that’s out of the way, it’s time to come to terms with your reaction when Simba’s father, Mufasa, died in the film. As kids, this was especially difficult to watch, as what had been built up as nature’s greatest dad gets betrayed by his own brother, only to be trampled to death while his young son watches in horror. We all know Disney has a penchant for patricide, but still, this was a bit much for kids to take. Going back to watch the movie as adults, the effect is just as considerable. Men are forced to recognize just how sad the scene really is, when seen from more experienced eyes. You cried here.
This one takes a lot for a man to admit that he even watched it in the first place, but it’s time you did. You’ve not only seen this, but you’ve probably seen this three or four times, and not always with a woman, either. It’s a solid movie, a good movie, and we act like it never happened because in public, it’s verboten. That’s fine, but here we can just admit that when the whole thing was over and done with, you had to wipe tears out of your eyes because it was just that sad. You don’t have to go and tell anyone, it’s alright. Your secret’s safe.
Batteries Not Included
This one’s a sleeper, since it’s a bit hard to come by these days. We saw it as kids, most of us anyway, and it was awesome. It was a movie about pocket-sized UFOs chasing away bullies and saving a building full of nice people. That’s a kid’s point of view. Watch this movie as a man, and you suddenly become aware of how desperately sad the entire situation really was. The cast of characters couldn’t be any more pathetic, and to top it off, those little UFOs weren’t invincible, either. What can only be assumed to be the UFO “wife” nearly died during childbirth, and on top of that, she had a stillborn baby UFO. The “slow” but big-hearted guy in the building takes the baby and somehow brings the little fella back to life, but that’s not after considerable heartache has already set in. Men watch this film today and realize it’s not all laughs and heroics, it’s actually got a real story behind it, with real sadness. If it’s been a while, go watch this again, you’ll see for yourself.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
This hardly needs explanation, since it’s one of the saddest scenes in movie history. You don’t need to be a Star Trek fan to recognize that Spock’s self-sacrifice and subsequent death, while his best friends are forced to watch powerlessly, is nothing short of heart-wrenching. Any man who has had a best friend, which is safely assumed to be all of us, can feel the sadness of the characters as they not only watch their friend die, but then give him a sendoff that makes most other funerals seem lame. Even if you managed to keep your eyes relatively dry during the death scene, keeping tears off those cheeks by the end of the eulogy is a gold-medal achievement.
This movie is likely some sort of scientific experiment, devised to see just how sad a movie can actually be. It was too weird for most to go see it in the theaters, and because of that lack of buzz, didn’t spread widely in video-sales later. The interesting thing about it is this: Every man who sees this film admits to openly crying by the time it was finished. It’s basically a romantic tragedy, but instead of being told in the archetypal chick-flick fashion, it’s told from a man’s point of view. On top of being a complete acid trip, it’s got some of the most beautiful cinematography you’ll ever witness. It’s also proof that Hugh Jackman actually does have considerable acting skills, because this movie did not have any adamantium involved. If you haven’t seen this movie, check it out, just do it alone so you don’t have to tell anyone how much you cried.
You didn’t have to have a crush on Wynona Ryder growing up to appreciate how sad this movie was. You just had to watch it, and experience it. Regardless of the fact that your girlfriend would probably choose him over you, you just can’t deny Johnny Depp’s acting skills, and he set the bar pretty high when he played Edward. This entire movie is like one long build-up to an expected and inevitable heartbreak, as he’s left all alone, knowing that the girl of his dreams loves him but unable to act on it. Maybe when you’re a kid, it’s just plain sad, but being an adult now this seems to hit a bit harder than remembered.
Romeo + Juliet
Much like Titanic, and oddly starring the same Leonardo DiCaprio, this movie is largely shunned by men as having never existed. Here’s the deal with this movie: It’s nothing like the play you hated reading in school. It has guns. It has cars. It’s a male-oriented movie, told almost entirely from the perspective of a group of men, who are locked in a vendetta blood-feud with other men. The love story is happening throughout all the man-drama. There are gunfights, fist fights, and people die. There’s comedy, there’s scantily-clad women, and there are drugs. If all that surprises you, then you need to watch this film. If you do, I promise you, you will be choking up and teary-eyed in the final scene, because it truly is one of the world’s most tragic stories ever told.
Yes, The Neverending Story. When was the last time you watched this movie? You surely remember the hero, Atreyu, and the dragon that befriended him, Falkor. Do you remember the horse? Artax was Atreyu’s horse, and best friend. When they get stuck in the Swamps of Sadness, Artax is overcome by The Nothing and its numbing depression – to the point of suicide. The horse is swallowed by the bog while his young friend is forced to watch, unable to pull him to safety, screaming with grief. Since kids do understand the loss of a pet, we were all hit pretty hard by this growing up. It doesn’t get any easier as adults.
Return of the Jedi
The death scene that millions knew would happen, but weren’t expecting. Darth Vader ceased to be in one pivotal moment, giving way to his true self, Anakin Skywalker. This transformation happened decades before Hayden Christensen would have a chance to soil the role in his whiny, talentless portrayal of the iconic figure. Vader is forced to choose not between right and wrong, but between obeying his master and saving his only son. His love for his son overcomes, and he sacrifices himself in order to save him, left with only moments of life afterward to spend with him as his father. This scene, short as it may be, is the only time we ever got to know Anakin, and he was truly fatherly for that short time he spent with Luke. This is a tear-jerker.