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The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated July 6, 2020 856 votes 156 voters 10.9k views 56 items

List Rules Vote up the best, most heartwrenching movies in which characters are grieving a death.

This list contains information on the best films about grief, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best films about grief come in many forms. Some movies about grieving death are about losing a spouse while other good movies about grief are about the death of a child. Many of the best grief movies feature award-winning actors.

What films will you find on this top movies about grief list? Ghost has to be near the top. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze star as a couple whose afterlife romance inspired movie-goers in 1990. Whoopi Goldberg even won an Academy Award for her performance as the match-making medium in the film. Ordinary People is another good movie about grief.

In the Bedroom examines how grief can quickly turn into revenge. Other good films about grieving death include The Door in the Floor, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and The Lovely Bones.

Do you have a favorite movie about grief? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any good features we may have missed.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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1
Ghost is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze

Released: 1990

Directed by: Jerry Zucker

Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy/crime thriller film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn, and Whoopi Goldberg. It was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry ...more

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2
Ordinary People is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1980

Directed by: Robert Redford

Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film that marked the directorial debut of actor Robert Redford. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton. The story ...more

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3
P.S. I Love You is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Gerard Butler, Hilary Swank, Judy Garland

Released: 2007

Directed by: Richard LaGravenese

P.S. I Love You is a 2007 American drama film directed by Richard LaGravenese. The screenplay by LaGravenese and Steven Rogers is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Cecelia Ahern. It ...more

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4
What Dreams May Come is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Max von Sydow

Released: 1998

Directed by: Vincent Ward

What Dreams May Come is a 1998 American fantasy drama film, starring Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the 1978 novel of the same name ...more

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5
Extremely Loud and Incre... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, John Goodman

Released: 2011

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a 2011 American drama film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Eric Roth. It stars ...more

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6
Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler

Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan

Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan. After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to ...more

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7
The Lovely Bones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon

Released: 2009

Directed by: Peter Jackson

The Lovely Bones is a 2009 supernatural drama film directed by Peter Jackson and stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli, and Saoirse Ronan. A film ...more

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8
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

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9
The Descendants is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer

Released: 2011

Directed by: Alexander Payne

The Descendants is a 2011 American drama film directed by Alexander Payne. The screenplay by Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings. The film ...more

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10
A Single Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Julianne Moore, Jon Hamm, Ginnifer Goodwin

Released: 2009

Directed by: Tom Ford

A Single Man is a 2009 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. It is directed by Tom Ford in his directorial debut and stars Colin Firth, who was ...more

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11
In the Bedroom is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Marisa Tomei, Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson

Released: 2001

Directed by: Todd Field

In the Bedroom is a 2001 American drama film directed by Todd Field, and dedicated to Andre Dubus. The film stars Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, and William Mapother. The ...more

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12
John Wick is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki

Released: 2014

Directed by: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch

John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean ...more

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13
The Babadook is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Adam Morgan

Released: 2014

Directed by: Jennifer Kent

The Babadook is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, in which a woman and her son are tormented by a "boogie-man" type monster. The film ...more

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14
Rabbit Hole is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Rabbit Hole Nicole Kidman, Sandra Oh, Aaron Eckhart

Released: 2010

Directed by: John Cameron Mitchell

Rabbit Hole is a 2010 American drama film starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, and Dianne Wiest, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell; the screenplay is an adaptation by David Lindsay-Abaire ...more

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15
Monster's Ball is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Halle Berry, Sean Combs, Heath Ledger

Released: 2001

Directed by: Marc Forster

Monster's Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by German-Swiss director Marc Forster starring Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton and Heath Ledger. The film tells the story of a poor ...more

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16
Jackie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
Jackie is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim. The film stars Natalie Portman as the titular character, following her life after the ...more

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17
Reign Over Me is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Adam Sandler, Liv Tyler, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mike Binder

In Reign Over Me, two former college roommates Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) and Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) run into each other years later and rekindle their friendship. Charlie, who recently ...more

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18
A Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
A Ghost Story Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham

Directed by: David Lowery

A Ghost Story is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by David Lowery. The movie follows a man as he dies, becomes a ghost, and witnesses many things before fading away.

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19
Harry Potter and the Dea... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Helena Bonham Carter

Released: 2010

Directed by: David Yates

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20
Taking Chance is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Kevin Bacon, Matthew Morrison, Enver Gjokaj

Released: 2009

Directed by: Ross Katz

Taking Chance is a 2009 historical drama film based upon the experiences of Marine Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl, who escorted the body of a fallen Marine, PFC Chance Phelps, back to his hometown ...more
21
Moonlight Mile is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Jake Gyllenhaal, Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman

Released: 2002

Directed by: Brad Silberling

Moonlight Mile is a 2002 American romantic drama film written and directed by Brad Silberling. This film was loosely inspired by writer/director Brad Silberling's own experience. He was dating ...more

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22
Gone Baby Gone is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ben Affleck

Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 American neo-noir mystery thriller film directed by Ben Affleck, based on the 1998 novel by Dennis Lehane. After a young girl goes missing, Boston detectives Patrick ...more

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23
No Reservations is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Abigail Breslin

Released: 2007

Directed by: Scott Hicks

No Reservations is a 2007 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Scott Hicks. Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin, the screenplay by Carol Fuchs is an ...more

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24
Grace Is Gone is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Marisa Tomei, John Cusack, Mary Kay Place

Released: 2007

Directed by: James C. Strouse

Grace Is Gone is a 2007 drama film starring John Cusack as a father who cannot bring himself to tell his two daughters that their mother, a soldier in the American army, has just been killed on ...more
25
We Bought a Zoo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Grief, Ranked
Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon, Elle Fanning

Released: 2011

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

We Bought a Zoo is a 2011 American family comedy-drama film loosely based on the 2008 memoir of the same name by Benjamin Mee. The film is directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Matt Damon as ...more

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