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The Best Movies About Letting Go

Updated October 24, 2019 923 votes 88 voters 5.7k views39 items

List RulesVote up your favorite films where characters learn to accept/deal with change.

You can see from this list of movies about letting go, it's never easy to say goodbye, whether it's to a person, a place, or even just a certain time in your life. Nothing is worse than having to move on before you're ready, and we all have those things in our lives that we should let go of, but just can't.

The films on this list of letting go movies are here to teach us how to say goodbye. They range from movies about saying goodbye to childhood to movies about death, grief and time. Ultimately, they all have something to say about one of the most difficult experiences in the human lifetime. The characters sometimes rage against their loss, sometimes try to bargain their way out of it, and sometimes they finally accept it and find peace.

But this isn't just a list of downers. While there are some dramas here, you'll also find Pixar's sweet and hilarious Inside Out, along with Christopher Nolan's gripping Memento. A surprising amount of movies have letting go as a theme.

So vote for your favorites and add any of the greatest letting go movies that aren't on the list!

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  • 1
    Titanic
    31
    11

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    Toy Story
    26
    8

    Toy Story

    Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn Lasseter

    Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy-comedy adventure film produced by Pixar... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3
    Silver Linings Playbook
    27
    14

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro

    Released2012

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Forgetting Sarah Marshall
    35
    24

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall

    Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell

    Released2008

    Directed byNicholas Stoller

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a 2008 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Nicholas... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Inside Out
    34
    23

    Inside Out

    Amy Poehler, Diane Lane

    Released2015

    Directed byPete Docter

    Inside Out is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama film directed by Pete Docter.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    23
    14

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    18
    9

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst

    Released2004

    Directed byMichel Gondry

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Up
    18
    10

    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

    Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    The Break-Up
    16
    9

    The Break-Up

    Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston

    Released2006

    Directed byPeyton Reed

    The Break-Up is a 2006 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Peyton Reed. In a bid... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    The Others
    13
    7

    The Others

    Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston

    Released2001

    Directed byAlejandro Amenábar

    The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    (500) Days of Summer
    13
    10

    (500) Days of Summer

    Zooey Deschanel, Minka Kelly

    Released2009

    Directed byMarc Webb

    (500) Days of Summer is a 2009 American romantic comedy-drama film by first time director Marc... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Knocked Up
    12
    11

    Knocked Up

    Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes

    Released2007

    Directed byJudd Apatow

    Knocked Up is a 2007 American romantic comedy film co-produced, written, and directed by Judd... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    Frozen
    13
    13

    Frozen

    Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel

    Released2013

    Directed byChris Buck, Jennifer Lee

    Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Memento
    13
    13

    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2000

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    About Time
    10
    10

    About Time

    Rachel McAdams, Margot Robbie

    Released2013

    Directed byRichard Curtis

    About Time is a 2013 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis. A young... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    Looper
    10
    13

    Looper

    Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

    Released2012

    Directed byRian Johnson

    Looper is a 2012 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Rian Johnson. In... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    What Dreams May Come
    6
    7

    What Dreams May Come

    Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Released1998

    Directed byVincent Ward

    What Dreams May Come is a 1998 American fantasy drama film, starring Robin Williams, Cuba... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Inception
    16
    23

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Casablanca
    6
    9

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Ms. Purple
    2
    0

    Ms. Purple

    Tiffany Chu, Teddy Lee

    Released2019

    Directed byJustin Chon

    Ms. Purple is a 2019 American drama film directed by Justin Chon. Two estranged sisters come... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    The Wrestler
    10
    16

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke

    Released2008

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    Synonyms
    1
    0

    Synonyms

    Tom Mercier, Quentin Dolmaire

    Released2019

    Directed byNadav Lapid

    Synonyms (a.k.a. Synonymes) is a 2019 French-Israeli drama film directed by Nadav Lapid. A... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Fly Away Home
    9
    16

    Fly Away Home

    Anna Paquin, Dana Delany

    Released1996

    Directed byCarroll Ballard

    Fly Away Home is a 1996 family drama film directed by Carroll Ballard. The film stars Anna... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    Vanilla Sky
    5
    10

    Vanilla Sky

    Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise

    Released2001

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Vanilla Sky is a 2001 American science fiction thriller film directed, written, and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    Changeland
    0
    8

    Changeland

    Seth Green, Randy Orton

    Released2019

    Directed bySeth Green

    Changeland is a 2019 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Seth Green. While... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button