Film The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
29.1k votes 5.3k voters 97k views 121 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest films that are relentlessly bleak and depressing, with characters struck down by beat after soul-crushing beat of nonstop psychological torment.

These films are depressing, but they're also remarkable. After all, what's better than depressing movies when you need to sit down and have a solid cry? The best utterly depressing movies are about heartbreaking tragedies in every form. This is a list of the most depressing movies of all time including everything from The Hours to Blue is the Warmest Colour to The Lovely Bones.

What films will you find on this list of good movies that are utterly depressing? Requiem for a Dream follows a group of friends who will stop at nothing to fulfill their dangerous drug addictions. Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, and Ellen Burstyn all gave devastatingly real performances in this Darren Aronofsky film. 12 Years a Slave is one of the most depressing movies ever made, since it focuses on the real-life horrors of slavery in America. Melancholia is unique in its examination of depression as the world comes to an end. Other good depressing movies featured on this list include Room, Revolutionary Road, and Manchester by the Sea.

Do you have a favorite depressing film? Give the best movies a thumbs up and please add any crushing classics that are missing.

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Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Greg Kootstra added Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Lenie Ekamper added The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Vera Farmiga, Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a 2008 British historical-drama based on the novel of the same name by Irish writer John Boyne. Directed by Mark Herman, produced by Miramax Films, and ...more

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Precious: Based on the Novel P... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more

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The Road is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
The Road Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Viggo Mortensen The Road is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic drama film directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay written by Joe Penhall, which is in return based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 novel of ...more

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The Lovely Bones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
The Lovely Bones Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon 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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What Dreams May Come is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
What Dreams May Come Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Max von Sydow 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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Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rex Botengan added Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. This film is about an ...more

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My Sister's Keeper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Elisabeth Gade Kjelmann added My Sister's Keeper Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin, Emily Deschanel My Sisters's Keeper is a 2009 American drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, and Alec Baldwin. Based on Jodi Picoult's novel of the ...more

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Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Dorsett Scott Peake added Grave of the Fireflies Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi, Ayano Shiraishi Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. It is based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical novel Grave of ...more

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12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free ...more

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The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
JamesGirl_21 added The Color Purple Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more

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The Mist is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Benjamin Scott McNair added The Mist Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden The Mist is a 2007 American science fiction horror film based on the 1980 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, who had previously ...more

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The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added The Green Mile Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Xavier Indeglia added The Elephant Man Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft The Elephant Man is a 1980 American-British biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, ...more

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Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Kaitlyn Kristina Arnould added Sophie's Choice Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol Sophie's Choice is a 1982 American drama film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who adapted William Styron's novel of the same name. Meryl Streep stars as Sophie, a Polish immigrant who shares a ...more

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Boys Don't Cry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Tamm Walters added Boys Don't Cry Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Natalie Zea Boys Don't Cry is a 1999 American independent romantic drama film directed by Kimberly Peirce and co-written by Andy Bienen. The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teena, ...more

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What's Eating Gilbert Grape is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Jon DeSpirito added What's Eating Gilbert Grape Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Peter Hedges wrote the ...more

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The Pursuit of Happyness is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
LaWanda McPeak Sanders added The Pursuit of Happyness Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more

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Kids is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Kids Rosario Dawson, Chloë Sevigny, Harmony Korine Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. It features Chloë Sevigny, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, and Rosario Dawson, all in their film ...more

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Room is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Room Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen Room is a 2015 independent drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson, based on the novel by Emma Donoghue. After being held captive for seven years, a woman (Brie Larson) and her son (Jacob ...more

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Terms of Endearment is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Greg Kootstra added Terms of Endearment Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, John Lithgow Terms of Endearment is a 1983 comedy-drama film adapted from the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry, directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks and starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra ...more

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Seven Pounds is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Jon DeSpirito added Seven Pounds Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson Seven Pounds is a 2008 American fantasy drama film, directed by Gabriele Muccino, in which Will Smith stars as a man who sets out to change the lives of seven people. Rosario Dawson, Woody ...more

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Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rick LeRoy added Mystic River Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. ...more

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Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Manchester by the Sea Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler 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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Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Heather Robison Hillman added Life Is Beautiful Roberto Benigni, Horst Buchholz, Richard Sammel Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more

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Revolutionary Road is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Revolutionary Road Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Revolutionary Road is a 2008 American-British drama film, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates, directed by Sam Mendes. This is the second collaboration between Leonardo ...more

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Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Lyubomir Georgiev added Children of Men Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five ...more

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Bastard out of Carolina is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
JamesGirl_21 added Bastard out of Carolina Christina Ricci, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Laura Dern Bastard out of Carolina is a 1996 film made by Showtime Networks, directed by Anjelica Huston. It is based on a novel by Dorothy Allison and adapted for the screen by Anne Meredith. Jena Malone ...more

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Hotel Rwanda is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Hotel Rwanda Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Don Cheadle Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American historical drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. It stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo ...more

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Beaches is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Greg Kootstra added Beaches Bette Midler, Mayim Bialik, Barbara Hershey Beaches, is a 1988 American comedy-drama film adapted by Mary Agnes Donoghue from the Iris Rainer Dart novel of the same name. It was directed by Garry Marshall, and stars Bette Midler, Barbara ...more

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The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Heather Robison Hillman added The Deer Hunter Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in the Vietnam War. The film ...more

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Dancer in the Dark is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Dancer in the Dark Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse Dancer in the Dark is a 2000 Danish musical drama film directed by Lars von Trier and starring Icelandic singer Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Cara Seymour, Peter Stormare, Siobhan ...more

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Melancholia is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Melancholia Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt Melancholia is a 2011 Danish art film written and directed by Lars von Trier, starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgård, Cameron Spurr, and Kiefer Sutherland. The ...more

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Atonement is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Atonement Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan Atonement is a 2007 British romantic drama war film directed by Joe Wright and based on Ian McEwan's 2001 novel of the same name. The film stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, ...more

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Leaving Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Leaving Las Vegas Nicolas Cage, Mariska Hargitay, Elisabeth Shue Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 romantic drama film written and directed by Mike Figgis and based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by John O'Brien. Nicolas Cage stars as a suicidal ...more

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The Virgin Suicides is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added The Virgin Suicides Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito The Virgin Suicides is a 1999 American drama written and directed by Sofia Coppola, produced by her father Francis Ford Coppola, starring James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Josh ...more

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Brokeback Mountain is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Brokeback Mountain Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Mara Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American epic romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx; the screenplay was written ...more

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The Pianist is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added The Pianist Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox The Pianist is a 2002 historical drama film co-produced and directed by Roman Polanski, scripted by Ronald Harwood, and starring Adrien Brody. It is based on the autobiographical book The ...more

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The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rick LeRoy added The Machinist Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John ...more

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Legends of the Fall is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Legends of the Fall Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Ormond Legends of the Fall is a 1994 American epic drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond, and Henry Thomas. Based on the 1979 novella of ...more

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Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Prisoners Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello Prisoners is a 2013 crime drama thriller film written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve.

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Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Girl, Interrupted Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 American drama film, and an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's 1993 memoir of the same name. The film chronicles Kaysen's 18-month stay at a mental institution. Directed ...more

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Road to Perdition is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Heather Robison Hillman added Road to Perdition Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Paul Newman Road to Perdition is a 2002 American crime thriller film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self, from the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins. The film ...more

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Awakenings is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Awakenings Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Vin Diesel Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks' 1973 memoir of the same title. It tells the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm ...more

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District 9 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Erin Schmidt added District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more

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Dolores Claiborne is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rick LeRoy added Dolores Claiborne Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer Dolores Claiborne is a 1995 drama thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It was directed by Taylor Hackford.

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Thirteen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Thirteen Vanessa Hudgens, Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter Thirteen is a 2003 semi-autobiographical American drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and written by Hardwicke and Nikki Reed based on events in Reed's life at age twelve and thirteen. ...more

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The Hours is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
The Hours Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore The Hours is a 2002 British-American drama film directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by David Hare is based on ...more

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Platoon is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Platoon Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more