film The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
21.4k votes 4.1k voters 65.9k views 173 items Embed

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.

list ordered by

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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 1 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) 2 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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Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 3 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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926 257
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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375 78
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Faran N. Garland added Where the Red Fern Grows James Whitmore, Beverly Garland, Lonny Chapman Where the Red Fern Grows is a 1974 film directed by Norman Tokar, based on the 1961 novel of the same name. It stars James Whitmore, Beverly Garland, Stewart Petersen and Jack Ging.

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804 305
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

7
413 124
My Sister's Keeper is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
679 272
What Dreams May Come is listed (or ranked) 8 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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628 245
The Road is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
268 58
My Girl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
AngelIncognito added My Girl Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice Elehwany. The film, starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in her feature film debut, depicts the ...more

11
477 178
Million Dollar Baby is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
347 122
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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662 313
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

14
542 254
12 Years a Slave is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
12 Years a Slave Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch 12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was ...more

15
240 78
Hachi: A Dog's Tale is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Lenie Ekamper added Hachi: A Dog's Tale Richard Gere, Jason Alexander, Joan Allen Hachi: A Dog's Tale is a 2009 drama film. Based on the true story of a faithful Akita Inu, the titular Hachikō, it is directed by Lasse Hallström, written by Stephen P. Lindsey,Kaneto ...more

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The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
223 82
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
317 150
Grave of the Fireflies is listed (or ranked) 18 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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384 202
A.I. Artificial Intelligence is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Keith Crawford added A.I. Artificial Intelligence Meryl Streep, Robin Williams, Jude Law A.I. Artificial Intelligence, also known as A.I., is a 2001 American science fiction film written, directed, and produced by Steven Spielberg, and based on Brian Aldiss's short story Super-Toys ...more

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261 141
The Pursuit of Happyness is listed (or ranked) 20 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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196 108
Kids is listed (or ranked) 21 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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252 166
Room is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Room William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Brie Larson Room is an upcoming Canadian-Irish drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue, based on the novel of the same name by Donoghue. The film stars Brie Larson, Joan Allen, ...more

23
134 67
Bastard out of Carolina is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
214 153
Manchester by the Sea is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Manchester by the Sea Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler

25
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Terms of Endearment is listed (or ranked) 25 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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188 135
Revolutionary Road is listed (or ranked) 26 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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73 24
Boys Don't Cry is listed (or ranked) 27 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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84 40
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
177 149
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 29 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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Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 30 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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71 40
Life Is Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 31 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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158 135
Melancholia is listed (or ranked) 32 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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50 19
Seven Pounds is listed (or ranked) 33 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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129 115
Dancer in the Dark is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
126 116
The Bridges of Madison County is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Jessica Back Ogle added The Bridges of Madison County Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Debra Monk The Bridges of Madison County is a 1995 American romantic drama film based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Robert James Waller. It was produced by Amblin Entertainment and Malpaso ...more

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61 42
A Dog's Purpose is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Deeperthings added A Dog's Purpose

37
150 147
Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 37 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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54 37
The Deer Hunter is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
113 119
The Hours is listed (or ranked) 39 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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Dolores Claiborne is listed (or ranked) 40 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.

41
54 51
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 41 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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36 29
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 42 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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18 10
Beaches is listed (or ranked) 43 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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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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28 29
Taps is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rick LeRoy added Taps Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, George C. Scott Taps is a 1981 drama film starring George C. Scott and Timothy Hutton, with Ronny Cox, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, and Evan Handler in supporting roles. Hutton was nominated for a Golden Globe award ...more

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27 32
Jacob's Ladder is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rick LeRoy added Jacob's Ladder Macaulay Culkin, Tim Robbins, Jason Alexander Jacob's Ladder is a 1990 American psychological horror film directed by Adrian Lyne, written and produced by Bruce Joel Rubin and starring Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña and Danny Aiello. ...more

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30 37
Open Water is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Rick LeRoy added Open Water Saul Stein, Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis Open Water is a 2003 drama psychological horror film loosely based on the true story of an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went out with a scuba diving group, Outer Edge ...more

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4 1
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Pan's Labyrinth Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López i Ayats Pan's Labyrinth, originally known in Spanish as El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and ...more

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4 1
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made
Siersha 2 added Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

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4 1
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 50 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