Powerful Movies About Sick & Dying Children

There's nothing more tragic than a child with cancer dying before they've had a chance to experience all that life has to offer. The top death of a child movies feature tear-jerking storylines about parents coping with unimaginable tragedy. This is a list of the greatest sick child movies including everything from Ordinary People to My Sister's Keeper to Lorenzo's Oil.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about dying children? Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is another good film about sick and dying kids. Be sure that you're in the mood to watch a sad movie whenever you press play on one these movies about kids with cancer and other illnesses.

Which movie about the death of a child do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any good films that are missing.

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  • Five Feet Apart
    Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias
    • Released: 2019
    • Directed by: Justin Baldoni

    A pair of teenagers with cystic fibrosis meet in a hospital and fall in love, though their disease means they must avoid close physical contact.

  • My Sister's Keeper
    Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin
    • Released: 2009
    • Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

    A young girl fights for medical emancipation from her parents who until now relied on their youngest child's bone marrow to keep their leukemia-stricken older daughter alive.

  • The Fault in Our Stars
    Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe
    • Released: 2014
    • Directed by: Josh Boone

    Two teenage cancer patients take a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam, based on the best-selling novel by John Green.


  • Bridge to Terabithia
    Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Gabor Csupo

    A preteen's life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape their tragic reality.

  • A Walk To Remember
    Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Adam Shankman

    Adapted from the Nicholas Sparks novel, a rebellious teenage love story stops in its tracks when Jamie (Mandy Moore) is diagnosed with leukemia. 

  • If I Stay
    Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley
    • Released: 2014
    • Directed by: R.J. Cutler

    After a car accident puts a young woman in a coma and takes her to an out-of-body world, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life much different than she imagined.

  • Everything, Everything
    Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose
    • Released: 2017
    • Directed by: Stella Meghie

    A teenager who's spent her whole life confined to her home due to an autoimmune disorder falls for the boy next door.

  • Little Women
    Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh
    • Released: 2019
    • Directed by: Greta Gerwig

    Four young women, each determined to live life on her own terms, make their unique way in the world, until one develops a devastating illness that brings the family back together.​

  • The Lovely Bones
    Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon
    • Released: 2009
    • Directed by: Peter Jackson

    A young girl who has been murdered watches over her family - and her killer - from purgatory, weighing a desire for vengeance against a desire for her family to heal.

  • Mask
    Eric Stoltz, Cher, Sam Elliott
    • Released: 1985
    • Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

    A teenager with a terminal skull deformity and his biker gang mother attempt to enjoy a normal life and all its joys under the circumstances.

  • John Q
    Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, James Woods
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

    John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington) takes a hospital emergency room hostage after his insurance refuses to cover his son's heart transplant.

  • Now Is Good
    Dakota Fanning, Kaya Scodelario, Rose Leslie
    • Released: 2012
    • Directed by: Ol Parker

    A teenager dying of leukemia makes a bucket list of things she would like to do before passing away. At the top of the list is losing her virginity.

  • Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
    Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler
    • Released: 2015
    • Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

    Based on the critically-acclaimed novel by Jesse Andrews, a snarky high schooler and his best friend find their outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

  • Run
    Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Onalee Ames
    • Released: 2020
    • Directed by: Aneesh Chaganty

    A homeschooled teenager with numerous illnesses begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her.

  • The Cure
    Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Annabella Sciorra
    • Released: 1995
    • Directed by: Peter Horton

    An eleven-year-old boy with AIDS and his new friend vow to find a cure for HIV together.

  • Lorenzo's Oil
    Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Peter Ustinov
    • Released: 1992
    • Directed by: George Miller

    A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody knows a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and try to cure the disease himself.

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown
    Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Geert van Rampelberg
    • Released: 2012
    • Directed by: Felix van Groeningen

    Two polar opposite lovers fall for each other, but when the daughter becomes seriously ill, their differences put their love on trial.

  • Dying Young
    Julia Roberts, Campbell Scott, Vincent D'Onofrio
    • Released: 1991
    • Directed by: Joel Schumacher

    Answering a newspaper ad for a "hot female" to care for a young man dying of leukemia, Hilary (Julia Roberts) joins the intelligent son of a wealthy family in the fight for his life.

  • Babyteeth
    Ben Mendelsohn, Essie Davis, Eliza Scanlen
    • Released: 2019
    • Directed by: Shannon Murphy

    A seriously ill teenager falls in love with a drug dealer becoming her conservative parents worst nightmare.

  • The Sweet Hereafter
    Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Bruce Greenwood
    • Released: 1997
    • Directed by: Atom Egoyan

    When a bus crash in a small town kills a dozen children, the lone survivor, a paralyzed 15-year-old boy suffering to recover must testify that the accident is a result of the town's negligence.

  • Bubble Boy
    Jake Gyllenhaal, Swoosie Kurtz, Marley Shelton
    • Released: 2001
    • Directed by: Blair Hayes

    A young man whose been in a bubble all his life due to having no immune system meets an engaged woman and decides to travel across USA to Niagara Falls to stop her from marrying her the love of her life.

  • Keith
    Jennifer Grey, Jesse McCartney, Elisabeth Harnois
    • Released: 2008
    • Directed by: Todd Kessler

    A high schooler thinks she's got life all figured out until she meets her new chemistry class lab partner, ultimately falling for him, only to find her new crush is facing a cancer relapse. 

  • Restless
    Mia Wasikowska, Jane Adams, Schuyler Fisk
    • Released: 2011
    • Directed by: Gus Van Sant

    A terminally ill teenage girl falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and is imaginary friends with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII.

  • Rabbit Hole
    Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest
    • Released: 2010
    • Directed by: John Cameron Mitchell

    The life of a happy couple plunges down a rabbit hole of pain after their young son dies in an accident.

  • Ordinary People
    Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Robert Redford

    The accidental death of the oldest son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.