Film Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse  

Ranker Film
381 votes 104 voters 8.8k views 33 items

List Rules Vote up the best films about a lover dying, whether a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

The death of a spouse or a lover is one of the most devastating losses in life. The top movies about a spouse dying find widows and widowers trying to put the pieces of their life back together in a time of great sadness. This is a list of the best movies about the death of a partner including everything from The Fugitive to Ghost to What Dreams May Come.

What films will you find on this list of the best spouse dying movies? The Descendants tells the story of a husband coping with the fact that his wife is dying while learning that she was having an affair. George Clooney stars in this 2011 film directed by Alexander Payne. Sleepless in Seattle is another good movie that deals with the death of a wife - Tom Hanks's character is a single dad. Up is unique among wife dying movies, thanks to its vivid animation and light-hearted, yet bittersweet, tone. Other good films featured on this list include Moonstruck, P.S. I Love You, and Moonlight Mile.

Which movie do you think is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any notable films that are missing.

list ordered by

1
35 9
Up is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more

2
28 8
Ghost is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze 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

3
33 13
P.S. I Love You is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Gerard Butler, Hilary Swank, Judy Garland 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

4
6 0
Irreplaceable You is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Claire Holt, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman Irreplaceable You is a 2018 American drama film directed by Stephanie Laing. The lives of two best friends and romantic soulmates comes crashing down when one is given a terminal cancer

5
14 5
Sleepless in Seattle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Rosie O'Donnell Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Nora Ephron. Based on a story by Jeff Arch, it stars Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie

6
13 5
What Dreams May Come is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
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

7
12 5
Message in a Bottle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Hayden Panettiere, Kevin Costner, Paul Newman Message in a Bottle is a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Luis Mandoki. Based on a novel with the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the film stars Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, and Paul ...more

8
14 7
Inception is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, ...more

9
4 1
Dan in Real Life is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Emily Blunt, Steve Carell, Dane Cook Dan in Real Life is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Hedges, starring Steve Carell, Alison Pill, Juliette Binoche, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney and Dane Cook.

10
3 0
Bounce is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Natasha Henstridge Bounce is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow and directed by Don Roos.

11
3 0
Me Before You is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman Me Before You is a 2016 American-British romantic comedy drama film directed by Thea Sharrock and adapted by Jojo Moyes from her 2012 novel of the same name. The film was released on June 3,

12
4 2
Silver Linings Playbook is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell, adapted from the novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. The film ...more

13
2 0
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

14
2 0
City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Elisabeth Shue City of Angels is a 1998 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by Brad Silberling. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. Set in Los Angeles, California, the film is a very loose ...more

15
3 2
The Time Traveler's Wife is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Ron Livingston The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2009 American romantic science fiction drama film directed by Robert Schwentke. The story follows Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian with a paranormal genetic ...more

16
2 1
Birth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Birth

17
2 1
My Life Without Me is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Debbie Harry, Mark Ruffalo, Alfred Molina My Life Without Me is a 2003 Canadian drama film directed by Isabel Coixet and starring Sarah Polley, Mark Ruffalo, Scott Speedman, and Leonor Watling. Based on the book Pretending the Bed Is a ...more

18
2 1
Birth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Anne Heche Birth is a 2004 American drama film directed by Jonathan Glazer, starring Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Danny Huston and Cameron Bright. The film follows Anna, the daughter of a prominent ...more

19
10 10
The Descendants is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer 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

20
6 6
Saving Grace is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Craig Ferguson, Brenda Blethyn, Bill Bailey Saving Grace is a 2000 British comedy film, directed by Nigel Cole and based on a screenplay by Mark Crowdy and Craig Ferguson. It was co-produced by Fine Line Features, Homerun Productions, ...more

21
5 5
About Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, June Squibb About Schmidt is a 2002 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne, starring Jack Nicholson in the title role. It is very loosely based on the 1996 novel of the same title by Louis ...more

22
1 1
The Face of Love is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Robin Williams, Annette Bening, Ed Harris The Face of Love is an American romantic drama film directed by Arie Posin and co-written by Matthew McDuffie. The film stars Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams, Amy Brenneman, Jess ...more

23
1 1
Just like Heaven is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Alexis Witt added Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Jon Heder Just Like Heaven is an American romantic comedy fantasy film released on September 16, 2005, in the United States and Canada. Set in San Francisco, it was directed by Mark Waters, starring Reese ...more

24
6 7
A Single Man is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Julianne Moore, Jon Hamm, Ginnifer Goodwin 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

25
6 7
Things We Lost in the Fire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Halle Berry, David Duchovny, Benicio del Toro Things We Lost in the Fire is a 2007 drama film directed by Susanne Bier and written by Allan Loeb and starring Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro. The film was released in the United States and ...more

26
4 5
Moonstruck is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Nicolas Cage, Cher, Danny Aiello Moonstruck is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and written by John Patrick Shanley. It stars Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia, and Olympia ...more

27
3 4
30-Love is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
They added 30-Love

28
2 5
Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Claire Bloom, Joss Ackland, Alan MacNaughtan Shadowlands is a 1985 television film, written by William Nicholson, directed by Norman Stone and produced by David M. Thompson for BBC Wales. Its subject is the relationship between Oxford don ...more

29
2 7
Moonlight Mile is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Jake Gyllenhaal, Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman 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

30
2 7
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthda... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Seth Green To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday is a 1996 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Pressman, and starring Peter Gallagher and Claire Danes as a father and daughter struggling to come to ...more

31
1 7
Love Liza is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Kathy Bates, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stephen Tobolowsky Love Liza is a 2002 tragicomedy film directed by Todd Louiso and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Jack Kehler, Wayne Duvall, Sarah Koskoff and Stephen Tobolowsky.

32
1 8
Amour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva Amour is a 2012 French-language drama film written and directed by the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert. The narrative ...more

33
0 7
The Boys Are Back is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
Clive Owen, Laura Fraser, Emma Booth The Boys Are Back is a 2009 Australian/British drama film directed by Scott Hicks, produced by Greg Brenman and starring Clive Owen. Based on the book The Boys Are Back In Town by Simon Carr, ...more