10 Best Emotional Films

Apr 21, 2001

The Bottom Line My idea of the 10 films that open up emotions best.

Have you ever been moved by a movie? Have you ever been watching an emotional scene and start to tear up or sympathize for the character? Movies can bring out all sorts of feelings in people, everything from laughter to hate. We watch the films but we also do more. We lose ourselves to the characters. In a way we become the characters, feeling what they feel. This list is a tribute to 10 big films that succeeded in bringing out the emotions in people.

10. To Kill A Mockingbird

Some may argue that the book would bring out more emotion, but I disagree. This film is one about growing up through the eyes of two young children, and learning an important lesson about people and how race can divide us. The courtroom scene along with a few select others make this a wonderful movie for almost any age.

9. Philadelphia

A story about a homosexual man not only fighting AIDS, but also the prejudice world around him. Even if you can't relate to it, this is a powerful film. It holds you're interest while at the same time gets you thinking about the corporate world and how we really get ahead. Tom Hanks plays the lead role perfectly.

8. It's A Wonderful Life

Everytime I watch this movie I enjoy it even more. Yes it's more of a Christmas comedy, but the latter 20 minutes or so is truly a touching time. We watch for the most part about how George Bailey lives his average life, and then how a slight turn for the worst on Christmas Eve changes all that. In the final scene, where all of George's friends are in the room and his brother calls him the richest man in town...it still makes me smile.

7. Rocky

A story about an amateur boxer with a poor record gets the chance of a lifetime to face the World Champion. This film brings out a different kinds of emotions. Anxiety, anger, excitement, sympathy, it's all there. Maybe it's because this is a guy film, but I really did enjoy it the first time I saw it. Come to think of it, I still do.

6. Titanic

James Cameron's story of two lovers on the doomed ship Titanic. Not only did this smash box office record in the US, it walked away with several Academy Awards. Two people from completely different classes meet on the ocean liner and we watch as they fall in love, only to face obstacles from high-powered figures. The backdrop for this story is like none other. It's the Titanic, the ship that was declared "unsinkable" yet sank and killed over 1000 people. An unforgettable movie.

5. Instinct

Although this was considered more of an action movie, it's really a thought-provoking film dealing with mankind. How we live, how we socialize, where we came from. It's all discussed in this film. The setting is a prison for the mentally ill, which in itself provides some emotional moments. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Anthony Hopkins play their roles with great enthusiasm.

4. Jacob The Liar

This film didn't gross huge figures in the box office, but it's one of the most gripping films I've ever seen. Robin Williams takes a break from his comedic roles to portray a Jewish worker in a nazi ghetto during WWII. One day he accidentally hears a news report on a nazi radio and tells the people in the ghetto, and they assume he owns his own radio. A humorous yet tragic story about a dark time in our history.

3. Forest Gump

Forest Gump is the story mostly about beating the odds, and beating them more than anyone could have dreamed. It's about a man named Forest who as a boy had an almost crippling leg condition, no friends, and was considered "slow". As Forest recalls his life to different people at a bus stop, we watch as he ages and becomes a football star, fights in Vietnam, and meets several presidents. Tom Hanks plays the role so well you'll be close to tears at certain parts.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

The backdrop for this film is a prison during the early-mid 1900's. Andy, played by Tim Robbins is a man sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. His above average intelligence takes him far, but he finds that it cannot take him past the prison walls. Along with his friend Red, played by Morgan Freeman, he does what he can to improve the prison, but learn valuable life lessons along the way. Yea that sounds kind or corny but this movie is anything but.

1. The Green Mile

Yes, Tom Hanks makes this list three times, and he also makes the No. 1 spot. The Green Mile is unlike any other prison movie I have ever seen. We see Tom Hanks play a prison guard for a cellblock of death row inmates. One day a new inmate comes to the prison, and he is unlike any other man there. He's a gentle giant, with an amazing secret and convicted of rape and murder. I don't want to say any more because this is a movie that you should learn about as you watch.

Note: I'm sorry for excluding foreign and independent films, but I do realize they can bring out more emotions than most blockbusters. I'm simply not familiar with types of films and I feel it would be wrong to include some and end up missing the best.

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