Seven Movies That Leave you Really Depressed Afterwards

There are lots of things that people hope to get out the movies they see.  And depending on the movie we usually have different needs.  Sometimes we want to get a laugh.  Sometimes we want to find meaning in our own lives.   Hell, even sometimes we want to cry.

But in my experience, rarely do I ever want to be depressed.  That’s not to say that depressing movies can’t be good.  In fact, that’s far from the truth.   Still though, it’s not the greatest feeling to have.

Speaking of which, here are seven movies that left me feeling like crap afterwards.  (Spoilers Ahead)


Not only is this one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen.  It’s also one of the most screwed up.   Essentially the lives of many individuals are connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.  For example we have a pedophile, a guy who derives pleasure from talking dirty on the phone, a woman who likes to be treated like crap, and it goes on.   The stuff you’ll see in this movie is stuff you won’t see in any movie ever.

Million Dollar Baby

It seems like a movie that would be uplifting right?  I mean at least at first.   You got a down on her luck, poor white girl who wants to learn to box.   She does learn to box and learns well from a legend and his assistant.   What happens?  She starts doing well.  So well that she could potentially be the champ?   And yet she comes so far only to be sabotaged in the ring and winds up being a paraplegic.    She even tells her family to take a hike so that she can die.    I mean it’s a good movie but man, how bad can you feel after the seeing a film?

Grave of the Fireflies

A powerful, rickly symbolic anti-war film, this is the harrowing story of two orphaned children attempting to survive in the ruins of post-War Japan. The five year-old girl dies of starvation and is cremated by her big brother, who stows her ashes in a sweet tin.   Oh and by the way, this is a cartoon!  Yes, a cartoon.  I never thought I’d add a cartoon in an article like this but here we are.

21 Grams

Here’s a movie starring Sean Penn as a terminally ill mathematician trapped in a loveless marriage and Naomi Watts as an ex-junkie grieving the death of her husband and kids.   Benicio Del Toro is also in the film as an ex con.  All three are brought together by this freak accident that isn’t so freakish.   I won’t say what happens but the depressions stems from this unbelievable tragedy bringing these people together in such an awkward and almost gross way.

Leaving Las Vegas

Nicolas Cage, a washed-up writer determinedly drinks himself to death while Elizabeth Shue, a winsome prostitute powerless to save him, looks on.  Honestly it’s absolutely dreadful to watch.  Again, a great movie but we’re talking rape scenes, puking, a man on his least breath and getting sicker and sicker, and the prostitute left hopefully in the wind.   It’s really tough.

The Champ

Billy Flynn, an ex boxing champion, is now horse trainer in Hialeah.  He makes just enough money to raise his little boy T.J. over which he got custody after his wife Annie left him seven years ago. T.J. worships The Champ who is now working on his come-back in order to give his boy a better future.   But of course Annie comes back and out of nowhere, Billy Flynn dies in a fight?  Ugh.

Requiem for a Dream

Empire Online says it best right here:

Darren Aronofsky’s chronicle of lives devastated by drugs is a peerless downer. Starring Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly and Jared Leto, this is a film you watch once, then repair to the pub to stare fixedly into your beer for the night, vowing never, ever to watch it again.

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  1. Good list but I would argue that Mystic River really deserved to be on this list, I remember just not feeling quite right after that movie ended.. I mean I liked the movie a lot, but it didn’t feel right to say that..

  2. @Chopper, I hear that on sideways.

    I think I’m the only one who doesn’t get depressed watching requiem. I just get thankful that I’m not a junkie idiot and still have both my arms.

  3. Grave of the Fireflies destroyed me. So crushingly sad. The Road and Into the Wild we also very depressing. As far as Happiness goes, I felt like I need a long shower to wash away all the dirtiness after watching that horrible movie.

  4. On the beach. The scenes where the parents where poisoning their kids before taking poison themselves to avoid radiation sickness really messed me up.

  5. Watching Requiem messed me up more than any movie I have ever watched. The old red haired lady that starts to hallucinate from taking all the pills looks just like my grandmaw. I agree with the quote in the article, I will never watch that movie again.

  6. I just don’t get people being depressed by Brazil. I’ve never found it depressing in the slightest. Maybe I’m weird like that though.

  7. @Mark Guess I gotta change my username on this site lol I’ll be going by Mark Jr now.

    Can’t say I’ve seen any depressing movies but just reading the descriptions of these movies has me fairly down now.

  8. After witnessing the quality of the articles on this site take a nose dive and seeing you call any Anime a “cartoon” (by far one of my biggest pet peeves), I regret to inform you that I don’t give the smallest pebble of shit about this website anymore.

  9. @Diarmuid212 – Agreed! I came here to say Pan’s Labyrinth. I only watched that movie once because it ruined my whole day. I would also add Irreversible.
    @Azenomei – yes, The Mist too.

  10. @Vince get over yourself Anime’s are cartoons. A motion picture using animation techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or objects.

  11. Most depressing movie I’ve ever seen was a claymation film called “Mary & Max”. I wanted to die. Also, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas damn near killed me.

  12. Seven off the top of my head, in no particular order:

    The Piano Teacher
    Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance
    Dead Man’s Shoes
    Bad Lieutenant
    A Scanner Darkly

  13. I have to mention a Swedish film about trafficking, “Lilja 4-ever”. It’s in russian and’s about trafficking. If you want to feel like total shit and have your sexuality destroyed, watch it.

    Another Swedish movie, Beyond (“svinalangorna”). It’s about alcoholic parents. Omfg.

    …also Aronofsky’s The Fountain. <3

  14. I thought “City of Angels” was rather depressing. What a crap ending after watching all that!
    Also, Grave of Fireflies is not just a cartoon, it’s Anime. Not your fault, but it bugs me when people call it a “cartoon”, like they call a pony a horse, when they aren’t exactly the same. Yes, it was drawn, but the point is, is American “cartoons” are for kids. They are cutesy and teach you things. Anime is so not even close. Anime is everything. It’s Hentai. It’s murder. It’s gore and blood and everything in between. I’m not surprised that an Anime would be depressing – not in the slightest.

  15. I haven’t seen any of these movies mentioned, except for A Scanner Darkly, but that one didn’t leave me feeling bad at all. In fact, some parts of it had me laughing my ass off.

  16. Now even though it is absolutely amazing and for most of it it pretty much makes you feel glad and content, I would have to offer up:

    The first ten minutes of Up.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been able to hold back manly tears on that one.

  17. A great list and some great comments… but nobody mentions Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg’s masterpiece with Jeremy Irons)… what’s wrong with you people!

  18. Thank you Chris! Mary and Max. I thought it sounded cute, watched it and was suitably depressed. I still think it’s a great film, especially for claymation, but it is sad. The Road is goddamn depressing. But I’d have to give it up to Mary and Max, simply because I didn’t know it was going to depress me, I thought it was going to be a sweet little claymation!

  19. Downfall. Despite the many Youtube parodies, the actual film is depressing as fuck. It really makes you feel like you’re in that bunker and the only way out is suicide.

  20. There is a very big difference between a sad movie and a depressing one. Some movies have a sad ending but are not depressing throughout. The most depressing movie I have seen is Midnight Cowboy. It made me feel like life was all a waste of time and I had to watch something funny to get me out of that funk.

  21. While I haven’t seen the movie “The Champ” myself, I’ve heard that the death scene of the main character has officially been elected the most depressing movie scene ever. I don’t remember which organization declared it that, though.

  22. I’m not going to argue the whole cartoon/anime angle because I just don’t care about that. The only point I have to bring up is that, hey, it’s 2012 and cartoons aren’t just for kids anymore. I’m pretty sure we know that by now.

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