Watching movies is one of the great ways to spend our free time. The variety of genres allows us to “move” to certain places, feel different emotions and simply escape our reality. Some movies are great for being a “noise” in the background, while others really get us involved. If you are the type of person that doesn’t find it easy to pick a movie worth watching because you simply feel lost in all the variety, the good people of the internet can really save you by sharing their own suggestions on the topic.

Having this in mind, Reddit user u/akambe asked people to share “what movie is so good you'd recommend it to all your friends, but so emotionally traumatic that you'll never watch it again?” The post with 391k views soon became a never-ending list of movies that left people in shock and surprise, from old movies that depict historic events, such as the Holocaust, to dramas that remind us of how short life is and what’s truly important. This question led to a discussion of why people find certain things in these movies touching or even traumatizing: a strong character portrayal, emotionally hard movie scenes, unexpected plot twists, or the mix of it all. 

Do you see your choice on the list? If not, what movie did you watch that left you speechless and that you probably won’t watch again? Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments down below!

More Info: Reddit

#1

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (2008)

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (2008) Came here to say this.

This movie... no words. Still haunts me. Still f***s me up, takes me back there, breaks my heart.

They hired the lead actor, Asa Butterfield, for his innocence. He knew nothing about the holocaust. They didn't tell him anything about the holocaust or the gist of the story, he was just playing a little boy who played with another little boy through a fence. They maintained that brilliant innocence of his throughout the movie. THAT'S what makes the ending of this movie just so very soul wrenching. I'm still so very moved by this film.

kaelyyna , The Movie Planet Report

denzoren
Community Member
1 month ago

I have read the book (didn't see the movie) and I just had to sit there when I was finished and just....I had to process what happened.

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#2

Schindler's List (1993)

Schindler's List (1993) I just watched this for the first time about a month ago. I held it together fine until Oskar broke down crying because he couldn't save more people. Then came the waterworks.

drowninginteger , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

Any holocaust movie is difficult to watch...but it's a great movie

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#3

Stand By Me (1986)

Stand By Me (1986) The last line gets me thinking everytime; "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?"

JesusWearsVersace , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I have watched this movie countless times. Good movie and the soundtrack is great.

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#4

The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile (1999) I love Stephen King and tried to read this book...big nope. Then watched the movie and I'm forever traumatized by John saying he's afraid of the dark...among other sad scenes in this movie. Dropping tears just typing this comment. F**k.

Composer_Academic , SceneScreen Report

Gustavo Vanni
Community Member
1 month ago

True, some sad parts indeed, but I watch it everytime it's on TV.

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#5

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Pan's Labyrinth (2006) I thought I was going in to see a cool fantasy flick... And it turned out to be a movie dealing with trauma, abuse, and coping mechanisms

Still a great film, but so gut-wrenching

JDazzleGM , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Libstak
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this movie, would watch it again anytime, there are deeper spiritual nuances in the storyline, it's not just about coping mechanisms, that's not what I got from it at all.

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#6

The Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)

The Grave Of The Fireflies (1988) I'm never, EVER, gonna watch that s**t again. It's from Studio Ghibli, the same from Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro). An absolute masterpiece for sure, but don't expect to find happy little creatures in it.

V02D , Madman Anime Report

Minnie-me
Community Member
1 month ago

Absolutely loved the realness of the war in this storyline. Heart-wrenching for a cartoon.

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#7

American History X (1998)

American History X (1998) Dude the f*****g curb stomp is still clear in my mind and it's been years

BeanpoleAhead , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

That's an amazing movie with deep meaning... hard to watch but it has a positive message that people change so i wouldn't put it here....

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#8

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Dead Poets Society (1989) It hit me HARD mate!

DarkSorceress_007 , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

Unpopular opinion but i find it a little boring even though Robin Williams is of course amazing

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#9

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Life Is Beautiful (1997) This movie is unspeakably tragic. But its also profoundly beautiful. The love that the family had for each other gets me every time. Roberto Benigni was perfection in this role!

mgeezysqueezy , Miramax Report

cassiushumanmother
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I watched it several times. It's poetic, tragic and besides the horror able to give you some smiles, that's quite a piece of art. My favorite one about the Holocaust, with Shindler's list (who is in this list too of course lol, i had not seen it yet)

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#10

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange (1971) Very well made; almost everything about that movie is incredible but it’s so emotionally intense and has such graphic subject matter that I’ll never watch it again. It’s one of those movies you see because it’s great but once you’ve seen it you’re like “Ok, cool. Mark that one off the list” and never touch it again

SomeGuyinaHood1e , GustavdeskMovies Report

cassiushumanmother
Community Member
1 month ago

Should be far higher on the list, that's a really disturbing and violent one on so many levels.

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#11

Requiem For A Dream (2000)

Requiem For A Dream (2000) That ending montage made me physically ill.

Only movie that's ever done that to me.

Gargle_Marbles , DeFilmBlog Report

François Carré
Community Member
1 month ago

Best. Antidrug. Campaign. Ever. (Well, ex aequo with Trainspotting, maybe).

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#12

Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) Like just knowing it happened brings me so much pain

ok-ash , MoviemanTrailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't know why i watch it every time it's on tv!!! I can't help it but I'm so depressed afterwards.....

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#13

Bridge To Terabithia (2007)

Bridge To Terabithia (2007) My childhood literally ended after finishing that movie.

ElvenNeko , MovieStation Report

glowworm2
Community Member
1 month ago

Also known as the king of the "Never Trust a Trailer" movies, which makes it look like a whimsical fantasy movie like Harry Potter.

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#14

What Dreams May Come (1998)

What Dreams May Come (1998) Its the most beautiful movie and I think everyone should watch it at least once, but I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it since Robin Williams died. I actually haven't watched anything he's in since he died.

Leather_Mango , MARCOS EC Report

Jennie-Lind Normand
Community Member
1 month ago

A group of us randomly decided on seeing this in the theatre, it was a 'compromise' when none of us could decide on the other features playing and we all ended up loving this movie so much! Robin was a brilliant comic, but his performance in this movie was just amazing

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#15

The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist (2002) I can't bring myself to watch it again. The anger and hopelessness I felt for that man and those people is beyond compare

VibinWithDoggo , MaxMedia Studios Report

denzoren
Community Member
1 month ago

Now I really need to watch this film.

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#16

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Full Metal Jacket (1987) I watched the very first bit of it when I was in officer training and thought it was a comedy. A few months later I sat down and watched the whole thing. It's not a comedy...

Titanomicon , Warner Bros. Entertainment Report

glowworm2
Community Member
1 month ago

It's because of R. Lee Ermey screaming at the soldiers in the beginning isn't it?

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#17

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Boys Don't Cry (1999) It made me depressed for days.

IrianJaya , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Jods
Community Member
1 month ago

And then you realise it really happened.

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#18

The Land Before Time (1988)

The Land Before Time (1988) For a kid's movie it's so emotionally crushing right from the get go and then you have the tragic murder of the 10-year-old voice actress for Ducky that just adds more sadness to that film.

-eDgAR- , Movieclips Report

Stevie
Community Member
1 month ago

Man I didn't know her father killed her and her mum in a murder–suicide. Now I am really depressed.

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#19

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Hotel Rwanda (2004) I was 18 when I first saw it for the last time. Joaquin Pheonix's line about people seeing a story about genocide on the news and not caring was a crushing "weight of the world" moment for me.

dumbamericanqueer , Movieclips Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

It's a sad truth.... we get used to death around us and don't care! You can see it even now with the crazy numbers of Corona cases around the world...

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#20

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) Leonardo DiCaprio is phenomenal in that. He did character studies to get his role to be believable.

houseofprimetofu , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

One of his best performances and really underrated

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#21

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain (2005) It was such a beautiful film, so very emotional and then it just broke me. Watched it once in the movie theater and never again after.

makikoigami , DeFilmBlog Report

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
1 month ago

Love it.... MULTIPLE TIMES.

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#22

The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)

The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006) That scene where they're sleeping in the bathroom was hard.

edgarpickle , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

denzoren
Community Member
1 month ago

I watched this once. I can't watch it again. It was too sad and too real. The performances were great.

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#23

Steel Magnolias (1989)

Steel Magnolias (1989) Steel Magnolias, especially now that I have kids. I can't even think about Sally Field's breakdown without tearing up.

evelynnross , Movieclips Report

Shelby P
Community Member
1 month ago

this is my go to movie if I need a good cry

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#24

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Jojo Rabbit (2019) Man, I rarely cry during movies, but I teared up with that movie. The symbolism is absolutely beautiful.

Pyxos , SearchlightPictures Report

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
1 month ago

I need to see this. It looks amazing

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#25

The Mist (2007)

The Mist (2007) My favourite bit of trivia about that film is when Stephen King watched the ending, he apparently said that he wished he had thought of it.

Usedbeef , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

Minnie-me
Community Member
1 month ago

omg the ending is so depressing

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#26

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) That was a truly visceral experience.

crackosaurusrex , Movieclips Trailers Report

Synsepalum
Community Member
1 month ago

Wonderful. Tilda Swinton is a goddess

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#27

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler (2014) Incredible movie but I'll never watch it again. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a sociopath too well; so much so that I struggle to watch him in other things now.

lowerrr , Movieclips Trailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

So he did his job well

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#28

Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy (2003) watched this with a girl on a netflix and chill date cus we'd both heard good things, but had no idea what it was about. There was no chill, and no second date.

CommercializedPan , Trailer Chan Report

Christie Schmitz
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this movie! I still watch it ever now and then.

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#29

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Leaving Las Vegas (1995) Nicolas Cage is amazing in it (Won an Oscar for it!), but as a recovered alcoholic, that film hits WAY too close to home. Good film though.

Kryodamus , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

François Carré
Community Member
1 month ago

I mentioned this film a few days ago in another post and got downvoted to hell, I don't know why.

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#30

Once Were Warriors (1994)

Once Were Warriors (1994) soul crashing. can’t bring myself to watch it 2nd time. but must see. alcohol fueled domestic violence abusive families all over the world are the same. it was so on point.

dudettte , Quinn Phillips Report

Fred L.
Community Member
1 month ago

Awesome depressing movie.

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#31

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004) Saw the screener with my film class and had no idea what to expect. Needless to say I was completely blown away and have re-watched it quite a few times since.

Jim Carrey’s performance is phenomenal.

shogun101 , Movieclips Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't the post about what movies you cannot see ever again?

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#32

Dancer In The Dark (2000)

Amazing performance by Bjork and brutally sad. I bought a copy of the DVD after seeing the movie because I loved it so much. I lent the disc to several friends and looked at it many times myself, but could just never summon the energy to watch it again.

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Elizabeth Molloy
Community Member
1 month ago

Same! I was in BITS at the end!

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#33

The Road (2009)

Watched it when it first came out. Loved it. Can’t put myself through it again though. It’s so hard going and heartbreaking.

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Ramona Rhein
Community Member
1 month ago

I read the book. Needless to say, couldn’t watch the movie.

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#34

Manchester By The Sea (2016)

This movie showed how a man can be fully socially functional while suffering from major depression. That aspect hit me the hardest.

iam_saikat Report

Dana Grunwald
Community Member
1 month ago

This movie made me really cry.

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#35

Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia (2011) Really disturbing. Don't think I've ever really gotten over it.

haliella , triviatrailers Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

Lars von trier movies are always disturbing

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#36

Midsommar (2019)

I got really invested in it when I was watching it for the first time, and I've had an absolute fear of cults since I was a kid. I don't find the film scary at all, but by the end of it, I was just completely frozen.

I've watched it since then cuz I love it but I have to take like months to prepare myself to watch it again lmao

killtoryscum Report

Flash Henry
Community Member
1 month ago

I could watch that movie over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over forever

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#37

The Hunt (2012)

The Hunt (2012) That. F*****g. Movie.

Things it shows:

children should not be exposed to pornography

Children who are being questioned to see if they were abused should only have that questioning done by a specially trained expert and possibly with potentially a trained advocate present because it’s too easy to lead them to a conclusion they think the questioner wants to hear, especially if they think they are in trouble

(note: I edited this due to the several very good points several people said about parents shouldn’t be present, some people are also saying best practice is one on one with that trained forensic questioner.)

basically everyone in that story ended up f****d up

Wunderbabs , Movieclips Trailers Report

cassiushumanmother
Community Member
1 month ago

I loved it, Mads was excellent as usual, you can feel the tension during all of it, mostly through him.

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#38

Mary And Max (2009)

Mary And Max (2009) It's such a beautiful movie and so damn sad. I've recommended it to lots of people but it's hard to find.

Ghostrider_119 , Movieclips Classic Trailers Report

François Carré
Community Member
1 month ago

Again, not a movie for kids.

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#39

Wind River (2017)

I've actually put myself through watching this movie multiple times because it's so good but, wow, traumatizing. For anyone on the fence about it, it does have a satisfying conclusion.

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Maripat Webber
Community Member
1 month ago

Very underrated, under appreciated film. But I couldn't see it again.

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#40

Come And See (1985)

Come And See (1985) Wonderful movie, but even more devastating than Grave of the Fireflies, in my opinion.

Mimameird , Film Forum Report

V33333P
Community Member
1 month ago

This. This film made me throw up after I saw it. I've never been more affected by a film in my life

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Note: this post originally had 50 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.