30 Great Movies That Are Too Emotionally Draining To Be Watched Twice
There’s hardly anything more relaxing like spending an evening at home plopped down on your couch with a big bowl of popcorn and a great movie. However, sometimes we accidentally end up choosing movies that despite being great, are so emotionally taxing, they leave us quietly weeping into our pillow. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – it’s just that movies like these should probably come with a warning. And today we’d like to share a small list of movies you might want to double check to avoid a bad case of the blues during your next movie night.
Recently, Reddit user u/akambe asked people “What movie is so good you’d recommend it to all your friends, but so emotionally traumatic that you’ll never watch it again?”, and received quite the handful of recommendations. People shared hundreds of movies that they felt must be see, yet are too emotionally draining to watch twice – check them out in the gallery below!
More info: Reddit
#1 Schindler’s List (1993)
Image source: drowninginteger
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.
#2 The Boy In The Striped Pajamas (2008)
Image source: kaelyyna
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.
#3 Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Image source: mgeezysqueezy
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!
#4 Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Image source: JDazzleGM
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
#5 The Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)
Image source: V02D
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.
#6 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Image source: SomeGuyinaHood1e
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
#7 Stand By Me (1986)
Image source: JesusWearsVersace
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?”
#8 American History X (1998)
Image source: BeanpoleAhead
Dude the f*****g curb stomp is still clear in my mind and it’s been years
#9 Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Image source: Titanomicon
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…
#10 The Green Mile (1999)
Image source: Composer_Academic
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.
#11 Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Image source: Gargle_Marbles
That ending montage made me physically ill.
Only movie that’s ever done that to me.
#12 Dead Poets Society (1989)
Image source: DarkSorceress_007
It hit me HARD mate!
#13 Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
Image source: ok-ash
Like just knowing it happened brings me so much pain
#14 Bridge To Terabithia (2007)
Image source: ElvenNeko
My childhood literally ended after finishing that movie.
#15 Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Image source: makikoigami
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.
#16 Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Image source: IrianJaya
It made me depressed for days.
#17 What Dreams May Come (1998)
Image source: Leather_Mango
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.
#18 The Pianist (2002)
Image source: VibinWithDoggo
I can’t bring myself to watch it again. The anger and hopelessness I felt for that man and those people is beyond compare
#19 The Land Before Time (1988)
Image source: -eDgAR-
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.
#20 What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Image source: houseofprimetofu
Leonardo DiCaprio is phenomenal in that. He did character studies to get his role to be believable.
#21 Once Were Warriors (1994)
Image source: dudettte
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.
#22 Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Image source: dumbamericanqueer
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.
#23 Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Image source: Pyxos
Man, I rarely cry during movies, but I teared up with that movie. The symbolism is absolutely beautiful.
#24 Oldboy (2003)
Image source: CommercializedPan
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.
#25 The Mist (2007)
Image source: Usedbeef
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.
#26 The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006)
Image source: edgarpickle
That scene where they’re sleeping in the bathroom was hard.
#27 Nightcrawler (2014)
Image source: lowerrr
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.
#28 Steel Magnolias (1989)
Image source: evelynnross
Steel Magnolias, especially now that I have kids. I can’t even think about Sally Field’s breakdown without tearing up.
#29 Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Image source: Kryodamus
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.
#30 We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Image source: crackosaurusrex
That was a truly visceral experience.