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Top 10 Trailers That Made Us Cry

VO: Emily Brayton
You know you’re in trouble when the trailer made you tear up! In this countdown we’re taking a look the saddest trailers of all time. We’ve included the trailer for movies like The Light Between Oceans, Still Alice, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Like Crazy, My Life, Me Before You, Blue Valentine, Gleason, If I stay, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Me Earl and the Dying Girl and Patch Adams.
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Top 10 Trailers That Made Us Cry



Grab a box of Kleenex, cause this may get a little messy. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Trailers That Made Us Cry.

For this list, we’ll be looking at movie trailers that managed to get the water works in motion for one reason or another. Note that the movie’s quality is not in question here, but rather we’re focusing solely on the preview and its impact on us.

#10: “The Light Between Oceans” (2016)

The trailer for “The Light Between Oceans” hits all the right notes. Starting with subtle piano and handwritten love letters, it even uses “dearest” because “dear” just wouldn’t be dramatic enough. 30 seconds in, we’re stabbed in the gut with an emotional knife- the couple has lost their baby. The remaining scenes just twist and twist. As they take in a lost child they stumbled upon while discussing their moral dilemma, their predicament only gets more complex, while our tears feel like they’ll keep flowing forever and ever and ever...

#9: “Still Alice” (2014)

While the last entry forced us to consider how we’d personally deal with an unimaginable moral dilemma, “Still Alice” addresses an all too common ailment. Many of us have had a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s clear that this film intends to represent these struggles in the most realistic possible way. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’ll be a gloomy sob-fest the entire time, as this trailer is actually quite powerful with an underlying positivity despite the circumstances. Highlighting relationships between spouses, parents, children, and friends, everyone will find a way to tap into this trailer in spite of its heavy subject matter.

#8: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (2011)

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 shocked the world round, and most of us vividly remember this devastating assault and its aftermath. A decade later, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” boldly tells a story based on the events. The trailer shows 9-year-old Oskar coming to terms with his father’s death in the attack and setting out to solve one final riddle in his absence. This acts as both a way for Oskar to accept the tragic events, and for us to see others’ reactions in the proceeding days. All too real, yet powerful and uplifting, it reflects on events incredibly close to home and tugs at our heartstrings.

#7: “Like Crazy” (2011)

Events don’t need to be larger than life to be utterly tear inducing. In fact, the little things—obstacles we’ve all been through at one point are oftentimes far more real, and all the more effective at accessing our emotions. “Like Crazy” simply tells the story of an American student and a British exchange student who fall in love, only to be separated after graduation. No cataclysmic events transpire. Two young people with a pure and innocent love simply lack the means to be together. Add an understated cover of “Can't Help Falling in Love” and this has all the ingredients necessary for a good cry.

#6: “My Life” (1993)

Keep in mind this was the ‘90s, when it seemed like almost every trailer had cheesy narration in it. Once you make that adjustment, the feels in this trailer are everywhere. Michael Keaton takes a break from being Batman as he plays a man awaiting the birth of his son. It just so happens that he also has cancer and realizes his days are numbered. We’re then exposed to a montage of videos, some of which expel paternal advice for a boy whose father will not be around for those big moments, other which show how the couple deals with the news. At times sweet, funny, and devastating, it’s bound to make even the most solemn among us shed a tear.

#5: “Me Before You” (2016)

To be fair, the subject matter speaks for itself with regards to cry-ability. A disabled man who has lost the will to live meets a girl with the ability to unlock that sensation in him once again. Said disabled man is also quite attractive, and varying stages of his sickness are shown throughout the trailer. Not much more is required to bring on the waterworks, but that doesn’t stop Ed Sheeran from coming in halfway through to elevate emotions even higher. It’s not the first time a film has intermingled terminal illness and young love, but this one’s particularly sweet, or rather bittersweet, thanks to the notion of tragedy not far off in the distance.

#4: “Blue Valentine” (2010)

Authenticity is exemplified through imperfection. The first few seconds make this sentiment clear. With shaky camera, awkward dancing, and an unremarkable ukulele, these two lovers aren’t unobtainable celebrities. They’re us, represented on the silver screen. “Blue Valentine” shows a relationship at its high points, low points, and points in between that we often forget about. In fact, it’s easy to think back to similar experiences, and relive those emotions, amplified by the trailer’s vulnerability. This type of sadness is an art form, and rarely seen so well in such a short time.

#3: “Gleason” (2016)


If you don’t already know the story behind New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason, don’t worry, this heartbreaking teaser’s got you covered. Gleason, who’s time with the team was cursed by the unfortunate destruction of Hurricane Katrina, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS in 2011, just before learning his first child was on the way. The trailer which showcases the athlete’s journey of living with the disease, is intercut with personal video diaries to Gleason’s unborn son, reminding the viewer just how strong the love of a father can be.


#2: “If I Stay” (2014)

Alright, this is the part where it gets really hard to keep it together. We’re professionals at MsMojo, so here it goes: Two teens fall in love. They may be naïve and young, but their love is pure. A freak accident leaves the girl in a coma, fighting for her life. Next, the saddest song on the planet starts playing, and everyone in the audience inexplicably has “something in their eyes” for the next 60 seconds. It’s like the filmmakers made note of each one of our heartstrings and found the most devious way to pull on each of them several times over. If you’re not sobbing by the end, this clearly means you’re a vampire with no soul.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015)

“Patch Adams” (1998)

#1: “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” (2009)

Tragic death, true stories, dogs… it only makes sense these should all be wrapped up into one for our final entry. “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” focuses on an unbreakable devotion between an old man and his dog. Hachi has made a habit of waiting for his owner at the train every day until they are reunited after work. As you may surmise… one day, this becomes impossible, and a sweet, adorable, loyal dog is left unable to reckon with this loss – but continues to wait for his late master regardless. Because the filmmakers are really want the story to hit home, they remind us that this is a true story. Fingers crossed that this trailer or movie doesn’t come up on a first date, because our response to it, even after multiple viewings, is hardly worthy of a first impression.

Do you agree with our list? Do you need an adorable vine to wash away the pain we caused in this video? For more tear-jerking Top 10s, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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