You have to be in the right mood to listen to the 10 best sad movie soundtracks, otherwise you’ll get yourself all in a funk. And by “sad movies,” we don’t just mean sad all the way through. Plus, some movie soundtracks aren’t really all that sad, until you stop to think about how the movie really ended.
"The Pianist" After the Nazis split up his family, take them to concentration camps and kill all but him, Adrian Brody goes into hiding with several of his friends and dreams about one day playing the piano once again. The soundtrack, though mostly Classical Chopin, is hauntingly beautiful and quite sad indeed.
"The Departed" Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon all get killed off in the end. That qualifies as pretty sad in most peoples’ books. The soundtrack, though, is awesome, as it includes Pink Floyd, Badfinger, the Rolling Stones and Dropkick Murphys.
"The Guardian: This movie was almost perfect, the cocky kid gets humbled but still comes out on top, and his coach is just about to retire on a high note. Then that tragic ending. Yep, Kevin Costner dies. But the Bryan Adams song, “Never Let Go” is a great addition to this movie’s soundtrack.
"The Matrix" Every movie in this series qualifies as having one of the best sad movie soundtracks. This sad movie soundtrack features not-so-sad themes from Rob Zombie, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine and Marilyn Manson.
"Casino Royale" The ending certainly is sad, as James Bond’s first real love seems to betray him to save his life and ultimately loses hers. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave fame sings the headlining soundtrack piece, “You Know My Name.”
"The Dark Knight" The Joker dies, which isn’t so sad, but Maggie Gyllenhaal dies, and that, to Christian Bale’s Batman, is nothing less than tragic. Hans Zimmer really knows how to write an anthem of a soundtrack to go with it, though.
"Spirit" The whole theme of this Dreamworks cartoon is pretty sad. Men come and take away the land of the Indians, where Spirit lives, and Bryan Adams’ entire soundtrack doesn’t let you forget about that. “Here I Am” is the most famous on the CD, which you probably heard time and again on your contemporary pop radio stations.
"Mamma Mia" But wait, you’re thinking, "Mamma Mia was a happy movie." All that Abba makes for a bubblegummy happy ending. But think about it. The girl never ends up finding out who her father is, nor does she marry the love of her life. Pretty sad, don’t you think? But it’s still one of the best sad movie soundtracks ever.
"Phantom of the Opera" All the time you were rooting for the Phantom to get Christine, Raoul swims beneath the trenches to save the day, win back his first love and break the Phantom’s heart. The music, which goes from haunting to happy to sad and back, definitely qualifies as one of the best sad movie soundtracks in rock opera history.