Seeking out coming of age movies that make men cry can be risky business. After all, what man wants to cry during a movie, much less one about some kid learning about life or whatever? Still, sometimes you’re simply in the mood. So, just in time to quench your oddly-specific thirst, here’s a list of tried and true tearjerkers that have been known to turn men into cry babies. Not us, though. Just a guy we know.
My Life As A Dog
This is a definitive coming of age drama from director Lasse Holstrom, and if it doesn’t make you cry, not much will. It really piles the misery on top of its young protagonist Ingemar, including but not limited to: a sick and dying mother, being separated from his beloved dog and an array of sexual humiliations. We won’t even blame you if you get a little misty-eyed just reading this.
OK, so Edward is an artificial being, so he doesn’t technically age. Still, the movie is about his movement from childlike innocence to bitter disappointment as he experiences the harsh world of love and loss, so it qualifies. And it’ll get you. Particularly the final scene where an elderly Winona Ryder remembers her life as a young girl with Edward and that sweet Danny Elfman score swells. Just try not to blow your nose too hard if you have scissors for hands. We had an uncle who lost a nostril that way.
Boyz N The Hood
This coming of age drama about kids growing up in a rough LA neighborhood could make even the hardest gangster (or Republican) shed a tear or two. It’s a classic story, featuring several kids who either try to escape the unforgiving neighborhood, or grow to coldly embrace what it takes to survive there. Plus, what is arguably Ice Cube‘s most badass performance alone is enough to bring tears to your eyes. “Domino motherf*cker!”
The Lion King
Yeah, it’s a cartoon. You’re looking for movies that make a man cry, what do you expect? This Disney classic has been seen by practically everyone, including more than a few guys who claim to never cry during movies —a healthy percentage of these guys almost certainly teared up when Mufasa was murdered by Scar. Or maybe that was just dust in our eyes.
The Tree of Life
This might seem like a weird choice, since The Tree of Life is a much more experimental movie than the other weepers on this list. Still, if you give it the concentration and focus it deserves, it’ll tug at those heart strings. The scenes depicting life in 1950s suburban Texas might get to you, specifically if you’re around the same age as Sean Penn’s character, whose childhood makes up the bulk of the narrative. Well, that and dinosaurs. And who among us is able to keep his composure when it comes to dinosaurs?