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Movies That Are Hard to Watch

Updated on April 30, 2013

Good Movies That Are Almost Too Painful to Watch

Every time I watch one of these movies that are hard to watch I wonder if other people have the same reaction. Some are heart breaking, some are plain sad, and some are just too painful to endure again.

Some of these popular movies are based on true stories, which, of course, makes them that much sadder or maddening or thought provoking, like the movie Desert Flower.

Other movies are fictional but based on historical fact, like the movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close about 9/11.

I found all of these movies to be very good, but I don't think I can ever watch them again.

Photo of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (DVD Ultraviolet Digital Copy) courtesy of Amazon.

Updated: 4/30/13

'Night Mother - The emotional story of an adult daughter who wants to end her life by the next morning so tells her mother then locks the door to her bedroom.

Year of Release: 1986

Based on the play of the same name by Marsha Norman

Stars: Sissy Spacek, Anne Bancroft, Ed Berke

Leaving Las Vegas - An alcoholic arrives in Las Vegas with a goal of leaving by drinking himself to death.

Year of Release: 1995

Based on the novel by John O'Brien

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands

Million Dollar Baby - A female boxer trains to be the best with the help of a trainer and ex-boxer.

Year of Release: 2004

Based on F.X. Toole's story.

Stars: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

Wendy and Lucy - A young woman travels with her dog to a potential new job but car trouble then financial strain derails her plans.

Year of Release: 2008

Stars: Michelle Williams, David Koppell, the dog Lucy

Desert Flower - True Story of One Woman's Rise to Superstardom as a Supermodel from an African Childhood of Ritual Female Genital Mutilation

Year of Release: 2011

Based on the 1999 memoir of the same name by Waris Dirie

Stars: Liya Kebede, Sally Hawkins

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - The Effects of 9/11 on a Son Who Survives

Year of Release: 2012

Based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer

Stars: Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn, Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, John Goodman

Which of These Movies Was Hard For You To Watch?

See results

Vote for Movies You Have Found Hard to Watch - Add movies to this list if you'd like or leave the title in the comments section

Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here

In a staid English seaside town after World War II, an adventurous young girl lives with widowed father and younger sister.


Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Do You Have a Movie to Add That Is Hard to Watch?

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    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I refused to watch Wendy and Lucy because I have a horrible time with animals being hurt on film. I don't even like to think about it. Which is why I never watched War Horse either..... *( But Sophie's Choice is a hard movie to watch too in certain parts.

    • kislanyk profile image


      5 years ago from Cyprus

      You're right, these are all films that are hard to watch. I actually couldn't watch all of the Million Dollar Baby to the end and even now I don't like the main actress for some reason (not because she's bad or anything, it's just the disturbing factor, I guess).

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @LisaDH: I loved Lorenzo's Oil. It didn't bother me like some others, but I can see why it would be hard to watch, too.

    • LisaDH profile image


      5 years ago

      "Lorenzo's Oil" was a movie I found hard to watch, but it was inspiring at the same time. It's based on a true story about parents who attempt to find a cure for their son's fatal illness.

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @MaggiePowell: Thanks for the movie titles. I've added them above.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      "Wish You Were Here" or "In Country" with Emily Lloyd


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