Seven Movies About Grief

Grief and death are recurring themes in cinema. Furthermore, they're transversal processes and experiences that, sooner or later, we all have to face. In this article, we bring you seven films about grief to help in the grieving process.
Seven Movies About Grief
Laura Ruiz Mitjana

Written and verified by the psychologist Laura Ruiz Mitjana.

Last update: 08 April, 2024

Cinema is an art that goes beyond merely telling a story. It also reflects the values of society, as well as human emotions and learning. In fact, it serves as an educational and social awareness tool. A recurring theme in the movies is loss and how it’s managed by the characters experiencing it. Therefore, today we’re going to mention seven movies about grief, so we can delve a little deeper into this natural and painful process.

Grief is completely natural and a feeling that we all experience when we face a loss. It allows us to readjust and face our new reality. Grief appears when a loved one dies, but also when we experience breakups or job losses, etc. However, in this particular case, the movies we’ve chosen concern grief related to death.

Seven movies about grief

Thes seven movies about grief will make you reflect on life and death, emotions, and human fragility, as well as how people deal with grief. Indeed, the characters in these movies all have their own way of dealing with it. These films will also make you realize how grief isn’t a linear process.

21 Grams (2003)

How much weight do we lose when we die? Apparently, it’s 21 grams. This American movie was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It talks about hope, humanity, misery, and survival.

We meet three characters who experience intense emotions and who’ve experienced death up close. They’re Paul, Jack, and Cristina, who are united by an unexpected accident.

Seven Pounds (2008)

Another of our movies about grief is Seven Pounds, starring Will Smith. This is another American movie that tells the story of a Los Angeles IRS inspector who sets out to change the lives of seven people. Why does he do this? It’s a mystery that’s ultimately revealed. One day, he meets Emily, a young nurse investigated by the Treasury, with whom he falls in love. However, Emily is close to death.

Camino (2008)

Camino is another really impressive movie about grief. It’s a Spanish film directed by Javier Fesser and shows us the adventure of an 11-year-old girl, Camino, who comes from an Opus Dei family.

Camino becomes seriously ill with cancer. Through her story, we see how the members of her family deal with this process in extremely different ways. It’s a movie to make you reflect on life and death, religion, belief, pain, faith, and love.

The 5th Quarter (2010)

This movie was directed by Rick Bieber. It tells the story of Luke Abbate, a popular lacrosse and soccer player. When 15-year-old Luke is killed in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, his brother Jon decides to pay tribute to him through football. It’s a movie that teaches us that there’s no single way to mourn.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, directed by Stephen Daldry and based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foe, is another of the movies about grief that we recommend.

It tells the story of Oskar Schell, a precocious 11-year-old boy, inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, and pacifist. His father dies in the 9/11 attacks after which Oskar finds a mysterious envelope with a key inside. From there, he begins a search to find the lock that the key opens.

One True Thing (1998)

A movie of the drama genre, in which we meet Ellen Gulden, an ambitious journalist who only lives to work. One day, Ellen receives the news that her mother is seriously ill, and she decides to return to her hometown with her.

As a result of that trip, she finds herself immersed in an intense coexistence with her parents that allows her to get to know them in depth. It makes the movie a mature and inspiring reflection on death and mourning.

Rabbit Hole (2010)

The last of our movies about grief was directed by John Cameron Mitchell and stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. It tells the story of a married couple trying to get over the death of their four-year-old son in a car accident.

This movie is adapted from a play with the same title by David Lindsay-Abaire, winner of the Pulitzer Prize (drama category). According to the critics, it’s a good movie that shows us “the devastation of loss and the slow and silent return of hope “.

Thanks to the cinema, we get to know new realities and acquire new learning. In fact, understanding our emotions and our own processes as human beings through cinema allows us to acquire new perspectives and even grow as people.

If you fancy a movie that deals with death, grief, and everything that these experiences can bring, try one from our list.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.