Here are 9 indie tearjerkers to check out on Netflix. Start streaming:
A protégé to a physician who runs an orphanage sets off to see the world, but reality soon intrudes on his youthful idealism and moral certitude. The Oscar-winning drama stars Toby Maguire, Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd, Jane Alexander and Michael Caine.
This dramatic knockout recounts the final hours of Oscar Grant III, who was shot by a San Francisco transit police officer on New Year’s Day 2009. Between Michael B. Jordan’s gripping lead performance and director Ryan Coogler’s powerful incorporation of real-life footage, it’s a drama you won’t soon forget.
Before Ava DuVernay directed the Sundance smash “Middle of Nowhere” and the Best Picture nominee “Selma,” she demonstrated her sensitive understanding of human drama in this quiet debut about grief, love and moving on. Salli Richardson-Whitfield stars as Maye, a successful artist who copes with the recent loss of her aunt by finding comfort in the kindness of other mourners.
This ensemble drama follows a young man who must reconnect with his family after learning his long-ill father has elected to take himself off of life support in two days’ time. Garrett Hedlund, Amy Adams, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins and Jennifer Hudson star.
After a cantankerous alcoholic (Oscar nominee Bruce Dern) thinks he’s won a sweepstakes prize, his son (Will Forte) reluctantly takes a road trip with him to claim the fortune. The film is a sharp black comedy with droll laughs to spare, but the emotions cut deep once father and son unite, with Dern exposing the vulnerability beneath his cranky character in ways both heartbreaking and hilarious.
A criminally under-seen gem, this drama from John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) stars a never-better Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a couple grappling with their lives eight months after the death of their four-year-old son. It’s a shattering drama where heavy tears give way to a satisfying emotional release.
Brie Larson is a tour-de-force in this visceral drama about a young supervisor at a foster care facility who must confront the memories of her own past while dealing with an unruly new teenager. With a talented cast of young actors in key supporting roles, this film literally takes a piece out of you.
This Oscar-winning foreign film follows a young South African thug who shoots a woman and drives off in her car, only to discover a crying infant in the back seat. As the situation becomes more dire and the bond between them grows, the drama becomes a roller coaster of emotions with a huge teary-eyed ending.
In yet another inspired performance, Hilary Swank plays an accomplished pianist diagnosed with ALS who butts heads with the young woman assigned to be her caregiver. Swank and Emmy Rossum have a chemistry that’s impossible to ignore, and the inevitable finale provides plenty of waterworks.