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This curated list of films about grief deal with different journeys of loss in creative, and sometimes surprising ways. If you’ve lost a loved one, one of these choices could help. 

It’s completely normal to feel confused, alone, or like others don’t understand how you’re feeling during this time. And films can help you to understand your grief or may be relatable and comforting. 

Here, you can find all sorts of movies about grief. From films showing people grieving different types of relationships, to films exploring different types of grief, such as disenfranchised or anticipatory grief

Films about grieving a partner 

P.S I Love You 


In this grief movie, a young widow discovers that her late husband has organised for messages to be delivered to her following his death from a terminal illness. It focuses on the difficulty and importance of adapting to life without your loved one. From facing feelings of guilt for “moving on” to remembering that while life may be finite, love and your feelings for someone don’t have to be. 

Good Grief 


Good Grief is one of the best films to help with grief when you’ve lost your partner. It’s an American comedy-drama available on Netflix, written and directed by Dan Levy. It tells the story of a young man whose two best friends help him to grieve and accept the loss of his husband. It covers topics like queer love, disappointment in your partner, infidelity, friendship and more. 



Demolition shows disenfranchised grief in film. When Davis loses his wife in a sudden car accident, he doesn’t react as people might expect. He shows little emotion, is analytical and tries to process his grief logically. This is the kind of grief film that might resonate with you if you find yourself burying or avoiding emotions. 



Titanic tells the fictional story of Rose and Jack, an upper-class woman and a working-class man who fall in love at sea on the Titanic. Often, movies about grief and losing a partner focus on long-term, official relationships, such as marriages. But this film shows that it’s possible to deeply grieve flings, illicit relations and relationships that came to an end decades ago. 

Films about grieving a sibling 

Manchester by the Sea 


Manchester by the Sea follows the story of Lee Chandler, a man who becomes the legal guardian of his nephew after his brother’s unexpected death. The film focuses on various losses through Lee’s life – the loss of his own children, followed by the loss of his brother. You’ll find themes of PTSD, depression, guilt and the difficulty of adapting to a completely new lifestyle and responsibilities when someone close to you passes away. 

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Films about losing a child 

Collateral Beauty 


In Collateral Beauty, Will Smith plays a New York advertising executive whose young daughter passes away. Following his loss, he retreats from his day-to-day life, instead focusing his time and efforts to write letters to “love”, “time” and “death”. His bereavement impacts his work and his workplace begin to intercept his letters and respond to them through actors representing love, time and death, manipulating Will’s character into thinking he’s losing his sanity. While this film isn’t an accurate representation of how most people treat others while they’re grieving, it does chart a character coming to terms with the loss of a child. 

Pieces of a Woman 



Pieces of a Woman tells the story of Martha, a woman whose child passes away during her homebirth. The film documents a year in her life following this tragic loss, focusing on how the death impacts her relationship with her husband, managing communication with an overbearing mother-in-law and the difficulties of facing her publicly vilified midwife in court.


The Lovely Bones 


Based on Alice Sebold’s novel, The Lovely Bones is a 2009 film adaptation, covering the story of murdered teenager Susie Salmon. Both the book and film take a unique approach to grief and loss, taking the point of view of Susie (who’s now in her own personal “Heaven”), watching her family and friends grieving. The film touches on the difficulty of accepting an unexpected or an unfair death, guilt at not having been able to change a course of events and the tension between finding justice and focusing on your own life after loss.  

Films about losing someone to suicide 

The Hours 


Named after a Virginia Woolf novel, The Hours is one of the best films about grief when someone loses their life to suicide. It looks at three women’s lives – all connected by Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway and all affected by suicide. The film looks at a day in the life of each woman. The first is Virginia Woolf in 1923. The second is Laura Brown in 1951. The third is Clarissa Vaughan in 2001. It looks about experiences of depression, the difficulty that comes with making big life choices and the difficulty of facing loss and accumulating grief as years pass by. 

The Dead Poet’s Society 


The Dead Poet’s Society tackles a lot of topics. Within the film, one of the characters dies by suicide and the film begins to explore the blame-game that can often happen when such a tragedy occurs. The film encourages us to avoid blame or attempting to take culpability for another’s actions and the importance of supporting one another during such a difficult time. 

Films about anticipatory grief and terminal illness 

The Bucket List 


In this film about grief, two elderly men meet in a hospice, where they’ve both been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Together, they create a bucket list, filled with things they want to do before they die. There are ups and downs throughout, as there often are when facing terminal illness. But the film shows the importance of making the most of the time you have while grieving the life you may be about to leave behind. 

The Fault In Our Stars 


Based on the highly successful book by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars is one of the best movies about grief, telling the story of two cancer patients who fall in love. It explores the idea of making the most of each day and still committing to building memories and relationships, even when you know life is coming to an end. 

Tuesdays with Morrie 


Tuesdays with Morrie shows grief in film, telling the story of a retired teacher who is facing an inevitable death through Lou Gherig’s disease. It shows his acceptance of his illness, and his fate, and how he chooses to spend his last days. To quote the film, “when we learn to die, we learn to live” – and while Morrie’s illness progresses, he still manages to find purpose and meaning in his relationships with others. 

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Neurodivergent grief in film 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 


When 9-year-old Noah loses his father in the 9/11 attacks, he goes on a search to find his dad. While the film might initially seem like it’s about 9/11 and collective grief, it moves on to show how a child with autism might cope with their grief. It highlights how neurodivergent people might experience disenfranchised grief, and how others might not fully understand his way of coping with loss. 

Snow Cake 


Snow Cake tells the story of Linda, an autistic mother, and the relationship she builds with Alex, the man who was behind the wheel in an accident that killed her daughter. It explores others’ reactions to how she grieves her daughter. While Linda may seem to lack empathy for others, even in the face of great loss, the film shows how others can begin to rationalise her reactions and understand that she is human and equally in need of support as those who grieve in a more expected way. 

Films about grieving a pet

Marley and Me 


On first glance, Marley and Me comes across as a fun film about a goofy pooch. But in reality, it’s about how big a role pets ultimately play in our lives and how difficult it can be to say goodbye to them when the time comes. 

A Dog’s Purpose


A Dog’s Purpose takes a different angle to a lot of dog-based films. It’s told from the point of view of a dog who’s reincarnated five times over the course of a five decades. Though the film is sad at the points he (or sometimes she) passes away, you can see how much better his owners’ lives are because of their bond and companionship with their pet. 

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale 


Hachi: A Dog’s Tale tells the story of a dog’s grief. In the film, professor Parker Wilson finds and adopts an Akita puppy, who he names Hachi. Hachi accompanies Parker to the train station each day as he commutes to work, touching the lives of those who he regularly passes. When Parker passes away, Hachi loyally continues his daily commute to the train station. It’s a film about grief, companionship and a pet’s ongoing loyalty. 

Children’s films about grief 

Speaking to children about death and helping them to understand grief can feel difficult. Much like adults, different children will cope in different ways, and it can be easy for them to feel confused or overwhelmed. Seeing fictional characters going through similar situations can often help little ones to understand what they’re going through and offer comfort that they’re not alone. Below, you can find some of the most popular kid’s films about loss and grief. 

The Lion King 


Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 6+ 

Disney are well-known for their films about death and grief for children. In fact, most Disney films feature the death of a parent or grandparent at some point. For many people, one of the most poignant representations of coping with loss can be found in The Lion King. In this animated retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Simba (a lion cub) witnesses the death of his father (Mufasa) at the hands of his uncle (Scar). Simba is manipulated into blaming himself for the death and is banished from his kingdom, where he meets Timone and Pumba, a friendly meerkat and warthog who help him to let go of feelings of guilt and return to face his uncle. The film documents a child (or in this case, a cub) moving through the 5 stages of grief and emphasises that this can take time and a lot of support (Simba starts out a cub and is a grown lion by the time he returns home). 



Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 6+ 

Up is a deeply sentimental and touching film about an old man’s loss of a lifelong partner. It centres around elderly widower Carl, who’s spent years in self-isolation, mourning his late wife, Ellie. Carl is unwilling to let go of the house where he spent his married years with Ellie and ties balloons to its roof to escape developers who are trying to move him into a care home. Boy scout Russell accidentally tags along in his attempt to achieve his “helping the elderly” scout badge. The two end up exploring South America, creating a bond that helps Carl to grow less attached to the house and physical reminders of his love for Ellie, placing more importance on sharing his memories about her instead. 



Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 6+ 

Coco is a hugely successful Disney Pixar film, following 12-year-old Miguel as he’s accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. Once in the Land of the Dead, he seeks out his great-great-grandfather for help returning to the land of the living. The film is heavily inspired by the Mexican holiday “Day of the Dead” , emphasising a cultural belief that people can have an ongoing relationship with the dead. Through this story, it becomes clear that grief doesn’t have to be about letting go and moving on. Instead, it places importance on cherishing memories and passing on stories to keep a person’s spirit alive. It also has a beautiful musical score, featuring the beautiful children’s funeral song, Remember Me. 

Big Hero 6

Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 6+ 

Big Hero 6 is another Disney films that tackles the topic of grief. In this film, Hiro Hamada, pairs up with his late brother Tidashi’s healthcare-provider robot (Baymax) to avenge Tadashi’s wrongful death. The film shows Hiro self-isolating in his grief, until he accidentally activates Baymax. Through the film, Baymax helps to shift Hiro’s focus from avenging his brother to fulfilling his brother’s dream of helping others. This is a great film representing a child coping with the loss of a sibling, placing importance on remaining kind, even in the face of a harsh or unjust world. 



Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 6+ 

Moana is a film about the grief of a child. As Moana fast approaches her coming of age, where she’ll be handed leadership of her island and community, her Grandma passes away. The film shows her calling on the spirit of her Grandma during a time of trouble, and her Grandma shares her presence in the form of her spirit animal – the manta ray. But Moana also has a much more subtle representation of grief that might resound more with adult viewers. Within the film, the Lava Monster Te-Ka, actually turns out to be the peaceful goddess Te-Fiti, angry and wrathful at the loss of her “heart”. Through Te-Fiti, the film accurately presents less common ways of coping with grief, as well as disenfranchised grief, emphasising how some people need more compassion and understanding during times of loss. 

Finding Nemo 


Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 6+ 

The theme of grief in Disney’s Finding Nemo tends to be lost on most children. But it plays a large role in the plot and might be a bit more obvious to any adult watching alongside their little one. The film opens with a barracuda killing clownfish Coral and all but one of her eggs. Marlin (Coral’s husband and father to the remaining egg) vows to keep his surviving child safe, becoming a severely overprotective parent. Adventure unfolds as surviving child Nemo defies his father and is abducted, leading Marlin on a rescue mission with countless twists and turns. This is the best film about grief for children that documents the importance of letting go of control and accepting that it’s impossible to completely protect someone else from harm – a difficult part of the grieving process for many of us. 

The Bridge to Terabithia 


Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 9+ 

This film about grief and loss focuses on the shared experience of two children – Jesse and Leslie. Based on the children’s book of the same name, it blends fantasy and reality, showing how children often escape to fiction and imagination to cope with difficult times, but ultimately have to face reality and will need support with their grief at this time. 

My Girl 


Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 11+ 

My Girl is one of the children’s films on grief where the main character is not just affected by death but has a morbid obsession with it, and understandably so. 11-year-old Vada lost her mother in birth, her father runs a funeral home and her grandmother has Alzheimer’s. Her best friend Thomas has countless allergies. This film about grief follows the bittersweet story of her life as a child coping with loss through childhood and adolescence.  

Watership Down 


Age rating: PG 

Recommended for ages: 11+ 

Watership Down was originally a book by Richard Adams, published in 1972. It won the Carnegie Medal, as well as the Guardian Award for Children's Literature and was turned into a film in 1978. You’ll usually see it being aired on TV around Easter. But it’s much more than a standard kid’s story about bunnies. The story is influenced by Adams’ experiences as a soldier at war and tackles topics of life, death, beliefs about the afterlife and how communities and individuals grieve a loss. 

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Films about grieving a breakup or divorce 

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind 


This film about grieving a relationship poses the question – would you completely forget about your ex if you could? And if you could, what would the consequences be? The film doesn’t offer a clear answer, but it does encourage you to reflect on the good that you can take from your past relationship, as well as the negative. 

Marriage Story 


Marriage Story is a highly successful film about divorce, featuring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. It shows the difficult breakdown of a 10-year marriage, where neither character is completely in the wrong and where both ultimately care deeply about one another.  

Kramer vs Kramer 


Kramer vs Kramer is another grief film focusing on divorce. It shows a couple fighting for custody of their son, often fighting without reason and often prioritising harming one another over the wellbeing of their family. Neither partner is shown as “the bad guy”. Instead, it shows how emotions can often dominate over reason during times of loss. 

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.