The 10 Most Devastating Movies of All Time

5. Children of Men (2006)


Children of Men might be the best dystopian sci-fi film made so far, it creates a world that feels so real and a concept so haunting that it will connect with pretty much everyone: what if we lived a world where everyone went sterile and we had to slowly accept the fact that we are the last generation of humanity?

It’s a visually stunning and heart-breaking film that tells a story of hope and the beauty of life in a world that has forgotten those things a long time ago.

Pretty much everyone has either seen this film or at least heard of it, and this film really does deserve all the praise and attention it’s gotten, because it really is a beautifully made masterpiece with one of the most emotionally effective ending’s you’ll ever see, from the moment hope returns in the form of a new-born child to the ambiguous ending that can either be read as a happy ending declaring life’s eventual triumph or as bittersweet hint at the uncertain future that lies ahead for the new mother of humanity’s future, the third act of this movie will have a huge emotional effect on you.


4. The Fountain (2006)

Hugh Jackman in The Fountain

The Fountain is an existential meditation on life and death and how to come to terms to it as a natural part of life, it may not be a film for everyone but for the people that are able to connect to its story and themes this will be the experience of a lifetime, a hauntingly beautiful experience that that is quietly devastating and will stay with you for the rest of your life.

It’s the kind of film that only gets more profound and personal the older you get, the more times you get acquainted with death and grief the more this film will mean to you.


3. Schindler’s List (1993)


Schindler’s List is the definitive film about the holocaust, the most horrific crime in the history of mankind, the film is a beautiful monument of remembrance to the people that survived and to the people that didn’t.

It’s the most important film of Spielberg’s career and he tackled it with such care that it will live on forever and impact generations to come with its message that life is a beautiful miracle that is worth saving, even in the most horrific of circumstances.


2. Melancholia (2011)

Lars Von Trier is a controversial figure to say the least, but his mastery of cinema is awe inspiring and Melancholia is probably the crowning achievement of his filmography, some might argue that this title should go to either Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, Europa or Antichrist, but Melancholia is his most emotionally effective, best directed and personal film to date.

The film so perfectly captures the feeling of crippling depression that it’s almost uncanny at times, add to that a brilliant cast at the top of their game, some of the best hand-held camerawork cinema has ever seen and one of the most profound, beautiful and haunting endings in cinematic history and you have an absolute masterpiece that will leave most people devastated.


1. Threads (1984)

Threads might be the most devastating film ever made, it tells the story of a small-town community in Britain that becomes the victim of a nuclear attack and shows the downfall of civilized society and how unprepared we really are for something that has so many times been so close to becoming reality, and that’s the films main strength, it portrays the nuclear apocalypse in such a realistic and palpable way that seeing it exposes the sheer magnitude of the horrors of nuclear war.

It’s a film so powerful and horrifyingly real that it will leave every viewer in a state of pure shock as they try to wrap their head around the horrors they have just witnessed, it’s such a devastating experience that you’ll never want to repeat it but will never be able to forget it.