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Depressing Movies That Have A Happy Ending


Movie tonalities don’t always match what you’d quite expect. Some movies can start off very happy but end up making you feel like a horrible human being by the time they’re done. Other movies, like the ones we’ll be discussing below, have the opposite effect. They create a world so dark and grim it’s almost depressing to watch, but manage to shine a light through the darkness.

Let’s take a look at some of those movies.

12 Years A Slave

I mean, if watching slavery in 2020 doesn’t make you root for the slave, you’re probably not understanding the world as well as you should. Having him return to his family at the end of the movie is a moment that simply lifts the soul.

The Butler

From a cotton field worker to a butler at the White House that gets to meet the first black president later in his life. A typical from rags to riches story, but so wonderfully told.

Good Will Hunting

This timeless classic is just one of the best stories about someone with no hope for a bright future making a better life for themselves. The movie ends with Will leaving his old life – sometimes that’s all the happy ending you need.

The Pursuit of Happyness

A story about a man that goes from being homeless with his son to living in great wealth because of the fact that he’s a business genius. It’s not so much the wealth that gets you – it’s that he manages to provide for his son. His son later turns out to be Jaden Smith, but I guess that’s the risk you take.

Cinderella Man

Not the only true story on this list, this movie tells the tale of a boxer that has to quit the sport due to injuries, only to miraculously make a comeback after years. And what does he do when he wins that fight? He uses the prize money to buy a house for his family to live in. How can you not root for a guy like that?


Having a child grow up in a small room in complete captivity and then finally finding freedom after seven years. And while adapting to the real world does come with its struggles, we see everything working out in the end.

The Shawshank Redemption

Having someone be in prison for 19 years and suffer hardship after hardship is sure to make you root for him, but I think we all cheered when we saw the hole in that prison cell wall.


I’ve never rooted more for a guy to get a happy ending, so seeing one in Moonlight was truly wonderful. Having him end his tragic life by finally being with the man he loves probably made everybody happy and proud.