Ranking All of the 2016 Best Picture Nominees by How Hard They'll Make You Cry

Photo: George Kraychyk/A24/Everett

There are many ways to judge the films vying for Best Picture at the 2016 Oscars – their scripts, their cinematography, what kind of insane things their leading actors did to truly inhabit their roles – but there’s one very important criteria on which the eight films vying for the top prize have yet to be judged: how hard they make you cry.

Now, we’re not saying that a film has to bring its audience to tears in order for it to be a good movie (we’re looking at you, Magic Mike XXL), but generally, all good films will make you feel something. And these Best Picture nominees made us feel all of the things.

Make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand

8. The Big Short
The Big Short will probably not make you cry, unless the sight of Ryan Gosling in a perfectly tailored suit is just too much for you to handle. However, The Big Short will probably make you laugh, convince that you understand economics and the way the stock market works and probably erase a tiny bit of your faith in humanity. (It will also give you a newfound appreciation for Steve Carell as a dramatic actor.)

7. Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road is a thrilling, heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat adventure, and as such, it’s much more likely to make your breath stop in your throat than it is to make you shed a tear. However, if you find yourself overcome by the sight of the Doof Warrior and his incredible flame-throwing guitar, we won’t judge.

6. The Martian
Look, we’re not going to start up the whole “Is The Martian a comedy or a drama?” debate again, but we will say that it is a much funnier film than you might expect from the trailer. That being said, there are plenty of overwhelming emotional moments that will touch you – plus, the sheer anxiety of watching someone hurtle into space in a ship with no walls is enough to make anyone reach for the Kleenex.

5. Bridge of Spies
There are many intense, powerful moments in Bridge of Spies, moments that will make you feel all kind of emotions, but you won’t so much cry at Bridge of Spies as you will delicately wipe away tears from your cheeks with a perfectly folded handkerchief (because this is a classy period drama, and you are a very classy moviegoer).

4. The Revenant
The Revenant is an intense, harrowing movie about one man’s intense, harrowing quest for revenge. As such, you will probably cry a few times in this movie, but mostly, you will feel exhausted, overwhelmed and a deep, deep sense of relief that it wasn’t you that had to sleep in an animal carcass.

3. Spotlight
You are definitely going to cry during Spotlight. Maybe it’ll come during one of the painful, heartbreaking interviews with the victims, maybe it’ll be Mark Ruffalo’s impassioned speech about the importance of the Boston Globe‘s reporting, or maybe it’ll properly hit you at the end of the film, when the credits reveal the full impact of the story and what happened to the priests involved, but you will 100 percent, no doubts about it, cry during Spotlight.

2. Brooklyn
If you are a human being with a heart, you’re not just going to cry during Brooklyn – you’re going to find yourself lying on the floor of a movie theater, sobbing hysterically and feeling an overwhelming need to call your mother. And then, the second you think you won’t have any tears left to shed, you’ll find yourself sobbing all over again.

1. Room
To be honest, we started bawling the second we saw the trailer for Room, and we haven’t really stopped crying since. Room is heartbreaking. Room is emotionally devastating. Room will ruin you a little bit. But Room is also beautiful and moving and inspiring and it’s those parts of the story that might make it seem impossible to ever stem the flow of tears streaming down your face. Do not – we repeat, do not – under any circumstances, attempt to watch Room without at least three boxes of tissues and a long list of adorable puppy videos on hand. You’re going to need them.

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