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7 Powerful Movies Like The Big Sick


Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter

What makes a movie powerful? Universal themes such as love and family, tragedy and laughter, combined with highly flawed, relatable characters are critical. The Big Sick movie is a treasure trove of these aspects of humanity.

The Big Sick tells the story of Kumail, an aspiring Pakistani comedian who falls for Emily, an American therapy student. Kumail and Emily’s fledgling relationship is immediately assaulted by his highly traditional family, who desire to set him up with a more culturally appropriate woman, and by a mysterious illness that strikes Emily without warning.

Touching movies like this speak deeply of the human condition. No matter what your own culture may be, you will relate to the struggles and triumphs, hardships and stolen moments of laughter, that these two families face. Kumail’s struggle to cope with his feelings for Emily, his fears about her sickness, and his family’s disappointment in his choices, makes this film powerfully poignant. Below are our recommendations for more Movies like The Big Sick.



Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman

Our list of movie suggestions is topped off with 2016’s Lion, which tells the heart-wrenching story of Saroo, a five-year-old boy who accidentally becomes an orphan. This film is really appropriate for our list of movies like The Big Sick because the underlying theme is family. Saroo’s quest is one of self-discovery and love, as he comes to terms with the child he was, the man he has become, and the people who have touched him along the way.

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Starring: Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, and Duan Sanderson

One of the best sad movies to watch is Moonlight. It is the story of Chiron, who lacks parental guidance in the home of his drug-addled mother, and seeks refuge where he can find it. Chiron’s story is told in three parts, and it is a grueling depiction of his struggle into manhood. He grapples to find love, safety, and trust, and to accept his status as a gay African-American male in the movie Moonlight.

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Boyz ‘N The Hood


Starring: Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding, Morris Chestnut

A classic from our list of movies like The Big Sick is Boyz ‘N the Hood, one of the best sad movies to watch with friends. Three pals from the same neighborhood, but with very different leases on life, confront the violence of their inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood in their own ways. Tre is fortunate to have an involved father figure intent on turning him into a man. Ricky is an all-American athlete incongruent with his surroundings. Doughboy is an ex-convict who is disillusioned about what he sees in the world around him.

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Captain Fantastic


Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn

The next of our movie suggestions is Captain Fantastic. This jewel in the genre of sad films tells the story of the Cash family. Ben Cash has spent his time as a father living off the grid and home-schooling his children in values that are important to him; socialism, survivalist instincts, and self-sufficiency. When tragedy strikes the family, Ben’s values clash with those of society, represented by his father-in-law Jack. Your heart will certainly be stirred by this powerful tempest of emotions, family, loyalty, and the struggles of being true to one’s beliefs.

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Slumdog Millionaire


Starring: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla

Slumdog Millionaire is the next of our movie recommendations. Extremely well-received by critics and audiences alike, it tells the tale of Jamal Malik, an orphan from the slums of Mumbai who is close to winning big on a famous Indian game show. When Jamal’s success stirs suspicions of cheating, his story comes together like a puzzle. You will be truly captivated by Jamal’s journey and the way the pieces of his life fit together to land him in the position to become a millionaire.

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Hidden Figures


Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner

The next in our list of touching movies is Hidden Figures. Based on an inspirational true story, this homage to women in STEM is truly powerful. Three African-American female mathematicians rise above their social stations to become American heroes. The film highlights their part in US efforts to launch John Glenn into space, and the prejudices they must face and barriers they must break to achieve their goals.

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American History X


Starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo

This powerful, tragic masterpiece must be included in our list of sad movies to watch. In American History X, Derek Vineyard is a skinhead white supremacist, ruled by hate until he commits unforgivable transgressions that land him in prison. When Derek emerges, he is forced to come to terms with who he is able to count on, the impact his behavior has had on his impressionable brother Danny, and the climate of hate that created the monster he became in the first place.

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