Breaking up is hard to do. The adage is true, and while the breakups featured in these films are painful, they are also interesting and entertaining for audiences. The powerful fracturing of unions reminds us of some of our own heartaches.
Stacker dug into the rich history of break-up cinema and made a list of the best movies across genres and over the decades. From movies following people in the traumatic aftermath of a behind-the-scenes split to those with pivotal break-up scenes and others with multiple breakups strewn throughout—the films on this list all illustrate narrative-defining break-up moments. To qualify, the film had to have at least a 6.5 on IMDb and over 2,000 user votes. Metascores were also provided for critical context.
These films cross genres and feature characters from all walks of life. One movie focuses on the breakdown of a marriage and how far a couple will go to hold onto the marital home. Another finds a middle-aged New Yorker redefining her life and identity after discovering her husband’s extramarital affairs.
Keep reading to see if your favorite break-up movie made the list.