Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Anthony Mackie

The obvious choice here would have been Rocky; we’re not going out like that. Nearly all of cinema’s inspirational boxing movies are designed to produce tears, but, once the film’s third act begins, Clint Eastwood’s superb Million Dollar Baby does so with an unstoppable force. All that precedes the finale is certainly uplifting; Hilary Swank plays a down-on-her-luck waitress who dreams of becoming a professional boxer, a dream that she sees through with the help of an old curmudgeon of a trainer (Eastwood).

Though he’s cold toward her at first, Eastwood’s character quickly warms up and becomes a father figure, which Swank needs after she’s hospitalized during a pro bout and isn’t visited by any family members except money-grubbers. As her situation worsens, Swank asks Eastwood to help her die in peace; sneaking into her hospital room one night, he gives Swank a lethal injection and calls her “my darling, and my love.” Cue the eye flooding.