10 Movies About Death That Will Change Your Life

Face your mortality with these life-affirming masterpieces.

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Focus Features

Roger Ebert once wrote: "It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." Many people aren't inclined to think about the inevitability of death, let alone talk about it, but if there's anywhere we can go to find solace in the face of our mortality, it would have to be the movies.

Films allow us to walk in other people's shoes, live other lives far removed from our own, and consider things we may have otherwise left untouched. Because death is such an undesirable topic, but also such a universal one, cinema has spent decades telling stories about it and its implications.

From dramas about people facing their final moments, family adventures that shed light on the subject of death for younger audiences, to those that assess the heartbreak of loss after the fact, the following 10 films aren't just great movies about death, but are also eye-opening masterpieces that combat grief and mortality with both hopeful insight and stark honesty.

Some, admittedly, aren't too easy to watch, but all of these movies are nonetheless destined to change your life with what they have to say about the great equaliser...

10. Rabbit Hole (2010)

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Although death is one of few certainties in life, one thing the vast majority of us will never have to face is the untimely loss of a child. In Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart star as a couple grieving the sudden death of their four-year-old son, whilst contending with the strain their marriage has since fallen under.

Based on the Pulitzer-winning play of the same name, Rabbit Hole is a small, intimate drama which throws its two leads into perhaps their most challenging roles, as husband Howie and wife Becca tackle their grief in markedly different ways.

It finds Howie joining a support group and almost having an affair with another grieving mother, whilst Becca befriends the young man who accidentally killed their child in a car accident. In their mourning, they push each other away, and struggle to articulate their distress.

Despite their hardships, though, the pair come together and successfully combat their pain by seeking solace with friends, taking part in garden parties, and learning to live with their loss. Rabbit Hole is a heartbreaking portrayal of grief, but one that makes it clear that time will always heal enough for you to keep going.

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