BeachesEverett

When "Beaches" opened 25 years ago around this time (December 21, 1988), the Bette Midler-Barbara Hershey drama was instantly dubbed one of the top tearjerkers of all time. A quarter-century later, the story of a lifelong friendship that ends in tragedy still holds its claim as one of the top movies guaranteed to make viewers cry.

Tearjerkers don't get enough credit from critics, who find them shameless and manipulative. But then, so are horror movies, comedies, thrillers, and any other movies that mean to provoke an emotional reaction. Truth is, we all like to experience that kind of catharsis. Even guys will watch certain tearjerkers and feel no shame about misting up. (It helps if they're about sports.)

So in the list below, you'll find "Beaches" and 29 other movies that'll have you reaching for the Kleenex. If we've left your favorite off the list, please let us know in the comments.