2014 was a pretty solid year for movie emoting -- I mean, they handed out complimentary tissues at "Fault in our Stars" screenings, for God's sake. We never stood a chance.
From major deaths to poignant musical moments to Groot, here were the 14 moments that made us ugly-cry this past year. (And it should go without saying that major spoilers lie ahead.)
Zac Efron removes his shirt, "Neighbors"
Not all cries are due to sadness.
Dave dies, "Foxcatcher"
Knowing it was coming -- the film was based on a true story, after all -- didn't make the brutal end of the most kind and compassionate character in the movie (which isn't saying a whole lot) any easier to digest. Not sure if this was tears so much as "serious emotional disturbance," but it counts.
Professor Stepdad takes the kids, "Boyhood"
But... but they were friends!
Max brings flowers for Donna's abortion, "Obvious Child"
"Obvious Child" is a sweet film that looks at abortion in a way we've never before seen onscreen -- and the scene where Max brings flowers to support Donna brought the onion-choppers out in full force.
Katniss sings "The Hanging Tree," "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1"
It was a well-earned, somber moment that followed some heartbreaking scenes of violence.
The Man Upstairs realizes he's the bad guy, "The Lego Movie"
You've gotta let kids be kids, Will Ferrell.
Cap saves Bucky, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Friendship lasts forever -- even when your friend becomes a HYRDA-brainwashed assassin who is trying to kill you after bringing down your entire government.
Baymax tells Hiro that "Tadeshi is here" in "Big Hero 6"
When Baymax died, we cried/rioted; but when he told Hiro that his dead brother's spirit was still inside of him quite literally, we blubbered more than a big, marshmallowy robot that looks like blubber.
Star-Lord's mom dies, "Guardians of the Galaxy"
The "Guardians" opening credits sequence -- set to "Come and Get Your Love" -- was one of the most joyful moments at the movies this year. Which is great, because the minutes that led up to it were "Up" levels of devastating. The death of Star-Lord's (Chris Pratt) mom hit hard, and was pretty unexpected given the overall light tone of the movie.
Gwen Stacy dies, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
Emma Stone is a great actress, so when the film decided to go the comic book route and kill off her iconic character, the moment really worked.
Cooper watches decades of family videos, "Interstellar"
Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) knew that years would pass while he explored new planets to save humanity, but nothing could have prepared him for the emotional gut-punch that was watching 23 years of family videos after mere hours on that unsavory planet's surface. What was great was how he even pretended to care about Casey Affleck.
Caesar gets shot, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
Caesar's (Andy Serkis) near-death by Koba's hands was tragic on many levels. There was the surface-level tragedy of everybody thinking the humans did it -- thus starting World War III -- but even sadder was the realization that a single gun managed to devastate two relatively thriving communities. "Dawn" was one of the most intelligent and somber looks at the power of violence we've ever seen in a blockbuster movie, and this moment was when things truly went ape-s--t. (Sorry.)
Augustus' first funeral, "The Fault in our Stars"
Gus' second funeral -- the one during which he was actually dead -- was tragic, but it was his final moments with Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Isaac (Nat Wolff) that had my entire theatre in guttural sobs.
Groot sacrifices himself, "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Who would have thought than an anthropomorphic tree voiced by Vin Diesel -- and in "Guardians of the Galaxy," no less -- would provide one of the most poignant moments in superhero movie history? As Pixar movies taught us years ago, you don't have to be a human being to experience human emotions, and Groot was the most beautiful soul the Guardians had.
The fact that his Phil Coulson-esque sacrifice had a happy ending -- Baby Groot lives! -- doesn't cheapen its power, as it was the only thing that could have brought the team together, and a purely selfless moment from a loving creature. We are Groot, from now until forever.