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11.22.2013by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Most Depressing Movies of the Last 10 Years (Video Edition)

As 2013 comes to a close we are approaching the time when Oscar contenders will be on full display. As we all know, depressing usually gets you an Oscar nomination because playing dramatic parts is a lot harder than say comedy or action. That being said, there have been a lot of depressing films over the years, but just in the past decade there have been some truly brutal and emotionally devastating movies to have hit screens. Here is a list of the ten most depressing movies of the last decade. If you have a pick that didn't make the list, feel free to add it to the talk backs below.

#10 - THE DESCENT

Neil Marshall's THE DESCENT is one of the best horror movies of the last decade and as we all know, horror movies rarely end on a positive note. But, THE DESCENT ends on a spectacularly bleak note. In the US cut, the ending is much more positive while the original version reveals that our main character is only dreaming of surviving the horrific fate that her friends suffered.

#9 - THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

While Christians the world over revere Jesus Christ for the sins he died for, Mel Gibson's film of his death revels in the suffering he endured. Despite the uplifting ending showing Christ in full Terminator mode as he returns to life, the preceding two hours are a horrific and painful exercise in how long you can stare at flayed flesh as it is ripped from a man's back. Kudos for the intensity but damn if it doesn't leave you feeling like crap.

#8 - PRECIOUS

Lee Daniels had the difficult job of making a film about an inner city girl surviving a life of abuse and making it more than a melodramatic Lifetime original movie. PRECIOUS turns out to be a damn fine movie with great performances from the entire cast. Mo'Nique in particular delivers one of the most disturbing mothers ever put on the big screen. Before seeing this movie I wrote it off as being another overhyped awards contender. If you haven't seen it, you really should. Just prepare not to smile for quite a while.

#7 - THE CONSTANT GARDENER

THE CONSTANT GARDENER is a politically relevant movie that garnered Rachel Weisz a much deserved Oscar. But, Ralph Fiennes performance is the true winner here as he travels the globe trying to unravel the truth behind the death of his wife. What follows is a geopolitical thriller that makes you think about real world issues and at the same time keeps you at the edge of your seat. And just as you start to hope that the main character will get his closure, the rug is pulled out from under you.

#6 - REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

If you have ever been in a relationship where you have fought with your significant other to the point that the cops have been called, The Wheelers make you look like The Brady Bunch. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD is a sad portrait of a dissatisfied couple as their marriage unravels. It could not be more depressing to watch these people who were in love say the most horrifying things to one another on a path that leads to nothing but sadness and death. A devastating movie to watch despite brilliant performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

#5 - THE ROAD

One of the best novels ever written, THE ROAD became an equally powerful movie. Chronicling a man and his son traversing a post-apocalyptic America, you are forced as the viewer to see what a father will do for his child, even if it means at the cost of his own life. I defy you to watch THE ROAD and not feel completely wrecked by the end. A hard movie to watch and one with a silver lining if you really look for it, but you have to look hard.

#4 - MILLION DOLLAR BABY

The literal sucker punch in MILLION DOLLAR BABY is also one for the audience as this movie that starts out like the female version of ROCKY turns into one of the most depressing movies ever made. Hilary Swank's character begs Clint Eastwood to euthanize her as he wrestles with that decision. In the meantime, her family is doing everything they can to take her fight money while she simultaneously tries every method possible in her crippled state to try and kill herself. Definitely not the kind of movie to show people in an old folks home.

#3 - AMOUR

Best Picture nominee last year and Best Foreign Film winner, AMOUR is yet another depress-fest from director Michael Haneke. This time the story focuses on an elderly couple as the wife succumbs to a stroke and he must care for her despite his own impairments. As the stress of caring for her takes a toll, Georges can do the only thing that shows how much he loves Anne: he tells her a story and then smothers her to death. Beautiful, in a way, but also one of the biggest downers ever put to film.

#2 - PRISONERS

PRISONERS is one of the best movies of 2013 and better be recognized for the performances of Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Jackman in particular fully embodies a father desperate to save his missing daughter and every dad who sees this movie will be able to relate. The lengths he goes to in order to find the truth is astounding and very hard to watch. A brilliant drama and thriller with an ending you probably didn't see coming, it also leaves a hanging plot thread that will really leave you down in the dumps.

#1 - THE MIST

The most f*cked up ending of all time, Frank Darabont's THE MIST shows you the devastating decision that Thomas Jane is forced to make to spare his son and friends a fate worse than death. Left alone, surrounded by death, he decides it is time to let himself be eaten by the awful creatures that populate The Mist. But, instead the Mist parts and everyone is saved. Five minutes too late and you have an ending that will forever be burned into your soul.

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1:13AM on 03/15/2014

One word.....

Boy in the Stripped Pajamas!!!
Also, The Mist's end was the biggest middle finger to Hollywood I've ever seen, I wish more directors would grow some balls!!
Mr. Darabont, You are a master of your craft, and I don't care what anyone says, The Mist was fucking awesome!
Boy in the Stripped Pajamas!!!
Also, The Mist's end was the biggest middle finger to Hollywood I've ever seen, I wish more directors would grow some balls!!
Mr. Darabont, You are a master of your craft, and I don't care what anyone says, The Mist was fucking awesome!
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11:23AM on 12/08/2013

The Fact...

That this list does not contain "I Melt With You" from 2011 devalues this list completely. You're usually on the money but you left out one of the most depressing films in the past 20 years. If it's because you haven't watched it, watch it.
That this list does not contain "I Melt With You" from 2011 devalues this list completely. You're usually on the money but you left out one of the most depressing films in the past 20 years. If it's because you haven't watched it, watch it.
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11:47AM on 11/28/2013
I found the movie Shame pretty hard to sit through and rather depressing. I also found Like Crazy to be quite depressing as well in it's realism that hit a little too close to home.
I found the movie Shame pretty hard to sit through and rather depressing. I also found Like Crazy to be quite depressing as well in it's realism that hit a little too close to home.
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3:39PM on 11/24/2013

The Mist was devastating in Theatres

I've seen most of the movies on this list, and there were ones left off that deserved to be there, but I take issue with the person who ragged on 'The Mist'. Frank Darabont did a brilliant job adapting Stephen King's short story, and showed once again he really 'gets' Kings mindset - but that ending is all Darabont's idea. The original story ends in ambiguity, with the survivors heading off to Hartford. Darabont Suggested this ending to King, who loved it and said he wished he had thought of
I've seen most of the movies on this list, and there were ones left off that deserved to be there, but I take issue with the person who ragged on 'The Mist'. Frank Darabont did a brilliant job adapting Stephen King's short story, and showed once again he really 'gets' Kings mindset - but that ending is all Darabont's idea. The original story ends in ambiguity, with the survivors heading off to Hartford. Darabont Suggested this ending to King, who loved it and said he wished he had thought of it originally. The Result? I saw this on opening night, and the sucker punch the theater felt...it was physical, and brutal. Yes, its a horror / fantasy story, but those come with rules and conventions....one of which is not having the hero of your story shoot 4 innocent people, including his own son, to spare them horror, only to find out it was for nothing? I loved how Darabont peels the camera away from Thomas Jane, like its just too much to show him falling apart. I've never been in a theater that was as quiet when people were leaving, and if Darabont was there, he probably would have smiled, because that's the reaction he was going for. This film will gain stature over time, But I was there opening night and won't forget those last 7 minutes with the audience. That's what going to movies is all about.
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3:42AM on 11/24/2013
Shin'ya Tsukamoto's 'Haze' would probably be near the top of my disturbing/depressing films, but maybe an honourable mention to Spielberg's War Of The Worlds wouldn't go amiss - dear lord that was excessively bleak.
Shin'ya Tsukamoto's 'Haze' would probably be near the top of my disturbing/depressing films, but maybe an honourable mention to Spielberg's War Of The Worlds wouldn't go amiss - dear lord that was excessively bleak.
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3:34AM on 11/24/2013
Assumed this would be in here somewhere. The huge mass of hopelessness weighing down Mortensen's character throughout is pretty intense.
Assumed this would be in here somewhere. The huge mass of hopelessness weighing down Mortensen's character throughout is pretty intense.
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+0
2:39AM on 11/24/2013
Bit of an odd suggestion here but I thought the ending to Smokin' Aces was very depressing.
Bit of an odd suggestion here but I thought the ending to Smokin' Aces was very depressing.
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12:14AM on 11/24/2013
the wrestler? Reign over me. love a good downer movie with a no so happy ending. So tired of movies where you know the entire time what the ending is going to be. Probably why I have come to love tv dramas more such as Breaking Bad, dexter, fringe, walking dead, etc.
the wrestler? Reign over me. love a good downer movie with a no so happy ending. So tired of movies where you know the entire time what the ending is going to be. Probably why I have come to love tv dramas more such as Breaking Bad, dexter, fringe, walking dead, etc.
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11:02PM on 11/23/2013
loved the ending and the movie
loved the ending and the movie
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8:01PM on 11/23/2013

Terrible Movie

This overwrought, heavy handed, terribly edited shit pile is one of the worst movies to ever win an Academy Award. Mo'Nique doesn't really act, so much as emote- choosing one or two emotions and conveying those; even JCVD can do that reasonable well. This movie is only depressing in how much suckers fell for it, and for how poorly made it truly is.
This overwrought, heavy handed, terribly edited shit pile is one of the worst movies to ever win an Academy Award. Mo'Nique doesn't really act, so much as emote- choosing one or two emotions and conveying those; even JCVD can do that reasonable well. This movie is only depressing in how much suckers fell for it, and for how poorly made it truly is.
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7:56PM on 11/23/2013
'The Mist' is a bullshit boring movie with an ending so idiotic I am amazed anyone wound up taking it seriously. Oh you drove for 20 minutes outside the city and couldn't be bothered to check all the cars around you to see if they were unlocked? Fuck that movie!

Also, I am surprised 'Children Of Men' didn't make the cut.
'The Mist' is a bullshit boring movie with an ending so idiotic I am amazed anyone wound up taking it seriously. Oh you drove for 20 minutes outside the city and couldn't be bothered to check all the cars around you to see if they were unlocked? Fuck that movie!

Also, I am surprised 'Children Of Men' didn't make the cut.
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5:52PM on 11/23/2013
Can't have Requiem people. Not last 10 yrs
Can't have Requiem people. Not last 10 yrs
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+0
3:30PM on 11/23/2013
for me, bridge to terabithia, toy story 3, tae guk gi, best of the best, schindlers list
for me, bridge to terabithia, toy story 3, tae guk gi, best of the best, schindlers list
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+0
1:08AM on 11/23/2013
I would have put in both The Machinist and Pan's Labyrinth. Both are fantastic movies that you absolutely cannot sit through a second time because you know how fucked up things turn out.
I would have put in both The Machinist and Pan's Labyrinth. Both are fantastic movies that you absolutely cannot sit through a second time because you know how fucked up things turn out.
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+2
10:42PM on 11/22/2013
The Mist ending was hardcore. I expected it to end with the fate of the world left in ambiguity. Instead, we get Thomas Jane left to ponder what sort of fucked up God would save him five minutes too late. Very fucked up ending, but a good one for the film nonetheless. Really enjoyed the movie overall.
The Mist ending was hardcore. I expected it to end with the fate of the world left in ambiguity. Instead, we get Thomas Jane left to ponder what sort of fucked up God would save him five minutes too late. Very fucked up ending, but a good one for the film nonetheless. Really enjoyed the movie overall.
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+0
10:37PM on 11/22/2013
This was more powerful than I thought it would be. God, did I feel awful after this. I guess that's the point, but geez, this was such an emotionally draining film.
This was more powerful than I thought it would be. God, did I feel awful after this. I guess that's the point, but geez, this was such an emotionally draining film.
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-1
10:31PM on 11/22/2013
I'd watch this movie, and I am sure it's great, but I can't stand Mo'nique. She annoys the shit out of me. I can't believe she won an award for this.
I'd watch this movie, and I am sure it's great, but I can't stand Mo'nique. She annoys the shit out of me. I can't believe she won an award for this.
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10:25PM on 11/22/2013
As a dad, Gardens of the Night kicked my ass!
As a dad, Gardens of the Night kicked my ass!
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9:07PM on 11/22/2013
First time I saw this was on DVD. I stood straight up and yelled "OMG Are you fucking kidding me!!!" What a HUGE gut punch. That was messed up and so heartbreaking. All for nothing.
First time I saw this was on DVD. I stood straight up and yelled "OMG Are you fucking kidding me!!!" What a HUGE gut punch. That was messed up and so heartbreaking. All for nothing.
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8:52PM on 11/22/2013
Good list so far.
Good list so far.
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8:47PM on 11/22/2013
Yep. That's like watching my ex & me. Great movie though.
Yep. That's like watching my ex & me. Great movie though.
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5:46PM on 11/22/2013
Mystic River should be an honorable mention.
Mystic River should be an honorable mention.
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-1
5:20PM on 11/22/2013

PRECIOUS - 8/10; THE ROAD - 6/10; AMOUR - 7/10; THE MIST - 9/10

From the ones on the list, THE MIST is the only one that made me cried. But that doesn't mean the other ones didn't make me feel sad.
From the ones on the list, THE MIST is the only one that made me cried. But that doesn't mean the other ones didn't make me feel sad.
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+2
3:59PM on 11/22/2013
It was the first time in my life that instead of a feel-good story or a big-budget spectacle I found a depressing movie to be my favourite movie of the year. It was Prisoners.
It was the first time in my life that instead of a feel-good story or a big-budget spectacle I found a depressing movie to be my favourite movie of the year. It was Prisoners.
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-9
3:24PM on 11/22/2013
The mist is a good film, but over requiem? For #1? Am I alone on this? How could a sci-fi/horror movie be more depressing than something that could happen in real life. And maybe the ending of the mist could kind of happen, but it would be an army, not aliens, so the ppl would have the believe they could outrun them in the car, hide, shoot, fight, etc. That's fucking stupid when AMOURE and requiem can really happen. DO really happen
The mist is a good film, but over requiem? For #1? Am I alone on this? How could a sci-fi/horror movie be more depressing than something that could happen in real life. And maybe the ending of the mist could kind of happen, but it would be an army, not aliens, so the ppl would have the believe they could outrun them in the car, hide, shoot, fight, etc. That's fucking stupid when AMOURE and requiem can really happen. DO really happen
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5:09PM on 11/22/2013
While I agree that Requiem For A Dream is one of the most absolutely depressing movie of all-time, this list only covers the past decade. Requiem came out 13 years ago. At least understand what the criteria for inclusion is is before complaining about omissions.
While I agree that Requiem For A Dream is one of the most absolutely depressing movie of all-time, this list only covers the past decade. Requiem came out 13 years ago. At least understand what the criteria for inclusion is is before complaining about omissions.
4:09PM on 11/22/2013
"How could a sci-fi/horror movie be more depressing than something that could happen in real life"
If you are watching a movie, you should forget this thought. It shouldn't bother you at all if a movie was set in "real life" or space or Middle Earth. What matters if its story and characters touch you. The emotional impact of a movie has nothing to do with its genre.
"How could a sci-fi/horror movie be more depressing than something that could happen in real life"
If you are watching a movie, you should forget this thought. It shouldn't bother you at all if a movie was set in "real life" or space or Middle Earth. What matters if its story and characters touch you. The emotional impact of a movie has nothing to do with its genre.
3:21PM on 11/22/2013
Yup. I was angry for weeks after this film. But bravo to the studio for leaving in this horrific ending. Most would have changed it after a terrible test audience; seriously I would have loved to read the comment cards from a test audience.
Yup. I was angry for weeks after this film. But bravo to the studio for leaving in this horrific ending. Most would have changed it after a terrible test audience; seriously I would have loved to read the comment cards from a test audience.
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+0
3:03PM on 11/22/2013

Prisoners

Re. Prisoners: What is the so-called "hanging plot thread that will really leave you down in the dumps" mentioned here?
Re. Prisoners: What is the so-called "hanging plot thread that will really leave you down in the dumps" mentioned here?
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-8
2:51PM on 11/22/2013
I gotta say that tho this is a good film, it's not near as good as most of the others listed, nor did it last with me very long, ESPECIALLY when compared to most of the other films. No doubt it's good, but it's over-rated.

Now when I saw this list I thought of 3 films - requiem for a dream, dogville, and fresh. There's two movies left. Let's see what happens
I gotta say that tho this is a good film, it's not near as good as most of the others listed, nor did it last with me very long, ESPECIALLY when compared to most of the other films. No doubt it's good, but it's over-rated.

Now when I saw this list I thought of 3 films - requiem for a dream, dogville, and fresh. There's two movies left. Let's see what happens
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1:46PM on 11/22/2013

The Mist ending ripped my guts out.

It was powerful and fucked up, the purest representation of horror & hopelessness I have ever seen in a movie.
It was powerful and fucked up, the purest representation of horror & hopelessness I have ever seen in a movie.
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-5
12:15PM on 11/22/2013

so sad

that this fat piece of shit got an Oscar for that role. She stole the entire role from The Wire in season 4 and just to really put a stamp on it she hasnt been cast in anything since and her track record speaks for itself. Its the most depressing part is she won an Oscar and RDJ hasn't...wow
that this fat piece of shit got an Oscar for that role. She stole the entire role from The Wire in season 4 and just to really put a stamp on it she hasnt been cast in anything since and her track record speaks for itself. Its the most depressing part is she won an Oscar and RDJ hasn't...wow
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11:35AM on 11/22/2013

Flogging...

...it's actually called scourging.
...it's actually called scourging.
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11:02AM on 11/22/2013
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. Still haven't recovered.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. Still haven't recovered.
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10:45AM on 11/22/2013
Mel Gibson is true Auteur.like Scorsese,Sergio leone,Tarantino,he is one of the greatest directors who can film violence artistically
Mel Gibson is true Auteur.like Scorsese,Sergio leone,Tarantino,he is one of the greatest directors who can film violence artistically
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10:34AM on 11/22/2013
The ending of The Mist made my jaw dropped for hours.
The ending of The Mist made my jaw dropped for hours.
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10:32AM on 11/22/2013
The ending of this movie is just effin' depressing.
The ending of this movie is just effin' depressing.
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10:29AM on 11/22/2013
I kinda like that bleak original ending.
I kinda like that bleak original ending.
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10:17AM on 11/22/2013
i enjoyed this movie but i dont think i will ever watch it again i felt drained after watching it
i enjoyed this movie but i dont think i will ever watch it again i felt drained after watching it
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10:04AM on 11/22/2013
I have to agree with Thumbs420, Blue Valentine should have been on here. That film absolutely destroys you.
I have to agree with Thumbs420, Blue Valentine should have been on here. That film absolutely destroys you.
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10:00AM on 11/22/2013
Beautiful and heartbreaking - near-perfect balance between romantic drama and thriller, two genres which films sometimes struggle to mesh.
Beautiful and heartbreaking - near-perfect balance between romantic drama and thriller, two genres which films sometimes struggle to mesh.
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+11
9:54AM on 11/22/2013

Blue Valentine?!

Blue Valentine is a movie that absolutely crushes your heart, and in the end it leaves the audience with the question "is it even worth putting back together?!" the movie should come with a disclaimer or something...
Blue Valentine is a movie that absolutely crushes your heart, and in the end it leaves the audience with the question "is it even worth putting back together?!" the movie should come with a disclaimer or something...
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9:38AM on 11/22/2013
Children of Men?
Children of Men?
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9:30AM on 11/22/2013
I would also put the last five minutes of Requiem for a Dream up there as well.
I would also put the last five minutes of Requiem for a Dream up there as well.
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2:28PM on 11/22/2013
Yeah for sure the most depressing movie of all time. However the movie came out in 2000 and this was just for the past 10 years.
Yeah for sure the most depressing movie of all time. However the movie came out in 2000 and this was just for the past 10 years.
8:55AM on 11/22/2013
It is such an uplifting movie, until she falls. Then this becomes on of the most depressing films ever.
It is such an uplifting movie, until she falls. Then this becomes on of the most depressing films ever.
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8:52AM on 11/22/2013
This was a particularly sad film. I remember feeling no sense of cheer or anything when leaving.
This was a particularly sad film. I remember feeling no sense of cheer or anything when leaving.
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+2
8:37AM on 11/22/2013
Wow, Dancer in the Dark was 20 years ago.
Wow, Dancer in the Dark was 20 years ago.
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11:03AM on 11/22/2013
Dancer in the Dark came out in 2000. And yes that is a damn depressing movie.
Dancer in the Dark came out in 2000. And yes that is a damn depressing movie.

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