Robot movies aren't all about action -- they can have some real tearjerker moments that will bring even the manliest to tears.
The goal of this series is to show that being "manly" and being disconnected with your emotions do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. While the approach to these articles is one of comedy and satire, the emotional core of these movies is very valid. Manly movies make guys cry, for example:
The definition of "robot" movie is going to have to be stretched a bit for this list. Between cyborgs, androids and plain old traditional robots, it's necessary to apply the spirit of the definition. And the spirit involves a man/machine that makes us love them, and then does something selfless and powerful to make us cry. It's quite a feat to make someone feel for an automaton, so these films generally are cinematic powerhouses on their own right. When guys sit down to watch machines either blasting us away or blasting with us, there's always the chance that a box of tissues will need to be at the ready.
We're talking the animated original, not the Michael Baysplosion. Here is one of the nerdiest moments worth crying about: the death of the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime. As a kid, Optimus Prime was as important as He-Man and Batman. He was a robot that inspired and cared for his fellow Autobots, always putting them above himself. Perma-death was not something kids were used to in Saturday morning cartoons, so the animated movie set in the same continuity didn't telegraph any changes. For a lot of kids, this was the first time you ever saw a cartoon hero die.
In one scene, it is determined that Optimus' wounds are fatal and will soon be one with the Matrix of Leadership. He opens his chest and hands over his Matrix to Ultra Magnus. The powerful moment is when the music kicks in and Optimus' eyes turn off. His body deteriorates and the surrounding Autobots weep. The human, Spike, grabs his head and bursts into tears. Take the best parts of all four new Transformer movies and you have nothing close to the quality or emotional impact of this scene. Particularly because Optimus Prime seems to die and resurrect more than Tom Cruise...you know. In that one movie.