When a blizzard sets its sights on your town, all you can do is hunker down with hot cocoa, firewood, and the last remaining battery on your devices. If the power goes out, at least you will have each other for company.
Even with loved ones around you, the cold can be irritating, to say the least. Snow may coop everyone together indoors, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to suffer at the hands of boredom. When conversation runs out, a movie is the best remedy for a quiet den. And boy have we got the winter flicks for you.
Many diverse stories are set amid the snow. There are the tried-and-true romantic comedies that will have you snuggling up with your partner, or there are also icy adventures of fantasy and drama. We have chosen a little of everything for your film menu this wintertime, so kick back with an extra blanket and enjoy.
Tom Hanks is the main voice in this underappreciated winter film. This is a joyful family movie meant for the weeks leading up to Christmas or to extend the holiday season into the bleaker months of the New Year.
Sweden has a unique dry humor, and if you share it, this Oscar-nominated film is a must-see. It is cynical and dark, with jokes aimed at masculinity and power.
While just about every Wes Anderson movie is great for any occasion, the Grand Budapest Hotel is ripe for a chilly afternoon with the family. It is filled with colors, action, and humor, and the combination earned it four Oscars.
Jennifer Lawrence had a remarkable breakout performance in this chilly drama. The shock within the story may have been part of what earned the film so many accolades, making it worth a watch on an uneventful snow day.
This is one of the best rom-com films, especially considering it stars Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The timeline of the story is not limited to the winter months, but some of the best action happens when the leaves are turning.
The Holiday is the life-swap rom-com that winter requires. With a star-studded cast, including Cameron Diaz and Jack Black, there is never a dull moment.
This Kubrick masterpiece is a classic horror film, beloved by just about everyone—including spectators that would normally avoid the genre. Watching in anticipation of a blizzard is not recommended unless you are looking for an immersive viewing experience.
This stark survival flick earned Leonardo DiCaprio his only Academy Award. Before you get worked up about the other performances that deserved the statue, find this film—also starring Tom Hardy—available anywhere you buy movies.
A versatile movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas has earned a cult following. I like to watch it around Halloween and Christmas because who doesn’t love a great holiday musical?
Narnia is a world that exists in perpetual winter, so it seemed like a perfect choice for our snow day list. The fantasy world is not only reserved for readers of the series either; expect excellent performances from Tilda Swinton and James McAvoy (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Peter Dinklage (Prince Caspian), and more.
If you can watch the stage musical Rent, that is my highest recommendation. If not, the abbreviated film version is still a heartwarming, intersectional look at the bohemian working class.
Veterans of the Love Actually fanclub will attest to its longevity. This is a film not so much about romance as it is about the transient nature of love and how it affects many different people. It will certainly warm even the iciest hearts this winter.
Macaulay Culkin is the conniving kid at the center of the Home Alone franchise, and his ingenious schemes are enviable. This is the movie for wild imaginations, no matter the age.
At this stage of climate change, the concept of Groundhog Day is just about outdated, but this romantic comedy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell is always appropriate. Warm laughs will counter the cold weather.
Stream: Amazon Prime
While not a minted classic at the award shows, this Chris Columbus–penned screenplay has a cult following of its own. As it turns out, these goofy creatures come with their own set of rules, and the hijinks that ensue when they are broken have earned the film decades of laughs.
Even film buffs are hard-pressed to locate this Charlie Chaplin title. But it is worth the search, especially when the winter has made your joy wither. This is a slapstick comedy fit for all ages.
Rent or buy: Amazon
If you are one of the few people left in the world who has not seen this film or become sick of its Oscar-winning song “Let It Go,” then Frozen should be at the top of your snow day movie list. The whimsy alone will make you forget about the cold outside.
There are two films by the Coen brothers that fight for the title of their best, and Fargo is one of them. (The other is The Big Lebowski, of course.) This is a landmark movie about inept criminals and the human investigators responsible for doling out justice, though the story never goes in the direction you expect.
While this story explores the idea of memory and fate, there seems to only be one type of setting—and it is blanketed with snow and ice. The title may conjure bright summer rays, but Eternal Sunshine is a cerebral romantic dramedy.
One of the greatest action franchises also doubles as a fantastic Christmas movie alternative. The first in the series includes the late Alan Rickman as the main villain.