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The cold weather has rolled in, and it's time to get cozy. You've got your blanket, your mug of hot cocoa, and your dog/cat/significant other/own damn self to cuddle with. Now you just need a good winter movie. But what is a winter movie? A movie set in winter? A movie about winter? A movie that makes you feel really cold even if it's not explicitly winter related? A movie where you get to enjoy the season with Mr. Napkin Head?
It's all of the above! Whether you want to lean into the coldest season in a cozy way, a sci-fi way, a rom-com way, or an animated way, the following list will have something for you. Get ready to feel a bit more ❄️chilly❄️ thanks to a magical princess, an iceberg, a remote French island, and more.
The Ice Storm
It might sound like a disaster movie about an ice storm, but it's actually a movie about two somewhat disastrous families in an ice storm in the early 1970s.
Not all winter movies are Christmas movies, but there are obviously some overlaps. Love Actually takes place during the lead-up to Christmas and is all about romance, family, friendship, and Alan Rickman daring to cheat on the wonderful Emma Thompson.
Ice Age follows four animals—a mammoth and a saber-toothed tiger, among them—who are figuring out life at the start of an ice age. When they discover a human baby away from their family, the group's true mission begins.
When Harry Met Sally
New Year's Eve scenes! Crisp, cold weather! More sweaters!
Want a horror movie winter movie? The Lodge fits the bill. It's about a woman who visits her fiancé's family's remote lodge along with his two children for Christmas. Soon, she begins experiencing ~mysterious occurrences~ that relate to her past of being raised in a cult. But nothing's what it seems around these two creepy kids.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
It's literally about stepping through a wardrobe and into a winter wonderland. Well, a winter wonderland that's also kind of scary...and requires fighting an evil witch and befriending a lion. And also it's cursed to always be winter. So, ya know, not ideal.
The Day After Tomorrow
2004's The Day After Tomorrow is about a climate disaster that throws the world into a new ice age. I'm shivering just thinking about it.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
This drama with a very long title is about a writer who joins a group of literature lovers on the island of Guernsey while it's occupied by Germany during World War II. There's history, cozy secret meet-ups, and plenty of romance.
Three reasons Knives Out is a winter movie: (1) Everyone's wearing coats, (2) that big mansion is clearly freezing, and (3) Chris Evans's cable knit sweater, end of sentence. Enough said!
Everest is very cold and very distressing. The film is about a group of people trying to make it to the top of the mountain and is based on the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster.
March of the Penguins
Pump up the heat, grab like 20 blankets, and check out March of the Penguins, which is about emperor penguins taking their yearly journey through Antarctica to find mates and welcome a very cute bbs.
You don't have to keep your horror movie-watching confined to Halloween. The Shining is both terrifying and winter-themed.
Winter. Cold. Snow. Frozen. This movie could not be any more about winter. The beloved animated film is about a princess, Elsa, who has the power to create an endless winter, which is cool (lol, get it?) until it gets out of hand.
And there's a sequel! Twice the snow! Twice the winter!
Little Women (1994)
Not all of Little Women is set during the winter, but key parts take place around Christmas and there are plenty of scenes with the four March sisters keeping warm in their Massachusetts home.
Little Women (2019)
Or if you'd rather Saoirse Ronan be your Jo March instead of Winona Ryder, there's the 2019 Little Women, which features the sisters wearing all the layers.
I know. The snow isn't there because it's winter, but because the world has been thrust into another ice age. This sci-fi film is definitely chilling in more ways than one.
Despite the name, The Holiday is more of a winter movie than a Christmas movie. Two women take a holiday by switching homes, with one experiencing the Santa Ana winds during a Los Angeles winter and one enjoying the season in the snowy, quaint English countryside. Bonus: The movie ends on New Year's Eve, so it's really about two holidays in one!
If dark comedy crime movies are more your thing, there's Fargo. The 1996 Coen brothers film is set during a Minnesota winter, so expect over-the-top accents, gore, and a variety of '90s outerwear.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas is about Halloween and Christmas. Double the cold-weather references.
Also, if you wanna debate whether this is more of a Christmas movie or more of a Halloween movie, we gotchu:
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is not exactly a winter movie in its setting—in fact, much of it clearly takes place during warm weather—but the fact that it airs on TV every December has made it into one. There's also "My Favorite Things," which became an accidental Christmas song with its lyrics about snowflakes, mittens, and "brown paper packages tied up with strings."
Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for playing real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass in The Revenant. It is—to put it extremely briefly—about the wilderness, bears, violence, and being really, really cold.
Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones's Diary starts and ends around New Year's Day, going from an embarrassing holiday sweater at a family party to a romantic kiss in the snow. Follow Bridget's lead and pair a viewing of the movie with a glass of red wine.
Yet another movie with a New Year's party, About Time is about a man who finds out he can time travel. At the beginning of the film, this means he can relive the same New Year's Eve party more than once, but as the movie goes on he falls in love and starts a family, using his superpower to other ends.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
The romance in Portrait of a Lady on Fire is hot with passion, but very, very cold with its windy coastal France location.
The Titanic sank in April 1912, so technically it's in the spring rather than the winter. But (1) this might be the coldest movie out there and (2) there's no bad time to watch Titanic...for the 20th time.
Winter's Bone was a big breakthrough for Jennifer Lawrence, who landed her first Oscar nom for the film. The movie is about a teenager in the Ozarks who goes on a harrowing search for her missing father. Be warned that it's not an easy movie to watch.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is actually about a procedure that can erase your memories of an ex. It's kind of heavy, but the location of snowy Montauk, New York is significant. It's a winter movie! Just a winter movie that will screw with your mind for several days after seeing it.
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