26 Winter Movies for When It's Too Cold to Go Outside

For the snow day you know is coming soon.

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Love winter (hot chocolate! Sweaters!), but hate the temperatures (yes.)? I get that! But winter brings with it an unparalleled level of coziness, setting the stage for the perfect night in with a blanket, hot toddy, and a good movie. Ahead, 26 movies that will give you the cold vibes, while you're warm on the couch.

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'The Apartment' (1960)

Drop everything and ask your parents about The Apartment, considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star in the romantic movie, set in mid-to-late-December (the film ends on New Years' Eve). Lemmon plays C. C. "Bud" Baxter, an insurance clerk with an apartment that he loans out to his bosses to have extramarital affairs in, hoping that it'll lead to a promotion for him. What actually winds up happening is he begins pursuing a relationship with Fran Kubelik (MacLaine), without knowing that she's having an affair with one of Baxter's bosses in the titular apartment. It's a classic film that no one would dare to suggest to remake, it's that good. Watch this one with a warm blanket and a glass of scotch.

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'Trading Places' (1983)

Trading Places is perfect for a Friday night in with your friends where you just want to laugh at every single thing that exists in the world. Starring Eddie Murphy, Dan Ackroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis, Trading Places is a modern take of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. Ackroyd and Murphy play an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler who have been unknowingly pitted against each other in an elaborate bet. It's guaranteed to make you laugh hysterically. I mean, Dan Ackroyd shoves a salmon in his pants.

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Steve Martin And John Candy In 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles'
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'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' (1987)

If you don't like silliness, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is not for you. If this list was a ranking of Silliest Movies, this one might come in first place—and is great for a chilly Saturday afternoon watch. Steve Martin? John Candy? A road trip comedy? Perfection. What's the movie about, you ask? Steve Martin plays Neal Page, an advertising executive on a trip to New York trying to return to Chicago to be with his family on Thanksgiving. He meets Del Griffith, a traveling salesman, when Griffith steals his cab, and the two of them wind up on the same plane to Chicago, which is diverted to Wichita. They decide then to try to get to Chicago by train, but that doesn't work out either. What's the last choice, you wonder?

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'When Harry Met Sally' (1989)

It'd be a shocker if this didn't make the list, right? When Harry Met Sally... is one of the most classic rom-coms out there. The film spans ten years, revisiting the titular characters every five, and centering on Harry and Sally's differing views on relationships. I won't give the ending away, but every New Years' Eve you've ever had pales in comparison. Put on a sweater, put the scissors away (you won't look like Meg Ryan with bangs, sorry), and enjoy this film with a loved one.

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'Cool Runnings' (1993)

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme... Yes, this is the movie about the Jamaican bobsled team, and what's even better is that it's based in truth. When a Jamaican sprinter finds himself disqualified from the Olympic Games, he and a disgraced coach work together to form the first Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team. It's somehow both the warmest and coldest film featured on this list, so it's great for sitting in front of a fire while drinking a cold drink, or lying on the couch, drinking hot coffee.

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Bill Murray In 'Groundhog Day'
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'Groundhog Day' (1993)

Groundhog Day is one of those film concepts that takes an idea –inexplicably living the same day over and over again–and shows you what it's real life application would be like. Note: it wouldn't be fun. Bill Murray is at his comedic best, the plot is universally acclaimed, and honestly? The message at the end makes the movie. This one is totally meant to be enjoyed with a nice cup of tea and without worry that Punxsutawney Phil is going to see his shadow.

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'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (1993)

The musical classic! The king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, discovers Christmas Town, and wants to bring Christmas back home to Halloween Town, but no one is having it, and they're very confused. Everyone has one friend who loves The Nightmare Before Christmas. Watch this one with them on a snowy afternoon.

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Bill Pullman And Sandra Bullock In 'While You Were Sleeping'
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'While You Were Sleeping' (1995)

Any movie set in Chicago is bound to take advantage of how cold it gets there, and While You Were Sleeping is a great example of that—and Chicago itself is a character in the movie. After an unlucky streak in love, a hopelessly romantic Chicago Transit Authority worker Lucy (Sandra Bullock) saves her long-time crush, Peter from being hit by an oncoming train and doctors say he's in a coma. One misinterpreted comment later and Peter's family is under the assumption that Lucy is his fiancée (even though she and Peter have never actually even spoken), and they welcome her into their world with open arms. Only problem? She starts to develop feelings for Peter's brother (Bill Pullman). Take in all the winter greatness here in this classic romantic comedy.

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'Fargo' (1996)

I would consider Fargo to be one of the coldest movies ever, just in terms of general temperature and vibe. And yes, this is the same Fargo the show is based on, too. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) bungles a crime he should never have been involved in, and it all falls apart... because of the Midwestern niceties and persistence of Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand, in a well-deserved Oscar-winning performance). If you like the series, you'll love the movie. And if you love seeing cold imagery on screen, you'll definitely love Fargo.

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'The Ice Storm' (1997)

A ton of stars you love made early-career appearances in this movie–Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tobey McGuire, Christina Ricci– and this one is definitely a "Sitting at home on Sunday, in your feelings, probably drinking red wine" vibe. It's not the happiest of flicks, but it'll help you examine your relationships. It takes place in New Canaan, Connecticut, in 1973, and explores middle class families and their approach to sex, love, infidelity, and substance abuse. It's a gorgeously shot film, and it'll break your heart.

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Universal
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)

It's a rom-com classic for a reason! It made Reneé Zellweger famous for a reason, too, and that reason is effortless charm. Bridget Jones isn't just a rom-com taking inspiration from Pride & Prejudice, it's a realistic love story with humor and heart, Chaka Khan and vodka. I adore this movie for so many reasons–the soundtrack, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant at his most frustrating–and it is one of the most wintery movies I've ever seen. Watch this one with your best friends, while wearing a horrible Christmas sweater.

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'Ice Age' (2002)

Hey, you asked for winter? I'm gonna give you winter, in the form of an actual Ice Age. There are five films in the Ice Age universe, and they're all pretty great, if you ask me. But the OG makes this list because it's the one that started it all: Manny, a wooly mammoth, meets Sid, a talkative ground sloth, and together, they find a human baby they must set out to return. Watch this one with your baby cousin who loves anything animated.

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Love Actually (2003)

Love Actually, or as it's known in my household, The Movie That Makes Me Cry To Joni Mitchell. I love Love Actually, and for a Christmas movie, it's all I can ask for. An anthology film covering the lives and ordeals of couples during the Christmas season? Sign me up! This movie is known for being the "Andrew Lincoln With Cue Cards" movie, but it really really deserves more than that. Settle in for a long night–the film runs 2 hours, 15 minutes– but you might actually believe in the end that love, actually is... all around.

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'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004)

Yet another occasion of "if you could do this, what would it be like?" Imagine being able to erase the memories of someone causing you pain. You'd do it, right? Without question – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind wants to blow that concept out of the water. When their relationship starts to go down the drain, a couple decides to undergo a medical procedure to erase each other from their memories. This one is perfect for a Saturday night, wrapped up in a blanket, having ALL of the feelings.

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'The Family Stone' (2005)

What goes perfectly with winter? A bit of family dysfunction. An uptight businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his free-spirited family's annual Christmas celebration and realizes she's nothing like them and doesn't fit in. Of course, it's Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulroney, so it's played for laughs. This one's great for a family viewing.

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'Just Friends' (2005)

Man, if you haven't been in this scenario or at least imagined what it would be like, you're lucky. After confessing his love to his best friend in high school and getting told she wants them to be "just friends," Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds) grows into a successful and attractive record producer who still pines for his high school best friend, and returns to his hometown to try to win her heart. It's a funny movie, and it'll make you have a little bit of nostalgia for the past.

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'March of the Penguins' (2005)

It's a documentary about the end of the Antarctic summer! Has anything ever been this cold? March of the Penguins follows the emperor penguins through the South Pole on their journey to their traditional breeding grounds during their mating rituals. Who doesn't love penguins?!

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'Rent' (2005)

Sure, Rent has received some backlash in recent years–it's a play about adults not understanding they have to pay rent to live where they want to, for one thing–but the movie gets the anti-holiday sentiment correctly. There's no heat in their apartment, it's Christmas, and there's a ton of talk about AIDS. But it's a musical! It has a happy ending! If anything, you can try to hit the whistle note in 'Seasons of Love'. I believe in you.

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'Harry Potter' (Any of Them)

Yes, I do mean all of the Harry Potters. If you’ve been living under a rock, Harry Potter is the story of the boy wizard who lived. But it’s so much more than that, of course! The snow and Christmas imagery is enough to warm the hearts of even the most warm-blooded muggle. Plus, there's enough movies in this series to get you through a blizzard.

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'Happy Feet' (2006)

Maybe I love penguins. Maybe I love Elijah Wood (this is his third appearance in this list) maybe I just really love the cold. Or it’s all of the above! But if you don’t find yourself charmed by the idea of a tap-dancing penguin trying to find his heart song, I don't think this is your arena, but also, who are you?

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'The Holiday' (2006)

Kate Winslet. Cameron Diaz. Jude Law. Jack Black. It’s a powerhouse of romantic comedy greatness, and it’ll make you want to look into a house swap, pronto. The Holiday isn’t just your basic romantic comedy, though—it’s a showcase for some of the most gorgeous houses you’ve ever seen, and it’s actually funny. Watch this one with your aesthetic-forward friend.

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Roadside Attractions
Winter's Bone (2010)

The movie that launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career, Winter’s Bone is a rough watch in terms of sentiment, but not in terms of quality. Lawrence stars as a teenage girl in the rural Ozarks of Missouri who must locate her missing criminal father to protect her family from eviction. This one is perfect for a Saturday night watch alone, and you might just want to go to bed after it’s over. The feelings are real, they’re rough, and by the end, you might be a little emotionally exhausted.

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Frozen (2013)

Let it go, let it goooooooooooo... this is the film that birthed the earworm of a century. Frozen is a force, producing spin-offs and a Broadway musical, but the OG is always a great choice. Watch this one with all of your younger cousins and ask them “Do you want to build a snowman?”

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'Force Majeure' (2014)

The only foreign-language film on this list, but it’s a good choice. Telling the story of familial tension after the patriarch attempts to abandon them during an avalanche, this film hits HARD. And for good reason, of course. Watch this Swedish film by yourself, definitely not with a partner you’ve been fighting with.

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20th Century Fox
'The Revenant' (2015)

It’s not just Leonardo DiCaprio fighting with a bear, it’s also a freezing cold tale of the lengths man will go to get vengeance for someone he loves. Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for this performance, but it’s more notable that everyone in the cast basically got hypothermia. Now that’s what I call method acting!

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'A Christmas Prince' (2017)

The sleeper hit of last year’s Christmas season, this Netflix film is cheesy in all the right ways. An aspiring young journalist is sent to the country of Aldovia to cover the shenanigans of the young prince, but winds up being mistaken for the new tutor for the princess of Aldovia. Further hilarity ensues, people fall in love—it’s cheesy, but in the best way possible.

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