24 Movies to Cozy Up With in the Winter

Great Winter Movies

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind 1
Image Credit: Focus Features

Something about the Winter makes us want to cozy up and put on a movie. And whether you live in a cold or warmer climate, there is still something about this time of year that is apt for a day, a weekend, or an extra-long movie marathon.

While any film would do, those set during the winter months feel the most appropriate. But of course, what people like to “cozy up” with will differ depending on the person. So, let's look at 24 movies for your Winter viewing pleasure in every genre, from family films to adventures to romances.

Beauty and the Beast  (1991, 2017)

beauty and the beast
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Whether you want to watch this fairy tale's animated or live-action version, both are welcome choices for the cold weather season. Telling a tale as old as time, the love story between Belle and the Beast is a favorite of many Disney fans due in no small part to the amazing songs, score, style, colorful characters, and meaningful story of learning to love and be loved in return.

The animated version features many moments featuring snowy backdrops, especially the touching song “Almost There,” which includes blossoming emotions and snowball fights. The live-action version leans into the wintery setting even more, with gorgeous visuals sure to delight.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

chronicles of narnia 1
Image Credit: Disney Enterprises and Walden Media, LLC

The first entry in the film series remains the finest installment and the one that is the perfect diversion for a cold day. The epic adventure for the Pevensie children begins with a trip through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia.

In this snowy world, they encounter friends and foes, from the faun Mr. Tumnus, the lovable Mr. And Mrs. Beaver, and the majestic lion Aslan to the frightening wolves and the chilling and formidable White Witch.

From the compelling story to the gorgeous wintry setting, the inclusion of Father Christmas, and the overall aesthetic, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has all the looks and feel of an ideal film for Winter, most especially for those looking for a family-friendly adventure.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Cool Runnings (1993)

cool runnings
Image Credit: Imagine Films Entertainment

Based on the incredible true story, Cool Runnings tells the unlikely tale of a group of men from Jamaica who form a bobsled team. Despite the obstacles and doubts from many, with the help of an encouraging coach, they defy the odds and make it to the Winter Olympics to compete. They bring pride to their country and inspire generations after them to follow a dream.

While much of the film is set in Jamaica, which is decidedly not cold, Cool Runnings is still a fun choice for winter viewing. The setting may be different, but there are still moments that involve the men training in colder temperatures, as well as scenes in the illustrious Winter Olympics games. This inspiring story is just like the team – a winner!

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Desk Set (1957)

desk set
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Desk Set is a classic film time capsule. It stars two of the most legendary actors and finest pairs of all time, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Tracy plays an engineer who keeps his true intentions hidden when spending time at a TV station. He wants to computerize the office and replace all the workers.

Hepburn plays one such worker who sees right through him, and the two spar in a battle of sharp wits. But they're sparring soon turns to romantic sparking.

This film is set during the winter holidays. The look is not atypical, but Desk Set has all the feelings of this type of film. We are treated to the remarkable chemistry of Tracy and Hepburn and a story about two equals who learn lessons in love and compromise.

(Available on DVD and to rent VOD)

Duchess of Idaho (1950)

duchess of idaho
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros.

Arguably the greatest Esther Williams film, Duchess of Idaho pairs her with frequent co-star, the charming Van Johnson. The story follows Williams' character Christine who hatches a matchmaking scheme to bring together her best friend Ellen and Ellen's boss. And it involves pretending to be interested in him herself.

The complication occurs when she meets a nightclub singer she likes, and like many films of the classic era, hijinks ensue.

Duchess of Idaho is set in beautiful Sun Valley. This was the place to vacation in the Winter back in the 1950s, and it remains a popular destination to this day. Although this film does not have many scenes filmed on location, there are still delightful snowy scenes. Duchess of Idaho is an overall cozy and romantic charmer.

(Available on DVD)

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

edward scissorhands
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Tim Burton’s masterful and melancholy film about a young man named Edward with scissors for hands is a touching story and Burton’s first collaboration with Johnny Depp. Set during the winter months, this sweet story centers on the family who takes Edward home and tries to give him a happy, everyday, um, cookie-cutter life.

But Edward is unique, and while the community accepts him at first, it's not long before misunderstandings lead to fear, distrust, anger, and ostracism.

Through it all, there is also the innocent love story between Edward and this family's eldest daughter (Winona Ryder), who narrates the film. This film is lovely and poignant, with affecting performances and a gorgeous musical score. It's a different kind of film for the season. But it's one of the incredible beauty, especially when Edward carves his ice sculptures, creating one of the most magical snow-filled moments in movie history.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Eight Below (2006)

eight below
Image Credit: Chris Large and Buena Vista Distribution

This underrated film is another film snowy set film with a heartwarming story. In Antarctica, a sled dog trainer is forced to leave his pack behind because of an intense incoming snowstorm. He plans to return, but with his expedition canceled, the dogs are left to fend for themselves until he can raise funding to return.

This thoroughly engaging film is ideal for those who enjoy compelling family-friendly dramas. Moreover, the Alaskan Huskies are such beautiful animals, and their journey will pull at the heartstrings. Eight Below is an inspirational movie with gorgeous, if frigidly cold scenery, and features some of Paul Walker's finest work.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Image Credit: Focus Features

Some films are unique in conceit and execution. And some movies are on a truly higher plane of creativity. Such is the case with this film from director Michel Gondry and writer Charlie Kaufman, with captivating performances from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

The film follows the couple Joel and Clementine, two people who could not be more opposite but love each other. But after a fight, Joel discovers Clementine has undergone a procedure that erases all her memories of him. Angry and hurt, he decides to do the same, but as the memories fade, Joel changes his mind and tries desperately to stop her from being completely erased.

A funny, thoughtful-provoking, sweet, and dark film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind manages to be both cynical and romantic. We see the power of our choices in our relationships and that some things are meant to be. Taking place in a cold February in New York, this film is a later winter film but one with plenty of cold weather atmosphere in this utterly one-of-a-kind film.

(Available on DVD and to rent VOD)

Frozen (2013)

Image Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Whether you have watched this Disney animated film never, one time, or (if you are a parent) no doubt hundreds of times, Frozen remains one of the studio's best. The glorious, infectious, atmospheric music, stunning animation, Olaf the snowman,  and Icelandic setting give Frozen its gorgeous wintery aesthetic and feel.

The tale of sisters Elsa and Anna is a beautiful one that all ages can enjoy at any time, but because of its icy and snowy atmosphere is appraised for your Winter viewing pleasure. The cold never bothers us anyway.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Groundhog Day (1993)

groundhog day
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The tale of Phil Connors is one of the great, classic comedies loved by many. He is a smug, self-centered, and sarcastic weatherman who lives the same day over again, in this case, February 2, Groundhog Day, until he gets the day right. He has much to learn about how he treats others, especially a sweet woman named Rita (Andie McDowell).

One of the funniest films ever, Groundhog Day also manages to be surprisingly deep and can even elicit tears. As he struggles with being caught in this time loop, he is forced to deal with much, including mortality. The film is about life's precious and precarious nature, using the cold Winter's day as a backdrop.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Spectrum, Philo, and AMC+, and rent VOD)

Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)

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Image Credit: Warner Bros and Harry Potter Publishing Inc.

One of the finest book-to-screen adaptation film series, the Harry Potter films span eight movies over ten years, each with a different story, tone, aesthetic, and overall feel. The story of “The Boy Who Lived” and his journey from childhood to adulthood in a magical world of wizards and witches remains ever-delightful and entertaining.

With eight films, watching these would constitute quite the long movie marathon, not just for a wintry day or weekend. It could last much longer. Every film is worth watching, especially in order, as you get the complete story of Harry and his friends.

But if one wanted to watch the most Winter filled, the ideal choices are The Sorcerer's Stone, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, and The Deathly Hallows Part 1. Each of these features wintery and snowy scenes that are joyful, whimsical, beautiful, and melancholy. The Yule Ball from The Goblet of Fire is particularly magical.

(Available on DVD, to stream on HBO Max and Peacock, and rent VOD)

Hugo (2011)

Image Credit: GK Films and Jaap Buitendijk

Martin Scorsese is one of the most respected filmmakers in Hollywood, and Hugo proves that he is not limited in his filmmaking. Hugo is his most visually breathtaking film as well as his most heartfelt. The setting is a Paris train station in the Winter. Orphaned Hugo Cabret fends for himself and helps keep the clocks wound.

One day a chance meeting with a sweet and enthusiastic young girl leads them on an adventurous quest that involves a miraculous automaton and the gruff toy shop owner.

Hugo has blue-hued and snowy scenery that makes it an ideal film to watch in the Winter. Moreover, Hugo is a feast for the eyes and a brilliant love letter to the origins of cinema and the creators who created magic. But on a deeper level, the themes of compassion and friendship inspire that kind of goodwill that should be felt all year round.

(Available on DVD, to stream on HBO Max and Sprectrum, and rent VOD)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

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Image Credit: Marvel and Zade Rosenthal

Iron Man 3 is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that features Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man. My favorite entry for the character, this film stands out in that it takes place during the Winter and Holidays, though that is not the central focus. The story involves Tony experiencing PTSD, suffering panic attacks, and battling the terrorist, The Mandarin.

Though not exactly the coziest movie, Iron Man 3 is thrilling, downright entertaining, and often funny thanks to an engaging story and Robert Downey Jr.'s usual charisma. The relationship he forms with a young boy who helps him is heartwarming, and the contrast of winter weather between California and Tennessee makes for a unique tale.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Iron Will (1994)

iron will
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Iron Will is an engaging drama long forgotten by many. The film tells the story of Will Stoneman, a young man thrust into adulthood after his father's untimely death. Needing to help care for his family, he decides to enter a cross-country dog sled race, where the prize is significant.

Iron Will is a rich drama set in extreme temperatures, making it a perfect winter movie. But the race proves to be perilous, from the severe weather conditions and dangerous terrain to unscrupulous fellow contestants. You're reminded of the season, drawn into the story, but happy you're watching in the warmth of the home and not in the frigid cold of the film.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Little Women (1933, 1949, 1994, 2019)

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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Every single film version of this classic book by Louisa May Alcott features exceptional casts, well-rounded performances, and lovely depictions of the heartfelt story of the March Sisters. Tales of family, love, and loss, each film retains the original novel's warmth and spirit while each version feels distinct. In truth, every movie has something worthwhile and praiseworthy to offer viewers.

Although the story takes place over many years, the moments during the winter months are some of the loveliest, warmest, and most memorable. One could have a Little Women marathon and enjoy every movie. But whether you watch them all or just one, it will surely be the perfect film to cozy up with.

(1933: Available on DVD, to stream on Paramount+, and rent VOD)

(1949: Available on DVD, to stream HBO Max, Spectrum, and Fandor, and rent VOD)

(1994: Available on DVD, to stream on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, EPIX, and Spectrum, and rent VOD)

(2019: Available on DVD, to stream on Spectrum, and rent VOD)

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

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Image Credit: New Line Cinema

It's been over 20 years since the first installment by director Peter Jackson was released. And each trilogy film, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, remains just as timeless and remarkable. The Lord of the Rings films are an immersive cinematic experience, with distinct, well-written, and performed characters and a story that has dazzled many.

The fight between good and evil, the power of friendship, and the preservation of nature are just some of the themes that help keep Lord of the Rings relevant and beloved.

Although these films are not primarily set during the Winter, there are many moments with a chill in the air, from snow-capped mountains to journeys across marshlands. More importantly, because these films are long, they are ideal for a long movie marathon that you can indulge in over a cold winter weekend. The only question that remains is whether to watch the theatrical or extended editions. (The Extended versions – the answer's always the extended versions.)

(Available on DVD, to stream on Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max, and rent VOD)

Miracle (2004)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Chris Large

This film is based on a miraculous true story. The movie follows the story of the 1980 American Winter Olympics Hockey Team, led by the incredible but challenging Coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell). In 1980, Russia was the sport's dominant team, featuring experienced players and members of the People's Army.

Practically professionals, the team was expected to win the Gold. The United States, on the other hand, had a team of college athletes who were not expected to get far at all.

Coach Brooks was a formidable taskmaster who inspires his team to realize that representing their country is an honor. It's not about individual ego but team unity. And when they come together, the impossible happens.

For those who remember the “Miracle on Ice” and the famous Al Michaels quote, “Do you believe in miracles,” the film is a fantastic and moving trip down memory lane. And those unfamiliar with the story can cozy up and enjoy one of the most spectacular moments in United States sports history.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Disney+, and rent VOD)

Mirror Mirror (2012)

mirror mirror
Image Credit: Relativity Media and Jan Thijs

It is only natural that a movie based on the classic fairy tale of Snow White be set in the snowy Winter. Mirror Mirror features the traditional elements of the story, with a few unique touches that give the movie its flair.

Lily Collins, as Snow White, is stunning and has a kind, compassionate, and gentle demeanor, but she is also strong-willed. She even does sword training. Julia Roberts, as the Evil Queen and Snow's stepmother, is convincing as a beautiful but exceptionally vain and cold-hearted woman, playing the character with sharp humor and necessary gravity.

Mirror Mirror is a funny, heartwarming, lively, and lovely take on the story. Moreover, the snowy setting has a look that lacks realism which is actually to the film's benefit. This helps to give the movie its magic and fairy-tale-like beautiful look, feel, and whimsical quality.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Spectrum and STARZ, and rent VOD)

The Mountain Between Us (2017)

the mountain between us
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Kimberly French

The Mountain Between Us is a gripping but underrated drama about the human condition's strength, tenacity, and vulnerabilities. In the film, two strangers named Alex and Ben (Kate Winslet and Idris Elba), whose flight to Denver is canceled, decide to charter a private plane to get to their timely events.

She is about to get married, and he is meant to perform surgery on a child. But when their pilot has a stroke mid-flight, they crash into a snowy mountain in the middle of nowhere.

And survival becomes precarious as they deal with injuries, little food, wild animals, and the frigid weather in the mountains.

What is refreshing about this film is that it is more of a movie about survival and the way these two individuals connect rather than non-stop action. It's a quiet and thoughtful look at the direst of circumstances. These two need each other to survive but discover they need other on a more profound level.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Freevee, and rent VOD)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

mr and mrs smith
Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures

While Alfred Hitchcock was known as the master of suspense, he also made one of the finest romantic comedies in this gem that stars Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery. The film follows a couple who have been happily married for three years and discover they are not legally married.

While she decides to try single life again after feeling neglected, he is determined to win her heart again. And a trip to a ski lodge proves to be the perfect setting to do so.

Engaging, thoroughly amusing light entertainment, the first film, called Mr. and Mrs. Smith, delivers smiles and winning performances. It will make you long to get trapped in a cozy winter with someone you love too.

(Available on DVD, to stream on RetroReels, and rent VOD)

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Murder on the Orient
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this thrilling and poignant murder mystery based on the famed Agatha Christie novel. Branagh plays the fastidious but brilliant detective Hercule Poirot who boards the Orient Express and must solve the murder of one of its passengers. And everyone is a suspect.

The ensemble cast, that includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley, is as brilliant as Poirot’s deductive skills, and the wintry setting provides the film's beauty and atmosphere. The mystery will keep viewers guessing until the end with the results that have an underlying sadness.

The film is captivating with a rich visual style, direction, and well-written characters. It's an engrossing watch where you almost feel the chill in the air.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Spectrum and PeaopleTV, and rent VOD)

Serendipity (2001)

Image Credit: Miramax

This underrated romantic comedy from the early 2000s is that utterly romantic conceits can feel grounded when it's a well-told story and in the hands of a fantastic cast. In this case, Serendipity features John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Molly Shannon, and John Corbett. And it's a story about love in the hands of destiny.

In the film, John and Sara (Cusack and Beckinsale) have their own “meet cute” when they both grab a pair of cashmere gloves to buy for their significant others for Christmas. Despite being in relationships, they instantly connect and agree to meet again if they each come across the random objects on which they write their phone numbers.

It's a bit corny but also exceptionally sweet. Mostly, the chemistry between Cusack and Beckinsale and the Holiday setting make for a winning combination. It's not a true holiday film, which makes it an excellent choice for the early months of the year.

(Available on DVD, to stream on Spectrum and STARZ, and rent VOD)

Shazam! (2019)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

This lively but poignant superhero flick is one of the most underrated in recent years. It also holds the distinction of taking place during holidays and Winter in the frigid temperatures of Philadelphia.

It tells the story of Billy Batson, a teen boy abandoned by his parents. He finds a friend in his new foster family and a sense of connection. But the real surprise comes from being chosen by a Wizard to be the next Shazam, which allows him to magically transform into a grown man.

Zachary Levi was born to play the title role and absolutely shines with humor and charisma. The story blends heart and action, and this, combined with the cold setting, makes this a fun-filled choice for a winter night.

(Available on DVD, to stream on HBO Max and Spectrum, and rent VOD)

This Time for Keeps (1947)

this time for keeps
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros.

Esther Williams movies are known for being colorful, light-hearted entertainment with unique aquatic musical numbers. This Time for Keeps lives up to that reputation but also has some lovely distinctions.

The love story between an aquatic ballet star and an aspiring popular singer is as sweet as expected and one of the best of all Williams' films. The loveliest aspect is the setting of the quaint and old-fashioned Mackinac Island, Michigan. Sunny poolside scenes turn into sleigh ride serenades, and the results are delightful.

(Available on DVD)

Honorable Mentions

once upon a time
Image Credit: ABC Studios
  • The Grey (2011)

This film is about a group of plane crash survivors in the freezing Alaskan wilderness. They must survive the extreme temperatures and the pack of wolves that hunt them, so this is not for the faint of heart. It's brutal, realistic, and for those who want compelling but decidedly more grim winter viewing.

(Available on DVD and to rent VOD)

  • Once Upon a Time, Season 1 Episode 15 “Red-Handed” (2012)

Not a movie, but worthy of mentioning, This episode centers on the origin story of Ruby, otherwise known as Red Riding Hood. We see the beginning of her friendship with Snow White and the gruesome truth about the dreaded wolf who hunts down the villagers. The authentic snowy settings are visually gorgeous and atmospheric, while the episode's story is gripping and surprising.

(Available on DVD and to stream on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video)

  • The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Season 1 Episode 5, “Lucy Goes to Sun Valley” (1958)

One of the next of this hour-long spin-off series of I Love Lucy has Lucy and Ethel traveling to a lodge in Sun Valley, Idaho, meeting Fernando Lamas, and engaging in the wackiest ski escapades ever. It's zany, wintery fun.

(Available on DVD)

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Marianne Paluso is a freelance writer and artist and holds a Masters Degree in English and Children’s Literature. Inspired by her favorite films, television, theme parks and all things pop culture, she especially loves Disney, classic films, fairy tales, period dramas, musicals, adventures, mysteries, and a good rom-com. She joined Wealth of Geeks in 2021, and has also contributed to The Nerd Machine, Catholic News Agency. She writes on her own website TheGirlyNerd.com, creates art that is sold on Redbubble and Etsy, and also partakes in the occasional Disneybound, cosplay, and YouTube video