The 16 Best Winter Movies to Watch Right Now

Snuggle up with some hot cocoa and take in some chilly flicks

Movies that take place in the winter have a certain charm and mystery. Love stories feel more romantic, and scary movies are more sinister with snow on the ground. We've compiled the best winter movies, including comedies, romances, horror films, and documentaries. Snuggle up!

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Groundhog Day (1993): Best Takedown of a Rodent-Based Holiday

Bill Murray In 'Groundhog Day'
Archive Photos / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 8.0

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

Director: Harold Ramis

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Groundhog Day is a movie you can watch over and over again, even though it repeats the same day ad nauseam. Bill Murray is brilliant as a grumpy reporter covering the eponymous holiday while falling in love with his producer. Will he ever wake up to anything but "I've Got You Babe" again?

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Frances McDormand In 'Fargo'
Archive Photos / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 8.1

Genre: Comedy

Starring: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi

Director: Joel Coen

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

A kidnapping goes wrong after a Minneapolis car salesperson outsources the job to two criminals based in Fargo, North Dakota. Frances McDormand is perfect as the pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson, who quickly sees through everyone's lies and paper-thin alibis and witnesses someone on the wrong end of a woodchipper (is there a right end?) with barely a blink.

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Coming to America (1988): Best Depiction of a King in Queens

Los Angeles Exteriors And Landmarks - 2018
GC Images / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 7.0

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones

Director: John Landis

Motion Picture Rating: 16+

Running Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Where does the crown prince and future king of fictional Zamunda look for love? In Queens, of course, where he takes a job at MacDowell's fast-food restaurant (it has golden arcs, not golden arches) after meeting the owner's daughter. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall each play four parts, including Prince Akeem, his best friend Semmi, and a slew of barbershop-based characters.

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The Shining (1980): Best Use of a Hedge Maze for Suspense

Jack Nicholson In 'The Shining'
Archive Photos / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 8.4

Genre: Horror, Suspense, Drama

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes

A snowbound hotel with a hedge maze in the middle of a Colorado winter sets the scene for this lovely family flick. Then we find out the last caretaker didn't have such a great time, and Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance starts to go mad. (All work and no play indeed!) 

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Serendipity (2001): A Romance to Melt Your Cold, Cold Heart

Serendipity NY Premiere After Party
WireImage / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 6.9

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Bridget Moynahan

Director: Peter Chelsom

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

What's not to like about an NYC love story featuring the ever-charming John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as star-crossed lovers? After a Christmas Eve meet-cute, they decide to leave it up to fate if they meet again. A few years later, they're engaged to other people while still hanging on to hope. Come for the snowy cityscape and stay for Serendipity 3's famous hot chocolate.

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Last Holiday (2006): Queen Latifah at Her Most Charming

Last Holiday movie poster.

IMDb rating: 6.5

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance

Starring: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton

Director: Wayne Wang

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

The Last Holiday is an OK premise saved by the great Queen Latifah as Georgia, who finds out she has little time to live so she quits her job and takes off to Europe. Comedy ensues. LL Cool J plays her co-worker and love interest, who follows her to the Czech Republic after finding out about her diagnoses.

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The Holiday (2006): Best Ever Outcome of a House Swapping

Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Kate Winslet during Columbia Pictures and Universal Pictures Presents the World Premiere of "The Holiday."

E. Charbonneau / Staff / Getty

IMDb rating: 6.9

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law

Director: Nancy Meyers

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 2 hours, 16 minutes

Jude Law as Graham is at his most charming in this wintery house-swapping film. After ditching their "bad boyfriends," two women trade homes to get away from it all. The Holiday is full of meet-cutes and a twist or two and has a near-perfect ending.

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Steve Martin And John Candy In 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles'
Paramount Pictures / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 7.6

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Kevin Bacon

Director: John Hughes

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

If you've ever dealt with the stress of trying to get from point A to point B for the holidays, this comedy hits some of the more stressful elements. From snowstorms and canceled flights to disappearing rental cars and shabby motels, the string of events that brings Steve Martin and John Candy as Neal Page and Del Griffith together on the eve of Thanksgiving will make you glad you're watching it all from the comfort of your couch.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): Best Sandy-Claws Movie

Nightmare Before Christmas puppets.

Barry King / Contributor / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 8.0

Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara

Director: Henry Selick

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

What starts as a Halloween movie quickly morphs into a Christmas caper, though many of the details aren't quite right, including Santa Claus himself. This animated film is charming as heck despite its creepy set and cast of characters. Learn the true meaning of Halloween!

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The Cutting Edge (1992): Best Recurring Line: Toe Pick!

D.B. Sweeney And Moira Kelly In 'The Cutting Edge'
Archive Photos / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 6.9

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly, Roy Dotrice

Director: Paul M. Glaser

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

A figure skater (Moira Kelly) needs a partner and ends up with an ex-hockey pro, who doesn't know what a toe pick is. The perfect set-up for a rom-com: egos, talent, and forced to work together. Do they win? Do they fall in love? Probably.

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Home Alone (1990): An Epic Adventure in a Humongous House

Home Alone movie poster.

IMDb rating: 7.6

Genre: Comedy, Kids

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

Director: Chris Columbus

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

This movie introduces Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an enterprising kid disenchanted with his multitude of siblings. Though he misses a trip to Paris, Kevin has adventures of his own, making a surprising new friend and protecting his home from rather stubborn, stupid would-be robbers. (Try another empty house already! Let go of that doorknob!) The movie also features Catherine O'Hara as a caring mother in stark contrast with her role on Schitt's Creek.

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Cool Runnings (1993): One of the Best Sports Underdog Stories

Cool Runnings movie poster.

IMDb rating: 7.0

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: John Candy, Leon, Doug E. Doug

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

A Jamaican bobsleigh team? This movie, loosely based on a true story, tells the tale of determined athletes who make it to the 1988 Winter Olympics after facing various challenges, including a home country bereft of snow (or even cold weather).

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Winter's Bone (2010): One of Jennifer Lawrence's Best Performances

Jennifer Lawrence.

Alexandra Wyman / Staff / Getty

IMDb rating: 7.2

Genre: Drama, Mystery

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt

Director: Debra Granik

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

This movie, set in the Ozarks in the dead of winter, will make you feel cold if you aren't already. Jennifer Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, whose father skipped bail after putting up the family house as part of the bond. She needs to save their home before the bondsman seizes it while caring for her mother and siblings. It's a riveting film.

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Encounters at the End of the World (2007): See Antarctica Without Actually Going There

TIFF 2007 - Werner Herzog Discovery Films Reception
Scott Gries / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 7.7

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Werner Herzog (voiceover)

Director: Werner Herzog

Motion Picture Rating: G

Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Visit Antarctica to the lovely sounds of Werner Herzog's voice as he settles at McMurdo Station to learn more about the continent. He interviews scientists, artists, travelers, and kitchen staff who feed them, sometimes even with fresh vegetables. Herzog's friend, a scuba diver, takes us underwater to see what's happening beneath the ice.

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The Sweet Hereafter (1997): An Excellent Depiction That Life Is Fleeting

Ian Holm and Sarah Polley in The Sweet Hereafter.

IMDb rating: 7.5

Genre: Drama

Starring: Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Bruce Greenwood

Director: Atom Egoyan

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

After a school bus accident in a small town in British Columbia, an out of town lawyer convinces bereaved parents and survivors to join a class-action lawsuit against the town and bus company. We get to know the children on the bus that day as they grapple with what caused the crash.

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): A Charming Small Town Flick

It's a Wonderful Life
Movie Poster Image Art / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 8.6

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

Director: Frank Capra

Motion Picture Rating: 13+

Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

The first time you watch It's a Wonderful Life, you'll wonder how it lives up to its title. As George Bailey, James Stewart runs on many hard times, including many missed opportunities to leave his hometown and a punch in the face. Watch all the way through, and you just might see an angel get their wings.

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