Winter is coming, so it’s time to prepare. Sure, that means practical preparedness, like stocking up on supplies and ensuring you have ample snacks and toilet paper. But it also means knowing what you’ll cue up on TV the next time a massive snowstorm hits.
Everyone loves going out in the fresh snow and building a snowman or a fort. Still, with dropping temperatures and long days ahead, you need some indoor activities to occupy yourself (and maybe even the family with). That’s where a good snow day movie comes in handy.
There are hundreds of wintery titles out there to choose from, especially these days with all of the new streaming services at our fingertips. To help you choose your next snow day movie, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite films to warm up with when that white stuff just won’t stop falling. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!
1. Snow Day
BEST FOR THE FAMILY
We had to include this 2000 movie about a group of upstate New York students making the most of their snow day. After all, the title is too obvious to ignore. It’s also a fun romp that’s been remade several times, so you know there’s some substance there. The premise is how anything can happen on those magical snow days, with lots of fun scenes and antics for the kids to enjoy. Adults, meanwhile, will appreciate appearances by Chevy Chase and Chris Elliott as the dreaded Snowplowman.
2. Little Women
Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel is worth a watch any time of the year. Still, enjoying the movie while wrapped in a blanket as the snow falls outside is exceptionally cozy. Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen star as the March sisters at the center of the coming-of-age story about resilience and dreams. It was also a major Oscar contender the year it was released and is largely considered the film that put Pugh on our radars.
3. The Shining
FOR HORROR LOVERS
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror adaptation of Stephen King’s novel wasn’t exactly the author’s favorite take. But there’s no denying the impact the movie — and star Jack Nicholson — had on pop culture in general. We still feel like it’s one of the best horror movies of all time, no matter what time of year you watch it. It is particularly fun to watch on a snow day, given all the snowy imagery within the film itself. Make sure you lock your doors tight and avoid any hedge mazes for the next little while if you decide to watch.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Sometimes if you’re going through a tough time, it can be hard to be alone and inside on a snow day. If that’s the case, perhaps you need a movie that matches your mood. Enter this 2004 movie starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in his best serious role. Michel Gondry directs the movie, which revolves around a couple who undergo a procedure to forget about each other after their breakup. It’s heartfelt, soul-searching, and full of big life questions, yet it’s also uplifting and full of hope. And sometimes, that’s exactly the kind of movie you want to watch on a snow day.
There are few films like Fargo and few filmmakers like the Coen brothers. Many critics and film lovers consider this 1996 offering the directors’ greatest cinematic achievement thanks to how they captured the town’s feeling and unique mannerisms. The Oscar winner doesn’t just feature a great story and terrific acting. It’s also one of the best snow day movies, thanks to the blizzard-like cinematography and non-stop snow.
6. Happy Feet
If you’ve got young kids or want something happy and light to enjoy while the snow falls outside, this 2006 animated movie is where it’s at. It’s one of the best snow day movies because it features emperor penguins doing their thing — that thing being singing and dancing, of course. It also features the voice talents of Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy and Hugh Jackman, with plenty of that two-toned humor that makes adults love animated films like this, too.
7. Groundhog Day
Everyone knows February is one of the most miserable months in terms of the weather. So imagine having to re-live February 2 over and over again. That’s the rough premise behind this popular Bill Murray movie, in which he plays a self-centered weatherman forced to endure Groundhog Day on repeat. Sure, behind the scenes this is the movie that severed Murray’s relationship with writer/director Harold Ramis. Still, onscreen it’s a great snow day watch thanks to all of the notable wintery imagery and jokes.
BEST RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES
It’s hard not to conjure images of snow-filled mountains and blistery peaks when you think of Everest, and this Baltasar Kormákur-directed movie delivers. The 2015 project stars Jason Clarke, Martin Henderson and Ang Phula Sherpa in a story of adventure and survival. It’s an intense watch based on the failed 1996 expedition led by New Zealand mountaineer Robert Edwin Hall, and is guaranteed to leave you with plenty of feels.
9. The Mountain Between Us
If you like your wintery adaptations a little more hopeful, this 2017 adventure film starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba might be in your wheelhouse. Hany Abu-Assad directs the movie (based on Charles Martin’s book), and it has plenty of beautiful wintery scenes and landscapes to make you forget about your own snow day happening outside.
10. The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie is all about embracing the frigid temperatures of a Wyoming winter. And that alone makes it a good movie to watch on a snow day. It’s also an entertaining crime mystery for fans of the director though, and features a notable performance from Oscar-nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh. Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth and Demián Bichir round out the impressive 2015 cast. Sure, the movie itself clocks in at nearly three hours, but hey — it’s a snow day. You’ve got time to kill.