I love the movies. They spur my imagination and take me to places that I might never be able to visit or places that don’t even exist (Hello, Hogwarts!). They make me laugh and cry. Or cower behind a blanket or pump my fist with righteous glee. They entertain, educate and inspire in two hours. California is experiencing a real winter, which means lots of rain where I live. And rainy days demand a cozy blanket, a big mug of steaming tea and a great flick.
To be fair, they are also perfect days to cozy up with a good book and a purring cat. 😀
Winter Movies to Enjoy on Snowy or Rainy Days
Winter plays a role in all these movies: sometimes a minor role and sometimes a significant role; some are funny and others are not; and some you can watch with your kids and others you probably will regret doing so. I am not a movie critic and undoubtedly overlooked some obvious choices but these movies are perfect on a cold winter’s night.
Action Winter Movies to Rev Up Your Engine
Snow be damned because there are explosions and gunfire and Vader to battle.
Now I may be stretching it a bit here but my blog. Winter plays a bigger role in Die Hard 2 … but I like Die Hard better. And it is winter, just winter in LA, which is not very winter-like to anyone who lives where it snows. My brother let his boys watch this a few years ago and they loved it. It’s rated R but that’s an 80’s R, which is probably closer to PG-13 today.
Why You Should Watch: You want to watch someone beat up bad guys (future Snape!) who has a cool catchphrase. Come on, say it with me … Yippee Ki Ya Mother F*cker.
Empire Strikes Back
Is it winter in every scene? Nope. But is it winter in the first scene when Luke gets lost and Han Solo rescues him? Yes. And there you go, Empire Strikes Back is a winter movie because I (the Force) says so. I must confess that I actually thought they went to space to film it and those cool spaceships existed. Hey, I was like 7 years old. Bugger off.
Why You Should Watch: Somehow watching rebels fight against an evil emperor seems more relatable today than ever.
Assault on Precinct 13
This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. A mindlessly entertaining movie where you get to watch Ethan Hawke, Maria Bello, Drea de Matteo, Lawrence Fishburne and others protect a precinct under siege from corrupt cops during a winter storm. Yup, good cop and cons versus bad cops. You won’t be any smarter when the movie is over, but you’ll have smirked a lot. And I have watched it more times than I care to admit.
Why You Should Watch: To enjoy Fishburne and Hawke be badasses.
P.S. The original Carpenter version is probably better but sometimes bad is good.
Winter Movies to Tickle Your Funny Bone
Did I mention I was from Minnesota? You should remember this when you see my selections.
Immensely funny and quotable, this is just an all-time great movie. I still laugh thinking about Ned, Phil kidnapping the groundhog and all of his attempts to take advantage of repeating the day (one night stands, robbing banks) over and over. One of my all-time favorite movies and a movie I watch when I need a pick-me-up.
Why You Should Watch: It will tickle your funny bone and make you forget about the gloomy weather outside.
I remember when this movie came out and I was deeply offended by it. We DO NOT sound like that. Nope. No Way. No how. But … then I actually listened to my fellow Minnesotans and yeah, ya betcha, we do talk kinda goofy-like. And this movie, so darkly hilarious and violent, is wonderful and I’ve been a huge fan of the Coen brothers, Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi (“funny looking fella”) from the first dontcha know.
Why You Should Watch: Minnesotan accents and cremation by wood chipper.
P.S. I listed this as a funny movie, which it is, but it also quite violent, so it may not be appropriate for younger kids. It is rated R.
Grumpy Old Men
Another flick about curmudgeonly old men, starring legends Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau. I have fondness for this movie, beyond the Minnesota connection, because it is the kind of movie my parents enjoy and I remember watching it with them. And it did tickle my funny bone, although I don’t recall them having distinctive Minnesota accents – so boo!
Why You Should Watch: Curmudgeonly old men make me laugh, especially now that I am on the road to becoming a curmudgeonly old woman.
Winter Movies for Kids or Kids-at-Heart
I am a big kid at heart as you’ll soon discover.
Beauty and the Beast
Is winter a huge part of Beauty and the Beast? No. Do I care? No. Ironically, I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie when it first came out, but today it is one of my favorite animated flicks. How could I not love a girl who loves books, stands up against bullies and isn’t fazed by a singing teapot or a horny candlestick?
Why You Should Watch: The songs. I am weirdly partial to Gaston’s song and Be Our Guest will be stuck in your head for days. For days.
The Mighty Ducks
Yup, another Minnesota flick. And yes, I point out all the places I recognize too. To be fair, I still do that, it’s just places in LA now, which makes me even more annoying since they film more often in LA than they do in Minnesota. 😀 I am also a huge fan of The Breakfast Club and Emilio Estevez’s presence just warms my icy cold heart. This is the kind of quintessential misfit, underdog story that I love.
Why You Should Watch: Cheer for the underdogs. Boo the rich, elitist snobs.
Chronicles of Narnia: The Witch, The Lion and The Wardrobe
I honestly went into this movie a little hesitant as I am generally not a huge fan of religious movies, overt or covert. But if you weren’t aware of the religious undertones going in, you wouldn’t notice anything unusual. Plus, this movie is simply fun, and not just because Liam Neeson voiced a lion. Okay, a little credit goes towards the lion’s presence and Neeson. 😀 I am the kind of girl who would have dreamed up a place like Narnia as a child, so it resonated strongly with me and I loved going on an adventure with them.
Why You Should Watch: Did you already forget about the lion and Neeson?
Scary Winter Movies that Will Make You Shiver
Winter time is the best time to watch a scary movie because you conveniently have a blanket to hide behind as needed.
While I found the book to be superior in every way, this is still a scary movie, just not a personal favorite of mine, but one you should watch at least once in your lifetime. Jack Nicholson is crazy good and those freaky twins still give me nightmares. Along with the geysers of blood from the elevator and the scary crone from Room 237. And redrum.
Why You Should Watch: Because all work and no play makes Jack …. Redrum.
What can I say? I’m a fan of Stephen King, particularly his older works. Misery is just another classic King book/film that stands the test of time. It introduced us to the amazing Kathy Bates who was superb in this movie and really made me question whether I wanted to become a writer because fans be crazy and I like my legs unbroken.
Why You Should Watch: Kathy Bates is a national treasure.
30 Days of Night
I felt like a vampire movie needed to be represented on this list and this was the first movie to pop in my head. Plus, it stars Josh Hartnett who is also a fellow Minnesotan. Yes, lots of cool people came from Minnesota. Prince. Bob Dylan. the Coen brothers. Hartnet. Me. Clearly I am the coolest of them all. 😀 It is a more gory than scary vampire movie, but I still got a few chills and slept just fine later that night.
Why You Should Watch: Unless you live in Alaska, you will feel better knowing your dark, gloomy days won’t last 30 days and nights. And probably won’t involve actual bloodsuckers either. Little victories, people!
Stay Tuned …
So now you know the kind of winter movies I enjoy. 😀 And stay tuned because I’ll sharing with you on Thursday the kind of food I like to enjoy while watching a flick or two or three.
What winter movies are your go-to? What movie should be on my list?