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While some movies take place over the course of several months (or even years!), there are plenty of other movies where the action spans a much shorter time period and therefore will always be associated with a specific season. You have your sunny spring movies, your wild summer movies, your cozy fall movies, and then — perhaps the best films of all — your wintertime movies. The best winter movies don’t all take place over the holidays (though of course, there are tons of incredible Christmas movies out there), and these wintertime flicks are ideal for watching on any snowy afternoon.
Since winter is known for being the coldest, quietest, and dreariest season of all, it makes sense that movies set during the wintertime tend to be… pretty dark (especially when Christmas has nothing to do with the plot). However, along with dark thrillers and dramas, you’ll also see plenty of wintertime comedies and romances available to stream. So no matter what you’re in the mood for watching, you’ll find the perfect winter flick for your lazy afternoon or chilly night in. Here are all the best wintertime movies streaming right now, ranging from cold, dark, and dismal to cozy and comforting.
The Ice Road (2021)
Liam Neeson stars as an ice-road trucker who is tasked with saving the lives of miners trapped in a collapsed diamond mine. To make matters worse, he only has a limited amount of time before the frozen ocean that stands between the miners and salvation begins to thaw.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
This thriller (which stars Toni Collette and Jesse Plemons, among others) revolves around a young woman who agrees to go with her boyfriend to his parents’ remote farm on a snowy winter day, where things… don’t exactly go well.
Let It Snow (2019)
Let it Snow tells the story of an epic snowstorm in a quiet Midwestern town and the even more epic party that unfolds at a local Waffle Town, changing the lives of the town’s high school seniors forever. And yes, it takes place on Christmas Eve, but it actually has very little to do with Christmas.
Hold the Dark (2018)
In this wintertime thriller starring Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, and Riley Keough, a naturalist is brought to a desolate Alaskan village to search for the wolves that are suspected to have killed three children.
Set in snowy Montana, this action thriller stars Mads Mikkelsen as the world’s top assassin, who is lured back from retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability.
The Midnight Sky (2020)
George Clooney directed and stars in this post-apocalyptic drama, which tells the story of Augustine, a lone scientist living in the Arctic who must race to stop a team of astronauts from returning home to a global catastrophe.
The Frozen Ground (2013)
Set in Anchorage, Alaska, this dark thriller follows an Alaskan detective (Nicholas Cage) as he gets a breakthrough in his 13-year hunt for a serial killer thanks to a tip from a teenage runaway (Vanessa Hudgens).
Wind River (2017)
Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star in this one as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent, respectively, who are tasked with attempting to solve a wintertime murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.
After two strangers (John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale) meet by chance while holiday shopping, they find themselves connecting time and time again over the next decade, and they must decide whether it’s chance… or fate. Again, this one isn’t really a Christmas movie, as Christmas is barely mentioned throughout.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
In this Quentin Tarantino flick — which takes place sometime after the American Civil War — eight strangers cross paths when they all seek refuge from a blizzard together during a stagecoach stopover.
Crimson Peak (2015)
Starring the winning trio of Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain, this gothic romance is set during the wintertime in Victorian-era England, following the complicated love triangle between a young woman, her new husband, and her husband’s sister.
Chris Evans stars in this post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie, which all takes place aboard a train carrying the last remaining people on Earth after a failed attempt to combat global warming created a “Snowball Earth.”
Happy Feet (2011)
For something a little more uplifting, watch this fun family comedy, which tells the tale of a little emperor penguin who expresses himself through dance. It’s definitely one of the best winter movies for families to stream together.
The Lodge (2019)
In The Lodge, a woman finds herself stranded in a remote cabin during a blizzard with her boyfriend’s two young kids, and the situation only becomes more dire when they’re visited by some haunting figures from her past.
Little Woods (2018)
Tessa Thompson and Lily James star in this drama as estranged sisters from snowy North Dakota who — following their mom’s death — must come up with a plan to pay off her mortgage in just one week’s time.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
What happens when everyone fails to listen to the concerns of a climatologist? His research proves true, of course, and the result is an enormous superstorm that’ll have you wanting to book a tropical vacation ASAP.
The Shining (1980)
When a family agrees to watch over a desolate Colorado hotel for the winter, they never imagine how isolating the experience will be… or just how unhinged the patriarch of the family will become.
Eight Below (2006)
The late Paul Walker stars in this survival drama as a guide at a research base in Antarctica who must leave his beloved sled dogs behind after an accident, forcing the pups to tackle the harsh Antarctic winter on their own.
Chances are you’re familiar with this Disney flick about two sisters who must face up against an icy spell, and nothing will give you more winter vibes than this one. It’s another of the best winter movies for families to enjoy together.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2015)
Though this movie doesn’t all take place during the winter, you’ll still want to watch this one just to see the magic winter wonderland of Narnia that the Pevensie children first discover when they step through the wardrobe.
Blow the Man Down (2019)
Two sisters living in small-town Maine attempt to cover up a grisly crime after a run-in with a stranger on a winter afternoon in this (very) dark comedy.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Set during the wintertime in 1961 New York City, the dark comedy follows a struggling folk singer over the course of one week as he attempts to find his big breakthrough moment.
Two Night Stand (2014)
Miles Teller and Lio Tipton star in this romance as two strangers who — after meeting online and hooking up — become trapped together in a New York City apartment during a snowstorm.
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
In this classic winter-set movie, two long-time rivals who lived next-door to each other in Minnesota find themselves in a full-out war when a pretty English professor moves in across the street.
Knives Out (2019)
This cozy wintertime mystery movie includes an all-star cast, a mansion filled with roaring fireplaces, and an abundance of cable knit sweaters (one of which is worn very well by Chris Evans).
Groundhog Dog (1993)
Bill Murray stars in this comedy as a grumpy Pittsburgh weatherman who’s inexplicably forced to relive the same terrible snowy day over and over again.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This trippy sci-fi flick follows two exes (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who, following a bad breakup, elect to have each other permanently erased from their memories… only to cross paths again during the winter in Boston.
Shut In (2016)
In this thriller, a widowed child psychologist (Naomi Watts) living in isolation in rural Maine goes to great lengths to save a former patient before an impending ice storm arrives.
Obvious Child (2014)
When a one-night stand with a graduate student results in a pregnancy, an unemployed comic (Jenny Slate) must decide whether to confide in him before having an abortion on Valentine’s Day.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
This Wes Anderson comedy is like a candy-colored dream, revolving around a wild series of events that unfold at a snowy mountainside resort in the fictional country of Zubrowka during the late twentieth century.
Into the Wild (2007)
Based on a true story, this adventure drama follows a young man who — after graduating from college — decides to give up everything to hike across North America into the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)
This dark comedy is set during the dead of winter in Utah, where a stressed-out police officer must deal with the werewolf attacks seemingly going down in his close-knit mountain town.
In Hanna, Saoirse Ronan plays a teen trained to be the perfect assassin by her father in the Finnish wilderness, and you can expect a lot of snowy fight scenes as she embarks on her first mission across Europe.
Based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, this adventure flick follows a team of hikers (including Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, and Emma Watson, among others) as they attempt to survive a disastrous blizzard during their climb.
Red Riding Hood (2011)
This movie offers a dark twist on a fairy tale, with Amanda Seyfried playing Valerie, a young woman with plans to run away with her true love, Peter… that is, until her sister is killed by a werewolf on a snowy winter’s day.
Edge of Winter (2016)
Tom Holland stars in this one as a teen stranded with his little brother in a remote cabin during the wintertime as their father gradually loses his grip on reality.
In this star-studded dark comedy, a very pregnant Minnesota police chief investigates a series of roadside homicides orchestrated by a desperate car salesman during the winter of 1987.
Cold Pursuit (2019)
Liam Neeson also stars in this cold weather thriller, this time as a quiet snowplow driver who finds himself wrapped up in a dangerous turf war while attempting to avenge the death of his son.
The Revenant (2015)
Best known as the movie that finally won Leo DiCaprio his Oscar, The Revenant is set in the 1820s, following a frontiersman as he attempts to survive life-threatening injuries from a bear attack while stuck in the wilderness during the winter.
The Mountain Between Us (2017)
This dramatic romance stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as a surgeon and a journalist, respectively, who find themselves stranded in the High Uintas Wilderness in the middle of the winter after surviving a plane crash.
Winter’s Tale (2014)
Another dramatic romance, Winter’s Tale is set in early 20th-century New York, following the star-crossed love story between a master thief with a dark past (Colin Farrell) and a woman dying from consumption (Jessica Brown Findlay).
The Grey (2011)
Yet another Liam Neeson-led flick, this survival thriller revolves around an Alaskan sharpshooter who becomes stranded with five of his fellow oil refinery workers following a plane crash, forcing them to take on cold temps and an angry pack of wolves.
Max Payne (2008)
Based on the video game of the same name, this Mark Wahlberg-led action flick follows a New York police detective as he journeys into the city’s criminal underworld during the wintertime, seeking answers about the murder of his wife and child.
The Captive (2014)
In this Canadian thriller, Ryan Reynolds plays a homicide detective who discovers that a young girl he thought to be long dead may actually still be alive eight years after her disappearance.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)
In this movie, a troubled young woman (Emma Roberts) visits an isolated boarding school on a cold winter’s day, where two students whose parents never picked them up for winter break (Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton) are battling a sinister threat from an unseen force.
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Ryan Gosling stars in this rom-com as a shy man from a small Wisconsin town who decides to embark on a wintertime romance… with a sex doll. It’s cuter than it sounds, trust us.
The Snowman (2017)
In this psychological thriller, a homicide detective (Michael Fassbender) attempts to track a murderer who inexplicably leaves a snowman at all of his crime scenes.
The Lake House (2006)
An oldie but a goodie, this romance follows Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock as they fall in love via letters exchanged through their shared mailbox throughout the wintertime — despite living in two different timelines.
Largely set between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day in 1989 (though, again, having little to do with Christmas), this musical dramedy follows a group of artists living and struggling to get by in New York City’s East Village during the AIDS epidemic.
Winter’s Bone (2010)
Jennifer Lawrence landed her breakout role with this 2010 mystery drama, which follows a teen from the rural Ozarks of Missouri as she attempts to track down her father following his abrupt disappearance.
Corinne Sullivan’s debut novel, Indecent, tells the story of a recent college grad who accepts a teaching position at a tony all-boys boarding school, only to find herself deeply obsessed with a student at the risk of her job and her sanity.
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