The very best thing about the onset of winter – especially one with a national lockdown in force – is the scope it brings for guilt-free hibernation. All we want to do is snuggle up under our duvets and watch some seriously wintry movies: and that instinct, given the chill in the air, feels entirely justified. In fact, if you aren’t knee-deep in a pile of pillows and blankets, with a binge-worthy watchlist at the ready, who even are you?
For festive purists out there who aren’t quite ready to dip into the many, many Christmas films available to stream on Amazon Prime and Netflix quite yet (no judgement), we’ve rounded up some of the snowiest, cosiest, most delectably wintry films around instead. These promise all the warm wintry vibes with not a hint of tinsel in sight (and we’ve thrown in a few edgier winter movies for good measure, too). They are, essentially, the cinematic equivalent of a hot chocolate with marshmallows, and you can’t fail to be enraptured.
Eurovision: The Story Of Fire Saga
Musically rousing, strangely affecting, and seriously silly, this overwhelmingly popular send-up of the Eurovision Song Contest features Viking costumes, almost passable Nordic accents, wintry wastelands, and elves. So, yeah, it 100% fits the bill of “winter film”, and we’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.
Eurovision: The Story Of Fire Saga is available to stream on Netflix.
Ever wondered what it would feel like to have J-Lo wrap you up inside a warm furry coat? Hustlers is probably as close as you’re going to get, to be honest.
Ahem. Anyway, Stylist’s very own Helen Bownass gave Hustlers a 5-star review, and for good reason. This black comedy drama sees Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez and Julia Stiles join forces to bring to life New York Magazine’s 2015 article The Hustlers at Scores: The Ex-Strippers Who Stole From (Mostly) Rich Men and Gave to, Well, Themselves. And it is spectacular.
Hustlers is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
With an outstanding performance from Jennifer Lawrence, this searing film sees Ozark teenager Ree Dolly do what she can to manage the household and take care of her two younger siblings. But, when she learns that her dad has put their home up for bond and disappeared, Ree challenges her outlaw kin’s code of silence and sets out on a dangerous quest to find him.
Winter’s Bone is available to stream on Netflix.
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If you prefer your romance fantasy films to come with a side of added sparkly vampire, then you’re guaranteed to enjoy Twilight. And, yeah, it’s absolutely a wintry film: the director makes it abundantly clear how cold the temperature is by focusing on the clouds of hot breath pooling from Bella and Edward’s mouths as they hit the frigid Forks air.
Twilight is available to stream on Netflix.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino’s twist on the classic movie western isn’t for the fainthearted. But, so long as you’re fine with having your white snow spattered with blood and gore, this tale of a bounty hunter and his captured fugitive caught in the middle of a snowstorm is pretty entertaining.
Check out the trailer for yourself below:
The Hateful Eight is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
The Lake House
The Lake House reunites Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves as lovestruck penpals who, unknown to them, are living their lives two years apart. Soapsuds galore? Of course. Undeniably slushy? Absolutely. But there’s no denying that this strange movie is evocative, beautiful to look at, and seriously lovely at times, too.
The Lake House is available to stream on Netflix.
The Mountain Between Us
Idris Elba and Kate Winslet’s characters crash into the mountains, and each other, after their plane goes down in Utah. Together, they must overcome the challenges of living in snow-covered wilderness. And, sure, it’s unbelievable at times, but it’s also undeniably entertaining.
The Mountain Between Us is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Based on Jonathan Larson’s bohemian rock musical of the same name, Rent tells the story of a group of New Yorkers as they struggle with their careers, love lives and the effects of the AIDS epidemic on their community. Some might say 2005 was 10 years too late for a Rent adaptation (HIV/AIDS is no long the epidemic it once was and Gay issues have progressed), but – well, you try and get through to the end of Seasons Of Love without crying. We’ll wait.
Rent is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
The ultimate underdog story, this feel-good film sees a Jamaican bobsleigh team fights many odds, including a reluctant coach, to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics. And, while it features a sport that chills us to our bones, the story of Cool Runnings is guaranteed to warm your heart, too.
Watch the trailer for yourself below:
Cool Runnings is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Do you believe in the power of love? Then check out this light and fluffy film, which sees our impossibly attractive romantic heroes let fate determine if they are meant to be together. Will destiny reunite them, years later? Spoiler: almost 100% yes, but life is about the journey, not the destination.
Serendipity is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
The Secret Garden
In this classic tale for all ages, a spoiled young girl finds herself transformed when she uncovers a secret garden which has been neglected and hidden for years. Slowly but surely, the magic of the outdoors winds its spell upon her and the entire household, setting in motion a chain of wonders.
The Secret Garden is available to stream on Netflix.
Hold The Dark
Retired naturalist and wolf expert Russell Core journeys to the edge of civilization in northern Alaska at the pleading of Medora Slone, a young mother whose son was killed by a pack of wolves. As Core attempts to help Medora track down the wolves who took her son, a strange and dangerous relationship develops between the two lonely souls. But then Medora’s husband Vernon returns home from the Iraq War, igniting a terrifyingly violent chain of events…
Hold The Dark is available to stream on Netflix.
101 Dalmatians (1961)
When evil heiress Cruella de Vil kidnaps their puppies, it’s up to brave dalmatians Pongo and Perdita to trek their way across England in the dead of winter in a bid to get them back. Revisit a childhood classic in this wonderful adaptation.
101 Dalmatians is available to buy on Amazon Prime (or stream on Disney Plus).
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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Snow! Turkish delight! Lions and fauns and ice queens, oh my! What’s not to love about this long, lush, lovely fantasy, eh? Grab your furriest coat and step inside the wardrobe with Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edmund Pevensie, and experience the magic all over again.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
The Woman In Black
Daniel Radcliffe is the young lawyer assigned to travel to a village to examine a house that belonged to a recently deceased woman. There, as the snow melts on the moors around him, he discovers the vengeful spirit of that same woman and learns that she’s killing the village children. Eep.
Watch the trailer for yourself below:
The Woman In Black is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
March Of The Penguins
What could be more wintry than a feature-length documentary which follows the emperor penguins of the South Pole as they journey through the awe-inspiring Antarctic scenery to complete an age-old mating ritual. Some peril awaits, but so do many, many cute penguins in a story narrated by the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman.
March Of The Penguins is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray won countless fans as Phil Connors, the smug weatherman condemned to relive the same freezing day over and over again in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Sound familiar, fellow lockdowners?
Groundhog Day is available to stream on Netflix.
The late and great Whitney Houston stars as Rachel, a singer and an actor, receives death threats from an obsessive stalker. However, things turn chaotic when she hires Frank, an ex-Secret Service agent, to be her bodyguard, falls for him, and allows him to whisk her away to a large lakefront cabin in the snow-capped mountains.
The Bodyguard is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Fancy diving headfirst into a snowbound film noir? Then you definitely need to Fargo a go. Starring Frances McDormand as Marge, a pregnant Minnesota police chief investigating a spate of roadside homicides, it is every bit as merry as it is macabre – and all that icy Minneapolis scenery is guaranteed to have you shivering, in the best possible way.
Fargo is available to stream on Netflix.
Joe Wright’s lavish adaptation of Anna Karenina brings to life all the grief and tragedy of Leo Tolstoy’s classic tome. With Keira Knightley on board as the eponymous Russian aristocrat and socialite, this epic film details what happens when her marriage to senior statesman Alexei Karenin is rocked by her affair with affluent cavalry officer Count Vronsky.
Anna Karenina is available to stream on Netflix.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things
In this strange horror film, a young woman joins her boyfriend of six weeks for a snowy road trip. The aim? To meet his parents at his old family farm. Too bad, then, that she’s thinking of ending things – especially as he has an unscheduled stop in mind.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is available to stream on Netflix.
Based on the life of disgraced skater Tonya Harding, I, Tonya focuses on how Harding overcame her relationship with her cruel and dismissive mother – and, later, her husband’s violent, bullying behaviour – to rise among the ranks at the US Figure Skating Championships.
Of course, the film also shines a light on the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan, Harding’s biggest skating rival and Olympic teammate. However, instead of focusing on the “whacking” itself, the film digs deep to find the real human story at the centre of a scandal which saw Harding’s career completely destroyed – and reminds us of our complicity in her downfall, too.
I, Tonya is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
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Fair warning: this story is not exactly light entertainment, detailing the horrors that unfold after a Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crashes into the Andes mountain range. Struggling to deal with shock, cold, and starvation, it’s not long before they resort to desperate measures in order to survive.
Alive is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Jumanji: The Next Level
Two years after their adventure in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the OG gang is forced to go back into the world’s most dangerous game in a bid to get their pal Spencer back. And, sure, the action kicks off in the desert, but it’s not long before their teaming up with Awkwafina to navigate a snowy wasteland in a bid to break into a seemingly impenetrable fortress.
Check out the trailer for yourself:
Essentially, it’s a very fun and silly entertainment. Which is exactly what we need right now.
Jumanji: The Next Level is available to buy on Amazon Prime.
It’s the movie that finally won Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar, pitting him against bears (and Tom Hardy) as he embarks on an arduous journey through the wilderness. Bloody, violent, and incredibly primal, you definitely won’t come away with warm fuzzy festive vibes but bleak wintriness? That’s a promise.
The Revenant is is available to stream on Netflix.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
OK this film does have just a *smidge* of Christmas in – but the emphasis on blood-strewn action adventure makes it far more wintry than festive. Geena Davis stars as a woman with amnesia who starts to recover her memory after a freak accident; setting off a terrifying chain of events linked to her background as a deadly assassin. Expect baddies blasting automatic weapons across frozen lakes and an idyllic snow-clad landscape erupting in explosions; the perfect warm-up to Christmas with none of the schmaltz.
The Long Kiss Goodnight is available to buy on Amazon Prime.
A sweeping and epic love story, Doctor Zhivago plays out against the turbulent backdrop of the Russian revolution in the early 20th century. As war rages all around, married doctor and poet Yuri falls for the beautiful Lara; but their romance is set to be ill-fated indeed. There are several film versions of Boris Pasternak’s novel but the 1965 one starring Julie Christie is the classic.
Doctor Zhivago is available to buy on Amazon Prime.
Touching The Void
This Bafta-winning docudrama charts a real-life mountaineering expedition to the Peruvian Andes in 1985 that went horribly wrong. After a storm strikes, two climbers are left stranded, with one of them caught in a crevasse with a broken leg. What happens next will change the course of both their lives forever. This extraordinary survival tale is based on the memoir by the same name and has been hailed as “the most successful documentary in British cinema history” (but it’ll certainly make you think twice about venturing up a snowy mountain).
Touching The Void is available to buy on Amazon Prime.
Images: Netflix/Summit Entertainment/Getty
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.