Top 12 Must-see Classic Winter Movies

Popcorn and movies in winter

Winter nights are dark, cold and seem to be endless. Luckily that’s exactly the right time to set up your home cinema and dive into some of the best classic winter movies. Here’s our selection which, by any means, is categorized or ranked. Is your favorite on the list?

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Who knew getting home for Thanksgiving could be such a hassle. Make the hassle a double when your voyages are accompanied by obnoxious shower curtain ring salesman. For a movie that has loads of jokes (some of them well under the belt), it has some really touching scenes as well. But what truly makes this John Hughes classic to stand out is solid writing and great chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy.

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Die Hard - the movie

2. Die Hard (1988)

People are willing to spend Christmas without friends or family, without eggnog and presents as long as they can have their screening of this action classic. The very same people call this one the greatest action movie of all time. You can love it for all the one-liners, insane action scenes, Bruce Willis in a dirty wifebeater or a handful of funny moments – it’s all there. Now you have a perfect Christmas movie… Ho ho ho.

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3. Home Alone 1 & 2 (1990 / 1992)

Basically Die Hard for the whole family. The plot is simple – a young kid called Kevin is left home alone for the holidays. Instead of having a cup of cocoa and marshmallows Kevin has to fight off a couple of the clumsiest burglars of the movie history. The second movie takes the same trio to New York. If you have kids watching the movies you can’t say enough not to try the elaborate schemes for booby traps seen in the film. In the lead, there’s the 1990s Hollywood wunderkind Macaulay Culkin. The antagonists are portrayed by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

Yeah, there are also three sequels but let’s not talk about those.

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Groundhawk day

4. Groundhog day (1993)

If you feel like winter is never going to retreat, then it’s time for this one. Bill Murray nails the role of a cynical TV reporter Phil who has to make a story from the glorious town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where the world-famous groundhog predicts the arrival of spring. Wouldn’t be so bad if Phil wouldn’t get stuck in a time loop which keeps in him repeating one day all over.

The movie is a comedy in its heart but explores the themes of reincarnation, hedonism, enlightenment and even suicide. If looking this classic next time keep in mind that according to the different calculations Phil spent 34 to 10,000 years repeating the same day.

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5. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000)

Jim Carrey turned his rubbery face green for this family Christmas movie. Based on a classic book of the same name by Dr. Seuss book the story takes us to Whoville where Christmas holidays are about to arrive. That irritates the misanthropic Grinch who decides to stop Christmas by any means. A lot of fun and heartwarming moments ensue.

There will also be a new version of the film coming out in late 2018 with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the Grinch.

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Fargo - the movie

6. Fargo (1996)

Snappy dialogue, pitch-black humor and beautifully serene winter landscapes of rural Minnesota. The plot of this Oscar-winning Cohen brothers classic introduces us a pregnant policewoman Marge who has the case of a lifetime in her hands. If you think that you have usual crime movie in your hands, guess again. Now guess a third time.

Can’t get enough of this dark-dark comedy and wacky characters? Worry not, for your joy there’s also a TV-show based on the film.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Meet Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Once our protagonist discovers the magic of Christmas Town, it’s clear that the loveable skeleton has to govern this place instead of Santa. There’s only one tiny-tiny problem. Jack has a tough time to understand the true spirit of Christmas.

The director Tim Burton does the thing he does best – gives us a heartwarming story with in-depth narratives a dark edge.

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Ice Age - the movie

8) Ice Age (2002)

When you feel the cold in every bone of your body, then remember that the Earth has seen worse. Of course, we’re talking about the ice age. Since it happened some time ago your only possibility to experience the wonders of world-wide frost is through this lovely animation.

The story follows a ragtag team of mammoth, ground sloth and a saber-tooth tiger who become prehistoric nannies for a human baby. Oh, and then there’s also a star of the movie – a hyperenergetic squirrel Scrat and his precious acorn.

Needless to say that this popular movie has seen several sequels.

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The thing - the movie

9) The Thing (1982)

Welcome to Antarctica, a continent populated by penguins, scientists, and extraterrestrial shapeshifting parasitic alien life form. This cult classic delivers us a creepy and crisp atmosphere with some iconic scenes. After watching this, you might have some problems with blizzards and dark winter nights in general.

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The Muppets Christmas Carol - the movie

10. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

If we have to choose one of the numerous adaptations of Christmas Carol, it might as well be this one. The colorful take on this classic story by Charles Dickens is delivered by The Muppets and Sir Michael Caine who take the roles of Scrooge and different Christmas ghosts. This one is an enjoyable and warm watching for all the generations of movie and Christmas fans alike.

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The Elf - movie

11. Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell pulls on his green tights and stars as a half-wit but sincere human raised by elves. Turn of events takes our hero to New York where he has Christmas to enjoy and real father (James Caan) to find. Hilarity ensues.

This brilliant story about the clashing of cultures of the North Pole and modern world offers good laughs for both kids and adults.

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12. Bad Santa (2003)

He’s sarcastic, drunk and also a shopping mall Santa with a fouled-mouthed elf as a partner. Billy Bob Thornton brings us the worst (also the funniest) Santa Clause movie theaters have ever seen. When the viewers look under a camouflage of dirty jokes, then there’s a warm and sweet story to be enjoyed.

This Christmas classic has gathered some cult following even though it pretty much flopped at the box offices.

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Since Christmas is time for sharing, Sloth strongly advises sharing the joy of these Christmas classics with friends and family. Don’t forget the popcorn!

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Top 12 Must-see Classic Winter Movies


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