Just because a famous director makes great movies, it doesn’t
There’s no time like the winter when it comes to curling up and resigning yourself to a fulfilling movie day. From the obvious classics to other cozy flicks (or at least those compelling enough to keep you happily indoors), here are some movies worth checking out or revisiting this chilly season:
1. “Home Alone”
This iconic winter flick is surprisingly still fun even when you’re an adult. Also, seeing Macaulay Culkin appear as an innocent child may help erase the more up-to-date knowledge of how his parents took advantage of him for money as a child star (as many, sadly, do).
2. “Home Alone 2”
Hey, why not binge on the nostalgia? It’s cold outside, cold enough so that Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern’s criminal antics won’t get old as quickly as they rightfully should.
3. “Home Alone 3”
Just kidding. This one doesn’t even have Mr. Culkin in it, so forget it (it stars Alex D. Linz as the precocious lead, instead).
This Coen brothers masterpiece has actually been brought into the United States National Film Registry because it was deemed that important. Frances McDormand shines as a pregnant chief of police in this snowy crime movie that takes place in Minnesota (with the accents to prove it).
This is not the comforting Disney film of 2014 we’re talking about, here. Rather, this harrowing 2010 thriller follows three friends as they embark on the last ski run of the night…when the lift stops and leaves them stranded as everyone working the mountain goes home. Be warned, this movie is not for the faint of heart. Fun fact, there are at least three other relatively recent movies named “Frozen.” Besides this and the Disney one, there’s also a thriller from 2005 and yet another stranded-in-the-snow one from 2012.
6. “The Ice Harvest”
Starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, this holiday crime movie passes through strip clubs and over some very “thin ice” (the movie poster’s corny pun, not mine). The movie came out in 2006, and Roger Ebert actually gave it a pretty good review.
Will Ferrell easily brings cheer to long, winter weekends (though Jim Carrey was actually supposed to originally play the lead role). Plus, you get to see Zooey Deschanel in her natural hair color, blond.
8. “The Family Man”
A modern take on “It’s a Wonderful Life” (also worth watching this season, but it goes without saying), the Nicolas Cage-carried movie also gets a great lead actor in Téa Leoni. Cage plays a Scrooge-like character who gets to see what his life would be like if he wasn’t such a prick.
9. “The Family Stone”
This is one of those holiday movies propelled forward by its beloved cast members, which in this case include Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, and Claire Danes. The movie’s family-oriented and a romantic comedy (surprise, surprise).
10. “Bad Santa”
Another movie on the list starring Billy Bob Thornton (who knew he made such solid winter movies?), “Bad Santa” is for those who want some more…adult themes in their stay-at-home flicks. So far, a sequel to the film is projected for 2016, but that’s far from a promise.
11. “Edward Scissorhands”
You’re surely familiar with this Tim Burton (and Caroline Thompson, who wrote the screenplay and worked on the story with Burton) movie, but do you remember the premise? It beings with a woman telling her granddaughter the origin story of snow, which leads back to Edward, played by Johnny Depp, who actually had the option of being taken on by the likes of Tom Cruise or Robert Downey, Jr.
12. “The Holiday”
Bring on the romantic comedies, but ditch “Love Actually” for this house-swapping movie starring an LA-based Cameron Diaz and the English Kate Winslet (surprisingly paired up with Jack Black).
13. “Groundhog Day”
Welcome to the longest winter of all time in this comedic film starring the great Bill Murray, who plays a misanthropic network TV weatherman who gets trapped in his least favorite day of the year (see the title of the movie in case you can’t guess what day that might be). This marks yet another movie to make it into the United States National Film Registry for being all around “significant.”