The 20 Coziest Movies To Watch When The Temperatures Drop

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Vote up the films that are perfect for a day on the couch under your fuzziest blanket.

When the temperatures drop in the late months of the year, there’s no better activity than curling up on the sofa and catching up with all your favorite cozy movies. Whether you’re looking for a sappy romance, a tearjerker that somehow manages to end on a high note, a dark fantasy that lingers on the moodiness of winter, or a Christmas movie that reminds you of the joys (and struggles) of family gatherings, cozy movies come in all genres. 

No matter what your plans are for this time of year, chances are you’ll need an escape from reality at some point. Here is the cinematic comfort food that you need to get you through the coldest months until spring makes the outdoors hospitable again. Vote up the films that are perfect for a day on the couch under your fuzziest blanket.

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    41 VOTES
    Knives Out
    Photo: Lionsgate

    Just when it seemed like cozy murder mysteries were, well, dead, Rian Johnson came to the rescue with the quintessential Agatha Christie-style whodunit for the 21st century, Knives Out. When a successful novelist dies under mysterious circumstances in his palatial manor house, his horde of money-grasping offspring become the prime suspects, and an eccentric detective is on the case. 

    With a star-studded cast including Ana de Armas, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lakeith Stanfield, and Michael Shannon, Johnson had a lot going for him from the start, but the biting social satire, lush countryside, and perfectly other-the-top performances make for a final product that’s even more than the sum of its parts. Daniel Craig’s central performance as the detective in question is delightfully anti-Bond, thanks in large part to an off-the-scale Southern-ish accent, while a spooky manor house, piles of autumn leaves, and Chris Evans in a cable-knit sweater conspire to make this one of the best cozy murder mysteries to hit movie screens in recent memory. In fact, Johnson’s foray into the genre was so successful that he re-teamed with Craig for a sequel, Glass Onion, in 2022.   

  • Screenwriter Nora Ephron penned one of the most beloved and timeless romantic comedies with 1989’s When Harry Met Sally… It’s perfect viewing for any time of the year, but there is something particularly special about watching it when the chill starts to set in. Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) meet just after college, but their friendship spans years (and endless amounts of affectionate bickering) before they realize what the audience has known all along: they are made for each other. 

    Whether you're watching it for the debate about male and female friendship, the immortal diner scene, Carrie Fisher’s stellar supporting performance, or the most romantic monologue ever shouted over the din of a New Year’s Eve party, even the most cynical and romance-phobic person will be won over by this movie. It's one of the few holiday-adjacent films that doesn't center around Christmas, and as such is the perfect option for those who love the winter months but have a serious case of holiday fatigue. It can be enjoyed at any time of the year, but the scene in which the friends stroll through a blaze of fall colors in Central Park will transport you straight to autumn and melt even the chilliest of winter hearts.

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    35 VOTES

    Paddington

    Live-action movies about anthropomorphized animals don’t always stick the landing (just ask Tom Hooper), but the team behind 2014’s Paddington exceeded expectations by a mile. Based on the beloved children’s story, the movie follows the titular marmalade-crazy bear who travels from the Peruvian wilderness to London. There, he learns a few lessons about city life and is taken in by the Brown family. Full of eccentric characters, a bright color palette, and the dulcet voice of Ben Whishaw as Paddington, this adaptation isn’t just a great kids’ movie, but a great movie, period. The supporting cast includes a who’s-who of British acting greats, from Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, to Sally Hawkins, to the consummate misanthrope Peter Capaldi. Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman plays a campy villain in the tradition of Cruella de Vil.

    Paddington is one of those movies that you can watch again and again and be constantly delighted and uplifted. It’s perfect for the chilly months when the days are shorter and you’d rather spend the evening curled up on the sofa than out at a party. Luckily for Paddington fans, the sequel is, if anything, even better than the first film. With the addition of an evil thespian played by Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson’s prison chef named Knuckles McGinty, it’s the perfect follow-up. Make yourself a marmalade sandwich and a cup of tea and make it a double bill.

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  • 4
    23 VOTES

    Little Women

    Writer/director Greta Gerwig proved that she could bring to life the confusion, heartache, and intensity of young adulthood with her 2017 movie Lady Bird, and she dug even deeper into this territory with her 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868 novel, Little Women. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Emma Watson, with supporting performances from Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, and Laura Dern, it follows the four March sisters as they navigate their teenage years in Concord, Massachusetts. Although the sisters have vastly different personalities and aspirations, their unshakable bond guides them through conflict, tragedy, and physical distance. 

    Little Women runs the gamut of emotions and sees the main characters grow from sparring girls to accomplished women on unique paths. Set largely in flashback, there is a sheen of nostalgia that lingers over the story from the beginning, and the crisp, fall New England days and roaring fires make it a perfect watch for that time of year when you want to snuggle up on the sofa under a blanket and disappear into a good story. 

  • What could be more fall-adjacent than witches? Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star in this 1998 modern-day fantasy as the magically-inclined Owens sisters. Like the rest of the women in their family, their powers come with a huge catch: the men in their lives keep dying. When Sally (Bullock) and Gillian (Kidman) draw increasing suspicion from the people in their small Massachusetts town, they try to reverse this curse and remove the stigma that hangs over their family.

    Practical Magic has your fall needs - candles, a crumbling Victorian mansion, midnight margaritas, '90s nostalgia, and a lot of spells. Though some critics noted its uneven tone (one called it a “chick movie with a multiple personality disorder”), it’s a rare example of a film about magic that shows the good and bad sides of being supernaturally gifted. At its center are two bewitching performances by Bullock and Kidman that deliver all the witchiness and family drama that you need during this time of year, from a safe distance. 

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  • 6
    10 VOTES

    Movies that you adored in your childhood rarely stand the test of time, especially when there’s CGI involved, but Babe is a rare exception. Written by Mad Max’s George Miller (who later directed the sequel), it follows a young pig named Babe who is brought home by a gruff farmer (James Cromwell) and adopted by his sheepdog. As the only pig on the farm, Babe struggles to fit in until he realizes that his individuality is what makes him special. Through his kind heart and determined spirit, he wins over his fellow farm animals and even gets his shot at a sheepherding contest. 

    For a children’s movie, Babe is surprisingly dark, showing the realities of farm life (talking animals aside) that most animal lovers would rather ignore. Babe’s friends are attacked by wild dogs, one of his friends runs away, and the little pig himself is barely spared from the chopping block. Worst of all, he learns, in the words of Ferdinand the duck, that “Christmas means carnage.” On the other end of the spectrum, however, you get to see James Cromwell (all 6 foot 7 of him) dancing a jig and bottle-feeding Babe to reaffirm the pig's faith in humanity. While Christmas may have negative connotations in this movie, the outcome is as sweet and wholesome as you could wish for during the festive season. 

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