A COLD winter’s night can be a great time to simply stay inside and watch a film with family or friends.
However, the movie you choose matters greatly, and certain ones—those with comforting aspects, relaxing and festive tones, or even those that simply let you immerse yourself completely—are ideal this particular experience.
Here are 10 we’d recommend for this season.
1. Love Actually
Arguably the gold standard of modern Christmas films—even though it actually has relatively little to do with Christmas—”Love Actually” is excellent material for a relaxing night. It’s also one of the most pleasant films you could find.
2. Lord Of The Rings (entire trilogy)
If you’re interested in being fully immersed in film during cold, harsh winter nights, few things will sweep you up out of the real world like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For that matter, a trip out to see the new Hobbit film isn’t a bad idea this season either! Richard Roeper gives the new film a strong endorsement.
3. Wedding Crashers
This makes the list because it’s just the right mix of raunchy comedy and family fun. You can watch it on a holiday evening with grandma in the room, or in a circle of friends, and you’ll enjoy it equally.
4. The Grey
There’s a certain charm to watching a film about harsh winter conditions while you’re inside, comfortable and sheltered from the cold. “The Grey” is a tense but wonderful film, and it’s oddly enjoyable during the winter.
5. Ocean’s 11
It doesn’t get much more pleasant than the 2001 classic remake featuring Brad Pitt, George Clooney and company. If you’re looking for something familiar, but flat-out entertaining, this is a great pick.
Too few people saw this romantic comedy centered on an aging male tennis player’s Wimbledon love affair with a young female player on top of the women’s game. It’s actually available on Picturebox Films throughout the holiday season. Catch it soon though, because this streaming service rotates its selection. Again, if you’re aiming for pleasant, “Wimbledon” will serve you well.
7. Home Alone
It’s been long enough since its release to call this go-to family/holiday film a “Christmas classic.” That in and of itself makes “Home Alone” (and its New York-based sequel) a no-brainer winter selection.
8. James Bond (marathon!)
Another total immersion experience, a Bond marathon can be just the thing for a few cold winter nights in the house. Whether you purchase a DVD package, find Bond films on demand, or even simply catch a marathon running on basic television, this is always a fun option! And if you don’t want to run through every single Bond film (which, realistically, takes too long), Peter Travers ranked them all at Rolling Stone – it’s not a bad guide if you want to pick 4 or 5 to enjoy.
9. Remember The Titans
Sometimes something familiar is just the key to a pleasant, relaxing evening, and “Remember The Titans” is one film that pretty much everyone loved. It’s never a bad idea to watch this one again.
10. Something’s Gotta Give
For another fun comedy for the whole family, “Something’s Gotta Give” is a great comfort film. The charm of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton’s on-screen dynamic is infectious, and it’s perfect for holiday time.