These Movies That Will Remind You What It Truly Means To Be Cold

Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution; Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
The Weeknd can't feel his face. You can't feel your face, your toes, or your fingers, and you're fairly certain that your ears now resemble two frozen Jimmy Dean sausage patties. Welcome to winter, everyone!
Unless you're off to Gstaad for a spot of skiing with Mitzi and Lance, there's really only way to get through the sub-zero temps and slippery surfaces: a good old-fashioned movie night, served up with a roaring fire (okay, a space heater), some warming brandy, and the takeout some poor delivery driver had to bike through a snowstorm to bring you.
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Winter, you see, is one of those things that seems better than it is. In films, it's beautiful and ethereal. In real life, it's cold and slushy. In films, you might become pals with a talking snowman or at least fling at few snowballs at Bill Murray. In real life, the only winter sport you're taking part in is falling on your ass on the sidewalk in front of large groups of people.
Long story short: Save yourself the frostbite, pull on those fleece jammies, and enjoy winter through the lens of Hollywood. It's just so much cozier.
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Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock
White Nights (1985)

Where: Siberia and St. Petersburg

Brief Summary: Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko is a world-famous ballet dancer, and a defector from the Soviet Union. When his plane crashes in Siberia, he's recognized as a defector and kept in Leningrad, where he and a rival dancer are determined to make it to the American consulate.

How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Did we mention Siberia in winter?

Is It Cooler Than Cool? It's Cold War cool.
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Fox Searchlight/REX/Shutterstock
Sunshine (2007)

Where: Earth during apocalyptic "solar winter" as the sun slowly dies.

Brief summary: A few astronauts go off on a last-ditch mission to space to kickstart a dying sun. Things don't go to plan.

How You Can Tell It Is Cold: There's nothing like a dying sun to put a chill in your spirit.

Is It Cooler Than Cool?: This acclaimed sci-fi film flies under the radar. If you've seen it, you can add a badge to your "cool person" vest.
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River Road/Paramount/REX/Shutterstock
Into The Wild (2007)

Where: Alaska

Brief Summary: Christopher McCandless's youthful hubris compels him to venture into the Alaskan wilderness and live off the grid. He has ideals and ambition, but inadequate practical planning.

How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Chris arrives in the summer. But summer in Alaska is fleeting, and winter is always threatening to rear its icy head.

Is It Cooler Than Cool?: Perhaps the film's ending could've been avoided had someone told Chris that he didn't need to move to Alaska in an RV to be cool.
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Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock
Winter's Bone (2010)

Where: America's Ozark Mountains

Brief Summary: To spare her family from eviction, an Ozark Mountain teenager must track down her missing father, navigating the bleak terrain of rural poverty.

How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Jennifer Lawrence wears a hat in every scene.

Is It Cooler Than Cool?: There's nothing colder than operating within a confining societal structure and systematic poverty.
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Courtesy of Sony
Joyeux Noel (2005)

Where: The Western front in France during WWI

Brief Summary: On Christmas Eve in 1914, German, Scottish, and French troops call a moment of truce, share stories of friendship and love, and reach a place of empathy.

How You Can Tell It Is Cold: It's Christmas Eve on a war front with trenches. It's beyond cold. It's something much worse.

Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's too sappy to be "cool," but it's not too sappy to be great.
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Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios
Cool Runnings (1993)

Where: Jamaica and Calgary
Brief Summary: The true story of the Jamaican bobsled team’s first stint in the Olympics.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: When you’re used to the Caribbean, Calgary is just cruel.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: Of course. It’s cool runnings.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Beautiful Girls (1996)

Where: Knights Ridge, Massachusetts
Brief Summary: Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) has a 30-something crisis when he comes home for his high school reunion, contemplating his future and spending way too much time with his 13-year-old neighbor (Natalie Portman).
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Figure skating, sweaters, the usual
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly
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Photo: SNAP/REX/Shutterstock.
Misery (1990)

Where: The very snowy Silver Creek, Colorado
Brief Summary: Novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) crashes his car during a snowstorm, and is then held hostage by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). At least she's got heating.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Lotta snowbanks, lotta shearling
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid
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Photo: Kimberley French/20th Century Fox/Regency Enterprises/REX/Shutterstock.
The Revenant (2015)

Where: Mountainous, unorganized territory in the Dakotas
Brief Summary: Guide Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) tries to survive a murderous fur trapper, an Arikara war party, and one pissed-off bear.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Dude has icicles forming in his beard.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of RADiUS-TWC.
Snowpiercer

Where: A permanently moving train in a snowy dystopia
Brief Summary: The last remaining members of the human race are split into class groups on a train. The lower class challenges the system.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: The movie itself is pretty blue.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
The Day After Tomorrow

Where: The globe, but mainly New York City
Brief Summary: The apocalypse occurs and the world freezes over.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Everything — including the interiors — of New York City is coated in ice.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold!
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
30 Days Of Night

Where: Barrow, Alaska
Brief Summary: The town experiences literally 30 days where the sun don't shine because of how far north it is. Vampires obviously come out to play.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Snow, frozen blood, visible breath — you know.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Die Another Day

Where: North Korea, but the chilly parts happen at an ice palace in Iceland.
Brief Summary: James Bond seeks revenge on an agent he believes betrayed him. Things get shaken and stirred.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Well, it has to be pretty chilly to keep an ice hotel from melting.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Dreamcatcher

Where: Maine
Brief Summary: Four telepathic friends encounter aliens while out on a hunting trip in the woods.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Blue tones, snow, and lots of parkas.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures.
Eight Below

Where: Antarctica
Brief Summary: A guide embarks on a treacherous trek to find a meteorite with the help of sled dogs.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: It's in Antarctica.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold
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Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Fargo

Where: Fargo, North Dakota
Brief Summary: Pregnant police chief tries to solve "homespun murder mystery."
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Snow, snow, snow!
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Doctor Zhivago

Where: Russia
Brief Summary: Russian doctor/poet falls in love with politicians wife despite being married.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: It's Russia, man.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Christmas Vacation

Where: Suburbs of Chicago
Brief Summary: The good ol' American family Christmas celebration turns out to be one big ol' disaster.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: It's Christmas time outside the Windy City. Expect cold. Oh, and lots of sweaters.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Frozen

Where: Arendelle
Brief Summary: Princess with magical powers freezes an entire town with her hands.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: The name itself should be a dead giveaway, but you literally watch a town turn to ice.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures.
Alive

Where: The Andes
Brief Summary: Rugby team tries to stay alive after plane crashes in mountains.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Snow! Everywhere!
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Open Road Films.
The Grey

Where: Alaska
Brief Summary: A wolf pack threatens a group of plane crash survivors being lead by a huntsman through Alaska.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Liam Neeson! Kidding. It's Alaska.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Home Alone

Where: Chicago
Brief Summary: Boy gets stranded at home by clueless family is forced to deal with burglars.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Again, it's Chicago in the winter.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
Iceman

Where: An Arctic base
Brief Summary: Arctic exploration discovers a Neanderthal in the ice and has to decide what to do when he's revived.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Well, the man was found in ice...
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.
The Ice Storm

Where: Connecticut
Brief Summary: The trials and tribulations of a suburban, well-off family.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Long coats and frigid personalities
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Happy Feet

Where: Antarctica
Brief Summary: In a world where soul mates are found through singing, one penguin is born without a singing voice.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Uh, Antarctica?
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Where: Narnia
Brief Summary: Children discover a portal to the magical world of Narnia through their wardrobe and must help defeat the Ice Queen.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Lots of white and snow.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Miramax Films.
Serendipity

Where: New York City
Brief Summary: Former couple reunites after years of being apart from one another.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: There's snow and snow in New York means it's freakin' cold.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Independent Pictures.
March Of The Penguins

Where: Antarctica
Brief Summary: A documentary following penguins on their march to their breeding ground. Morgan Freeman narrates.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Again, it's Antarctica.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Focus Features.
Hanna

Where: Northern Europe
Brief Summary: Teenage assassin is on the run from an intelligence agency
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Boatloads of fur outfits and scarves.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures.
Mystery, Alaska

Where: Mystery, Alaska
Brief Summary: Small town gets a little too excited it was chosen to host a television event.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Um, Alaska...
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures.
Wind Chill

Where: Pennsylvania to Delaware
Brief Summary: Ghosts of people who've died on a road haunt two college students on their way home.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Wintertime on the East Coast means chilly temps.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
The Shining

Where: The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
Brief Summary: Family takes care of haunted hotel during winter. Man goes berserk.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Jack Nicholson's face freezes at one point.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
A Simple Plan

Where: Minnesota
Brief Summary: Working class friends stumble across a ton of money and try to hide it from the authorities.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Down jackets and beanies.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Snow Day

Where: Syracuse, New York
Brief Summary: School's canceled due to snow, kids play.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Having grown up in Syracuse, I can vouch how cold it becomes in the snow capitol of the Northeast.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's frigid.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lucasfilm.
Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Where: A galaxy far, far away
Brief Summary: The rebels have taken control of the Empire while Luke Skywalker trains with Yoda. Darth Vader's pursuit continues.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Snow, ice, and big, roomy spacesuits.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
The Thing

Where: Antarctica
Brief Summary: Scientists must deal with a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of each person it kills.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Ice, everywhere.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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Photo: Courtesy of Miramax Films.
Cold Mountain

Where: Cold Mountain in provincial North Carolina.
Brief Summary: Despite the name of the movie, this setting isn't the coldest one on the list. But, the people themselves have cold hearts.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Snow falls at some point, plus everyone has it out for one another. If only more snow fell to justify their bitterness.
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
White Christmas

Where: Vermont
Brief Summary: A group of performers help a retired army general save his mountain hotel from a bleak season due to the lack of snow. (This is a wild card inclusion, we know.)
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Snow, snow, snow!
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's a lil' chilly
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Ice Age

Where: Somewhere during the Ice Age
Brief Summary: A group of animal buds try to return a lost baby to its tribe.
How You Can Tell It Is Cold: Um, it's the Ice Age. Of course it's cold!
Is It Cooler Than Cool?: It's ice cold.
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