7 Great Movies That Take Place in Freezing Weather


While we’re just getting underway with summer,  for some reason I’m in a winter kind of mood today.  And it’s not like I’m even looking forward to the cold weather or those insane weather reports where the staff is traipsing through the murky waters and snow drifts.  It’s just that for whatever reason I’m thinking of the cold.

While we might not be at the fireplace nights and roasting marshmallows stage of our climate, why not curl up and watch a movie that takes place in the kind of weather we’re all protecting ourselves from a few months from now?

Here are seven solid movies that take place in freezing weather….

The Ice Storm

Set during Thanksgiving weekend, 1973, in New Canaan, Connecticut, “The Ice Storm” concerns two archetypal, suburban families who appear to be living an idyllic lifestyle. Under the surface, however, deep-rooted malcontent is festering. It’s not that the movie is about cold weather or is really supposed to be in the cold, I just think the cold made for a much more interesting setting.

Mystery Alaska

Fun story of an ice ridden town in Alaska whose only solace is to watch the “Saturday Game,” a pond hockey game played by select members of the community. Their lives become interesting when they get a visit from the New York Rangers. Well told story and just a cute movie overall.


This Academy-Award winner is one of the best from the Coen Brothers — a snowbound noir set in the frozen mid-west. Just the crunch of snow under boots is enough to make you want to sip a cup of cocoa and double up on scarves! And how about that chase scene? Ugh. The cold just bites you!

Doctor Zhivago

This classic epic about the Russian Revolution from Davide Lean is winter on steroids — frozen lakes, fur coats, and a palace encrusted in ice. This movie also features Obi-Wan Kenobi and one of cinema’s finest mustaches. You really can’t argue with that.

The Shining

This horror classic based on the best-selling Stephen King novel takes place in the picturesque mountains of Colorado, which would make for an ideal locale for vacationing skiers, but the infamous Overlook Hotel can’t operate during the winter months because the snow-covered roads thwart access to the resort. And let’s just assume you guys know the rest.


This true story about a Uruguayan rugby team who survived a plane crash in the Andes is a heart-rending account of the human will to survive, including infamous scenes involving cannibalism. But it’s also a movie about freezing to death, which is preferable to being char-broiled.

The Empire Strikes Back

The first third of this beloved sequel takes place on the Ice Planet Hoth. Downsides: rampaging snow monsters, spy droids, giant woolly kangaroos that “smell bad on the outside.” Upsides: there are no heatwaves on Hoth.

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