Caption: Cold winter day? Check! Hot drink? Check! It’s movie time! Art by Liv Lufkin.

It’s freezing outside and you’re curled up on the couch with a steaming mug of your favorite hot drink and a cozy blanket. All is quiet in your house, except for the sound of the wind raging outside. The sun is going down and you don’t have school the next day, so what do you do? Watch a movie! 

The options are endless; whether you have a strict rule of nothing holiday related before Thanksgiving, you celebrate another holiday that doesn’t get nearly enough quality movies, or you just want to get into the winter spirit, this list of non-holiday affiliated movies is for you!

March of the Penguins (2005)

At the end of each Antarctic summer, emperor penguins make the long, arduous journey to their traditional breeding ground to mate. The march of the penguins is captured in this beautiful documentary. It might not be as interesting to some as the Kardashians, but watching it, you get so caught up in the landscape and toughness of these animals to do whatever it takes to keep their families alive. 

The Revenant (2015)

In this heart racing western-survival-drama, Leonardo Dicaprio plays a frontiersman who gets left for dead after a bear attack and then goes to avenge his son’s death. The movie won three Golden Globe awards and 12 nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor. It also won Best Director, Best Actor and Best Cinematography. If you’re wanting a break from watching Titanic on repeat, maybe try this movie for more Leo content. 

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

The only science fiction movie on this list, The Day After Tomorrow may be futuristic but portrays a very possible future for the world’s humans. Despite the apocalyptic atmosphere, you’re sure to be cau ght up in the action and resilience of the humans in this film trying to survive extreme weather, and the next Ice Age. 

Happy Feet (2006)

A happy, animated flick to kick off your winter season, complete with singing and dancing penguins; who doesn’t love that? And while penguins may not sing and dance as portrayed in the movie, they do perform something similar to attract their mates. Emperor penguins make trumpeting sounds, and male Adeline penguins do movements with their head and flippers that some might call dancing! 

Into the White (2012)  

Based on a true story, this movie is set during World War Two and tells the story of a group of Nazi and English fighter pilots that have to work together in order to survive after their planes go down in Norway’s wilderness in the middle of winter.  And for any Harry Potter fans, Rupert Grint makes an appearance in this movie as one of the English pilots. 

Force Majeure (2014)

A French drama-comedy, this movie follows the tensions among members of a Swedish family after the father puts his own escape over that of his family in an avalanche during a ski trip. This film is bizarre and hard to watch at times, but extremely interesting. If you’re feeling like watching a less mainstream movie or just want to see something unique, you’ll enjoy all 119 minutes!

Any Harry Potter Ever (2001-2011)

 So here’s the thing: you can’t go wrong with Harry Potter. Harry Potter is just a tried and true method to put you in a better mood. Whether it be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or the final chapter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the combination of magic, adventure and the dark lord fighting troublesome trio will be sure to put you in the winter spirit! 

Frozen (2013)

This movie is definitely considered somewhat of a classic now. But you know, you have to refresh your brain on the Frozen world before you see the second one, perhaps in theaters, or maybe just curled up on the couch, with a nice blanket and your cat. Guilty pleasure time? If you want to go a step further, Frozen on Broadway is coming to Portland for some more icy fun. 

Whatever movie you end up choosing, taking some time to relax and unwind might be just the thing to boost your mood and get you through the dark winter months. Enjoy yourself!