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10 Best Netflix Picks for a Snow Day

Settle in. Cozy up. It's showtime.

This past November, I moved from Orlando, Fla., to Seattle and discovered something magical in the process: winter. For everyone outside the Sunshine State, you have to understand that where I’m from, we have four seasons: December, January, February and summer. So when we left an 80-degree Florida on Black Friday and arrived in Seattle a week later to find a foot of snow settling 20 minutes away at the base of the mountains, my world was rocked.

In the month since, my house hasn’t seen more than an inch of snow stick on the ground. But that’s not the case for the rest of the country (we’re all pulling for you, East Coast). What is there to do when the weather outside is truly frightful and there’s too much snow on the ground to drive to work?

Well, on the eighth day, God created Netflix. So if you’re opening your front door to a winter scene that’s more blizzard than wonderland, get out your Snuggie and settle down in front of the TV. Here are 10 of the best Netflix Instant movies to turn to on those days when your cups are filled with cider, your feet are cozy in socks and your heat is cranked all the way up. For those of you down south ... bookmark this page and save it for a hurricane day next September.

If you’re opening your front door to a winter scene that’s more blizzard than wonderland, get out your Snuggie and settle down in front of the TV.

Sherlock

The British miniseries about the world’s most famous detective isn’t a movie, per se. But each episode is 90 minutes long, so for snow day purposes, it counts. Here’s the beauty of a miniseries where each episode is the length of a real movie: It’s like having an abundance of cliffhangers leading into sequels that are just as good as the first. Think Toy Story sequels, not Mission Impossible ones. Plus, it’s absolutely possible to finish all three episodes of the first season of Sherlock in one day—and maybe even get to season two and watch all of that as well.

The Grey

Two words: Liam Neeson. America’s favorite tough guy leads a group of unruly oil-riggers after their plane crashes in The Middle of Nowhere, Alaska. They battle injuries, the elements—oh, and a pack of gray wolves stalking them as they try to keep warm and find shelter. The main thing you need to know about The Grey is that it’s set in the wilderness of Alaska during a blizzard, which basically makes whatever’s happening outside your doors look like the Bahamas. Unless you live in Alaska and it’s storming, in which case, sorry about that.

True Grit

If you want an escape from the cold white landscape, turn to True Grit. This 2010 western is the second adaptation of a 1968 novel by the same name and was previously filmed by John Wayne in 1969. Mattie, a 14-year-old Arkansas girl, sets out to avenge the murder of her father and hires the toughest and meanest U.S. marshall in town to help her do it. The film is a Netflix treasure—and one of the few Coen Brothers movies you can watch with your parents without them complaining it’s too weird.

Hugo

Netflix has done as disservice to Hugo by categorizing it under “Children’s Movies” along with The Aristocats and The Wild Thornberrys Movie. The whimsical 3-D film, so named for its title character, stole the Academy Awards in 2011, taking home five Oscars out of a whopping 11 nominations. Hugo follows the adventure of a Parisian orphan boy living secretly within the walls of a train station whose undercover life is put in jeopardy when he befriends the eccentric daughter of the station’s toy booth owner. Hugo’s layers are intricate, and don’t let its label throw you off—Hugo is a must-see film, no matter what generation you belong to.

Nothing will make you romanticize miserable weather like a Colin Firth movie set in England.

The Artist

You know how Hugo won five awards out of 11 nominations at the 2011 Academy Awards? The Artist is the movie that took almost all the other ones. The French romantic comedy was filmed as a black-and-white silent film, earning it the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for star Jean Dujardin, among other accolades. The thought of a silent movie can be intimidating, but what The Artist doesn’t offer in vocal dialogue, it more than makes up for in compelling storyline, wit and romantic bliss.

Melancholia

If you haven’t heard of Melancholia, you’re not alone. The Lars von Trier sci-fi flick opened to limited release in theaters despite overwhelmingly positive critical reviews. The movie isn’t exactly a laugh a minute—it spends its entire plot counting down to the end of the world, when a rogue planet is set to collide with Earth. But for all its tension, Melancholia is a divine work of art that will leave you haunted for days in a way you don’t too much mind.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Hipster movie gold. Material for a thousand Tumblr GIFs. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind makes the case for Romeo and Juliet romance in the middle of a Montauk winter. If this film doesn’t make you want to lie in the middle of a frozen lake with the one you love, nothing will (which actually might not be the worst case, all things considered).

Ride & Fly


There’s at least one documentary on every Netflix Instant list, right? Before you watch this one, go out and buy a toboggan, an inner tube or some kind of sled; you’ll want to be prepared for the rush of inspiration that follows. Ride & Fly documents the pursuits of a group of certified nut-job sportsmen as they invent and perfect a sport that consists of half-skiing, half-paragliding down the side of giant, terrifying mountains. Ride & Fly will do to you what the really impressive parkour and freerunning videos did to hundreds of uncoordinated people on YouTube: make you embarrass yourself horribly trying to do something that awe-inspiring. But at least you’ll have fun in the process.

The King’s Speech

Nothing will make you romanticize miserable weather like a Colin Firth movie set in England. The King’s Speech tells the true story of King George VI of Britain, his sudden ascension to the throne and the eccentric speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch cope with a debilitating stutter and become competent in his position.

Winter’s Bone

Before Jennifer Lawrence was the embodiment of girl power in The Hunger Games and became every woman, everywhere, she was the star of the Academy Award-nominated film Winter’s Bone. And she’s about 100 times better in it. Winter’s Bone is the highlight of Netflix’s independent films section, telling the story of a young woman from the Ozarks of America who must find her meth-cooking father to avoid eviction after dad skips bail, leaving the family on the brink of homelessness. The film was Lawrence’s true breakout performance, and Hunger Games fan or not, Winter’s Bone deserves a spot on your instant queue.

13 Comments

Alynthia M Penn

2

Alynthia M Penn commented…

Thanks for the suggestions. Here in Memphis we're taking a half day cause of freezing rain so I might just give some of these a try.

Heather Croteau

44

Heather Croteau replied to Alynthia M Penn's comment

Gosh, I wish we could take days for freezing rain. We'd never work here in Seattle!

Craig Nissen

2

Craig Nissen commented…

My wife and I are addicted to George Gently (BBC) as well as Sherlock. And like Sherlock, each episode is around 90minutes. Great mysteries, shot with style, set in 60s Britain. Check it out. Also available to stream from Netflix. Looking forward to a snow day!

Heather Croteau

44

Heather Croteau replied to Craig Nissen's comment

I'm a fan of practically anything BBC. One of my childhood favorites is The Prisoner—the original, not the shoddy remake.

Grant

2

Grant replied to Heather Croteau's comment

Breaking Bad, Merlin, the West Wing (just added)... say goodbye to your evenings 42 minutes at a time.

Michael McClendon

6

Michael McClendon commented…

24 is also on Netflix. But don't think about it to hard. Just enjoy the ride. And I know it's technically a TV show - but just think of it as a eight 24-hour long movies.

Nick Forrester

1

Nick Forrester commented…

DON'T watch The Grey...it's so full of language...every other word is a cuss word...I rented it and was highly displeased...the movie wasn't even that thrilling..there weren't many exciting scenes...just a bad idea..

brittney

1

brittney commented…

I appreciate these suggestions, but I would also greatly appreciate if there would be a warning or advisory on if some of this content has graphic nudity, excessive language and such. My husband and I have a passion for film and we enjoy lots of different flicks but we try to live above reproach in what we watch. I understand everyone has different views on this- but as a writer, I would so appreciate if you would please take those of us who feel this way into consideration as you recommend which films to watch. Not trying to fuss, as I absolutely adore Relevant and all that you stand for!

freestylexgp

1

freestylexgp replied to brittney's comment

Yes, please take into consideration before you even make a list that there are people that get offeded for no reason. Being a writer, as if that's even relevant, does not mean disliking nudity and words you find offensive. Please appease every minority when making a list of opinions.

The Grey was trash.

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