40 Hygge Movies to Get You Through the Long Dark Winter Ahead

40 Hygge Movies to Get You Through the Long Dark Winter Ahead

There’s comfort viewing, and then there are movies in which the characters are comfortable. They’re not always the same thing. Some of these movies are comfy, cozy watches—though tastes vary wildly. For some, a Hallmark holiday movie is the gold standard to relax by. For others, a Scream movie will serve the same function. Though entirely non-religious, I’ve seen The Last Temptation of Christ more times than I can count. There’s no accounting for taste, but nor is there much value in judging anyone else’s comfort viewing. This list is all vibes, though, and these movies are all about characters who find themselves in warm and comfortable locales and situations: hanging in cozy cabins, eyeing gorgeous fall leaves, eating hot and delicious-looking food, etc. Those vibes may or may not last throughout a film’s run time: a bucolic country house could be the setting for romance, or for murder. Or many murders.

Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) ORIGINAL TRAILER

Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde kick off a whirlwind romance that sees Tierney leaving her fiancé, Vincent Price, to marry the hot writer. The two kick off married life in a gorgeous technicolor cabin in Maine—only for Wilde to discover that his new bride is less happy homemaker than film noir femme fatale.

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride (6/12) Movie CLIP – As You Wish (1987) HD

The picturesque setting here looks far comfier than any real-life medieval counterpart might have been, and the sharp and silly romance is deeply comforting.

Last Holiday (2006)

Last Holiday (4/9) Movie CLIP – Table for One (2006) HD

When shy Georgie Byrd (Queen Latifah) receives a terminal diagnosis (the movie’s not nearly as heavy as it sounds), she decides to throw caution to the wind, empty her bank account, and head off to a luxurious hotel in a spa town in the Czech Republic.

On Golden Pond (1981)

On Golden Pond (1981) ORIGINAL TRAILER

Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Joan Fonda hash out their family stuff at the title’s idyllic locale.

Far from Heaven (2002)

Far From Heaven | Original Trailer | Coolidge Corner Theatre

Todd Haynes’ modern (though set in the 1950s) riff on classic Douglas Sirk melodramas deals with race, alcoholism, class, and conversion therapy in the story of Julianne Moore’ Cathy Whitaker, who strikes up a friendship with Black gardener Raymond (Dennis Haysbert) as it becomes increasingly clear that her husband (Dennis Quaid) is attracted only to men. Like the movies Haynes is paying tribute to, the movie is beautifully photographed in the full spectrum of autumn hues.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)


Amid the brutal murders that Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) and Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) undertake to examine, there are moments that evoke the coziness to be found in chilly Stockholm: quiet and remote cabins, extravagant country houses, and the sun-soaked countryside. Playing cat-and-mouse with a killer looks almost comfy.

The Whales of August (1987)

The Whales of August – Bette Davis and Lillian Gish

Screen legends Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, Vincent Prince, and Ann Sothern (who received an Oscar nomination) come together in the story of a couple of elderly sisters living in a seaside cabin in Maine: One has given up on life entirely, while the other still has some living to do.

Beaches (1988)

BEACHES (1988) – Official Trailer

The lifelong friendship, and occasional rivalry, between two very different women (played by Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey) begins under the Atlantic City boardwalk, and ends in a quaint, but comfortable Newport cottage (go see it!) that will definitely not make you cry.

Soul Food (1997)

Soul Food (4/5) Movie CLIP – Y’all Messed Up the Family! (1997) HD

The Joseph family gets together every Sunday night for dinner, a tradition that continues after the death of Big Mama, the family matriarch—except that, without her moderating influence, the cracks between the very different siblings are showing. Amidst the family drama, the family gatherings are fortified with soothing meals.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Pride & Prejudice (2005) Official Trailer

The 2005 Keira Knightly/Matthew Macfadyen version of the Austen novel is particularly beloved, in part because it cuts to the case as far as romance is concerned, but also in its gorgeous camerawork in depicting all those beautiful country houses dotting the English countryside.

Little Women (2019)

Little Women (2019) – Laurie Proposes to Jo Scene (6/10) | Movieclips

There are several beloved adaptations of the Louisa May Alcott classic, but Greta Gerwig’s recent take is among the very best, staying true to the author’s vision while still managing to surprise.

Mamma Mia (2008)

Mamma Mia! (2008) – Mamma Mia (Here I Go Again) Scene (2/10) | Movieclips

On the entirely fictional Greek island of Kalokairi, everyone looks warm, and well-fed, and everything that happens is an excuse to sing Abba songs. What’s not to love?

The Trouble with Harry (1955)

The Trouble With Harry (1955) Trailer

Alfred Hitchcock’s dark comedy finds the residents of an idyllic Vermont village struggling to figure out what to do with a recently discovered dead body. The coprse-wrangling is all in stark contrast to the movie’s sunny pastoral countryside in autumn; it looks very cozy if you don’t mind possibly stumbling over a body.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY – Official Trailer – Starring Lily James

Though I’d barely heard of Guernsey before, this historical romance set during the German occupation of the rustic channel island in 1946 made me want to visit pretty much immediately.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Call Me By Your Name | Official Trailer HD (2017)

A coming-of-age story involving young, mercurial Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and older Oliver (Armie Hammer), Call Me By Your Name takes place mostly during one sun-baked summer in northern Italy. Long days spent reading, playing piano, taking long walks, and partaking of the local produce are all activities undertaken by Elio in this 1983-set coming-of-age story.

Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out (2019 Movie) Official Trailer — Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis

Yes, there’s a murder involving race and class in and around its all-star cast, but the movie also has a gorgeous house, cups of hot tea, and some of cinema’s snuggliest cable-knit sweaters.

The Addams Family (1991)

The Addams Family (7/10) Movie CLIP – Lust in the Graveyard (1991) HD

Sure, they’re death-obsessed and can’t be bothered to clean cobwebs or perform simple maintenance on their elaborately Gothic family home—but it’s a perpetual autumn at the Addams house and, besides, there are few more loving families in the movies.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

How Stella Got Her Groove Back | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

Successful, middle-aged stockbroker Stella (Angela Bassett) throws caution to the wind when she heads off for Montego Bay, Jamaica. And when she spots Winston Shakespeare (Taye Diggs) on her first day there, it occurs to her that there’s more to the island’s appeal than just the natural scenery.

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant in 1939’s Only Angels Have Wings with Jean Arthur | 4K

Amid the aerial drama in this sharp-witted Howard Hawks movie is its central location in a Central America port town on the edge of the Andes. The port/bar/hangout that becomes a second home to characters played by Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Rita Hayworth isn’t much, but it looks and feels like a comfy respite from the dangerous world just outside.

Tampopo (1985)

Tampopo Official Trailer

The delightful, whimsical “ramen western” Tampopo centers around the search for a perfect noodle restaurant and then, in the end, the effort required to create one. While very funny, the film spends a lot of time exploring the real craft and philosophy of Japanese noodles—never more vividly than in an early scene in which a noodle master demonstrates the proper reverence with which to consume a bowl of traditionally prepared ramen.

Big Night (1996)

Big Night (6/9) Movie CLIP – I Should Kill You (1996) HD

Calabrian brothers Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) emigrate to America in the 1950s and open up a restaurant called Paradise on the Jersey shore. The problem? Their authentic Italian is far too authentic for American palates, and they’re struggling for business. Their hopes come down to the title’s one big night, when real-life Italian-American singer Louis Prima is convinced to stop by. Plenty of delicious-looking and impressive food photography here, particularly if Italian is your thing.

Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Y Tu Mamá También (2002) – IFC Films

Amid all of the very astute coming-of-age drama here (involving two young men and the older woman they’re traveling with), there’s a gorgeous and very appealing road movie that follows our leads from Mexico City to a beach in Oaxaca.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK | James Baldwin Birthday Teaser

Barry Jenkins’ followup to Moonlight, Beale Street (from the James Baldwin novel) follows a young woman (Kiki Layne) seeking to prove the innocence of her wrongly charged love (Stephan James). There’s heavy drama here, but also a gorgeously photographed love story set against the changing seasons in New York.

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980) – Come Play With Us Scene (2/7) | Movieclips

I’m probably in the minority here, but, even after everything, the Overlook still appeals to me. A cozy hotel all to yourself, with no one to bother you and all the canned food you can eat? Honestly, it might be worth the trouble.

Misery (1990)

MISERY (1990) | Official Trailer | MGM Studios

Likewise, another Stephen King adaptation where things look pretty snuggly (in this case, Annie Wilkes’ isolated house)—until they don’t. If you weren’t recovering from a car crash with no one but a dangerously obsessed fan to watch over you, it’d be a pretty nice place to ride out a Colorado winter.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Log Dancing – Dirty Dancing (3/12) Movie CLIP (1987) HD

The cute Catskills resort that serves as the setting for the entire film looks perfectly delightful, though potentially boring if you’re just a guest and not directly involved in any of the subplots. Even though set in the summer, it feels very much like fall.

Psycho II (1983)

Psycho II (1983) – Mother Calls Scene (7/10) | Movieclips

Another horror movie where things are all snug and cozy … until they’re not. Here we get to spend much more time in the Bates House than we did in the first movie, and honestly it’s a pretty charming place, with a surprisingly well-maintained interior—if you can get past the accumulated body count. But! There’s a really cute diner just up the road, and that kind of convenience makes up for a lot. Given the amount of stuff that Norman gets away with up there, it’s safe to say that the place offers privacy.

Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

Opening cooking scene – “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994)

The food photography is spectacular in future Oscar-winner Ang Lee’s breakthrough feature, filled with lingering, mouth-watering scenes of authentic Taiwanese cooking.

What’s Cooking (2000)

What’s Cooking 2000 Trailer HD

Four interconnected families from different cultural backgrounds (Latino, Jewish, Vietnamese, and African American) gather each year, with each family putting its own unique spin on both the traditional elements of Thanksgiving dinner while adding distinctive extras. The stacked cast includes Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Joan Chen, Lainie Kazan, Julianna Margulies, Alfre Woodard, and Dennis Haysbert.

Really Love (2020)

Really Love | Official Trailer

A timeless romance involving a a struggling artist (Kofi Siriboe) and an ambitious law student (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing), Angel Kristi Williams’ feature directorial debut has sumptuously photographed key scenes set in autumn in Washington D.C., with the film’s palette highlighting the season perfectly.

Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck (3/11) Movie CLIP – Bad Luck (1987) HD

November in New York is no picnic, but the cozy enivrons of the Castorini’s lush townhouse, with hot Italian food always either being cooked or being served, makes it look worth the nip in the air. If that’s not enough, Ronny Cammareri’s bakery looks positively sweltering (or is that just the sexual tension between Cher and Nicolas Cage?), so there’s always a place to grab a glass of vino and escape from the cold.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Christmas in Connecticut | Full Movie Preview | Warner Bros. Entertainment

This cute, lesser-seen Christmas movie finds writer Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) posing as farm wife for a story—and then kinda falling in love with the whole scene. The rural, snow-covered farmhouse that serves as the movie’s primary setting looks like the perfect place to hole up for the holidays.

Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (1974) – Clip 2: Who Is This? (HD)

This festive classic, starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, and John Saxon, works in part because the festive, comfy vibe of the sorority house is in such stark contrast to the creepy killer vibes. The close confines and dark wood panelling of the house during Christmas break give it snuggly feel, until it starts to feel claustrophobic and entrapping.

Enchanted April (1991)

Enchanted April | Official Trailer (HD) – Jim Broadbent, Alfred Molina | MIRAMAX

In the aftermath of the first World War, four women, none of whom have much in common, decide to ditch rainy England in favor of Portofino. Renting a Medieval castle on the Mediterranean, the women find hope, love, and, just as importantly, sunshine on their sojourn.

The Burning (1981)

The Burning (1981) – Official Trailer

The killer in the clever, under-seen slasher The Burning was burned in a cabin fire at Camp Blackfoot and so, perhaps for that reason, pretty much only stalks his victims in the woods. Good news, then, for those hoping for a summer getaway: Stick to the comfy cabins at this well-appointed camp, and you’re probably safe. Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens all put in appearances.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Elvira Mistress of the Dark Original Trailer (James Signorelli, 1988)

The cash-strapped scream queen sets out from decidedly un-cozy Las Vegas to collect an inheritance: a mansion, recipe book, and poodle all located in the fictional, deeply conservative Fallwell, Massachusetts. From her gorgeously creepy new house, she quickly turns the town on its head and convinces the townsfolk to lighten up—or else. Even without the mansion, Elvira remains a deeply comforting presence.

Days of Heaven (1978)

Days of Heaven (1978) – Terrence Malick (Trailer) | BFI

In and around the story of Bill and Abby preying on a dying farmer, and the plague of locusts, are quiet fields of the Texas panhandle so peaceful and lovely that they look as though they might have sprung from paintings. There are few better cinematic visual stylists than director Terence Malick, and, even given the dark subject matter, it would still be tempting to sink into his world here.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbour (Neighbor) Totoro Trailer (English)

This gorgeously animated Hayao Miyazaki favorite follows sisters Satsuke and Mei as they move to an old country house with their father to await their mother’s hoped-for recovery from an illness. What they find in the house are playful spirits who lead them on an adventure. Like so many Studio Ghibli movies, it all feels like a world you wouldn’t mind getting lost in.

The Lunchbox (2013)

The Lunchbox | Official Trailer HD (2013)

Tiffin delivery is big business in metro India. Rather than slapping together a sandwich and tossing it into a bag first thing in the morning, lunches are often made at home and delivered to offices just in time. Hoping to revive her flagging marriage, Ila Singh (Nimrat Kaur) dreams that her cooking skills might draw her husband’s attention. But, one day, the lunch goes to the wrong person—lonely Saajan (Irrfan Khan). The two start sharing notes, and the flirtation proves to be life-changing. What could be more comforting than a hot, homemade lunch?

God’s Own Country (2017)

GOD’S OWN COUNTRY Official Trailer (2017) Francis Lee

Josh O’Connor (The Crown’s Prince Charles) and Alec Secăreanu play Yorkshire farmer Johnny and Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe. Their initially very tempestuous relationship develops into something much more romantic, all against the backdrop of chill Yorkshire. It’s cold, sure, and a little gloomy—all the better for cozying up together in comfy cottages and charmingly rowdy pubs.

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