The Coziest Films to Watch from the Comfort of Your Home, from ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ to ‘When Harry Met Sally’

As the weather dips colder and the sky turns gray (plus daylight savings has us all out of whack), why not bundle up and binge some beloved films?

The cozy film is an oft-overlooked and arguably under-appreciated genre, usually lumped into a Venn diagram of classic rom-coms, campy noirs, and coming-of-age tales. Well, the defining traits of a cozy film — aside from chunky sweaters — is just that intangible feeling that all will be right in the world. The plots aren’t too complicated, the aesthetics are warm, and the characters seem to exist to just hang out onscreen alongside the viewer.

The defense of the cozy film label is key not only going into the holiday season, but also to clarify that it is in no way an insult. “The Holdovers” director Alexander Payne slammed the category of coziness as a “nauseating” way to describe his academia-set feature. The film follows a trio of figures at a boarding school that are “holding over” until the New Year, otherwise having nowhere else to go for the holidays.

Payne told Vanity Fair, “‘Oh, it’s like a cozy movie, or a warm hug, or putting on a sweater on a cold day and drinking hot cocoa.’ Part of that nauseates me a little bit. […] I certainly can feel a certain coziness when I watch a Bob Rafelson movie or a Hal Ashby movie from that period,” Payne said. “So on that level, I can understand that. I heard it or read it a couple of times, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. Whether to be complimented or insulted by it. Not insulted, but you know what I mean.”

So, what makes a cozy film? Below, see our IndieWire picks for the films we deem cozy in addition to being pillars of their respective genres. So snuggle up, turn it on, and indulge in the safety of a sweet story just about being human. Entries are listed in chronological order.

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