Some Great Movies About Freezing Your Ass Off

We have problems in Texas right now, but at least we don’t have these problems. Or do we?

Like everyone else unfortunate enough to live in the state of Texas, I’ve spent most of  the last week freezing my ass off. It’s so bad that I just ended that previous sentence with a preposition. I will let people better-informed, less lazy, and more didactic than me explain why the state’s power grid collapsed in its hour of most critical need. Instead, as a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, I will spend my time coming up with a list of movies about people freezing off their asses. See, it just doesn’t sound the same when you write it that way. This is a selective list, you may have your own favorites. Enjoy.

Dr. Zhivago

The ultimate cold epic. I don’t remember a single scene of Dr. Zhivago when people weren’t freezing to death. But because it’s set in Russia, the characters don’t seem to mind unless there are also people shooting at them. I could fill an entire article with freezing Dr. Zhivago scenes. But instead, enjoy this beautiful sleigh ride with Yuri and Lara.

Never Cry Wolf

In this wonderful live-action Disney classic, Farley Mowat, played by Charles Martin Smith, goes into the wilderness to study caribou and ends up learning everything about wolves. Mostly, though, he is just cold as fuck.

The Thing

Unquestionably one of the scariest movies ever made, John Carpenter’s version of ‘The Thing’ is also one of the coldest. The movie’s tagline is
“man is the warmest place to hide.” Or perhaps that’s the Texas Governor’s mansion.

The Shining

Jack Nicholson moves his family into a haunted hotel and basically becomes a meme. It includes the most indelible winter image in cinematic history, of poor possessed Jack Torrance turned into an icicle in a labyrinth, which after this week is no longer a metaphor.


Sheriff Marge Gunderson would certainly shrug at this week’s electrical grid problems in Texas. Bloodied Steve Buscemi burying the money feels familiar.

The Revenant

Fortunately for you, the legendary bear attack scene in The Revenant doesn’t occur in the most freezing part of the movie. Instead, enjoy this exciting chase scene between Oscar-winning Leonardo DiCaprio and a band of marauding snow Native Americans, who did not win Oscars. Note: DiCaprio is freezing outside because ERCOT cut his power.


I was neither a small child in the previous decade, nor was I really the parent of a small child. My son was already 12 when the Frozen curse descended upon the world and he had no interest in a magic ice princess movie. I understand the appeal of Frozen, but it also gave us Olaf the snowman, the worst character in movie history. Here, Elsa really lets it rip. The cold never bothered me anyway, my Aunt Fanny. Walt Disney is rolling in his grave full of money.

The Terror

I know this isn’t a movie, but this epic FX miniseries about British explorers trapped in the Arctic while a giant mythical ice bear hunts them was the best TV show of 2018. Here, Tuunbaq he bear hands Ciaran Hinds his head on a platter. If only something would dispatch me so quickly.

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Neal Pollack

Book and Film Globe Editor in Chief Neal Pollack is the author of 12 semi-bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction, including the memoirs Alternadad and Stretch, the novels Repeat and Downward-Facing Death, and the cult classic The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature. A Rotten Tomatoes certified reviewer for both film and television, Neal has written articles and humor for every English-language publication except The New Yorker. Neal lives in Austin, Texas, and is a three-time Jeopardy! champion.

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