As the days start to get cooler and the leaves on the trees begin to change colors, it is the perfect time to break out the sweaters, cozy blankets, and heartfelt movies. The season between summer and winter is full of vibrant colors and great smells, but there is nothing better than finding the perfect film that compliments the weather outside. Many movies and television episodes that are set in autumn naturally have a cozy feel to them. Think about how many of your favorite TV shows feature a Halloween or Thanksgiving episode. Do they make you feel cheerful and warm? Now, imagine that same comforting and festive feeling stretched out through a whole film.
Fall is the time to take a moment and slow down. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays creeping up on people during this time, it is important that everyone takes a moment for themselves, has a warm beverage, and just relaxes. Perhaps you can get the whole family together for a cozy movie night by the fire or simply enjoy a night to yourself with the perfect film.
Regardless of what you choose to do, here are 20 cozy movies that you must watch, or rewatch, this fall.
20 Practical Magic
Witches aren’t always dressed in black robes and pointy hats; sometimes, they own herbal remedy shops and help the women in the community deal with certain problems. At least, that is what the Owens women do in their tiny town in Practical Magic.
Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) are raised by their aunts, and they learn at a young age that their lineage is full of women who practice magic. As the sisters grow older, they could not be more different. However, when they find themselves in a certain supernatural predicament, the witchy sisters come together to help one another and break a generational curse.
19 Good Will Hunting
In Good Will Hunting, when a troubled young man finds himself in a predicament that he cannot simply talk his way out of, a curious professor steps up to defend the peculiar kid. Will Hunting has always played by his own rules, and while he never believed school was his thing, he is a natural-born genius who picks up patterns and knows how to work things out if he thinks they are worth his time.
Professor Lambeau sets Will up with a therapist, Dr. Maguire, and instead of treating Will like any other patient, he manages to challenge Will to discover for himself why he is the way he is. Both men learn something about themselves from their time together, and in the end, they are grateful for it.
18 The Fundamentals of Caring
If you need a heartfelt movie with plenty of sarcasm and snarky one-liners, then look no further than The Fundamentals of Caring. Paul Rudd stars as Ben, a caregiver to a sardonic teenager named Trevor (Craig Roberts) who has muscular dystrophy. Ben earns Trevor’s respect by matching his cynical attitude at times. After weeks of following the same routine, Ben convinces Trevor to go on a road trip to see and experience the world around him. After some initial hesitation, the pair set off on an epic but practical adventure that changes them forever.
17 August Rush
Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore) may have grown up in a boys’ orphanage in August Rush, but he never truly felt alone. He knew in his gut that his parents were out in the world somewhere, thinking about and searching for him. When he runs away from the one home he’s ever known in search of his parents, he is anything but afraid.
Evan meets another musically talented kid named Arthur (Leon Thomas III) in New York City, and his life changes forever. From being labeled a musical prodigy to conducting his own rhapsody in Central Park, Evan manages to find and bring his parents together through his love of music.
16 All the Harry Potter Films
When it comes to decorating for the holidays, no one does it better than the staff at Hogwarts. Or is it the school itself that maintains the decorations? Regardless, all eight of the original Harry Potter movies are a must when it comes to watching films in the fall.
Something about them just feels inviting and cozy during the chilly season. Mrs. Weasley knows how to make everyone feel welcomed in her home, Harry’s close relationship with his friends is comforting to see, and most importantly, the coming-of-age story of a young wizard is always worth a rewatch. Don’t forget to check out the beautiful scenery as you go through this magical saga for yet another time.
15 Hocus Pocus
Nothing screams warm and cozy like a few witches running around trying to eat up all the town’s children, right? After a stubborn teenage boy lights the Black Flame Candle, he, his sister, and the girl he wanted to impress find themselves dealing with more than candy thieves on a cool Halloween night.
Hocus Pocus is classic as far as many fans are concerned, and after watching Max and Dani run around the town with Allison and the adorable talking cat Binx, you may want to follow up with its sequel, Hocus Pocus 2. The Sanderson sisters are resurrected once again by a couple of virgin teenagers, and this time, Winifred tries to cast the most dangerous spell in the book.
14 Sweet Home Alabama
Do you believe in destiny? Well, a young Jake Perry did when he told a 10-year-old Melanie Smooter that he would marry her, so he could kiss her any day he wanted. In Sweet Home Alabama, the two grew up and got married, but they parted ways as they naturally wanted different futures. After Melanie’s new fiancé proposes, the former country girl finds herself back in her hometown desperately trying to get her husband to sign divorce papers.
However, as anyone can predict in this romantic comedy, she begins to remember exactly why she fell in love with Jake in the first place.
13 Remember the Titans
Football games are a staple during fall, and Remember the Titans will have you feeling like you are back in the stands cheering for your team in the chilly air. Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) realizes he has his work cut out for him when he transfers and is made the head coach of a newly racially integrated school.
The white players don’t take well to Boone’s new role, and all the players naturally segregate themselves until Boone puts an end to their foolishness. Instead of solely focusing on football, he teaches the boys the importance of accepting people for their character rather than their skin color.
12 The Bucket List
Getting old is not easy; the body doesn’t want to do everything the mind believes it can, but it is a reality almost everyone must face. In The Bucket List, when both Edward and Carter are told by their doctors that they have about five years left to live, the new friends decide to really start living.
The older gentlemen go skydiving, they travel the world, and most importantly, they face their greatest fears. Edward learns the true meaning of friendship, and Carter realizes he lived a great life with his wife. By the end of their adventures, the two men have a better understanding of what really matters in their lives.
11 The Blind Side
Between football, a loving family, and Sandra Bullock’s southern accent, what more could anyone want from a cozy film? The Blind Side centers around a young man named Michael Oher who has come from a rough past and into the loving home of the Tuohys. Leigh Anne and her husband, Sean, not only gave Michael a place to sleep and eat, but they gave him a family who deeply cares about what he wants in life. This heartfelt film will have any member of the family smiling, laughing along with SJ, and simply wanting to hug their family just a little bit tighter.
Almost every little kid grows up waiting for a letter or older relative to tell them that they have extraordinary powers, or they have a certain destiny to embrace. For Marnie Piper and her younger siblings in Halloweentown, they learn that there is a whole town filled with magical creatures and beings that need their help when it comes to certain individuals trying to control the magical world.
This Disney series is nostalgic and fun, and it teaches children the true importance of taking care of one’s family. Over the duration of the four films, fans can see Marnie go from a 13-year-old girl learning about her family heritage to a young woman fully ready to take on her witchy responsibilities.
Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon star in the dramedy, Stepmom, as the girlfriend, Isabel, and ex-wife, Jackie, of Ed Harris’ character, Luke, respectively. As much as Isabel tries to win over Jackie and Luke’s children, she seems to always fall short. It does not help that Jackie is not too friendly towards her ex-husband’s partner.
Over time, Isabel manages to find common ground with the children and even Jackie. Jackie, in turn, realizes that due to her fatal illness, she should be grateful to have such a caring and loving figure that will be with her children after her passing.
8 Forrest Gump
Using a frame narrative, Forrest Gump depicts the life of a young boy who overcomes some of the hardest challenges that allow him to become a respectable man. Tom Hanks stars as the title character who learns to love, deal with loss, and take everything life has to throw at him one day at a time. Forrest may not realize it, but he managed to touch hearts everywhere he went.
From the battlefields in Vietnam to fulfilling a promise to his best friend Bubba, Forrest was a man of great character, and his son, Forrest Jr. should be proud of the man his father has always been.
The Day of the Dead is meant to be a celebration of life. Families come together to honor their loved ones who have passed, and in Coco, this of course means that there is another world where the dead actually continue to live on in the afterlife.
When Miguel, a young aspiring musician, finds himself in the world of the undead during this holiday, he desperately tries to find his great-great-grandfather to help him get back to the real world. While heartwarming stories are told and secrets are revealed, Miguel learns the importance of honoring and respecting his family’s wishes.
6 The Upside
From an outsider’s perspective, some people simply look like they have it all. Then, when you get to know them, you realize looks can be very deceiving. Kevin Hart stars in The Upside as a parolee, Dell Scott, who, by some miracle (or sardonic man with a unique sense of humor), lands a job as a caregiver to a quadraplegic Philip Lacasse.
Philip shows Dell what it is like to command respect in a room, and Dell teaches Philip how to really enjoy the little things in life. This unlikely friendship will warm even the coldest of hearts during this chilly season.
5 Dead Poets Society
Aside from the great colors and smells, many kids know fall to be the time they head back to the classroom to learn new things. One English teacher in particular, John Keating (Robin Williams) in Dead Poets Society, does not believe in doing things the traditional way.
Instead of having his students put their noses in books and regurgitate lessons, he challenges them to think for themselves and find out what they truly want in life. While the administration does not appreciate his practices, the students learn so much more than they ever imagined with him as their instructor.
The titular character in Matilda always knew she was different from everyone else. She was not selfish and cruel like her family members, and she often preferred books to people. When she was put in Miss Honey’s class, Matilda realized there were good people in the world who deserved good things. She also learned that bad people, no matter their age, deserved to be punished for being bullies.
With her peculiar powers, Matilda does everything she can to right a few wrongs, and in the end, she even manages to teach Miss Honey a couple of things about standing up for what you believe in.
3 The Notebook
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams have a very special hold on a lot of fans with their portrayal of possibly the most perfect couple in The Notebook. Allie (McAdams) and Noah (Gosling) have the ultimate summer romance when they are just teenagers, but after a very disapproving mother finds out about the relationship, she makes sure the two are permanently separated. Years later, Allie is to be married to a decent man, and Noah finds himself back in his hometown renovating a beautiful plantation.
As all love stories go, Allie finds herself choosing to be with Noah for the rest of her life rather than her fiancé, and as they grow older, Noah commits to reading Allie her own journal that depicts their love story until the day she dies.
2 Maid in Manhattan
Sometimes, fate has a funny way of bringing two people together, and in the romantic comedy, Maid in Manhattan, all it took was Marisa, a hotel maid, trying on a Dolce & Gabbana coat that would lead her into the arms of an esteemed politician, Chris. Marisa gets mistaken for a high profile socialite named Caroline, and instead of immediately correcting Chris, she goes along with the ruse.
The two bond over mutual interests, but as expected, Marisa’s true identity is revealed when the real Caroline puts an end to the whole charade. Marisa takes some time to reflect, but her 10-year-old son, Ty, makes sure that their relationship has not seen the true end.
1 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
During a chilly night in 1918, in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a peculiar newborn found himself on the doorstep of the most Godly woman in all of New Orleans. He was born with the features of an old man, and as he began to grow, his adoptive mother, Queenie, believed him to be a miracle child as he aged backwards physically, but he continued to learn about the world just the same as any other child.
As Benjamin got older, he realized there was a whole world to experience that would not judge him for his unique qualities if they simply didn’t know about them. He set out to explore and learn how to be a respectable man, but of course, a childhood love crossed his path a few times, and the rest is history.