20 Fall Movies That Perfectly Sum Up the Comfort and Nostalgia of the Season

Skip the gore and jump scares and add these cozy movies—complete with fall color palettes, cable-knit sweaters, and heartwarming storylines—to your queue, instead.

Hocus Pocus
Photo: Photo by Matt Kennedy, courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises

The leaves are changing color, the weather is crisp, and you've likely cycled through your favorite flannels and sweaters at least once in the past month. What do all of these things mean? Fall is officially here. While the cozy season is chock-full of plenty of outdoor activities—trick-or-treating, apple picking, and pumpkin carving—sometimes, there's nothing better than spending a cool evening on the couch with warm cider and a movie.

When you want to feel the comfort of autumn without venturing outside, experience it on your television, instead. This doesn't mean you have to turn on a horror film with lots of jump scares and gore—there are plenty of comforting films that are defined by autumn color palettes, cable knit sweaters, and bewitching storylines for you to watch this season.

When Harry Met Sally

At the top of many fall watch lists, When Harry Met Sally is a romantic comedy about two longtime friends who work to navigate their relationship while living in New York City. The film's scenery and costume choices are reflective of the fall season—changing leaves and sweaters abound.

Good Will Hunting

Albeit a relatively serious movie, Good Will Hunting serves up a distinctly autumnal feel to viewers thanks to its Cambridge, Mass., backdrop. The film follows Will Hunting—a university maintenance employee with a genius-level IQ—who receives help from a psychologist as he aims to find purpose in his life.

You've Got Mail

It's not fall without a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks mashup. This adorable family-friendly movie, which is set during autumn, is about the budding romance between a book superstore magnate and an independent bookshop owner.

Practical Magic

Equal parts comforting and spooky, Practical Magic is guaranteed to give you that fall feeling. It follows two witch sisters, who live with their equally spell-binding aunts, as they work to use dark magic to bring back one of their lovers. There's a black cat, a spell book, and sweaters galore.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

While every film in the Harry Potter franchise is great for viewing this season, the first one of the series is by far the most comforting and family-friendly. As Harry, Ron, and Hermione navigate their first year at Hogwarts, you're provided with all the nostalgia you need for one autumn afternoon.

October Sky

If the movie title wasn't a good enough clue that this film is perfect for fall, the wardrobe and small town setting will do the trick. The film is based on a true story about Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who takes up rocketry with his friends as they attempt to win the school's science fair.

The Goonies

Buried treasure, a band of thieves, and pirates define this 1985 Steven Spielberg classic. The family-friendly flick follows a group of kids as they attempt to save their homes from foreclosure by hunting down a pirate named One Eyed Willie's long lost treasure.


For many people, fall also means football season—and Rudy is perhaps the feel-good sports movie to add to your list come autumn. The film is based on the real life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger as he chases his dreams of becoming a football player for Notre Dame, despite several personal setbacks along the way.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson is the king of fall color palettes, and his movie Fantastic Mr. Fox (which is defined by maroons, burnt oranges, and russet browns) is no exception. The kid-friendly stop motion animated film is based on the children's novel by Roald Dahl.

Edward Scissorhands

Tim Burton is known for creating fantastical films that make for ultimate fall viewing, but his 1990 work Edward Scissorhands is perhaps one his most well-known creations. The classic is based on a man-made character, Edward, who has scissors for hands. He is found by a realtor named Peg who brings Edward home and introduces him to her family and neighbors.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Another classic film by Spielberg, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is set during the fall season—there's even a scene where the kids (and their alien pal) go trick-or-treating together. The movie itself follows a young boy named Elliott and his attempts to help his friend ET leave Earth and return to his home planet.

Knives Out

A thrilling whodunit, Knives Out made itself an instant fall must-watch when it debuted in theaters in 2019. You'll find yourself enthralled from start to finish as you work to figure out who murdered the Thrombey family's patriarch before the film's dapperly dressed detective does.

Mystic Pizza

Set in a quaint Connecticut-based town, three friends navigate young adulthood while working at a local pizza parlor. The romantic comedy is the perfect thing to pop on the television when you're in the mood for a comforting, heartwarming movie.

Hocus Pocus

It doesn't get spookier than Salem, Mass. during October, which is where and when this cult-classic is set. The movie follows three witches as they wreak havoc on suburbia after returning from the dead. If you want more of the Salem Sisters, be sure to follow up the flick with its sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, for more bewitching fun.

Remember the Titans

Another fall football film, Remember the Titans is based on the true story of coach Herman Boone and his efforts to bring together a high school team in Virginia during 1971.

Pride and Prejudice

This timeless film, which was adapted from the 1813 novel by Jane Austen, follows the eccentric Elizabeth Bennet as she falls in love with the stubborn and proud Mr. Darcy.

While You Were Sleeping

Sweaters, flannels, and the holiday season are on full display in this cozy romantic comedy that features a train ticket collector who is mistaken for the fiancée of a comatose patient. It's as topsy-turvy as it sounds, but the 1995 film is certainly one you should consider adding to your fall watch list.


This kid-friendly film adaptation of a Roald Dahl classic tells the story of an intelligent girl who uses her psychic powers to navigate her less-than-pleasant school and home life.


Perfect for viewing with your family, Coco is Disney Pixar's tale of a young aspiring musician who embarks on a journey to visit his late ancestors in the Land of the Dead. It's spooky, heartwarming, and funny—plus you can sing along to one the film's many musical numbers.

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