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Worthy weather movies for truckers: Part 3

These films feature well-established stars and lesser-known actors, including one based on a Stephen King screenplay

A good flick can help truck drivers wind down on off days or on breaks during long hauls. Based on reviews from critics and general audiences, these are some weather-related movies that truckers may enjoy.

‘Crawl’ (2019)

Kaya Scodelario plays a college student and champion swimmer who tries to check on her headstrong father (Barry Pepper) as a massive hurricane hits Florida. She winds up stuck with him in the dark, flooded basement of their old family home, trapped by two giant alligators. It’s a family psychodrama, a killer gator flick and a disaster movie rolled into one.

Director Alexandre Aja, considered by many an expert at tight, austere horror films, builds tension with the ruthless efficiency of a sadistic engineer. But “Crawl” never feels cheap or opportunistic, according to many film buffs and critics. The audience becomes unusually attached to the survival of the young woman and her dad.

‘2012’ (2009)

Roland Emmerich became Hollywood’s king of disaster in the 1990s, mainly by cross-breeding the genre with alien and monster pictures, like “Independence Day” and “Godzilla.” This star-studded 2009 epic, however, may have been his purest throwback to the 1970s. In “2012,” solar flares from the sun heat up the Earth’s core, and a series of unfortunate meteorological and seismic events ensues.

Nobody on the planet is safe, and the scale of destruction and hopelessness is so awe-inspiring that audiences, in some people’s opinions, may overlook the sheer idiocy of the plot and character interactions. That said, actors Chiwetel Ejiofor (as the scientist who discovers what’s happening and warns the appropriate powers) and Woody Harrelson (as a conspiracy theorist wingnut radio host) are standouts in the cast of thousands.

‘The Weather Man’ (2005)

This was more of a character study than a weather disaster/horror/thriller film — although some may think the main character’s life was a disaster.

Nicolas Cage plays Chicago TV weatherman David Spritz, who goes through a midlife crisis. Separated from his wife and children, and scorned by many of his viewers for his high-paying, seemingly easy job, he debates whether professional and personal success are mutually exclusive.

Eclipsed by his father, Robert (Michael Caine), a celebrated author, Spitz resolves to get his life in order by applying for a high-profile job on a New York City talk show. But with his personal life in shambles, Spitz must decide between fast-tracking his career and repairing his rapidly deteriorating family life.

‘Storm of the Century’ (1999)

Even though “Storm of the Century” was a TV mini-series and not a motion picture, it’s worth mentioning. It was produced by Stephen King, but wasn’t based on one of his novels. King, the “Master of Horror,” wrote it as a screenplay from the start. He described the screenplay as a “novel for television,” and it was published as a mass-market book in February 1999 prior to the broadcast of the mini-series.

King is from Maine and knows all about bad weather. This explains his tendency to incorporate it into many of his stories. In the show, a powerful blizzard hits a fictional small island town off the coast of Maine. The storm rolls in and shuts off the town from the rest of the world. Soon, a stranger named Andre appears, played by Colm Feore. He knows everyone’s secrets and is intent on terrorizing the townspeople to fulfill his own desires.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.