Watch Now

Worthy weather movies for truckers: Part 6

A recent classic and a few obscure films make the list

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Watching movies can be an entertaining way for professional truckers to pass the time after their 11-hour shifts or on days off. Based on reviews from critics and general audiences, these are some weather-themed movies that drivers may want to check out.

‘Groundhog Day’ (1993)

“Groundhog Day” is a critically acclaimed American comedy directed by the late Harold Ramis, whose other directing credits included “Caddyshack” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, the film stars Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott.

Murray portrays Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (Fun fact: Much of the movie actually was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois.) Connors becomes trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive Feb. 2 over and over. The film also stars Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill Murray’s brother.

“Groundhog Day” earned around $71 million at the box office, becoming one of the  highest-grossing films of 1993. Many people praised “Groundhog Day” for its successful blend of highly sentimental and cynical moments with a philosophical message beneath the comedy. Many critics consider it one of the greatest films of the 1990s and one of the best American comedies of all time.

‘Night of the Twisters’ (1996) 

“Night of the Twisters” is an American-Canadian made-for-television natural disaster film that was directed by Timothy Bond. The film premiered on The Family Channel (now Freeform) as the cable channel’s first original movie.

Filmed in Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada, it’s based loosely on the 1984 young-adult novel of the same title, written by Ivy Ruckman. The story is a semi-fictionalized account of an outbreak of seven tornadoes that struck Grand Island, Nebraska, on June 3, 1980, killing five people and injuring 134 others. The film, however, is set in the fictional Nebraska town of Blainsworth. It centers on a boy struggling to keep his family safe, hoping to survive the barrage of storms terrorizing their town.

“Night of the Twisters” stars John Schneider and Devon Sawa. It received mostly positive ratings from viewers, receiving an audience score of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, many critics criticized the film’s special effects.

‘Lakeview Terrace’ (2008)

“Lakeview Terrace” is an American crime thriller directed by Neil LaBute and written by David Loughery and Howard Korder. It was co-produced by James Lassiter and Will Smith and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington.

Jackson plays troubled Los Angeles police officer and widower Abel Turner, who terrorizes his new next-door neighbors, an interracial couple played by Wilson and Washington. The title is a reference to the ethnically mixed middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood of Lake View Terrace. The story was loosely based on real events.

Turner’s attempts to drive the couple of the neighborhood, as well as the couple’s retaliation, escalate among the backdrop of approaching wildfires that seem to be building just as fast as the drama.

The film received mixed reviews, but respected critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it his highest rating of four stars.

“Some will find it exciting. Some will find it an opportunity for an examination of conscience. Some will leave feeling vaguely uneasy,” Ebert wrote. “Some will hate elements that others can’t even see. Some will only see a thriller. I find movies like this alive and provoking, and I’m exhilarated to have my thinking challenged at every step of the way.”

‘Whiteout’ (2009)

“Whiteout” is a crime thriller based on the 1998 comic book of the same name. It was directed by Dominic Sena, with uncredited reshoots by Stuart Baird and Len Wiseman. It stars Kate Beckinsale and veteran actor Tom Skerritt.

Beckinsale plays U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko, who is tracking a killer in Antarctica as the sun is about to set for six months and a winter storm is approaching. After finding a dead body, Stetko is attacked by the masked killer, who is trying to get hold of cargo in an old Soviet plane that crash-landed in the ice during the Cold War. In the midst of the cat-and-mouse chase and the crew trying to evacuate, Stetko suffers frostbite.

“Whiteout” was not well-liked by most critics and movie audiences. One review on Rotten Tomatoes said this: “Kate Beckinsale is as lovely as ever and does her best with the material, but moribund pacing and an uninspired plot leave ‘Whiteout’ in the cold.” This is perhaps one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Truck drivers’ favorite weather movies
Truck drivers’ favorite weather movies: Part 2
Worthy weather movies for truckers: Part 3
Worthy weather movies for truckers: Part 4
Worthy weather movies for truckers: Part 5

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.