Never Cry Wolf (1983)
No fictional film captures the dizzying, desolate beauty of the great white north better than this account of a government biologist (Charles Martin Smith, light years from the geeky guy he played in American Graffiti) sent to the remote wilderness above the Arctic Circle to study wolf behavior. Directed by erstwhile cinematographer Carroll Ballard, Wolf is staggeringly beautiful, but it's not just a collection of pretty snowscapes. It's also a witty, absorbing adventure tale and a fascinating primer on Canis lupus that's suitable for family viewing (although parents should be aware that Smith's butt makes a couple of cameo appearances, and the very wee ones might be a tad disturbed by scenes of him eating mice). And while it's clear which side the film is on--the one not occupied by Brian Dennehy, as a rapacious pilot/mogul out to turn wolf country into a country club--it's not preachy or didactic, acknowledging shades of gray when it comes to survival in the wild. Plenty cool, in every sense.