You don’t have to forego your flute of Champagne just because you’re ringing in the new year from the luxury of your couch. After all, who says you can’t host a little New Year’s Eve party for one? For starters, you escape the enormous crowds, lengthy lines, costly beverages (which makes me want to stay home), and post-midnight traffic. Plus, you spend the entire night in your jammies and are already within walking distance of your bed. Our selection of the finest New Year’s Eve movies is here to help you discover the perfect way to spend the time till midnight.
List of Best New Year Eve’s Movies
- Snoopy Brings You For Auld Lang Syne (2022)
- When Harry First Met Sally (1989)
- Poseidon’s Adventure (1972)
- While You Were Sleeping (1995)
- The Age of Adaline
- Snowpiercer (2013)
- Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
- Money Train
- The Gold Rush (1925)
- An American in Paris (1951)
- Phantom Thread (2017)
- New Year’s Eve
- Diner (1982)
- Trading Places (1983)
- About a Boy
- High School Musical
- Mermaids (1990)
- Are We There Yet?
- Waiting to Exhale (1995)
- Ocean’s 11 (1960)
- Highball (1997)
- An Affair to Remember
- Strange Days (1995)
- Assault on Precinct 13
- Ghostbusters II (1989)
- Two Lovers
- New Year’s Evil
- I Hate New Year’s
- Surviving New Year’s
- Bloodhounds of Broadway
- The Children
- Four Rooms (1995)
- The Rose Bowl Story
- The Godfather Part II (1972)
Let’s take a brief look at the plot of these movies.
Given that it launched in December 2021, this is one you haven’t seen a million times. When the Peanuts gang is disappointed that Grandma won’t be able to visit for Christmas, they vow to host the finest New Year’s Eve celebration ever. This offer is only accessible through Apple TV+.
Not only is this one of the best romantic comedies ever filmed, but it also has one of the best New Year’s Eve moments (which we won’t reveal for you, just in case). Weep while you watch it.
Try this ’70s catastrophe film about a luxurious cruise liner overturned by a rogue wave on New Year’s Eve if you want some fantastic action scenes with your glass clinking. The film’s remarkable ensemble cast includes Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Albertson, Red Buttons, and Shelley Winters, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role.
While You Were Sleeping, the finest ’90s romantic comedy, finds a young lady (Sandra Bullock) forced to choose between a genuine love and an imagined love when they clash on New Year’s Eve.
Adaline Bowman is not like other young women. “The Age of Adaline,” starring the iridescent Blake Lively, depicts the extraordinary story of one woman’s quite odd existence in which she stops aging after her 29th birthday. Adaline has assured that her way of life is flawless after eight decades of being 29 years old, and no one will ever detect her everlasting existence. When the heartthrob Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) arrives in her life on New Year’s Eve, her plan and her emotions both go out the window. After Adaline’s long-suppressed secret is uncovered, a weekend escape to his parents’ cottage becomes detrimental to their relationship, including someone else near Ellis’ heart.
Instead of 2023, consider the not-too-distant dystopian year 2031. Climate change has caused humanity to live aboard a rolling train, and New Year’s is celebrated each time it circumnavigates the planet. What’s left of civilization is split into prominent passengers (in the front of the train) and riff-raff (in the back) – until one man (Chris Evans) decides to go up to the conductor’s car.
When it comes to romantic films on New Year’s Eve, there is no better choice than this poignant tear-jerker. Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan — especially in one incredible sequence in which Hanks’ character imagines a loving discussion with his late wife on New Year’s Eve.
8. Money Train
A filthy NYC transit officer devises a scheme to heist the “money train” that transfers the Transit Authority’s daily revenues on New Year’s Eve to pay off his tidal wave of gambling debt and then some. The only problem is that Charlie (Woody Harrelson) will have to persuade his responsible, goody-two-shoes brother — a transit officer — to collaborate or outwit him entirely to carry off the robbery. Then there’s Officer Grace Santiago (Jennifer Lopez), who has both officers wrapped around her tiny finger. It would not be acceptable to her. Is everything fair in love and… robbery?
Everyone is familiar with Charlie Chaplin’s famous routine in which he places rolls on the ends of two forks and makes them dance. Few recall him doing it since he gets stood up on New Year’s Eve. Watch the rest of The Gold Rush to learn if he ever sees his lost love again.
There are New Year’s Eve parties, and then there’s the spectacular, costumed, black-and-white ball at the finale of this film. However, Gene Kelly’s outstanding choreography is shown throughout the film (which won a unique Oscar at the time, in addition to five other Academy Awards). Kelly portrays an American who is divided between two women: a wealthy American and a French dancer (played by Leslie Caron in his first role).
Phantom Thread provides several luxurious pleasures: You’ll witness elegant costumes, majestic homes, and a New Year’s Eve celebration that will make you wish you could travel back to 1950s London. Don’t be too put off because the rest of the film is about a rocky, frequently nasty relationship.
12. New Year’s Eve
From the filmmaker of “Valentine’s Day” and “Mother’s Day” comes another holiday-themed film packed with interconnecting narratives about New Yorkers on the city’s most important night of the year, New Year’s Eve. The film transports viewers to New York City, from the Times Square ball drop to a glamorous celebrity gala hosted by musical guest Jon Bon Jovi. There’s even a contest between two expectant couples for the $1,000 prize for having the year’s first baby. Expect to witness Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Halle Berry, Josh Duhamel, Jessica Biel, Zac Efron, Hilary Swank, Héctor Elizondo, and other notable stars.
13. Diner (1982)
Director Barry Levinson is well-known for films set in his birthplace of Baltimore, and this is where it all began. It is set in the late 1950s and follows a group of friends preparing for a New Year’s Eve wedding. It starts just after Christmas and lasts for one week.
Who doesn’t want to start the new year laughing? This film runs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, so you may watch it nonstop for the last two months of the year.
15. About a Boy
For many, New Year’s is the perfect time for a change, exactly what Will (Hugh Grant) is in for in this film. A 30-something-year-old Londoner, Will is a wealthy, immature, irresponsible womanizer. But all that changes on New Year’s Eve when a 12-year-old boy named Marcus walks into his life. In fear, Marcus turns to Will for support and reveals his mother has been battling depression and suicidal thoughts. With no father figure, he grows attached to Will and vice versa. Will eventually realizes that his partying days no longer fulfill him, but playing a parental role in Marcus’s life does.
Suppose anybody understands the allure of a New Year’s Eve bash. In that case, Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) first meet during a poignant karaoke duet at a ski resort on NYE. They exchange numbers before the clock strikes midnight, only to find a few weeks later that they’re classmates. Being the new girl has its drawbacks, such as when your crush is the most popular boy at school and everyone else has a crush on him. Troy is exclusively interested in Gabriella, but his ego interferes when she invites him to perform a duet with her in the spring musical.
17. Mermaids (1990)
Cher plays Rachel, a single mother who comes to a small town with her two children, a pious adolescent (Winona Ryder) and a 9-year-old competitive swimmer (Christina Ricci). Rachel’s free-spirited attitude doesn’t always fit into her New England community’s mores, especially in 1963, and things come to a climax just before the new year.
To date Suzanne (Nia Long), you must first go past her children, Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Daniel Bolden). That being said, it’s good that her new boyfriend, Nick (Ice Cube), enjoys a good challenge because he will be trapped in a Lincoln Navigator with the two young gremlins on a New Year’s Eve road trip from Oregon to Canada. The best part? Suzanne isn’t in the car with them; she has to stay behind for work, leaving Nick alone. Lindsey and Kevin have time on their side and are eager to implement their finest tricks.
It is another film that begins and finishes on New Year’s Eve and then chronicles the ups and downs of four friends over the months in between. Let’s hope your New Year’s Eve isn’t as tumultuous as Angela Bassett’s character, who fires her husband’s car after discovering he’s cheating on her.
No, it doesn’t star George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but it does have the Rat Pack and some New Year’s Eve debauchery. They plot their theft at midnight.
21. Highball (1997)
Here, you may witness a group of friends gathering at three different parties: a Halloween costume party, a birthday feast, and a New Year’s Eve celebration. You have to deduce what happened in their personal lives between these sessions from the conversation, so it almost seems like a three-act drama. It’s a very early film by writer/director Noah Baumbach, who would later be nominated for an Oscar for The Squid and the Whale.
Despite a ring on her finger and a fiancée back home, two strangers ignite a torrid romance after sharing a sweet New Year’s Eve kiss while traveling from Europe to New York on an international cruise. It’s a memorable event, as the title indicates. As the boat approaches the pier, they pledge to meet at the top of the Empire State Building in six months to take up where they left off. The plan goes awry when she is involved in a tragic accident and has no method of communicating that she will not be waiting for him on the 102nd floor. Cary Grant co-stars with Deborah Kerr in this 1957 Christmas romance.
Here’s another for those seeking a less-than-magical New Year’s Eve story: Strange Days takes place not simply at the end of the year, but at the end of a millennium, with all the associated Y2K hysteria. Ralph Fiennes plays an ex-cop who offers virtual reality experiences based on actual, recorded memories in the film. When he receives something that appears to be a snuff film, he begins to explore whether it is genuine. Katheryn Bigelow directed the movie in the mid-1990s, yet part of what she foretold about “the future” has come to pass.
Due to severe weather, a prison bus carrying violent, high-risk prisoners Marion (Laurence Fishburne), Beck (John Leguizamo), and Anna (Aisha Hinds) is rerouted to Detroit’s run-down and understaffed Precinct 13 on New Year’s Eve. Sgt. Jake Roenick’s (Ethan Hawke) satellite link is interrupted as they reach the precinct, making contact with dispatch impossible. As a result, he feels this is an ambush by the prison’s unscrupulous connections. With their lives on the line, the police sergeant has no option but to uncuff the offenders and appeal for assistance. Only by working together will they be able to escape alive.
Show the youngsters this New Year’s Eve-friendly installment in the franchise if they have a newfound love for busting following Ghostbusters: Afterlife. In it, an evil ooze lurking underneath New York City’s streets feeds on negative energy (which is hard to defeat in a metropolis filled with cranky people). It will require the populace to band together and sing “Auld Lang Syne” to remove the negative vibrations permanently.
26. Two Lovers
Set in Brooklyn, New York, a struggling photographer (Joaquin Phoenix) breaks off his engagement only to find himself in an unexpected yet convoluted love triangle shortly afterward. As the Christmas season approaches, he must pick who he wants to see into the new year. Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), a candid, reasonable woman who is already liked by his parents and would fit nicely into his life, comes first. On the other hand, Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), his seductive and fascinating next-door neighbor with a tumultuous love life. He has until New Year’s Eve at midnight to make a decision, but if he waits too long, it may be too little, too late.
Not all New Year’s Eve movies are filled with midnight kisses, grand romantic gestures, and new beginnings. If you’re looking for something a little tenser, check out “Midnighters.” It’s a New Year’s Day thriller about a dysfunctional couple involved in a tragic vehicle accident with a pedestrian. Rather than cooperate with the authorities, they hide their tracks and dispose of the body. The cops arrive, and it’s only a matter of time before their lies catch up with them. Talk about getting the year off to a bad start.
28. New Year’s Evil
A masked serial murderer goes on a murdering spree targeting lonely women on New Year’s Eve. His objective, or resolution, is to hit every time zone and murder a new lady before the clock strikes twelve. After receiving a threatening phone call stating that her name is the last on his death list, it’s up to a Los Angeles-based DJ to stop him. If holiday romances aren’t your thing and you want something a bit more adventurous, this gruesome New Year’s Eve horror film is perfect for you.
Breakthrough music singer Layne (Dia Frampton) repurchases a trip home to spend New Year’s Eve with her closest friend, Cassie, desperate to overcome writer’s block (Ashley Argota). Layne visits a clairvoyant in Nashville, who urges her to return to the source that first inspired her to compose music. That night, Layne and Cassie spend their New Year’s Eve on the hunt for Layne’s ex-girlfriend Caroline (Kelly Lynn Reiter), whom she never really recovered. However, as the night develops, Layne begins to suspect that Caroline was never the issue. And that her inspiration has always stood by her.
Jerry (Gerry Katzman) and Marty (Dyan McBride) throw a combined housewarming and New Year’s Eve party for their 12 best friends, all of whom happen to know one other in one way or another. As the crowd thins, they get around and begin reeling off their New Year’s resolutions one by one. The party, however, takes a turn for the worst as shocking truths are revealed, prompting the group to break into groups fiercely. Marriages will be tested, friendships will be lost, and some will discover love in an unexpected twist.
“Bloodhounds of Broadway” has a basic idea, but its characters are incredibly nuanced. On New Year’s Eve 1928, a bunch of problematic people — gangsters, showgirls, gamblers, and musicians — and a nosy journalist intend to attend New York City’s craziest New Year’s Eve party. Throughout the night, the crew’s secrets are disclosed – some life-threatening, others sad. Will everything be resolved by midnight? Only time (what little there is of it) will tell.
This period piece stars Jennifer Grey, Julie Hagerty, Matt Dillon, Randy Quaid, and Madonna, among others, from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
32. The Children
“The Children,” one of the rare horror films based on New Year’s Eve, follows two sisters who prepare an extravagant New Year’s weekend holiday for their husbands and children in a magnificent, rural English house. What was intended to be a fun weekend of sledding, hot chocolate, snowball fights, and other winter activities turns into a nightmare when one of the children begins to show signs of an unexplained disease.
As the days pass, the other children act strangely as well, and it quickly becomes evident that the ailment they’ve received is a virus that transforms them into little murderers.
This one takes place on New Year’s Eve in a hotel, and each room the bellhop visits has its mini-movie-within-a-movie by a different filmmaker. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are among the directors, and you can see the seeds of some of their previous films – Rodriguez’s feature is a lot like an R-rated version of Spy Kids!
This 1952 sports romance film commemorates one of the finest New Year’s Day traditions: the Rose Bowl. The plot revolves around a Midwest football team in sunny California after their prayers to participate in the Rose Bowl are answered. The team’s quarterback, Steve, meets the beautiful Denny Burke the day before the big game. Steve, smitten, asks for her phone number, and the two make plans to spend New Year’s Eve together. Steve is obliged to stand her up due to a team emergency. He is hoping that she will still come to see him play. This New Year’s Day game isn’t only about a trophy; it’s also about Steve’s heart.
Everyone except Fredo wishes you a Happy New Year! While The Godfather Part II does not occur entirely on New Year’s Eve, the movie has one famous NYE party in Cuba, complete with a New Year’s kiss you never want to be planted on your face.
New Year’s Eve is a time for some to rejoice. It’s the end of one year and the (nearly) beginning of another. And everyone gets the opportunity to bid a decent farewell to the previous 12 months and, potentially, start new for the following 12. That may mean dressing up to the nines, popping some champagne, and going out till the wee hours of the morning. Alternatively, it may imply curling up with some nice jammies, plenty of snacks and sweets, and an outstanding on-theme movie. Whatever your plans are for New Year’s Eve, the 35 movies listed below are perfect to watch while getting ready for a night out, at midnight, or even while nursing a hangover on New Year’s Day.