Whether it’s the booze, the bars or the wild parties, our favorite movies glorify drinking in all its forms—even down to the terrible hangover. Even if you’re just chilling out with Netflix and a bottle of wine for an evening in, one of these classic films—the best drinking movies of all time—is a must-see.
1. The Thin Man (1934)
A retired, hard-boozing investigator and his wife work together to solve a murder case in this pre-Hollywood censorship era picture. Nick and Nora glasses, a form of cocktail glass that sits midway between a wine glass and a coupe, were named after the couple’s drinking habits.
2. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
National Lampoon’s Animal House is perhaps the most iconic drinking movie of all time, leading the way for a slew of other excellent college drinking comedies like Old School and Neighbors and introducing the tradition of wild “toga! toga!” parties to real universities for decades to come.
3. Cocktail (1988)
Fancy bartending got its start thanks to Cocktail. When Tom Cruise was just a bartender, the film depicts him spinning vodka bottles behind his back while serving Alabama Slammers to ecstatic clients, and dancing to the “Hippie Hippy Shake.” In addition to a few cheesy, 1980s-style romance scenes, this is basically the entire plot.
4. Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
At their Hamptons beach house, two finance staff have the time of their lives with their bosses. What’s the only issue? The boss has been killed. To keep the celebration going both with and without Bernie, a series of ridiculous pranks take place.
5. Swingers (1996)
After a few drinks, you’ll be ready to answer any queries. To heal his newly dumped friend Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn plays a womanizer who takes him to Las Vegas for a trip filled with alcohol and women. The term “wingman,” as well as the phrase “Vegas, baby!” said by all inebriated guests, are two of the film’s most memorable aspects.
6. Coyote Ugly (2000)
Ladies, Cocktail is here! Like Coyote Ugly, this film follows the story of an inexperienced bartender at a real-life saloon, who is unprepared for the crazy world of flair mixology. Though “mixology” is a strong word in this situation, considering the beverages of choice are usually just shots of whiskey served by scantily clad cowgirls line dancing on the bar top..
7. Sideways (2004)
Paul Giamatti plays a depressed, divorced, failing writer who merely wants to taste excellent wine on a road trip through the Santa Ynez Valley with his closest buddy, who, on the other hand, wants one final passionate fling before he vows to lifetime monogamy. Critics adored the heart-warming dramedy, which earned a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award and nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. However, the same could not be said about Merlot, which was tarnished by Giamatti’s passionate tirades against the fruit.
8. Beerfest (2006)
You won’t find Beerfest to be a great film, but if you accept it for what it is—a silly, meaningless, and hysterically delightful film about competitive beer drinking—you’ll find it enjoyable. Watching “Das Boot” and cheering for “Murica!” as the underdog U.S. team takes on the Germans is a great pre-game activity with friends.
9. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Even though The Big Lebowski isn’t a drinking movie, the Coen brothers’ film spawned a nationwide craze for the White Russian, the Dude’s favorite libation. Fans of the film are still drinking the creamy cocktail while imitating Jeff Bridges’ beloved Duderino and admiring how the rug actually binds the whole space together nearly 20 years after its premiere.
10. Roadhouse (1989)
While the bartenders are the subject of this 1980s classic, the bouncer (the doorman) is the star. As Dalton, Patrick Swayze portrays a professional “cooler” whose intimidating reputation causes everyone to say that they “expected he’d be bigger.” While protecting patrons from boisterous customers, Swayze also has to contend with an unscrupulous businessman who intends to murder his victims.
11. Casino Royale (2006)
Even while James Bond is mostly to blame for customers ordering watery Vodka Martinis, shaken rather than stirred, he’s also to thank for popularizing the elegant cocktails. While there have been many Bond films where these cocktails have appeared, Casino Royale is the most recent.
12. The Hangover (2009)
In The Hangover, you won’t see a lot of drinking, but that’s because the film focuses more on the aftermath of the bachelor party of the century. When you’re feeling bad about your own drunken behavior, the Hangover trilogy is a great choice because phoning your ex seems like a minor inconvenience compared to coaxing a tiger into a hotel room.
13. The World’s End (2013)
Several middle-aged friends meet to take on their small English town’s greatest challenge: a pub crawl through all 12 of the local haunts, culminating at The World’s End bar, in this British comedy. Even if the town’s populace hadn’t been replaced with angry androids, it would still be a challenge to drink twelve pints in one night. It’s a great way to catch up with old pals over drinks, minus the demon robots, in this wacky sci-fi flick.
14. Drinking Buddies (2013)
It’s an understated, hyperrealistic dramedy that transforms the When Harry Met Sally premise (two best friends who are intended for each other) into the real world, where missed opportunities, difficulties, and a lot of drinking are the norm. The film is heavily unscripted, allowing the audience to feel like they’ve been invited to join the protagonists for a pint of their favorite brew.
15. The Great Gatsby (2013)
When it comes to throwing a party, no one does it better than Jay Gatsby, and Baz Luhrmann’s extravagant adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel will have you dancing the night away till morning. It’s much simpler to imagine yourself at one of Jay Gatsby’s wild parties now that the story is set in the age of Prohibition.