That we’ve almost made it to the end of 2021 is a difficult concept to grasp. To be perfectly honest, we’re eager to wave goodbye to yet another perplexing and trying year.
A new holiday tradition was born this year when we watched all of our favorite holiday movies in a row, from comedies to dramas to a horror film. (“You” being New Year’s Evil, of course.) Don’t worry, we’ve included all of the major streaming services—Amazon, Netflix, and so on—in our list. Take a seat on the couch with your favorite New Year’s Eve drinks and appetizers and watch one of these must-see films. The following list of 35 movies about New Year’s Eve will help you welcome in 2021 in style and ease, from New Year’s Eve to When Harry Met Sally.
1. ‘New Year’s Eve’ (2011)
What’s the story here? This heartwarming film, which has shades of Love Actually and Valentine’s Day to it, follows the New York City lives of numerous couples and individuals as they get intertwined on New Year’s Eve. Although it’s not the best film by filmmaker Garry Marshall, it’s still a worthwhile watch.
2. ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (1993)
What’s the story here? No greater New Year’s Eve movie than this tear-jerking tale of an adorable young boy’s plot to bring together a widower and an unsatisfied journalist. Be prepared to shed a tear when Hanks’ character claims to be drinking a beer with his late wife on New Year’s Eve. (Nora Ephron’s hilarious speech is always a plus, of course)
3. ‘Happy New Year, Charlie Brown’ (1986)
What’s the story here? On New Year’s Eve in 1986, Charlie Brown has no choice but to attend Peppermint Patty’s New Year’s Eve party, even though he needs to complete reading “War and Peace.” And why not begin the year with the Peanuts crew, with whom we’ve celebrated nearly every previous holiday?
4. ‘Rent’ (2005)
What’s the story here? One of the most popular musicals of all time is the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning production. The film, like the stage productions, delves into the lives of New Yorkers who are attempting to cope with the AIDS epidemic that is sweeping through their city. Taking place between Christmas Eve and New Year’s, the first act brilliantly depicts the spirit of new beginnings that accompanies each new calendar year.
5. ‘Four Rooms’ (1995)
What’s the story here? On New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, four stories of depravity take place at the fading Hotel Mon Signor, loosely inspired on Roald Dahl’s adult fiction. Not suitable for youngsters, this one was written by Quentin Tarantino of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
6. ‘Waiting to Exhale’ (1995)
What’s the story here? On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, four friends search for true love in this poignant picture based on Terry McMillan’s best-selling novel. Our year may be worse than Basset’s character’s, who was dumped by her husband and burned his BMW ablaze to start the new year off. (The Whitney soundtrack alone makes this one a must-see.)
7. ‘About Time’ (2013)
What’s the story here? In this inspiring film, we see a young guy discover that he can travel back in time. It was only natural for him to go back to the New Year’s Eve party and kiss the girl he was having feelings for. This is a lovely reminder to savor each and every moment.
8. ‘Forrest Gump’ (1994)
What’s the story here? Forrest Gump, despite his infantile instincts and learning problems, enjoys a rather normal life. However, his connection with his childhood sweetheart presents difficulties. This movie takes place on New Year’s Eve, but we don’t need an excuse to see it because it’s a classic.
9. ‘Two Lovers’ (2009)
What’s the story here? It is a story about a bachelor who is divided between the woman he wants to marry and the gorgeous but troubled new neighbor he has met in Brooklyn. Because, of course, New Year’s Eve is the setting for the dramatic finale.
10. ‘Are We There Yet?’ (2005)
What’s the story here? It’s a safe bet that you’ve completely forgotten about this one. When Nick (Ice Cube) is forced to transport his girlfriend’s reluctant children from Portland to Vancouver on New Year’s Eve, a substantial portion of the film takes place. They’ll try to sabotage him at every turn.
11. ‘The Holiday’ (2006)
What’s the story here? Amanda and Iris have agreed to swap places during the holidays in order to avoid their relationship woes. Winslet and Diaz act in the film. Spoiler alert: Both of these characters suddenly fall in love. Although the New Year’s Eve scene is brief and occurs near the film’s finish, it’s undeniably one of the most heartfelt.
12. ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ (2001)
What’s the story here? Bridg’s love life is chronicled in her journal throughout the British comedy, which begins and finishes on New Year’s Eve. We’re not shocked that two sequels were born from this appealing film.
13. ‘Poseidon’ (2006)
What’s the story here? “How is a movie about a luxury cruise liner deemed a New Year’s Eve film?” we know you’re thinking. Poseidon’s shipwreck occurs just at midnight on New Year’s Eve, as it did in the original 1979 sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and its 2006 remake, Poseidon.
14. ‘While You Were Sleeping’ (1995)
What’s the story here? This is the story of a Chicago Transit worker who falls in love with a stranger and saves his life from an incoming train. When he gets into a coma, she pretends to be his fiancée. During the New Year’s Eve scenario, the “L” train employee learns that she has affections for one of the unconscious man’s siblings.
15. ‘Phantom Thread’ (2017)
What’s the story here? A renowned dressmaker’s meticulously planned life is disturbed by the arrival of a young, determined lady, Alma, who becomes his muse and girlfriend. We’re gushing over the fantastic New Year’s Eve party scene in London in the ’50s, which will make you wish you had lived there.
16. ‘Snowpiercer’ (2013)
What’s the story here? Think about this: Earth has become an inhospitable icebox due to an attempt to prevent climate change in 2031. Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the world in an infinite loop, holds the last survivors. The character played by Chris Evans begins his uprising against the aristocracy on New Year’s Eve.
17. ‘Sex and the City’ (2008)
What’s the story here? To put it another way, the New Year’s Eve sequence with Carrie sprinting through New York’s cold streets while Mairi Campbell’s “Auld Lang Syne” plays in the background is the heart-wrenching part of the film, even though it takes place over one year.
18. ‘200 Cigarettes’ (1999)
What’s the story here? 200 Cigarettes follows “a group of twenty-somethings” as they struggle to deal with the stresses of relationships, loneliness, and desire on New Year’s Eve in 1981, just like the first New Year’s Eve.
19. ‘Ghostbusters 2’ (1989)
What’s the story here? They’re back, but this time they’re taking on the Statue of Liberty, who awoke just in time for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Exactly what I was looking for. Everyone will be relieved to begin the new year without a gigantic underground river of slime pouring through the streets thanks to this funny film.
20. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989)
What’s the story here? A pair of New Yorkers who are persuaded that men and women can’t just be friends are the focus of this funny romantic comedy. It’s at a New Year’s Eve party (perhaps the most significant scene) when the New Year’s link is made. Classic.
21. ‘Trading Places’ (1983)
What’s the story here? During a bet between two millionaires, a snooty investor and a street con artist find their roles reversed. Trading Places spans Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, with the most important sequences taking place aboard a train at an end-of-year party. This one is guaranteed to make you giggle all the way to the year 2021.
22. ‘Boogie Nights’ (1997)
What’s the story here? To be clear, this film is only for those over the age of 18. For those seeking an R-rated way to bring in the new year, check out this video about the adult movie industry, which has a particularly intense (and explicit) New Year’s Eve party.
23. ‘MOney Train’ (1995)
What’s the story here? It’s ideal to rob a NYC subway train on New Year’s Eve, according to this movie, because that’s when the system’s revenue is at its highest. Lopez’s role as Officer Grace Santiago (who the robbers are both in love with and fleeing from) is merely the frosting on the cake.
24. ‘New Year’s Evil’ (1980)
What’s the story here? At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, a disc jockey in Los Angeles receives an urgent phone call from a wicked assassin who plans to kill a lonely single lady in every time zone. That includes her, too.
25. ‘Carol’ (2016)
What’s the story here? The film, set in the 1950s, tells the story of two women from different social classes who meet and fall in love. There can be no better setting for their first kiss than an enormous New Year’s Eve party.
26. ‘Happy New Year’ (2014)
What’s the story here? To pull off the largest diamond robbery ever, a group of amateur dancers enters a competition and ends up winning the hearts of millions of people.
27. ‘Strange Days’ (1995)
What’s the story here? By illegally selling virtual reality-like recordings that allow users to experience the emotions and past experiences of others, a former cop turned street hustler discovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in the dying days of 1999.
28. ‘Ocean’s 11’ (1960)
What’s the story here? Danny Ocean and a gang of World War II veterans attempt to loot five Las Vegas casinos at midnight on New Year’s Eve in this 1960 Rat Pack thriller, which was remade in 2001 starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon.
29. ‘The Godfather Part II’ (1974)
What’s the story here? The sequel focuses on Vito Corleone’s early life and career in the 1920s, as his son Michael consolidates and extends the Corleone criminal family’s empire. The “kiss of death” sequence, one of the most iconic in the film, occurs on New Year’s Eve, even though it isn’t the focus of the story.
30. ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ (2005)
What’s the story here? A vicious street gang attacks a defunct Los Angeles precinct office, forcing an odd alliance to emerge between a highway patrol officer, two felons, and a station secretary. Although it’s not the most joyous film on this list, much of the action takes place on New Year’s Eve.
31. ‘Holidate’ (2020)
What’s the story here? Sloane, a twenty-something single, is sick of being set up on awkward dates by her family. Soon after, she meets Jackson, who has his own set of relationship woes. For obvious reasons, they both agree to be the other’s “Holidate,” or platonic plus-one, on all of life’s special occasions.
32. ‘A Lot Like Love’ (2005)
What’s the story here? On a flight to New York City, two strangers, Emily and Oliver, meet and begin a relationship. Throughout the years, the two had come across each other in the most unlikely locations. A unforgettable kiss on New Year’s Eve is only one of the things they do together.
33. ‘About a Boy’ (2002)
What’s the story here? Boy, 12, organizes blind date to make mother happy. Rich womanizer with no day job has life changed.
34. ‘Sunset Boulevard’ (1950)
What’s the story here? Norma Desmond, a former silent cinema actress, engages scriptwriter Joe Gillis to help her relaunch her career. Things get worse for both of them when she refuses to realize that her career may be finished. Because of her fantastic New Year’s Eve celebration, we’ve included this one.
35. ‘High school Musical’ (2006)
What’s the story here? Troy and Gabrielle’s New Year’s Eve karaoke date is one of the most memorable in movie history. In the end, Troy discovers that his one-night singing partner is his new classmate, and the two develop a relationship and star in their high school’s spring musical as a result.