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13 Best Movies to Ring in the New Year

Another year gone, and another year to come. 2023 was certainly an impactful year for many, and though we’ve reached some dizzying highs and unfortunate lows, it’s finally time to get ready for 2024. It also means it’s time to throw up some decorations, grab some noisemakers, and put pen to paper for your 2024 resolutions. Most importantly, it’s time to grab a bottle of your favorite champagne (or sparkling cider) and cozy up on the couch with your loved ones for a befitting New Year’s Eve movie marathon.


Whether you favor romantic comedies, horror movies, or action movies, there is something to suit all tastes. Complete with New Year’s Eve countdowns, ball drops, New Year’s Eve kisses, resolutions, and unrequited love, these movies are sure to get you in the mood for 2024. Here are the 13 best movies to help ring in the new year.

Updated Dec. 31, 2023: It’s time to celebrate New Year’s Eve once again! This list has been updated with even more information about the best movies to ring in the new year.


13 New Year’s Evil (1980)

In New Year’s Evil, a New Year’s Eve-themed horror movie, a misogynistic murderer calls into a New Year’s Eve countdown event hosted by Diane “Blaze” Sullivan (Roz Kelly). The caller calls himself “Evil” and claims that when the clock strikes midnight in each time zone, a “naughty girl” will be punished. As the night progresses, a plethora of women across LA are butchered, until the killer emerges in real life at the party to punish Diane as well.

A Horrifying New Year

Horror fans can rejoice, as the underrepresented holiday of New Year’s Eve finally has a bona fide horror mascot. Joking aside, this early 1980s slasher film has more than just a novel premise. Roz Kelly delivers an amicable performance in one of her few horror roles, having previously starred in Happy Days alongside Henry Winkler. Those who enjoy the numerous projects produced by The Cannon Group will also be happy to know that New Year’s Evil was released under their umbrella. For fans of the obscure, the film’s titular theme song has also become a cult favorite among horror enthusiasts.

Stream on Prime Video

12 Strange Days (1995)

This sci-fi thriller is not only set at the end of the year, but also at the end of the millennium, thus capitalizing on Y2K hysteria. Strange Days recounts the story of ex-police officer Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes), who now makes his living selling virtual experiences through real-life videotapes he acquires through Tick (Richard Edson). When Lenny comes across what appears to be a snuff film, his cop intuition kicks in, and he begins investigating. Angela Bassett is also attached to the cast as Lornette Mason.

Strange Days Saw Strange Reviews

A polarizing film during its release, Strange Days does admittedly feel dated more than two decades after Y2K. However, despite failing at the box office, some view Strange Days as one of the most underrated sci-fi movies of its era. The film’s director, Kathryn Bigelow, would be the first woman to win Best DIrector at the Saturn Awards, with Angela Bassett simultaneously winning Best Actress. Its intense themes, graphic content, and noir sensibilities make it a fascinating film from the mid 1990s.

Stream on Max

11 New Year’s Eve (2011)

While it may not be one of Garry Marshall’s best films, New Year’s Eve certainly captures the spirit of the holiday. The film is part of a trilogy of sorts with two other Garry Marshall-directed holiday-themed movies; Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. As for the film itself, it tells a variety of stories about those facing troubles during New Year’s Eve, from simple romantic squabbles to grandiose gestures.

New Year’s Eve Is a Straightforward Rom-Com

The story may be your typical rom-com fare, but the movie features an all-star cast with the likes of Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Ludacris, Ashton Kutcher, Robert DeNiro, Sarah Jessica Parker, and many more. It’s a great film for those interested in a lighthearted story to ring in the new year.

Stream on Max

10 Boogie Nights (1997)

Make sure you put the kids to bed before you indulge in this film. Boogie Nights gave Mark Wahlberg a chance to shed his “Marky Mark” persona indefinitely. Wahlberg plays Eddie Adams, a.k.a. Dirk Diggler, a well-endowed fledgling adult film star recruited by filmmaker Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). His meteoric rise and catastrophic fall in the industry is subsequently chronicled, complete with all the excesses you’d come to expect from such a profession. The film’s infamous New Year’s Eve scene is enough to give it a spot on this list.

Boogie Nights Was Critically Acclaimed

Despite featuring some particularly adult content, Boogie Nights was a smash hit with critics. It’s a film that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of its subject, all while painting a complete picture of what it’s like working in one of the most explicit industries you can find. Of course, it would be an incredibly important film for Mark Wahlberg as well, whose performance as the film’s lead would catapult him into future stardom.

Buy or Rent on Prime Video

9 Four Rooms (1995)

Set in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve, Four Rooms was co-written and co-directed by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Allison Anders, and Allison Rockwell. Each director handles a single segment in this farcial anthology film. It stars Tim Roth as Ted, a bellhop who is unwittingly involved in the events of four separate rooms in the fictional Mon Signor hotel, with each tale being more bizarre than the last. However, it does make for an interesting New Year’s Eve.

Four Rooms, Four Stories

Being an anthology film, your mileage will obviously vary with each of the four segments. However, you certainly get the most bang for your buck in terms of variety. A stunning ensemble cast, along with one of the few on-screen roles played by Quentin Tarantino, make Four Rooms an entertaining romp to close out the year. Being that each segment takes place in the same building, they also connect to each other in a way that feels natural and appropriate.

Buy or Rent on Prime Video

8 Diner (1982)

Diner tells the tale of a group of close friends reuniting around the holidays to prepare for their friend Eddie’s (Steve Guttenberg) New Year’s Eve wedding. The friends revisit their old hangout, Fell’s Point Diner, and come to terms with their newfound adulthood while mostly behaving like children. Written and directed by Barry Levinson, this dramedy features a cast comprised of Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Paul Reiser, Kevin Bacon, and Timothy Daly, in addition to Guttenberg.

Diner Is an Improvised Dramedy

Featuring a series of vignettes that play to the cast’s strengths, Diner is a surprisingly compelling film for featuring such a simple premise. It’s as if the group of friends we barely spend two hours with have been on-screen for decades, with some genuine chemistry to be found throughout their frequent interactions. Though general audiences may have passed on Diner during its original release, critics raved over its convincing relationships.

Stream on Max

Related: The Best Movies About Getting Older for the New Year

7 Money Train (1995)

Yes, Money Train is exactly what it sounds like. Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson star as foster brothers John and Charlie Robinson, respectively, who team up to rob a “money train” running along the New York City Subway. The pair decide to rob the train on New Year’s Eve, when the train’s security is at its loosest. Jennifer Lopez co-stars as Grace Santiago, a new transit officer that captures the heart of both brothers.

Money Train Is Ridiculous Fun

Money Train – not to be confused with Money Plane, though that film was also highly entertaining – is nothing but dumb fun. Harrelson and Snipes co-starred in White Men Can’t Jump prior to Money Train, carrying their infectiously charismatic chemistry into this film as well. It’s certainly welcome, as Money Train‘s focus is scattered across numerous different concepts all clashing together at once. But, in an odd way, the sheer chaos going on in Money Train feels appropriate for the manic elation that comes with New Year’s Eve. It’s a film that attempts to do many different things, ultimately making the sum of its parts more engaging than they are individually.

Buy or Rent on Prime Video

6 Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Bridget Jones’s Diary is a movie tailor-made for New Year’s Eve. Interestingly, the film is an adaptation of an adaptation, being based on the titular 1996 novel which itself was based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The film follows protagonist Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) as she diarizes her resolutions for the year ahead. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant co-star as potential romantic interests for Jones, which inadvertently throws her life into a brand-new direction. The movie ultimately spawned two sequels, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Bridget Jones’s Diary Is a New Year’s Resolution Movie

Bridget Jones’s Diary is technically a romantic comedy, but it certainly favors the comedy part of the equation. Everyone in the cast does a fantastic job of delivering the screenplay’s well-crafted jokes, with Zellweger herself earning a nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Of course, Grant and Firth put on a clinic as well, crafting one of the most thoroughly entertaining entries on this list.

Stream on Paramount+ With Showtime

5 While You Were Sleeping (1995)

The Sandra Bullock hit While You Were Sleeping tells the story of Lucy, a lonely, love-lorn transit token-operator who saves the life of the man she is currently crushing on when he falls onto transit tracks. At the hospital, while Peter (Peter Gallagher) is in a coma, Lucy (Bullock) accidentally announces herself as his fiancée. His family quickly welcomes her as their own, and she falls in love with them as well. The plot thickens during a New Year’s Eve party when Lucy realizes that she may have feelings for Peter’s brother, Jack (Bill Pullman).

While You Were Sleeping Is a Classic

Aside from featuring a terrific performance by Sandra Bullock, While You Were Sleeping is a rom-com driven more by its intriguing setup and the hilarious hijinks that ensue. Ethical issues aside, the premise is handled in a way that feels charming instead of caustic, presenting our protagonist as someone who simply wants to connect with others instead of acting selfishly. It’s a feeling that genuinely resonates with New Year’s Eve. After all, we all want to celebrate with others instead of celebrating alone, right?

Stream on Disney+

Related: 8 New Year’s Eve Movie Scenes That Are the Opposite of Celebratory

4 Snowpiercer (2013)

The dystopian drama Snowpiercer is set on New Year’s Eve circa 2031, following a failed global-warming experiment that leaves the entire world frozen. The only survivors are those who happened to be aboard the “Snowpiercer,” a train that circumnavigates the globe. Being stuck on the train for the past 17 years, the passengers have created their own socioeconomic classes and structures. Each train car houses a different class, and naturally, a revolution ensues when Curtis (Chris Evans) encourages the lower-class passengers to fight for fairer treatment.

Snowpiercer Is an English Bong Joon-ho Film

Surprisingly, Snowpiercer was the brainchild of Bong Joon-ho, the acclaimed South Korean director responsible for incredible films like The Host, Memories of Murder, and Parasite, the latter of which being the first ever non-English-language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. That in of itself is a convincing reason to watch Snowpiercer, which is considered to be Bong Joon-ho’s fantastic English-language debut. If that’s not enough, however, this dystopian action film features some incredible performances from Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, with some visually stunning sequences set in the wintry snow you’d expect around New Year’s Eve.

Stream on Netflix

3 When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Rob Reiner directs When Harry Met Sally, one of the best romantic comedies of all time. In the film, Reiner attempts to address the age-old adage: “Can men and women ever really be friends?” Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) meet in their college years when they carpool back home for the holidays. The two then go their separate ways. However, their paths continue to cross throughout their lives, and their relationship deepens until they sleep together one night. From then on, everything changes.

When Harry Met Sally Is a Peak Rom-Com

When Harry Met Sally is not only an incredible rom-com, but its arguably one of the greatest films of the 1980s. It’s hilarious, it’s endearing, and it’s home to some of the most memorable comedic scenes that are still commonly referenced to this day. The cherry on top is the film’s dramatic New Year’s Eve scene, acting as a beautiful culmination of the film’s will-they-or-won’t-they romance. It’s one of the all-time greats, and frankly, it’s hard to go wrong watching it on New Year’s Eve.

Stream on Fubo TV

2 An Affair to Remember (1957)

An Affair to Remember

An Affair to Remember

Release Date
July 11, 1957

Director
Leo McCarey

Cast
Cary Grant , Deborah Kerr , Richard Denning , Neva Patterson , Cathleen Nesbitt , Robert Q. Lewis

Rating
PG

An Affair to Remember is a classic love story that begins with a New Year’s kiss. Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) and Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) meet on an ocean liner bound for New York. The two are already in committed relationships, but throughout their encounters, they realize they are in love with each other. As the ship is set to dock, and the pair begin to part ways, they vow to end their respective relationships and meet again atop the Empire State Building in six months.

An Affair to Remember Is Worth Remembering

An Affair to Remember is a remake of 1939’s Love Affair, which featured Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. There is also a 1994 version starring Annette Benning and Warren Beatty. However, any iteration of this film is one worth watching. It’s a delightfully sappy film whose focus on New Year’s Eve may as well be a footnote compared to its other positive qualities. If you watch this film for anything, it’ll be because of the compelling relationship built between Grant and Kerr on the silver screen, cementing its legacy as one of the most romantic classical Hollywood movies.

Buy or Rent on Prime Video

1 200 Cigarettes (1999)

200 Cigarettes is the quintessential New Year’s Eve movie. Monica (Martha Plimpton) is throwing a New Year’s Eve party at her New York City apartment and is neurotically terrified that no one will show up. Meanwhile, the film follows several groups of people who are on their way to the party and the events leading them there. It boasts an all-star cast including Paul Rudd, Courtney Love, Christina Ricci, Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Affleck, Dave Chappelle, and more.

200 Cigarettes Is a Perfect Movie for New Year’s Eve

Given 200 Cigarettes‘ plot, there really is no better film to ring in 2024. The numerous stories on offer here present a unique perspective only found in the era they were made in. Though some elements are unfortunately of their time, the majority of the film is an entertaining romp through the wild streets of New York City, with some impressive early performances by established actors like Paul Rudd. If nothing else on this list fit the mood of ringing in 2024, 200 Cigarettes will be your best bet yet. 200 Cigarettes is not available on streaming.

Of course, if you’re planning on imbibing this New Year’s Eve, you may need a fun movie to pass the time with. If you’re in the mood to play a fun drinking game with your feature film of choice, check out our video featuring the best drinking game movies below.

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