The holidays are officially here. But how are you spending them? If your New Year’s Eve plans are dinner and a night in, then you might have to have a movie ready.
It’s only a matter of which movie you want to ring in the new year with. Chances are, you’re over Christmas movies and are ready for something different.
People seeking a family-friendly option might go for Disney’s contemplative “Soul” or the comedy “Are We There Yet.” For a more timely movie, find one set on New Year’s Eve, like Nora Ephron's famous flick "When Harry Met Sally."
Whether you want to match up a movie for when the clock strikes midnight, or just need some inspiration to head into the new year, here are 30 of the best movies to watch on New Year’s Eve on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Beyond.
‘Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!’ (1986)
While the Charlie Brown Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving specials are more well known, “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!” is an underrated film to watch with the whole family.
‘Are We There Yet?’ (2005)
Nick (Ice Cube) wants to get closer with Suzanne (Nia Long), so he takes her two kids on a trip from Portland to Vancouver on New Year’s Eve to go see her. But the trip becomes much more difficult than Nick thought, and the kids are mostly to blame.
Let’s hope 2024 doesn’t look anything like “Snowpiercer,” but it can still be a great watch for anybody looking to end off the year with an action-packed thriller from the mind of Bong Joon-ho. When the world falls into an apocalyptic ice age, the last remaining humans live on a forever moving train separated by class. As Curtis (Chris Evans) starts an uprising, New Year’s becomes a central aspect to the film.
Mrs. Flax (Cher) and her two daughters, Charlotte (Winona Ryder) and Kate (Christina Ricci), are constantly on the move. But the kids have enough when they move to a small town in Massachusetts, especially after Charlotte meets Joe (Michael Schoeffling). Family drama ensues at a New Year’s Eve party.
‘Now You See Me 2’ (2016)
Illusionists, heists and a stacked cast — “Now You See Me 2” is a follow-up to an ensemble heist movie with card tricks instead of fast cars. The sequel ends on New Year’s Eve in a finale that’s worth staying up past midnight for.
‘Into The Dark: New Year, New You’ (2018)
Four friends reunite at a New Year’s Eve party for a game of “Never Have I Ever.” But as old secrets are revealed, the night quickly goes from nostalgic to violent. For those looking to end the year on a more frightening note, “Into The Dark: New Year, New You” scratches that itch and offers a good excuse as to why you don’t actually want to go to New Year’s Eve parties.
'When Harry Met Sally' (1989)
It's nearly impossible not to love this rom com classic, thanks to its eminently quotable writing Nora Ephron and performances from Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Their lovably idiosyncratic characters, Harry and Sally, go on a 12-year journey, transforming from strangers, enemies to unexpected friends, slowly realizing they might be perfect for each other along the way. The movie includes an iconic New Year’s scene and for the sake of not giving away any spoilers, we’ll just say it’ll make you wonder where your own Harry or Sally is.
'The Age of Adaline' (2015)
Blake Lively’s character Adaline in "The Age of Adaline" challenges the phrase "you only live once" by instead living ... forever. The immortal character attends fabulous New Year’s Eve parties throughout different eras (how else do you mark the fact that you're not growing older as the rest of the world is?). During one such occasion, she meets a dashing Ellis Jones played by Michiel Huisman, who she soon falls in love with. Adaline must face the challenges this new love poses as time ticks on for everyone but her.
'High School Musical' (2006)
Say "High School Musical," and a group of teenagers who have songs and dance moves for every life situation will probably come to mind. If you grew up with a franchise, you may still get butterflies from the moment Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens' characters Troy and Gabriella hit it off for the first time at a New Year’s Eve party. This scene alone will either make you or your teen at home break out into dance moves as you sing along to "Start of Something New."
'New Year’s Eve' (2011)
Follow the intertwining story of different New Yorkers as they navigate love, happiness, second chances and new beginnings on New Year’s Eve. The star packed film, which includes Leah Michelle, Zac Efron and Ashton Kutcher, is certain to have a storyline for whatever mood you are chasing in 2023.
'The Godfather II' (1974)
If there is someone you don’t want to kiss on New Year’s, it’s Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), also known as the Godfather. However, if you are looking for a night packed with crime, suspense and a celebratory atmosphere, the Corleone family is who you will want to spend it with. The crime drama features a New Year’s Eve party in Havana, Cuba, where Corleone comes to heartbreaking realizations concerning members of his most trusted circle.
'The Great Gatsby' (2013)
Who better to celebrate another year of the roaring twenties than with Gatsby himself? The extravaganza of Jay Gatsby’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) parties in "The Great Gatsby," along with his love story with Daisy (Carey Mulligan), will set the mood for a night surrounded by your own “old sports” and glasses of champagne.
'While You Were Sleeping' (1995)
"While You Were Sleeping" has an unusual meet-cute. It all starts at a Chicago train station when Lucy (Sandra Bullock) saves the life of Peter (Peter Gallagher), a passenger she's long harbored a crush on. He ends up in a coma and — due to an error at the hospital — Lucy is identified as his fiancée. At the news of this, Peter's family, including his brother (Bill Pullman), welcomes her into their circle. The film takes place during the holiday season, including a New Year’s Eve scene.
'The Pursuit of Happyness' (2006)
Whether it’s closing chapters or starting new ones, New Year’s is the perfect time to reflect back at the past and look toward the future. "The Pursuit of Happyness" does just that, as Will Smith acts out the life of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman in pursuit of a life-changing career for him and his son (played by Smith's actual son Jaden Smith). The biographical drama will inspire you to chase happiness this new year and fill you with determination to face all the challenges that come with dreaming big.
'About Time' (2013)
If you could relive an era in your life, which would it be and what would you change? Domhnall Gleeson’s character Tim knows his answer in "About Time," as he travels back to a New Year’s party and kisses the girl of his dreams, played by Rachel McAdams, soon after discovering he has inherited his family’s ability to time travel. The film will make you root for love and its never-ending awkwardness.
'Everything Everywhere All at Once' (2022)
How would you define the feeling that sets in your stomach seconds before the New Year’s ball is about to drop? Maybe it’s like feeling everything everywhere all at once. "Everything Everywhere All At Once" is not a New Year's movie, but it touches on the feeling of infinite possibilities that the holiday often is associated with. Travel through alternate universes with Michelle Yeoh as her character is swept up in an adventure where she alone can save the world while exploring all the lives she could have led. The film will make you get deep about parenthood, empathy, and untrodden paths ... and make wonder who you would really like to "just do laundry and taxes with."
'Silver Linings Playbook' (2012)
Whether you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan or Jennifer Lawrence fan, "Silver Linings Playbook" is another film set to help you welcome the new year. Co-starring Bradley Cooper, the movie touches on themes like new beginnings and navigating romantic relationships when you're not quite done healing.
'Forrest Gump' (1994)
Run to the new year with Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, a character who manages to intersect with history, over and over again, simply through lucky timing and sheer openness. The movie might have you thinking about courage, character and taking life for what it is (oh, and chocolate). The movie also includes a New Year’s party with Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise), which, like most New Year’s Eve parties, takes an unexpected direction.
'Bridget Jones’s Diary' (2001)
Glamour and champagne make for a good New Year’s Eve on screen, but if you are looking for a more realistic version of the night, :Bridget Jones’s Diary" is the film you’ll want to watch. The film opens on New Year’s Day, with a single Bridget (Renée Zellweger) spending the day with her family, watching reruns of "Frasier" and listening to "All By Myself." Jones decides to start the year with resolutions that include losing weight, finding a nice boyfriend and doing the week’s laundry of course.
'Groundhog Day' (1993)
Perhaps a lesson learned as the year wraps up is that "tomorrow is another day" — except if you’re Bill Murray’s character on "Groundhog Day." Phil, a cynical weatherman, finds himself in a time loop on Groundhog Day. His predicament drives him to turn the situation into his advantage and soon after desperation, as he falls in love with his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell). This next year doesn't have to be a "Groundhog Day" of the one that came before it.
'Royal New Year’s Eve' (2017)
Have a grand time on New Year’s Eve by watching Hallmark’s "Royal New Year’s Eve." The story follows Caitlyn, an aspiring fashion designer who falls in love with her socialite client’s perspective fiancé, Prince Jeffrey, who is expected to propose at the New Year’s Ball. All Hallmark movies are now streaming on Peacock.
'Bucket List' (2007)
Check off this comedy drama from your own bucket list on New Year’s Eve. The story follows Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), two terminally ill strangers with a mission in common: They want to check off a few last musts before they die. The movie will have you reaching for your own pen and paper on New Year’s Eve and perhaps throughout the year.
An adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel "The Price of Salt," "Carol" follows the unexpected love affair between Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), a young department store worker, and elegant housewife Carol (Cate Blanchett) in the 1950s, with their first kiss happening on New Year’s.
'Ocean’s 11' (1960)
New Year’s is the perfect time for resolutions, new beginnings and according to Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra), casino heists. Follow Ocean and his 11 pals through an elaborate New Year’s Eve heist as they bet their future in Las Vegas. Even if you're already familiar with the 2001 version starring George Clooney, the holiday-set classic starring the much of the Rat Pack is worth a watch.
'Sleepless in Seattle' (1993)
We, too, would go to the top of the Empire State building and look for Tom Hanks, just like Meg Ryan’s character does in "Sleepless in Seattle." Annie surprises herself by falling in love with Sam, a widowed father whose son tries to find him a partner by calling a radio-talk show. The movie will set the mood for New Year’s by also including a reference to the holiday.
'Inside Out' (2015)
This family-friendly film will help you embrace any blue emotions you might be feeling as you say goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023. Taking place in the mind of a middle schooler, "Inside Out" shows how our emotions can often take the reins. They say it's for kids — but "Inside Out" is bound to make the adults in the room cry more.
'Phantom Thread' (2017)
Love, elegant dresses and a New Year’s Eve party is what you can expect from this Oscar-winning film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps. Dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock is living in the British fashion world in the 1950s — dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites and debutantes. His carefully tailored bachelor existence soon gets disrupted by Alma, a strong-willed woman who becomes his muse and lover.
'Ferris Bueller’s Day Off' (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s (Matthew Broderick) skipping school. His big day off consists of stolen Ferraris and Chicago filled adventures as he realizes his high school days are coming to an end. The film will make you want to make every moment count this new year, even the sick days.
'Ghostbusters II' (1989)
Who are you calling on New Year’s? If you’re spending the night with a group of all ages, we recommend you call on the Ghostbusters. The sequel features an action packed slimy New Year’s Eve celebration that will make you slip your way into 2023.
No New Year's resolutions? The animated film "Soul" teaches people this is perfectly fine. After landing the gig of a lifetime, New York jazz pianist Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), suddenly finds himself trapped in a strange land between Earth and the afterlife. Joe soon learns there is something freeing about walking out of the door and enjoying life without needing to prove anything.