Staying Up Till Midnight Won't Be a Problem With These 40 New Year's Movies
Ringing in the new year from the comfort of your couch doesn’t mean you have to forgo your flute of Champagne. After all, who said you can’t have your own little party for one on New Year’s Eve? For starters, you get to avoid all the large crowds, long lines, overpriced cocktails (this alone is enough to make me want to stay in), and the post-midnight traffic. Plus, you get to party in your pajamas all night and you’re already within walking distance of your bed. Doesn’t sound like a bad time, if you ask me.
From board games and New Year’s-themed jello shots to jotting down your New Year’s resolutions and catching up with friends and family over video chat, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself awake and busy until the clock strikes midnight. However, if you’re determined to see the first minute of the new year, you’re going to need an activity that’ll help pass the time and keep you entertained.
Enter: our massive, comprehensive catalog of New Year’s movies. While you may be familiar with the classics like Bridget Jones’s Diary, Holidate, Are We There Yet?, and the iconic New Year’s Eve, there’s more out there. Romantic comedies have dominated the holiday-movie space – particularly Christmas movies – since forever. But every now and again, we get a crime thriller, a period drama, or a psychological slasher thrown into the mix to help spice things up during this very chilly time of the year (depending on where you live). With an array of New Year’s movies this diverse, there’s something for everyone.
Check out the New Year’s movies we’re most excited to stream in the slides ahead, along with storyline descriptions and featured cast members. Believe it or not, we’ve found enough movies to keep you booked and busy on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!
The Age of Adaline
Adaline Bowman is not like other girls. Starring the iridescent Blake Lively, The Age of Adaline tells the remarkable story of one woman’s rather unusual life in which she stops aging after her 29th birthday. With eight decades of being 29 years old under her belt, Adaline has ensured that the way she lives her life is foolproof and no one will ever suspect her immortal existence. However, when the heartthrob Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) walks into her life on New Year’s Eve, her plan goes out the window, as does her heart. A weekend getaway to his parents’ cottage proves detrimental to their relationship after Adaline’s long-suppressed secret is revealed, and involves someone else close to Ellis’s heart.
A Lot Like Love
In this mid-2000s romantic comedy, two strangers named Oliver (Ashton Kutcher) and Emily (Amanda Peet) meet on a flight from Los Angeles to New York and enjoy the mile-high club together. Upon landing, they decide it’d be best to go their separate ways, but as months go by they can’t help but wonder what if. Over the next seven years, fate brings Oliver and Emily together multiple times; however, the timing for a relationship is never right. So, they remain friends – until they’re both alone (and thinking about each other) on New Year’s Eve.
Desperate to pay off his tidal wave of gambling debt and then some, a dirty NYC transit cop concocts a plan to rob the “money train” that transports the Transit Authority’s daily earnings on New Year’s Eve. The only problem is, Charlie (Woody Harrelson) will have to either convince his responsible, goody-two-shoes brother – who’s also a transit cop – to cooperate or outsmart him altogether in order to pull off the heist. Then, there’s the beautiful Officer Grace Santiago (Jennifer Lopez), who has both of these cops wrapped around her pretty little finger. She certainly wouldn’t approve of this. All’s fair in love and . . . robbery?
The holiday greeting “Merry New Year!” derives from the ’80s comedy film Trading Places, which follows successful commodity brokers and brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke. The duo stage an experiment to see if a street hustler and a top executive from their own firm can switch places, and survive living in the other person’s shoes. The catch? They’re carrying out the experiment without telling the subjects – Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) – anything about it. When Valentine and Winthorpe realise they’re pawns in the Duke brothers’ shady game, they join forces and hatch a plan for revenge.
A Netflix original movie, Holidate centres around Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey), two single young adults who are sick and tired of having to spend the holidays without a built-in plus-one. Desperate to get her family off her back, Sloane takes a page out of her aunt’s (Kristin Chenoweth) book and proposes that they be each other’s holidate. The rules are simple: they only speak and see each other around the holidays, and under no circumstances can they have sex – things are to remain strictly platonic. It’s a foolproof plan until Jackson sees Sloane in her sexy New Year’s Eve number, which only fuels the burning tension between them even more.
If you take anything away from this movie roundup, it’s that “New Year’s Eve” and “cruise ship” should never be in the same sentence. While aboard the vast and very luxurious RMS Poseidon cruise liner for New Year’s Eve, around 2,000 passengers’ lives are put in grave danger after a massive tidal wave capsizes the vessel. Deserted in the transatlantic ocean, the survivors must put their differences aside and their brains together to design a plan to outlast the sinking ship until help arrives. Emmy Rossum, Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, and Andre Braugher star in this edge-of-your-seat action-thriller feature.
When Harry Met Sally...
It’s been 10 years since Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) shared that dreadful car ride from Chicago to New York bickering about whether platonic friendships between men and women really do exist. When they run into each other all those years later, the debate still stands, and so do their opinions. As the two begin to spend more quality time together, they reevaluate their own friendship. Can they keep things platonic without sex getting in the way? Spoiler alert: they can’t, and what follows is one of the most memorable New Year’s Eve kisses in all of romance history!
High School Musical
If anyone is familiar with the magic of a New Year’s Eve party, it’s Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), who first lock eyes during a heartwarming karaoke duet at a ski resort on NYE. Before the clock strikes midnight, they exchange numbers only to discover a few weeks later that they’re classmates. Being the new girl comes with its challenges, like the fact your crush is the most popular guy at school and everyone else has a crush on him, too. Troy only has eyes for Gabriella, but when she invites him to sing a duet with her in the spring musical, his ego gets in the way.
About a Boy
For many, New Year’s is the perfect time for change, which is exactly what Will (Hugh Grant) is in for in this film. A 30-something-year-old Londoner, Will is wealthy, immature, irresponsible, and a womaniser. But all that changes on New Year’s Eve when a 12-year-old boy named Marcus walks into his life. In a moment of fear, Marcus turns to Will for support and reveals his mother has been battling depression and suicidal thoughts. With no father figure in his life, he grows attached to Will and vice versa. Will eventually realises that his partying days no longer fulfil him, playing a parental role in Marcus’s life does.
A book-to-film adaption, Carol is a romantic-drama period film that chronicles an illicit love affair between Carol (Cate Blanchett), a New Jersey housewife, and a department clerk named Therese – made illicit by Carol’s marriage and the unconventional nature of their relationship. Set during the holiday season in 1950s Manhattan, Carol first meets Therese while shopping at her store and the two strike up a conversation, agreeing to meet again. As their connection deepens, so does their lust for one another, which comes to fruition on New Year’s Eve in the form of a passionate kiss. Carol’s plan to leave her marriage is hijacked after her husband finds out about her affair and consequently threatens to keep her away from their daughter should she continue to see Therese.
New Year's Eve
From the director who brought us Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day comes another holiday-inspired movie laced with interconnected storylines about NYC residents on the city’s biggest night of the year, New Year’s Eve. The film takes viewers all over the Big Apple, from the ball drop in Times Square to a glitzy celebrity party starring musical guest Jon Bon Jovi. There’s even a battle between two expecting couples who race to win the cash prize for welcoming the first baby of the new year. Expect to see several familiar faces like Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Halle Berry, Josh Duhamel, Jessica Biel, Zac Efron, Hilary Swank, Héctor Elizondo, and more.
Bridget Jones's Diary
At age 32, this is the year Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) gets her life together, and when better to start than on New Year’s? To help hold herself accountable, she buys a diary and vows to always write the whole honest truth about everything going on in her life, from how she feels about her weight, age, and physical appearance to her job and (lack of a) sex life. As she documents every thought, feeling, and emotion in her diary, things begin to progress in real life when she and her boss engage in a steamy secret office romance that comes to a screeching halt due to his lacklustre personality and unattractive character. Just when Bridget thinks she’s back to square one, she runs into an old acquaintance who might just have the brawn and wits to sweep her off her feet. Also starring in this hilarious holiday rom-com are Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
No holiday-movie roundup would be complete without the Peanuts gang! Following the beloved Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmastime specials comes a funny and light-hearted New Year’s-inspired tale about Charlie Brown, along with his trusty sidekick Snoopy. What has Charlie gotten himself into this time, you ask? He’s found himself at a crossroads about how he wants to spend the last day of the year. Does he go accept his invitation to Peppermint Patty’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve bash, or stay within the comforts of his own home and finish reading War and Peace? Honestly, a pretty relatable situation to be in.
This ensemble comedy takes places over one long night: New Year’s Eve 1981. The film follows a group of young New Yorkers as they wander around the city looking for love and a raging NYE party. Along the way we meet the sad and recently dumped Kevin, whose boisterous friend Lucy is convinced that if they hook up, Kevin’s spirits will be lifted. Then there’s Monica, an overanxious party hostess who’s trying to entertain her friend’s Irish ex-boyfriend. And we can’t forget Stephanie and Val, who get into quite a wild adventure of their own down in SoHo at a punk club where they meet some pretty interesting men. This ’90s flick features a star-studded cast including appearances from Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Ben Affleck, Christina Ricci, and Martha Plimpton.
For most young adults in the United States, turning 21 means finally being able to grab a beer with your friends, but for the men in the Lake family, it means something much more. Domhnall Gleeson stars opposite of Rachel McAdams in this sappy British rom-com about a young man’s ability to travel back in time and alter his past. Tim uses this as a chance to finally land the girl of his dreams on New Year’s Eve, and it works. However, as the two of them begin to build a life together, Tim realises there are some things his special ability can’t change.
While You Were Sleeping
This Sandra Bullock-led film revolves around a single transit worker named Lucy whose day gets turned upside down after she saves a man (who she had been crushing on for quite some time) from an approaching train, and winds up pretending to be his fiancée upon learning he’s in a coma. But wait, things get even messier. The man’s family arrives at the hospital for visiting hours and stumble upon Lucy, who continues to play the fiancée card. After spending so much time with her fake soon-to-be in-laws, Lucy begins developing real feelings for Jack (Bill Pullman), the brother. Everything comes to a climax on New Year’s Eve when Lucy sets the record straight and finds her voice.
Are We There Yet?
If you want to date Suzanne (Nia Long), you have to get through her children, Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Daniel Bolden) first. That being said, it’s a good thing her new boyfriend, Nick (Ice Cube), loves a challenge, because he’s about to be stuck in a Lincoln Navigator with the two little gremlins as they embark on a New Year’s Eve road trip from Oregon to Canada. The kicker? Suzanne isn’t in the car with them – she had to stay back for work, so Nick’s on his own. Time is on Lindsey and Kevin’s side, and they’re more than ready to put their best pranks into action.
Someone Like You
Jane Goodale’s (Ashely Judd) life is the stuff some women dream about. She’s a daytime TV producer and has a steamy romance with the show’s dreamy executive producer. All is right in the world until their love story is abruptly cut short, and Jane’s left alone, hating men. She decides to conduct a little experiment, and begins an anonymous sex column with her womaniser roommate, Eddie (Hugh Jackman), as her main subject. Laugh along as Jane critiques her findings and voices her opinions about men – Eddie in particular – which may or may not end in a sultry New Year’s kiss.
The New Year
An aspiring writer, Sunny (Trieste Kelly Dunn) takes a leave of absence from her college studies to move back home and look after her ill father. After taking a temp job at the local bowling alley, weeks turn into months and eventually years as Sunny deals with being at home with her father. As the holidays roll around once more, things finally start to look up for Sunny. She meets someone special, and the more time they spend together, the faster and harder she falls in love. If things stay how they are, Sunny can be looking at the best New Year’s she’s ever had.
Back in town for his buddy’s New Year’s Eve wedding, Billy (Tim Daly) rallies together the groom and their closest pals at the local diner for old time’s sake. It’s then and there that the men realize they aren’t ready to let go of all the wild, crazy times they once had – both on their own and together. They spend the night reminiscing about the past, while also getting vulnerable about the challenges they’re currently facing as young adults. In the end, the group promise they’ll stick together no matter what. Then they remember they have a wedding to attend!
Sleepless in Seattle
A son’s innocent pursuit to find his widowed dad a new wife takes their relationship to new heights and big cities in this emotional cinematic masterpiece directed and co-written by Nora Ephron. After professing his loneliness and feelings on a talk-radio show, Sam (Tom Hanks) receives a letter from a woman on the other side country named Annie (Meg Ryan). In the handwritten note, she mentions hearing him on the radio and expresses an interest in meeting him face to face. Overrun with emotion, Sam uses New Year’s Eve to reflect on the life he and his late wife once shared before deciding whether to meet up with Annie.
Not all New Year’s movies are packed with midnight kisses, big romantic gestures, and fresh starts. If you’re in the mood for something a little more hair-raising, then you’ll love Midnighters. It’s a New Year’s Day thriller that follows a troubled couple after they get into a fatal car accident involving a pedestrian. Rather than come clean to the police, they proceed to cover up their tracks and dispose of the body themselves. The cops come knocking, and it’s only a matter of time before their lies get the best of them. Talk about starting the year on the wrong foot.
The Godfather Part II
The story of the Corleone family and their vengeful wrongdoings continue in the hit family-crime film The Godfather: Part II. Told in dual timelines, Sicilian-born Vito Corleone’s (Robert De Niro) 1901 journey to New York and how he rose to mob royalty is interspersed throughout. Meanwhile, roughly half a century in the future, Michael (Al Pacino) goes on a binge, expanding the family business on their home turf as well as in Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Cuba. All goes successful until Michael is the victim of an attempted assassination in his own home. Enraged, he sets forth to find the person responsible, which he believes to be a traitor among the Corleone family business. On New Year’s Eve, everything comes to a head when Michael corners his brother Fredo and unveils that he knows of his disloyalty to him and the business. His confession is sealed with a New Year’s Eve kiss.
After a monster ice age puts the entire world under a frozen ice spell, a group of survivors seek comfort and shelter on the Snowpiercer, a luxury train whose carriages confine and organise passengers based on class. As time slowly passes with little to no improvement, the train’s poorest travelers devise a plan to take control of the engine room on New Year’s, while the wealthier passengers are distracted with their extravagant celebrations. Under the leadership of their new lower-class captain, Curtis (Chris Evans), they set forth. But in order to reach the front of the train, they’ll have to make their way through every carriage and its increasingly wealthy guests.
An Affair to Remember
Despite a ring on her finger and a fiancée of his own back home, two strangers spark up a steamy affair after sharing a romantic New Year’s Eve kiss while traveling on an international cruise from Europe to New York. As the title suggests, it’s an affair to remember. As the boat reaches the dock, they promise that in six months they’ll meet at the top of the Empire State Building and pick up where they left off. The plan goes amiss when she gets into a terrible accident and has no way of relaying a message that she won’t be waiting for him on the 102nd floor. Cary Grant stars opposite of Deborah Kerr in this 1957 holiday-romance film.
Set on New Year’s Eve, this ’90s comedy anthology features actor Tim Roth who portrays the new bellhop at Hotel Mon Signor, a privy establishment nestled in the hills of Hollywood. As if working your first shift on New Year’s Eve isn’t stressful enough, Ted is left abandoned at the front desk to cater the guests’ needs, which increasingly get more bizarre by the minute. From being coerced into babysitting a guest’s children, to a a gaggle of witches requesting the honeymoon suite, Ted is in for one wild night. Co-written and starring the legendary Quentin Tarantino, this film proves not all New Year’s Eve plans end in fireworks, champagne, and a midnight kiss.
Down in the dumps about her love life, Iris (Kate Winslet) steps out of her comfort zone and agrees to an international house swap with a woman named Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who’s LA lifestyle proves to be more gloomy than sunny. Trading in her stilettos for snow boots, Amanda makes her way to a secluded English village where a chance encounter introduces her to Graham (Jude Law), Iris’s very handsome brother. Meanwhile, Iris finds herself rather smitten by Amanda’s musically talented neighbour (Jack Black). While The Holiday may be considered one of the most quintessential Christmas movies of the holiday season, the characters’ storylines come to wrap on New Year’s Eve with a celebration guaranteed to make your heart melt into a million tiny little pieces.
In the ’50s, there’s only one place to go if Londoners want to be dressed like royalty, and that’s The House of Woodcock, home to the city’s premier dressmaker, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis). A tailor by day and bachelor by night, Reynolds lives and breathes couture and with the help of his sister, has been able to catapult his store into the heart and soul of British fashion. From heiresses and socialites to debutants and movie stars, everyone wants a piece of Woodstock fashion. His store and heart are put in jeopardy after he meets a willful woman named Alma. Having a lover is one thing, but using her as your muse is another. Come for the fashion, and stay for the glitz and glam of New Year’s Eve in 1950s London!
Set in Brooklyn, NY, a struggling photographer (Joaquin Phoenix) exits his engagement, only to find himself stuck in an unexpected yet complicated love triangle shortly thereafter. As the holiday season approaches, he must decide who he’d like to continue seeing into the new year. First there’s Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), a frank, sensible woman, who’s already adored by his parents and would fit perfectly into his life. On the other hand, there’s Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), his alluring and interesting next door neighbour with a messy love life. He has until midnight on New Year’s Eve to choose, but if he waits too long, it could be too little too late.
New Year's Evil
On New Year’s Eve, a masked serial killer takes off on a manic killing spree targeting lonely women as his next victims. His goal, or resolution so to speak, is to hit every time zone and viciously murder a different woman before the clock strikes 12. It’s up to a LA-based DJ to stop him after she receives a threatening phone call that her name is the last on his kill list. If holiday romances aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something a little more thrilling, this bloody New Year’s Eve horror flick is definitely right up your alley.
Turn the heat up a notch with Boogie Nights, a racy film that takes place in late 1970s California and follows one man’s (Mark Wahlberg) dramatic rise and fall to fame in the adult-film industry. Eddie is living the high-life – both literally and figuratively – thanks to his adult-film star persona, Dirk Diggler, and renowned porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). With that lifestyle comes a new group of friends, coworkers, and love interests. Sometimes, money and luxury can lead to consequence. Eddie is about to learn that the hard way when it all boils over at a New Year’s Eve party where things get a little out hand.
Assault on Precinct 13
Due to inclement snowy weather, a prison bus transporting dangerous, high-risk criminals Marion (Laurence Fishburne), Beck (John Alberto Leguizamo) and Anna (Aisha Hinds) is redirected on New Year’s Eve to Detroit’s rundown and short-staffed Precinct 13. As they approach the precinct, Sgt. Jake Roenick’s (Ethan Hawke) satellite connection is intercepted, making it impossible to contact dispatch. Thus he believes, this is an ambush by the corrupt affiliates running the prison. With death on the line, the police sergeant has no choice but to un-cuff and ask the criminals for help. Only together will they be able to make it out of there alive.
Surviving New Year's
Upon moving into their new home together, Jerry and Marty invite their 12 closes friends -who also all happen to know each other one way or another – over for a joint housewarming and New Year’s party. As the gathering starts to settle down, they all huddle together and one by one begin listing off their New Year’s resolutions. However, the kumbaya celebration takes a turn for the worse when alarming secrets are exposed, causing the group to angrily split off into factions. Marriages will be put to the test, friendships will be lost, and in a bizarre twist, some will find love.
In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Set in the City of Angels on New Year’s Eve, one miserable man pledges to spend his New Year’s Eve alone, moping in his bed in the dark while the world around him is celebrating the start of a new year. That plan lasts all of two seconds when his buddy persuades him to leave a personal ad for a midnight companion on Craigslist. This leads him to recently single Vivian, whose New Year’s Eve plans involve kissing anyone but her ex-boyfriend at the stroke of midnight. Despite being total strangers, the two spend the day gallivanting all over the city together. By the time midnight rolls around, it’s as if they’ve know each other all along.
Bloodhounds of Broadway
The premise of Bloodhounds of Broadway is quite simple, however, its characters are very complex. On a chilly New Year’s Eve day in 1928, a group of troubled individuals – gangsters, showgirls, gamblers, and musicians – and a nosy journalist make plans to attend the wildest New Year’s Eve party in New York City. Throughout the night, secrets are revealed among the crew – some life-threatening, others bittersweet. Will everything resolve itself by midnight? Only time (what’s left of it) will tell. This period film features some of the most beloved actors of the late ’80s and early ’90s including, Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), Julie Hagerty, Matt Dillon, Randy Quaid, and Madonna.
I Hate New Years
Desperate to overcome her writer’s block, breakthrough music artist Layne (Dia Frampton) books a flight back home to spend New Year’s Eve with her best friend Cassie. Once in Nashville, Layne pays a visit to a psychic, who advises her to return to the source that originally inspired her to write music. That night, Layne and Cassie spend their New Year’s Eve on a wild goose chase as they try to track down Layne’s ex-girlfriend Caroline, whom she never fully got over. However, as the night progresses, Layne begins to think that maybe Caroline was never the problem, and maybe her muse has been right beside her all along.
One of the very few horror films centered around New Year’s Eve, The Children follows two sisters who plan an epic New Year’s weekend getaway for their husbands and kids at a luxurious, remote English estate. What was supposed to be a vacation filled with sledding, hot cocoa, snowball fights, and other winter activities, emerges into a weekend from hell after one of the children begins exhibiting symptoms of an unknown illness. As the days go on, the other children begin acting strange, too, and it soon becomes clear that the disease they’ve contracted is a virus that shifts them into little murders.
The Rose Bowl Story
This 1952 sports romance film, celebrates one of New Year’s Day’s greatest pastimes: the Rose Bowl. The storyline centres around a Midwest football team in sunny California after their prayers of playing in the Rose Bowl are answered. The day before the big game, the team’s quarterback, Steve, makes the acquaintance of the very beautiful Denny Burke. Smitten, Steve asks for her number and the two make plans to spend New Year’s Eve night together. When a team emergency comes up, Steve is forced to stand her up. However, he’s holding out hope that she’ll still come watch him play. A trophy isn’t the only thing riding on this New Year’s Day game, so is Steve’s heart.