The Best New Year’s Eve Movies to Ring in 2021


The passing of Christmas doesn’t mean you have to or should give up the cozy vibes of a night in with a holiday movie. The season gives us a moment to look back before we push forward—and a classic New Year’s movie may be just what provides optimism for a renewing 2021.

Is New Year’s really a movie genre? No, but it’s threaded through enough good-to-great movies spanning decades to qualify as its own impressive catalogue. The holiday may be hiding in a scene here or there in movies you’ve already seen, from Ghostbusters II to Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2017 Oscar winner Phantom Thread. And then there’s the most romantic New Year’s Eve ever in The Apartment—worth its own toast. There are also many laughs to be had without settling for lame romantic comedies. Here are the best New Year’s movies to ring in the 12 months ahead.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

When Harry Met Sally

Romantic comedies don’t have to just be sentimental. When Harry Met Sally (with a script by Nora Ephron) proved they could be actually riotously funny. A blooming New Year’s romance turns into one of the funniest movies ever made.

Stream it here

Phantom Thread

Despite the lack of nudity and sex on the screen, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is easily one of the kinkiest movies of recent years. Daniel Day-Lewis’s fastidious dressmaker falls for a young woman with the help of poisonous mushrooms. The killer shot of the couple dancing amid a mostly empty New Year’s party is reason enough to watch.

Stream it here

About a Boy

If HBO’s The Undoing had you thinking “Why isn’t Hugh Grant in more stuff?” revisit his supremely charming About a Boy. From his cad-turned-dreamboat glory days, it really gets going with a romantic New Year’s Eve scene opposite Rachel Weisz.

Stream it here

Sleepless in Seattle

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were at the top of their game as America’s favorite movie couple here, and a sweet New Year’s Eve scene makes it a fitting holiday rewatch.

Stream it here


Carol is one of the lushest romances in recent years, lesbian or otherwise. The secret yearning between Cate Blanchett’s older, refined Carol and Rooney Mara’s Therese is made stronger by the holiday backdrop—especially a New Year’s scene in which they consummate their irrepressible physical desires.

Stream it here

The Godfather Part II

Francis Ford Coppola’s hybrid prequel and sequel to The Godfather is the ultimate gangster New Year’s entertainment. The Havana-set end-of-year party is the opposite of joyous, featuring a kiss of death that’s still hard to shake.

Stream it here

Ghostbusters II

The Ghostbusters sequel got a bad rap. Maybe it couldn’t replicate the magic of the original, but it has some delightful performances, creepy slime scenes, and an amusingly animated Statue of Liberty tearing through the streets of New York on New Year’s Eve. What’s not to love?

Stream it here

Rosemary’s Baby

There’s no shortage of Christmas horror movies, but New Year’s has its own scary gems. The best of the bunch is Rosemary’s Baby. While the holiday is backdrop, the end-of-the-year scene is just as unnerving as every other second of this masterpiece.

Stream it here

Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard offered a biting critique of the Hollywood Dream Factory of the old days that’s still like no other. And as such, it wouldn’t be complete without a dreary New Year’s Eve party for two from which no one walks out happy.

Stream it here

New Year’s Evil

Horror fans shouldn’t sleep on this deeply underrated 1980 slasher. It’s packed with style and of-the-moment music, following a new wave and punk rock host MCing what should be a fun New Year’s countdown until a killer gets involved. Watching this gem, however, is the definition of delightful.

Stream it here

The Apartment

There’s perhaps no better romantic comedy than The Apartment, which has heart and soul that make Love Actually look like a Hallmark TV movie (which it basically is). It crescendos with an astonishing New Year’s Eve sequence in which Shirley MacLaine abandons her plans to be with the damaged man she really loves.

Stream it here

Strange Days

Sci-fi and the holidays can, in fact, go hand in hand. Not long after cinematic geniuses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow were married to each other, the latter directed a screenplay by the former following the twisted dystopian last days of 1999 as brain-scanning recordings allow users to sift through a gruesome murder. It’s one hell of a cyberpunk way to celebrate the new millennium. (It’s not currently available to stream, but you can still buy the DVD.)

Trading Places

Eddie Murphy was at his comedic height in Trading Places, swapping roles with Dan Aykroyd in a criminally funny but also thoughtful sendup of American meritocracy and capitalism. Naturally it involves New Year’s corporate shenanigans.

Stream it here

The Gold Rush

Don’t knock silent comedy movies until you try them. The Gold Rush is perhaps Charlie Chaplin’s best, and the one he wished to be remembered for. A New Year’s Eve dinner provides only a fraction of the delirious hijinks.

Stream it here


Before South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho won Best Picture for Parasite, he directed his first primarily English-language movie with Snowpiercer. A rattling sci-fi thriller likely to give you a fear of trains for a while, it also stages a bizarre schoolroom “New Year” celebrating the titular train’s travel around the icy earth. That’s just window decoration on this hyper-stylized nightmare.

Stream it here

Forrest Gump

It can seem like there’s hardly any part of American history Tom Hanks’s Forrest Gump didn’t touch. Between Elvis Presley and two presidents, it can be hard to linger on Forrest and Lieutenant Dan at a New Year’s bash. Like the rest of the movie, it becomes part of our country’s hazy collective memory.

Stream it here

Better Luck Tomorrow

If you dig director Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious movies (Tokyo Drift, Fast Five) then you need to go back to his acclaimed 2002 crime movie. Focusing on hyper-achieving Asian-Americans entering a world of conning and excess and leading to a bloody New Year’s Eve, it’s brimming with the kind of style and rhythm, not to mention a complex moral outlook, most crime movies can only dream of.

Stream it here

Boogie Nights

Paul Thomas Anderson announced himself as one of Hollywood’s great new directors with this dive into the old-school LA porn industry. It features one of the more traumatizing New Year’s Eve parties ever committed to film, showing William H. Macy making a lethal move into the 1980s.

Stream it here

Two Lovers

Skip crappy romantic comedies as you celebrate New Year’s with your partner, and instead find your way to this passionate, artful drama starring a troubled Joaquin Phoenix in Brighton Beach, New York City, courting two women. The tension leads to a momentous New Year’s Eve party resolution.

Stream it here

Bitter Moon

Bitter sums up this underseen, ink-black erotic thriller from Roman Polanski about two couples aboard a cruise ship with plenty of secrets to spare. It all comes to a head during a New Year’s Eve celebration with a fetishistic twist.

Stream it here

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button