10 Great New Year’s Movies to Kick-Start the New Year

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10 Best New Year Movies: New Year is typically associated with glitz, glamour, and extravagance, whether it involves breathtaking fireworks, attention-grabbing party attire, or the iconic ball drop in Times Square, New York. When asked about our New Year’s plans, we often enjoy providing a lively and engaging response—one that might include launching fireworks or crafting a special cocktail to mark the end of 2023. After all, it’s New Year’s Eve, a unique opportunity that comes around only once a year.

Nevertheless, New Year’s Eve can also be a laid-back and subdued affair, as we are about to propose. Picture it as a second Christmas, spent in the company of loved ones, clad in comfortable pajamas, and indulging in a marathon of classic movies that extend into the early hours of the morning.

Unlike Christmas, which boasts a plethora of perennial favorites, there are not many films that can be definitively labeled as “New Year-themed.” However, there are several titles featuring iconic New Year’s scenes, unfolding around midnight on December 31, with an aspirational and reflective undertone. It is these films that we are about to present to you, aiming to assist you in planning the most enjoyable movie marathon you’ve had all year.

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So brew up the microwave popcorn, make some room on the couch, and load up a disc or streaming service, because this feature presentation is about to begin!

Best New Year Movies

Best New year movies

Ghostbusters II (1989):
In this eerie sequel, Ray (Dan Aykroyd), Egon (Harold Ramis), Winston (Ernie Hudson), and Venkman (Bill Murray) join forces to thwart the resurrection of Vigo the Carpathian, a tyrant from the 17th century. Meanwhile, beneath the streets of New York, a swirling river of ectoplasm emerges, requiring the uplifting influence of the Statue of Liberty and a spirited rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” to be quelled!

Trading Places (1983):
This earlier Aykroyd film follows him as a wealthy stockbroker who swaps lives with a destitute street hustler (Eddie Murphy) in a social experiment. Set against the backdrop of Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, this clever comedy, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, makes it a solid recommendation for almost any holiday gathering.

An Affair to Remember (1957):
Nickie (Cary Grant) and Terry (Deborah Kerr) find love aboard a transatlantic ocean liner on New Year’s Eve. However, entangled in other relationships, they agree to reunite at the Empire State Building’s summit in six months—if they manage to untangle their romantic ties. Watching this Golden Age classic might just inspire you to plan your own romantic rendezvous on a skyscraper observation deck.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993):
Inspired by the touching romantic rendezvous in “An Affair to Remember,” Nora Ephron brings us this ’90s film. Sam (Tom Hanks), a recently widowed architect, agrees to meet Annie (Meg Ryan), a journalist, atop the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. On New Year’s Eve, in one of the most poignant scenes, Sam envisions sharing a beer with his late wife to the soothing tones of Nat King Cole’s “Stardust.” No, we’re not crying—just a bit of mud in our eye.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986):
In this relatable premise, Charlie Brown strives to complete his book report on War and Peace, continually distracted by discussions about Peppermint Patty’s upcoming party and the possibility of the Little Red-Haired Girl attending. Without giving away the ending, let’s just say things don’t conclude as triumphantly for Charlie Brown this time, unlike in other Peanuts holiday specials!

Yes Man (2008):
This often overlooked comedy, while lacking in New Year’s Eve scenes, exudes a fittingly positive and dynamic atmosphere. Recently divorced banker Carl (Jim Carrey), inspired by a motivational seminar led by wellness guru Terrence (Terence Stamp), embarks on a journey of saying ‘Yes!’ to every opportunity, leading him into some amusingly awkward situations. While Carl eventually learns the importance of saying ‘No’ when necessary, we wholeheartedly agree that embracing the opportunities of 2024 is essential!

When Harry Met Sally (1989):
Nora Ephron’s second contribution on this list stands as one of the finest romantic comedies. In Rob Reiner’s critically acclaimed film, the narrative concludes with a last-minute dash across town—to a New Year’s Eve party where Harry (Billy Crystal) confesses his feelings to his ‘friend’ Sally (Meg Ryan). By the film’s end, you might find yourself turning to your significant other, gaining a newfound appreciation for “the little crinkle above [their] nose when [they’re] looking at you like you’re nuts.”

Snowpiercer (2013):
If the emotional rollercoaster of reunions and love reflections has left you drained, consider adding a unique flavor with the sci-fi gem, Snowpiercer. Set in a dystopian future where humanity survives on a perpetually moving train, Chris Evans’s character, Curtis Everett, leads a revolution against the new class system. In this unconventional world, New Year’s Eve is marked each time the locomotive successfully completes its circumnavigation of the earth!

New Year’s Eve (2011):
In this romantic comedy, directed by the holiday enthusiast Garry Marshall, renowned for Mother’s Day (2016) and Valentine’s Day (2010), the major draw is the star-studded ensemble cast, featuring Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, and Jon Bon Jovi. Think of it as a follow-up to Love Actually (2003), possibly watched just a few days earlier during the holiday season countdown!

The Holiday (2006):
If you find yourself craving a change of scenery during the holiday season, The Holiday offers a delightful rewatch opportunity. Live vicariously through Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), discontent with their love lives, who decide to exchange homes for Christmas. This decision brings them into the company of potential suitors Miles (Jack Black) and Graham (Jude Law). As the story concludes on New Year’s Eve, could it also herald the beginning of two new relationships?

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