Forget Christmas, Here’s The Best New Year’s Eve Movies


Forget Christmas, Here's The Best New Year's Eve MoviesAlamy

Bah humbug! We’ve all had ourselves a merry little Christmas, now it’s time for New Year’s Eve movies. 

Some people like to tear up their local town on New Year’s Eve, others like to stay in with family, and if you’re Scottish, Hogmanay basically just calls for Jackie Bird, booze and Auld Lang Syne.


The sad reality is, like Barney wisely warned, New Year has the tendency to be ‘the single biggest let-down of a night every single year’, chasing the high of that one great party in the past, and something as innocuous as a renewed calendar.

If you’re feeling the end-of-year blues, we’ve got the perfect movies to bring in the end of 2021 along with the bells.

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally. (Columbia Pictures)Columbia Pictures

You’ve probably already watched it this year, given it’s the optimal fall movie next to Planes, Trains and Automobiles. But When Harry Met Sally, one of the best, truest movies about love, features arguably the most iconic New Year’s Eve scene in movie history. ‘I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’


Carol (StudioCanal UK)StudioCanal UK

Todd Haynes’ masterpiece sees the blossoming romance between aspiring photographer Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and the elegant Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). The performances are first-class, the supporting ensemble is impeccable, and every shot is composed with delicate, lavish precision. Even now, it feels like it fell out of space.


High School Musical 

There’s never a wrong time to watch High School Musical, but tonight feels so right. When we first meet Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), it’s New Year’s Eve at a ski lodge, and against their best wishes, they’re forced into karaoke together for a rendition of a little song called Start of Something New. Put it on tonight, ‘someday, you might thank me for this.’

About Time

About Time (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Don’t write that ‘New Year, New Me’ post. Pish posh to resolutions. You’ve been doing fine. If you’re still needing to be convinced, watch About Time, a movie about time travel and why ultimately, despite how much we’ve all pondered it, we should simply live for the moment.

Phantom Thread 

Phantom Thread. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

With the fabulously performed Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson fashioned an expertly crafted, sadist period fantasy – and one of its most pivotal, beautiful moments takes place during a New Year’s Eve party. Some say it’s boring; they’re wrong.

New Year’s Eve 

New Year's Eve. (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

I don’t subscribe to the idea of ‘guilty pleasures’. If you like something, whether it’s a strange food combo or a cheesy movie, own it. Then again, New Year’s Eve is in the gloriously bad camp of rom-coms (hold the com, dread the rom), but paired with a massive glass of wine and some decadent treats, it’s perfect background viewing for you and some pals.

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II. (Paramount Pictures)Paramount Pictures

Is The Godfather Part II a New Year’s movie, in the traditional sense? No. Does it feature any holiday themes? Not really. Does the most iconic scene from the totality of Francis Ford Coppola’s crime saga take place on New Year’s Eve. Yes, yes it does. ‘I know it was you, Fredo.’

The Holiday 

Kate Winslet and Jack Black in The Holiday (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

I hear you: The Holiday is definitely more of a Christmas movie, following Kate Winslet and Jack Black (whose presence makes any movie better), and Jude Law and Cameron Diaz as they fall in love over the festive period. However, it never actually features Christmas Day, and it concludes around lovey-doveyness on New Year’s Eve. So, ha!

About a Boy 

About a Boy. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Fun fact: this movie was my entry point into Hugh Grant’s filmography (perhaps it’s the similarities to Big Daddy which made me fall in love with it, but that’s by the by). Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, Grant plays a layabout man of leisure whose life drastically changes when introduced to Nicholas Hoult’s Marcus on New Year’s Eve.

Bridget Jones’ Diary 

Bridget Jones' Diary (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

Much like Christmas, there’s a defining genre when it comes to New Year’s Eve movies: the romantic comedy. Not only does Bridget Jones’ Diary feature an all-time festive smooch (even despite Colin Firth being the worst on-screen kisser known to man), it’s still one of the most essential British movies, and a delightful way to cap off the year.

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Topics: Film and TV, New Year's Eve, Now

Cameron Frew
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