20 Movies to Watch on New Year's Eve Before the Clock Strikes Midnight

From Old Hollywood glamour to romantic midnight kisses, these films will keep you entertained until the ball drops.

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For many, New Year's Eve is all about dressing up and heading to a glamorous end-of-the-year bash to ring in January 1. For others, it's a time to stay in and reflect on the past 365 days. No matter what group you fall into, the glitzy holiday often has some down time as you wait for the ball to drop. One way to expedite your way to midnight? Watch a movie that gets you into the New Year's Eve mood.

Kick off your marathon by turning to films that feel like they were made to be watched on the holiday. From action-packed flicks to movies with epic New Year's Eve scenes, there are a handful of films that are perfect for viewing during the glitzy holiday.

When Harry Met Sally

One of the most popular romantic comedies ever made, When Harry Met Sally, follows two longtime friends who work to navigate their relationship while living in New York City. The film comes to a head with one incredible New Year's Eve party scene.

New Year's Eve

Nothing says New Year's Eve quite like a movie titled after the holiday. This flick features several couples and singles as their lives intertwine over the course of December 31. The star-studded cast features everyone from Zac Efron to Robert DeNiro.

Are We There Yet

This kid-friendly film is guaranteed to earn some giggles before the clock strikes midnight. It follows a character named Nick as he travels with his girlfriend's kids from Oregon to Canada on New Year's Eve. What he doesn't know? The children are determined to make his life a nightmare during their trek.

The Great Gatsby

Filled with all the glitz and glamour many often dream of come New Year's Eve, this fabulous film—based on the famous novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald—has champagne, sparkles, romance, and a lot of 1920s-esque drama.

An American in Paris

Dancing legend Gene Kelly plays an American painter struggling to find work and love in Paris. The Old Hollywood film features a black-and-white New Year's Eve bash that will get you excited for your own holiday festivities.

While You Were Sleeping

In this romantic comedy, a train ticket collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a comatose patient, but it's the New Year's Eve scene towards the end of the movie that earns this flick a spot on our list.

Waiting to Exhale

This film, which starts and ends on New Year's, follows four friends as they navigate their way through careers, family, and romance.

About Time

The time traveling main character in this film uses his powers to go back in time to fix a New Year's Eve kiss, as well as many other mishaps throughout the course of his life.

High School Musical

New Year's Day is the start of something new, and so is the opening scene of this classic, kid-friendly film. The movie kicks off on the night of December 31 when two high school students sing a karaoke song together while on vacation with their parents.

Trading Places

Start the new year off with sidesplitting laughter by watching this comedy, starring Eddie Murphy. The film, which spans Thanksgiving to New Year's, follows a small-time con artist who gets the chance to switch lives with a stock market maven.


An unconventional single mother relocates her two daughters to a small town in Massachusetts in this charming coming of age film. It has Cher, a New Year's Eve costume party, and plenty of laughs. What more do you need for an end-of-the-year movie marathon?

Ocean's Eleven

Craving some adventure before the ball drops? Ocean's Eleven has plenty of it. While it may not seem particularly festive, the film's infamous heist takes place on New Year's Eve.

It's a Wonderful Life

An angel is sent from heaven to save a down-on-his-luck businessman by showing him what life would've been like if he had never existed. The timeless holiday film will make you feel extra grateful before heading into a new year.

Money Train

Another action-packed film that has an epic New Year's Eve heist, Money Train stars two crooked cops (played by Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes) as they work to rob a trainload of subway fares.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown

From Halloween to New Year's, Charlie Brown is there to keep you entertained throughout the holiday season. In this end-of-the-year film, the peanuts crew heads to Peppermint Patty's New Year's Eve party while Charlie Brown is stuck writing a book report.


Survivors of Earth's second ice age live out their days on a luxury train that's sectioned by class. The passengers celebrate a new year every time the locomotive makes a loop around the world.

Bridget Jones's Diary

At the start of the new year, Bridget Jones decides to take control of her life and subsequently starts a diary. Throughout the next 365 days, she pens every detail of her personal story into the notebook.

200 Cigarettes

A gaggle of singles living in New York make their way to a rowdy New Year's Eve party in this 1999 film, which stars Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, and Dave Chappelle.

An Affair to Remember

A man and woman fall in love while on a cruise from Europe to New York. Despite being engaged to other people, the duo share the perfect New Year's Eve kiss

A Long Way Down

Based on the acclaimed novel by Nick Hornby, this film follows four strangers who planned to end their lives on New Year's Eve. But when they meet by chance on a rooftop, they agree to wait six weeks to enact their plan. Along the way, the group forms bonds that gives them a reason to live.

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