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New Year’s Eve is a time for revelry and celebration. We celebrate the end of the year and coming out on the other side and the turning of the year toward spring. As days get longer again, there’s something that stirs the blood.
We begin to look forward to renewal and the promise of a new life. A new year, a new you.
And for many, New Year’s Eve is also a time for contemplation and reflection. We look back over the last year, reflecting on our mistakes. We write lists of resolutions to take these lessons into the future.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate or looking to contemplate, Netflix has a list of movies perfect for ringing in the New Year. Some of these are inspiring films, celebrating accomplishment over adversity. Some are quieter, reflecting on inner change and growth.
All are great movies to watch on New Year’s Eve.
1. The Dead Poet’s Society
Probably one of the most inspirational movies about staying true to your own passions. This 1989 film starring the well-loved actor Robin Williams is a timeless classic. And it’s just as moving as it was nearly 30 years ago.
Williams plays an off-beat English professor who teaches the students at his all-boy’s prep school about the importance of living authentically.
2. The Pursuit of Happyness
This 2006 movie based on a true-life story will inspire. Financially exhausted Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, struggles to succeed. After the collapse of his marriage, Gardner must work himself and his young son out of a life of homelessness.
3. While You Were Sleeping
This sweet romance from 1995 will have you falling in love with love all over again. This quirky story stars Sandra Bullock as a happy-go-lucky subway worker who worships one of the regular commuters from afar.
When he’s mugged on the platform, she rescues him, only for her unrequited love to fall into a coma. But his family thinks that they were really a twosome.
Except for his brother, who knows that something just isn’t right.
4. Queen of Katwe
Another inspirational true-life story, this tale of a poor Ugandan girl’s rise to fame as an international chess championship will put a lump in your throat. With the help of her family and community, Phiona Mutesi goes from living in a slum and selling vegetables in a village market in Katwe to chess master.
5. Bridget Jones’s Diary
This underdog romantic comedy is a classic. Mostly considered a “chick flick,” it’s still a smart and funny rom-com for anyone who struggles with self-esteem. It stars Renee Zellweger, who received an Academy Award nomination for her role, along with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
Part comedy, part romance, this 2001 film makes good-hearted fun of our obsession with self-examination. If you’re tempted to write down 432 resolutions to change your ways this New Year’s Eve, watch this movie first.
6. Newsies: The Broadway Musical
If you’re looking for some wholesome entertainment with singing and dancing, check out Newsies. It’s also a little subversive, with a world-changing inspirational message, too.
Based on real-life events, this musical tells the tale of the Newsboy’s strike of 1899. The story is personified in the character of Jack Kelly, who leads a strike against the Hearst and Pulitzer newspaper empires.
The competing papers had raised their distribution price, which came out of the meager earnings of the thousands of children and teens who sold papers on the streets to live.
7. Begin Again
The new year means a fresh start. And that means a chance to begin again, working toward a better life.
This inspirational movie from 2014 will get you in the right frame of mind to face those resolutions.
Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, this much-lauded movie tells the story of a has-been record producer and a young and hopeful artist who work together to make beautiful music.
8. Sing Street
If Stranger Things has you in an ’80s nostalgia frame of mind, but you’re looking for something a bit more upbeat, check out Sing Street.
Dublin teenager, Conor Lalor, escapes the tension of life at home and school by putting together a rock band, just to impress a girl. For those who remember the 1980s, this film will remind us how much has changed. For those too young to remember, it may surprise them with how little is different.
The soundtrack is the cherry on top, with music from The Cure, A-Ha, Duran Duran, and the Clash.
9. Generation Startup
Looking to make big career changes in the new year? If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit, and you’re looking for inspiration to set you on fire, check out this documentary.
It follows the story of six new college graduates over 17 months as they risk everything to create their dream startup company. The range of backgrounds and ideas presented is refreshingly diverse. This documentary film will either inspire you to take your own risks or make you more grateful for your steady 9 to 5.
10. Licorice Pizza
If you’re looking for a lighthearted movie to watch on New Year’s Eve, look no further than “Licorice Pizza,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in 1970s SoCal, this film captures the joy of a decade ripe with disco.
Cooper Hoffman plays a high school student who falls in love with a photographer’s assistant, Alaina Haim. Anderson is known for his devotion to character development and has a knack for creating wacky situations.
This ’80s drama is one of the best films to watch on New Year’s Eve.
11. The Master
The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, is a film that’s worth a watch. Shot in 65mm, the film’s central character, Lancaster Dodd, is a cult leader who teaches his followers to blame their bad behavior on a past trauma.
The film’s lead character Freddie Quell falls for Lancaster’s hooey and ends up becoming his right-hand man. Amy Adams plays his controlling wife, which makes for an interesting backdrop.
12. Inherent Vice
‘Inherent Vice’, based on the Thomas Pynchon book, is another excellent choice. While the film has no clear storyline, Anderson’s A-list cast makes it well worth seeing. It juxtaposes the idyllic beach life of Southern California with its corrupt underworld.
The dazzling cinematography, the engrossing plot, and the superb performances all make this a great choice for New Year’s Eve.
13. Phantom Thread
Another great film is Phantom Thread, a chamber piece starring Daniel Day-Lewis. This film is a compelling portrait of an artist’s obsession with perfection. It also showcases Anderson’s talent for juggling tones while creating a film.
Although the story involves obsession, the film has moments of light and dark. It will leave you feeling inspired as you watch it.
14. New Year’s Eve
The movie is a Valentine’s Day sequel that takes place in New York and follows the intertwined stories of different characters who meet on New Year’s Eve. The cast includes Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Hilary Swank, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, and the late Jon Bon Jovi.
The movie starts out with some of the best New Year’s Eve scenes in the history of Hollywood. The film also features a memorable ending, as Halle Berry becomes an enigmatic nightclub DJ who wants to see the ball drop from the hospital roof.
If you’re looking for a romantic comedy, “New Year’s Eve” is a good choice. Halle Berry plays Nurse Aimee, a woman who takes care of an elderly patient named Stan. The movie also features Hilary Swank, who plays Claire Morgan, the daughter of Stan di Nero.
The film is also a funny romantic comedy that features a female doctor and a female diver.
15. Jackie Brown
“Jackie Brown” by Quentin Tarantino is a glitzy gangster film that features an ensemble of talented actors. Robert De Niro plays passive ex-con Louis Gara, who lives with arms dealer Ordell, played by Samuel L. Jackson, and sleeps with a house bunny named Melanie.
Other notable performances in this film include Bridget Fonda and Pam Grier.
16. What Just Happened
“What Just Happened” is a satire of Hollywood wheeling and dealing. Although this film is based on Art Linson’s memoir, it is more of a portrait of a middle-aged man who is undergoing a crisis of confidence.
Robert De Niro’s character, a juggled high-powered producer, is dealing with two ex-wives and two kids who are growing up too fast.
17. The Apartment
The best New Year’s Eve movies have a common theme: two lovers who find each other on the last day of the year. “The Apartment” is one such film. Starring Jack Lemmon as “Bud” Baxter, the movie is about a corporate drone who has an affair with his boss’s mistress, Fran (Shirley MacLaine).
Bud is desperate to fix his reputation with Fran and is determined to find her on New Year’s Eve.
18. Sleepless in Seattle
Another classic New Year’s Eve movie is Sleepless in Seattle. It follows two men as they navigate the holidays. One is a single man, and the other is a married man.
The movie takes place over the holiday season. In both cases, the characters deal with loneliness and desire. It also features Kate Hudson and Ben Affleck. This is the perfect film for New Years Eve!
19. An American in Paris
An American in Paris is one of the best movies to watch on New Year’s Eve. This classic musical stars Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron as a couple who travel to Paris to meet their new lover. The plot revolves around the relationships between the couple and the enchanting New Year’s Eve party they host.
The movie has a wonderful new year’s eve party scene and is a must-watch for anyone who wants to get in the mood for a New Year.
20. Love Actually
A musical like “Love Actually” is a great choice for New Year’s Eve. This romantic comedy is the perfect movie to watch with friends and family.
The plot involves the characters falling in love and then having to deal with the consequences. The movie also has the advantage of making it a family affair. An American in Paris is also a great romantic comedy.
There are plenty of other romantic movies to watch on New Year’s Eve, so there’s no shortage of options.
21. 200 Cigarettes
“200 Cigarettes” is a group of New Year’s Eve tales. This one is set on NYE 1981. The characters are making their way to Monica’s party. Martha Plimpton plays Monica, and the ensemble cast is quite impressive. They occasionally get rides from eccentric cab driver Dave Chappelle. This movie has something for everyone. Whether you’re a romantic, comedic, or political movie, there’s a great movie to watch on New Year’s Eve.
22. Ghostbusters II
Almost everyone is going to be watching one of these films on New Years Eve, but how many people know that the movie is appropriate? Thankfully, a simple Google search will tell you that the movie is appropriate for this special night.
The plot of Ghostbusters II leads up to the New Year’s Eve battle. The movie’s slime stream takes center stage at the end of the film, which is about 22:27:52 PM.
Although it lacks the magic of its predecessor, Ghostbusters II does offer many good moments, including charming performances by the cast, a creepy slime scene, an animated Statue of Liberty, and a great New Year’s Eve scene. The film is not only fun, it is also educational and will help you release some of your past demons.
And it’s not just kids who can watch Ghostbusters II!
If you’re looking for a movie to watch on New Years Eve, Ghostbusters II is definitely the right choice. Although it is a sequel to the original, this film is still a PG-rated comedy, starring Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd.
The cast also includes Harold Ramis, who played Egon Spengler and Raymond Stantz, two of the original Ghostbusters.
While this isn’t necessarily a “new year’s movie” per se, it will help you celebrate the New Year in style. This film is a timeless classic that will be perfect for the occasion. Its climax takes place on New Year’s Eve and has the classic characters reuniting for the first time since the first movie. It’s an action-packed movie, and you’ll have a great time watching it with a loved one or a group of friends.
As for the storyline, this movie is more family-friendly than the original.
In this film, the Ghostbusters are out to save New York City from a shape-shifting god. When their actions are discovered, the Mayor dismisses them and orders them to go to a psychiatric hospital. The Ghostbusters must race against time to save the city. In addition to the slime-powered ghost, they are chasing an impenetrable spirit called Janosz.
23. When Harry Met Sally
A romantic comedy like When Harry Met Sally is also a great movie to watch on New Years Eve. This movie isn’t about ghosts, but it’s sure to make you smile.
This movie stars John Travolta and Emily Blunt as lovers. There’s no better way to spend the New Year than with a romantic comedy. With this kind of fun, you’ll have a good time while wishing your loved one a happy New Year.
Let these uplifting and inspirational films on Netflix fill you with hope this New Year’s Eve. Whether you plan to make big changes or simply cherish what you have a little more, you can look forward to waking up in the new year with a fresh and renewed frame of mind.