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.
Inspirational Movies for New Year’s Eve
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. Doctor Strange
If you’re looking for more action with your inspiration, queue up Doctor Strange and lay in some snacks. This comic book movie is more than it appears on the surface. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a neurosurgeon who loses the use of his skilled hands in an accident. Bitter and full of despair, he sets off on a last-chance journey to learn the mystic arts to recover his abilities. On the way, he learns about the powers of faith, loyalty, and friendship.
10. Generation Startup
Looking to make big career changes in 2018? 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.
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 2018 with a fresh and renewed frame of mind.
Featured Image: CC0 Creative Commons by bosmanerwin via Pixabay.