The spirit of reflection and resolution is a popular theme when it comes to a lot of Hollywood classics. So, it’s no surprise that a holiday marked by such sentiments has been featured across so many films.
Perhaps your resolution this New Year’s resembles the hero’s journey: a call to action and commitment to change against all odds. Maybe you’re more of the rom-com type, just focused on securing that midnight kiss with the one that got away.
Either way, if you’re already imagining the trailer of the coming year, or reminiscing on the highlight reel of years past, there’s a perfect New Year’s movie out there for you.
Whatever you choose, kick up your feet and get cozy. Gather up your favorite movie snacks, a special cocktail, and leftover Christmas cookies and settle in for a long night of cinema gold.
• Sleepless in Seattle
Few arcs capture the holiday’s spirit of hope quite like Sam Baldwin transitioning from a heartbreaking scene about talking to his deceased wife on New Year’s Eve to seeking new love on Valentine’s Day.
This classic rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will have you running to the Empire State Building to profess your feelings for the one you love.
• Waiting to Exhale
If you’ve got some baggage you’re eager to be rid of in the new year, save yourself the matches and arson charges and enjoy this catharsis — along with the beautiful friendship of four women (Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon)—from the comfort of your home.
• When Harry Met Sally
Watching two people fall in love over the course of several years is always gratifying, but Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal perfected the process in When Harry Met Sally.
Their climactic New Year’s kiss is one of the all-time most romantic, slow-burn smooches of all time. Treat yourself to watching it while the ball drops.
• About Time
When 21-year-old Tim Lake, played by Domhnall Gleeson, learns that he has inherited the ability to time travel and can do anything so long as it doesn’t alter history, his plan is simple: Get the girl.
Of course, winning the heart of the love of his life, played by Rachel McAdams, proves to be the last of his worries as time unfolds.
Much of Rent take place between Christmas and New Year’s, but more importantly, the musical is a great film to watch either to end or start the year.
It’s a good opportunity for reflection in the way the characters “remember a year in the life of friends,” as one might say. It genuinely captures the hope that a new year might bring to anyone.
• Lady Bird
Ring in the year with Lady Bird and her family in Greta Gerwig’s award winning coming of age comedy about a girl in her senior year of high school, eager to shake off the trappings of her west coast town for the sophisticated life she dreams of in New York City.
A movie about mother-daughter relationships, friendship, first love, and that time in your life when everything is ahead of you.
This isn’t just one of the great New Year’s movies, this is one of the best dystopian thrillers in years.
Forced to live on a train that circles the world in an endless loop, the back half of the carts, who live in squalor, decide to rise up under Chris Evans‘s leadership and take down the wealthy upperclass who’re toasting to another year of splendor.