If you have some free time for New Years Eve, as well as New Years Day, here’s a list of movies that will keep you in the holiday spirit. These films carry a good sentiment for holiday cheer, or at least take place during Christmas or New Years. These may just help you ring in the New Year with a cool movie marathon. I did not include “New Year’s Evil” even though it’s the funniest, worst horror movie set on December 31.
10 Trading Places (1983) Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Lee Curtis made this a fun film about scoring big on the commodities market, and getting even with the rich fat cats. In a nutshell. It takes place during Christmas and New Years, and is a great way to start your holiday movie marathon.
9 Out Cold (2001) Zach Galifianakis and Jason London. Not the smartest movie, but it does have good moments and a few classic scenes. A comedy about snowboarders, it’s worth a peek (no pun intended).
8 Entrapment (1999) Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Set on New Year’s Eve at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, an expert thief (Connery) has a plan to pull off a major bank heist by tapping into the bank’s system at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Good suspense, and great setting.
7 About Last Night … (1986) Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and John Belushi. I always liked this film, especially the opening sequence. It’s a funny movie about one night stands… something many of us have endured on some past New Years Eve.
6 Assault on Precinct 13 – the 2005 remake of the classic John Carpenter movie is set on New Year’s Eve in a police station manned by a mere skeleton crew, when they are attacked by a mob of corrupt cops. This isn’t a faithful remake of Carpenter’s movie, but Ethan Hawke and Lawrence Fishburne do give us a good ride.
5 New Years Day (2000) Two 17-year old boys decide to start the new year by doing twelve perilous, exciting acts. This is a suicide pact made after their classmates are killed in a school tragedy. A dark, but thought-provoking film.
4 After the Thin Man (1936) is also a good pick, but I fear it might be too dated and too black & white for most of today’s audience. For me, it’s just fine. It’s a great movie about blackmail and crime, and takes place during New Years Eve in New York.
3 Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) One of my favorite winter movies. Directed by John Hughes. Steve Martin and John Candy make this an engaging movie about getting home for the holidays. Two brilliant comedians and a great director combine to bring one of the funniest, most memorable movies for the season.
2 Just Friends (2005) Ryan Reynolds is hilarious in his flashbacks of himself as a younger, fatter high school kid. While visiting his hometown for Christmas, he re-ignites his crush on a high school sweetheart, and a rivalry with a high school friend. Old plot, but it’s clever and well done. A brilliant movie, with the some excellent writing and good acting.
1 Better Off Dead (1985) John Cusack starred in this incredible independent comedy film very early in his career. Expertly directed by Savage Steve Holland, and cleverly written. This 80s comedy centers around a ski tournament, and is worth every minute! “I want my two dollars!” after the movie, that line will stick in your head. A good comedy is the best way to spend New Years Eve.
Also: Lord of the Rings – movie marathon. What better way to spend New Year’s eve or day, than by watching a 9 hour movie marathon of the LOTR box set of all 3 films. Some of it even takes place in the snow, so… it does ring true for the holidays!