The 10 best New Year's movies

Watch them on your own or with the whole family – our favourite New Year's movies never get boring

Watching a movie at home
(Image credit: Getty)

Coming up with even an approximation of a definitive 'best New Year's Even movies' list is a task to be reckoned with and required much discussion among the RealHomes team. Films are always subjective, and sometimes, you just can't stand that one film everyone else regards as a classic. Conversely, we may have omitted an absolute favourite of yours that you rewatch every year in late December. 

The movies on this list don't all feature a New Year's Even party in them, although a couple do have important scenes set on NYE. Instead, we've gone for movies that never get boring, from nearly every genre there is – comedy, drama, sci-fi, fantasy, and even Japanese anime. Most of these films can be watched with kids but are equally appealing if you're on your own this New Year's. Like a fluffy blanket, they're guaranteed to make you feel cosy. 

If you are wondering where to watch them, many of these films are on Netflix and Prime – a streaming device is also a good idea.

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Well, we won't get any points for originality with this movie, but it is perfect and can't be beaten for watching on New Year's Eve. After all, it has one of the most moving scenes set at a NYE party ever, and quite easily the best dialogue in a romantic comedy ever. And Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal? What a pair!

2. The Hobbit trilogy (2012-14)

This could've been The Lord of the Rings just as easily, but The Hobbit movies win by a smithereen because in the second film, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a gold-encrusted dragon, which is our favourite among the many other delights in this trilogy. 

3. Ice Age (2002)

Because the long-suffering Scrat has got to be one of our favourite characters ever, and because there are five of them to watch! At least the first three are pure genius, an all of them are funny, colourful, and can be watched with or without the kids.

4. Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray is at his 1980s finest in this uplifting comedy about a cynical man who gets to turn his life around through the most unusual of circumstances (we won't spoil it for you just in case you're under 30 and still haven' seen it). The perfect film to motivate you to stick to those New Year's resolutions. 

5. Bridget Jones's Diary

Love it or hate it, but Bridget Jones is a timeless classic – that was made nearly 20 years ago! Rene Zellweger is charming (if a little too pretty) as the unlucky-in-love journalist who will be presented with a choice between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. That alone makes this sweet comedy well worth another go.

6. Back to the Future (1985)

Is it a sci-fi movie, a weird rom com, or a drama? Actually, it's all three, and it's absolutely brilliant, 35 years after its initial release. It has the most wonderful lead character played by Michael J Fox you'll want to root for, plenty of gasp-inducing plot twists, a flying car, and a fantastic soundtrack. 

7. Phantom Thread (2017)

This is one of the best films we've seen in a long time, and it does have scene set at a New Year's Eve party. It also has beautiful dresses, a fabulous plot twist at the end, and Daniel Day Lewis in his final pre-retirement role – in our opinion, quite possibly his best ever. It's a tender, moving film that's part romantic drama, part fairytale, part...detective story? You decide!

8. E.T. (1982)

Well, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to tear up a little at the end of this one, even if you've seen it a million times. The touching tale of a young boy who makes friend with the eponymous 'Extra Terrestrial' is funny and cute, and moving – it's the perfect movie to watch a family, or on your own when you feel like a good cry. 

9. It Happened One Night (1934)

One of the best classic screwball comedies, It Happened One Night boasts one of the silver screen's best couples ever: Claudette Colbert's doe-eyed, spoiled society girl who falls for Clark Gable's irreverent, penniless journalist. Hilarious dialogue, beautiful cinematography – we could watch this at any time of year.  

10. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

Easily one of Studio Ghibli's best animated feature films ever, My Neighbour Totoro is charming, stunningly beautiful, and so imaginative that it has us giggling with delight every time we rewatch it. Suitable for watching with even very young children, it's a real treat for the senses. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.