New Year's Eve is traditionally one of the most disappointing nights of the year. Every restaurant offers an overpriced, overproduced prie fixe menu that means you’ll be dining at either 6:30, 8:30, or 10:30. If you don’t have a decent house party to go to, you’ll overpay to go to some bar or club filled with amateurs. And in forcing yourself to have a good time, you’ll drink too much and fight with someone, probably your girlfriend, but possibly just some pizza guy on the phone because it’s 4 AM and you still haven’t gotten your food.

That’s how mine have gone. Your experiences may vary.

However, amid all the disappointing New Year’s Eve celebrations, there are a few gems. Similarly, this list is populated by several overhyped empty films, but peppered with a few memorable ones, as well.

So chill the champagne and tell the sitter you’ll be home by one, even though you have no intention of being back before 3 AM, because the new year is upon us.

The Godfather Part II

Say what you want about Batista, but the man can throw one hell of a New Year’s eve bash. There’s nothing that this party doesn’t have, including the Sicilian kiss of death from Michael Corleone to his brother Fredo after learning that Fredo betrayed the family. Batista announces that he is stepping down after rebels gain power, the party dissolves and everyone goes batshit crazy celebrating and rioting in the streets as the tides turn.

Much more interesting than watching the ball drop with either Ryan Seacrest or Dick Clark.

Trading Places

On this New Year’s Eve (possibly New Year’s Day), a man dressed in a gorilla suit got raped by an actual gorilla. There are some other occurrences germane to the plot, but the real takeaway here is that a man got raped by a gorilla.

Strange Days

Strange Days
was written by a fellow named Jay Cocks. It is also a cyberpunk (God, the 90’s were stupid) film about the last night of 1999 in Los Angeles, a city now devastated by crime and poverty. Basically, a bunch of needlessly complex and not at all realistic technobabble takes place, and at the end of it all, two cyberpunks (ugh) named Lenny and Mace share a kiss as the stroke of midnight.

If you haven’t seen this film (and most probably haven’t), it’s worth checking out, not just because it’s a solid film, but because even solid films in the 90’s were comically bad at predicting what technology would herald just a few years later.

200 Cigarettes

You know those trite ensemble films that follow the lives of a bunch of disparate people over the course of a night, then reveal how they’re all intertwined? Well, Jim Jarmusch managed to incorporate that narrative into this film about five minutes before everyone else did, allowing this film to be dubbed “original” while films like Go where criticized as being derivative.

The film features both Afflecks, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Chappelle, Courtney Love (?), Paul Rudd, and a smattering of other 90’s-tastic stars as they negotiate New York City in 1981. It’s also got Jay Mohr, which means it was definitely made in the 90’s.


You know what the worst way to spend New Years Eve is? That’s right. By watching this shitty movie. A close second would be enduring what these characters had to – an excruciating and foreseeable death resulting from a tidal wave that capsizes a very, very, very large cruise ship.

Cruises are the worst, if only because they cause people to make movies like Poseidon.

Forrest Gump

This New Year’s Eve might be the most depressing one on the list, as the characters ring in 1971. Lt. Dan is rolling around drunk with long hair and hookers, wallowing in self-pity until Forrest gets him to commit to being his first mate on the Bubba Gump shrimp boat. Without revisiting, the only thing I really remember is that the bar that Lt. Dan was in was VERY similar to the strip club in Always Sunny that Born on the 4th of July Charlie was in “Charlie Gets Crippled.”

Though not depicted, we can safely assume that Jenny was elsewhere being a huge whore this same night.

About A Boy

Despite it being one of my favorite films, and its presence on many other sites’ lists of NYE movies, I didn’t find the December 31st scene in this film to be all that memorable. Looking back on the scene, I find it to be important in that New Years Eve is the only holiday in which kissing someone is built into the festivities, and when single, we all hope to find a spark with someone as hot and interesting as Rachel Weisz’s character.

Boogie Nights

You know you have an awesome New Year’s Eve party going on when William H. Macy commits a violent murder-suicide. Unfortunately, only one party gets to enjoy such a thing before there’s just no William H. Macy left to go around. And that party took place at Jack Horner’s porn compound in Boogie Nights. Granted, most of the characters in this film lived every day like it was New Year’s Eve, but it’s still the high-water mark for the film as the welcomed in the 1980’s.

Black cowboys, cocaine, gay Phillip Seymour Hoffman: this party had it all.

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