Staying home on New Year’s Eve? Why not make it a movie night!

On New Year’s Eve you might choose to stay home.  Too many people out driving who’ve had too much to drink to be behind the wheel, or you’re just not in the mood for partying.  Whatever the reason, here are a few New Year’s Eve movies Tail Slate recommends to ring in the New Year.  All have some connection to New Year’s Eve in one way or another.  In alphabetical order:

Hugh Grant befriends (or is befriended by) Nicholas Hoult in 'About a Boy'
Hugh Grant befriends (or more accurately, is befriended by) Nicholas Hoult in ‘About a Boy’

200 Cigarettes – A 1999 dramedy about a woman throwing a New Year’s Eve 1981 party and she’s scared to death no one is going to show up.  One of Kate Hudson’s earliest big screen roles, the cast also includes Paul Rudd, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Courtney Love and Jay Mohr.

About A Boy – The Weitz brothers, Chris and Paul directed this 2002 film starring Hugh Grant as a single guy (“Will”) who decides pretending to be a single parent is a great way to meet women.  The plan backfires when the son of one of these women discovers his lie and uses this to force Will to let him spend time with him.  Will meets the woman of his dreams at a New Year’s Eve party.

Assault on Precinct 13 – This 2005 film is a loose remake of an earlier John Carpenter movie with the same title.  In the update, Detroit’s oldest police precinct house, Precinct 13 is minimally staffed on New Year’s Eve as it will close forever in the morning.  A big crime boss winds up in the holding cells at Precinct 13 and an armed force attacks, apparently trying to free him.  But that’s not their purpose and soon the cops and the crooks are working together to save each other’s lives.

The "gang" in 'Ocean's 11"
The “gang” in ‘Ocean’s 11″

Ocean’s 11 – The original 1960 film, not the 2001 remake takes place on New Year’s Eve and involves a group of former soldiers planning to rob five Las Vegas casinos during a power outage.  It seems to go off without a hitch, but there are problems ahead.  An all-star cast including Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop.

Strange Days – Kathryn Bigelow directed this 1995 picture about a future where people living in a dystopian Los Angeles are using a strange device to record their memories which can then be viewed by others.  Much of the last part of the movie takes place at a New Year’s Eve party at the Bonaventure Hotel.


The Apartment – A great comedy from Billy Wilder with an all-star cast about philandering executives and the ‘drone’ who lets them use his apartment for their affairs; in the hope it will lead to promotion.  Another example of where New Year’s Eve is the backdrop of a movie’s climax.

The SS Poseidon lying upside down after being hit by a tsunami
The SS Poseidon lying upside down after being hit by a tsunami

The Poseidon Adventure – The 1972 original, not the 2006 remake.  During a New Year’s Eve party aboard the SS Poseidon, a luxury liner making its final voyage, a tsunami overturns the ship, leaving it upside down.  A small group of passengers attempts to survive by climbing to the bottom of the ship, which is now the top.

Trading Places – John Landis directed this hysterical comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akyroyd whose lives are intertwined by the maniacal Duke brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy).  On New Year’s Eve, they board a train to get their hands on some purloined insider information.

When Harry Met Sally – New Year’s Eve is a persistent theme in this romantic comedy from director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron.  It made a certain table in a certain New York City delicatessen a landmark, because of a fake orgasm and a one-liner from the director’s mother.

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