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Movies to Time Your New Year’s Eve Countdown
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a giant cast of favorite actors in “New Year’s Eve.” (Image: New Line Cinema)

While some enjoy going out for New Year’s Eve — like I used to back in my college years — some prefer staying at home, in the warmth of their own homes — as I do these days. Whether you’re hosting a small get-together or snuggling with your significant other, we all love a good movie and want to experience that New Year’s Eve countdown. If you want to ring in the new year with fictional characters, turn on these movies to time your New Year’s Eve countdown. 

‘Holidate’ (2020) — Countdown at 23:41

A dressed-up couple stands in a decked-out club in this image from Wonderland Sound and Vision.
You don’t have to worry about a New Year’s kiss when you have a Holidate. (Image: Wonderland Sound and Vision)

“Holidate” is a witty movie about two people who decide to be each other’s date for the holidays all year, hoping to stave off questions about finding “The One.” The movie kicks off a sad-looking Christmas for single Sloan (Emma Roberts), the last single child in her family. She meets Jackson (Luke Bracey) just in time to go out for New Year’s Eve with, perhaps, one of my favorite scenes in the movie. 

“Holidate” is streaming on Netflix, with the countdown starting at 23:41. 

‘The Age of Adaline’ (2015) — Countdown at 21:30

A woman in a red gown in this image from Lakeshore Entertainment.
A woman endures 60 years’ worth of New Year’s Eve as a 29-year-old. (Image: Lakeshore Entertainment)

I was thoroughly delighted by “The Age of Adaline.” Not only is the story centered on a woman born on New Year’s Eve, but it also features a countdown at 21:30, where the real story begins. After a freak accident, Adaline (Blake Lively) is stuck at age 29, never aging a day for 60 years. She vows never to fall in love or tell a soul of her condition — until she meets Ellis (Michiel Huisman). 

“The Age of Adaline” is streaming on Max and Netflix. 

‘About Time’ (2013) — Countdowns at 3:54/8:36

A girl and boy shake hands at a party in this image from Working Title Films.
A boy goes back in time to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him. (Image: Working Title Films)

One of my favorite movies on this list is “About Time.” It’s perfect to watch with your honey. However, unlike other movies on this list, this one features two countdowns, one at 3:54 and another just a few minutes later at 8:36. The first time through, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) barely manages to shake a girl's hand at midnight, but this time traveler goes back for another chance with a different ending. 

“About Time” is available for rent on Amazon Prime Video and worth every cent. 

‘New Year’s Eve’ (2011) — Countdown at 1:34:43

A man on stage raises a glass and toasts in this image from New Line Cinema.
Multiple storylines weave together in a night of fun. (Image: New Line Cinema)

From the producer that brought us “Valentine’s Day” comes “New Year’s Eve.” And yes, Ashton Kutcher is in this film as well! With a heavy-hitting cast with the likes of Michelle Pfieffer, Katherine Heigl, and Josh Duhamel, it’s hard not to enjoy this rom-com. With several separate but overlapping storylines, this film's countdown is pretty epic, with many big reveals and emotional moments.

Tune in to “New Year’s Eve” on Max.

‘High School Musical’ (2006) — Countdown at 6:24

Two teenagers kill it at karaoke in this image from First Street Films.
This musical is for a kid-friendly evening. (Image: First Street Films)

For a kid-friendly evening, “High School Musical” is a classic that we millennials can enjoy. The countdown is relatively early in the movie, but it’s pivotal for the two main characters, Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens). They discover their love of music and spend the next three movies singing about it. 

“High School Musical” and all its sequels are available on Disney+.

‘Forrest Gump’ (1994) — Countdown at 1:21:43

Two men ring in the new year at a bar in this image from The Tisch Company.
“Forrest Gump” is a thought-provoking classic. (Image: The Tisch Company)

Although it may not be the first movie to come to mind when debating which film to pop on for the new year, “Forrest Gump” is certainly a fantastic option. It’s poignant without trying too hard, and honestly, who doesn’t want to wish Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise) a happy new year? There’s lots to love about this movie, making it worth a rewatch for the new year. 

“Forrest Gump” is available on Pluto TV

‘When Harry Met Sally…’ (1989) — Countdown at 1:29:32

A couple happily enjoys ringing in the new year in this image from Castle Rock Entertainment.
After years of friendship, two friends learn if they can remain friends or if there’s something more. (Image: Castle Rock Entertainment)

“When Harry Met Sally…” is a classic option for a New Year’s celebration — it was probably the first movie you thought of! When Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) finally end up together at the end of the film at a New Year’s celebration, it’s so satisfying that it really feels like there’s nothing better. 

“When Harry Met Sally…” is streaming on fuboTV

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