Top 13 New Year's films to welcome in 2023

New year, old flicks. Sometimes, the best way to ring in new beginnings is with a classic story

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Fireworks on the beach, getting together with your friends and family and fancy restaurants are all wonderful ways to spend the final moments of the year.

However, this year may be the one to stay in and pop on a great film.

New Year’s Eve is symbolic as a time of reflection, change and transformation. And, with that in mind, here are 13 classic titles to watch while the clock counts down to midnight.

About a Boy

Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, the comedy-drama deals with important themes in clever and entertaining ways.

Everything changes for childish, selfish and cynical Will Freeman, wonderfully played by Hugh Grant, on New Year’s Eve when a 12-year-old socially awkward boy named Marcus ventures into his life.

Will soon passes himself off as a single father in order to win more dates but is discovered by Marcus, who decides to use the situation to his advantage. An unlikely bond develops between the two as they ultimately learn from one another.

Bridget Jones's Diary

There’s no better way to spend a night than watching the antics of Bridget Jones as she breaks one New Year's resolution after the next.

Bridget (played by Renee Zellweger), wants to change her life with the new start of a new year. As she navigates awkward work encounters and two love interests, her perspective on life starts to change as she figures out what she really wants.

Based on the novel by Helen Fielding, the film has one of the best rom-com New Year’s Eve scenes.

Forrest Gump

Does it hurt to start off the new year with the lesson that life is like a box of chocolates?

While there is only one scene at New Year, it’s fair to say that every scene in this movie is epic.

Beautifully shot and written, Forrest Gump (played Tom Hanks) is the story of an innocent Alabama man with a low IQ who goes through life’s trials and tribulations as he attempts to reunite with his childhood sweetheart.

New Year’s Eve

Your ultimate dose of New Year in one film.

Garry Marshall’s anthology of interconnected stories that take place on one fateful New Year’s Eve is part-cheesey and part feel-good. And with a star-studded cast including Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Josh Duhamel, Jessica Biel and Zac Efron the family-friendly rom-com is definitely worth a watch.

Ocean's Eleven

You can’t go wrong with a comedy heist movie starring Hollywood’s A-list.

The premise? Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) is planning the most ambitious heist in Las Vegas — 11 men, three casinos with $150 million at stake with only one chance to pull it off on New Year’s Eve.

Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia and Casey Affleck join Clooney on a plot-twisting, unexpected and ultimately top-notch entertaining film.

Phantom Thread

Beautiful dresses, stately homes, London of the 1950s and a glamourous New Year’s Eve party.

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as talented and acclaimed London dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock who must tailor his lifestyle to fit into the life of his newfound muse.

Used to dressing royalty, movie stars and heiresses, Reynold’s very controlled life is turned upside down as his muse becomes something more, and the two embark on a complicated romance.

Sex and the City

Fashion, glamour, heartbreak, New York — it’s the story of four best friends in the city figuring out relationships, life and love.

The ultimate will-they or won’t-they couple, Carrie and Big decide to walk down the aisle until Big’s cold feet result in a dramatic jilting wedding scene. With nothing but a broken heart and her closest friends, Carrie is left to make sense of her life.

In one of the most heart-warming scenes, New Year’s Eve acts as a touching reminder about the true message of the film and the very successful HBO series.

Sleepless in Seattle

Starting on Christmas Eve and ending on Valentine’s Day, New Year’s plays a pivotal role in this arch of this classic romantic comedy.

What else can you expect from another Nora Ephron script?

Tom Hanks plays Sam Baldwin, a widower speaking about grief and love on a radio talk show heard miles away by Meg Ryan’s character Annie Reed.

In many ways, this unconventional story paved the way for the unlikely ways couples can fall in love in the contemporary world.

The Godfather II

A mafia film might be an unconventional way to start the new year, but it’s always good to be ready for the unexpected.

While the film centres on the ultimate anti-hero Michael Corleone (played by Al Pacino) as he expands the family business into Las Vegas in the 1950s, it also weaves the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and New York in the 1910s.

The climax of the film is the unforgettable New Year’s Eve party in Cuba and what has since been referred to as the "kiss of death".

When Harry met Sally

There are few things better than watching a film written by the formidable Nora Ephron. However, watching her most famous New Year's rom-com on New Year's Eve is the only way to set the tone for 2023.

Harry, played by Billy Crystal, meets Sally, portrayed by Meg Ryan, and they are determined to stay as friends. Thus not only defining one of the best dynamics for the rom-com film genre but also cumulating into one of the best New Year's Eve scenes.

While You Were Sleeping

One of Sandra Bullock's best roles that helped define her as a rom-com leading lady in the 1990s.

The film kicks off on Christmas Day and reaches a wonderful and clever climax on New Year’s Eve. It tells the story of transit token collector Lucy (Bullock), who finds herself in a tough situation.

She pretends to be the fiancee of a man in a coma and forms an emotional bond with his charming family, before falling in love with his brother.

She has to choose between real love or a fabricated relationship and ultimately changing her life as she goes into a new year.

Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale is an underrated classic.

The heartwarming and funny film, cleverly framed between two new years, is about how four friends change and grow over the course of that time frame.

Starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett, and based on Terry McMillan's novel, the film centres around romance and finding love but is ultimately about the power of friendship.

200 Cigarettes

From dealing with complex relationships, loneliness, desires and their own neuroses, you can enjoy an '80s nostalgic new year with a group of unlikely friends in New York’s Lower East Side.

Starring Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Gaby Hoffmann and Christina Ricci as twenty-somethings dealing with life and its problems, the film is a fun portrayal of a group and the very unrealistic expectations they have for the one night of the year when they are meant to have the time of their lives.

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Updated: December 30, 2022, 6:03 PM