Alternative programming: 10 greatest untraditional New Year's Eve movies

Alternative programming: 10 greatest untraditional New Year's Eve movies

As tradition dictates, most people will spend the waning seconds of 2017 kissing a loved one or partying with friends. Yet before those momentous moments take place, there’s no better way to get into the celebratory calendar-flipping mood than to watch a film set on or around Dec. 31. Of course, most movies of that ilk are of a decidedly romantic nature. (See: New Year’s Eve. Or rather, don’t.) But for those seeking a respite from lovey-dovey sagas, never fear — as proven by our guide to the 10 best off-the-beaten-path New Year’s Eve movies, there’s something for everyone in advance of the clock striking midnight. (Note: Some video clips are NSFW.)

The Poseidon Adventure (1972 or 2006)

Whether it’s the 1972 original (starring Gene Hackman) or the lesser 2006 remake (headlined by Kurt Russell), this oceanic disaster story concerns a luxury liner that’s catastrophically damaged by a rogue wave on New Year’s Eve — thereby compelling its passengers to fight to escape the sinking ship.

Ocean’s 11 (1960)

Sure, George Clooney and his all-star cohorts successfully robbed three Las Vegas casinos in 2001’s Steven Soderbergh-helmed remake. But the Rat Pack — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford — pulled off a similar series of heists in the 1960 original on New Year’s Eve. And with Angie Dickinson involved as well.

Money Train (1995)

Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson were such a popular pair in White Men Can’t Jump that they reunited for this 1995 action-comedy, in which they play New York City transit cops who get an inspired idea — namely, to rob the “money train” (which transports subway fares) on New Year’s Eve, when security will be lightest and profits will be greatest.

Ghostbusters II (1989)

As with Money Train, this 1989 sequel focuses on underground Big Apple action, with the Ghostbusters using supernatural subway track slime to bring the Statue of Liberty to animated life — all in an effort to battle resurrected villain Vigo the Carpathian.

New Year’s Evil (1980)

There isn’t a major holiday the horror genre hasn’t exploited for gory scares, and that’s once again borne out by this 1980 slasher film, about a DJ (Roz Kelly) who receives a New Year’s Eve call from a psycho promising to kill one “naughty girl” in each time zone before the night is over.

After the Thin Man (1936)

The second pairing of William Powell and Myrna Loy as Daschiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles (there would be six in total), this 1936 sequel finds the detective duo returning home to San Francisco and falling into another murder-mystery investigation — this time, on New Year’s Eve, in a story that also features a young Jimmy Stewart.

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, this drama — the directorial debut of Ryan Coogler, in his first team-up with his future Creed star Michael B. Jordan — recounts the real-life events that led to the police-related death of Oscar Grant in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2009, at the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s Fruitvale station.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 porn-industry epic spans two decades — the 1970s and 1980s — and its dramatic dividing line between those very different eras is a New Year’s Eve party thrown at the house of XXX movie producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), where William H. Macy’s Little Bill meets a tragic end.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning sequel isn’t confined to New Year’s Eve, but the holiday is the setting for arguably its most famous moment, when at a celebration in Cuba, mob kingpin Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) tells his brother Fredo (John Cazale), “I know it was you.”

Trading Places (1983)

Only one sequence in this classic 1983 comedy takes place on New Year’s Eve. That said, it involves Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Al Franken, and a gorilla — as well as a villain trapped in a gorilla suit. If that doesn’t put you in a festive mood, nothing will.

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