265 voters

The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party

Updated May 18, 2020 1.7k votes 265 voters 21.9k views39 items

List RulesFilms that are great to have on at a party

The party movie. While similar in concept to a movie good for drinking games, it is an altogether different animal (though there are some crossovers that play to both). It is a fine art to choosing a flick to play in the background of your party, and there are many factors to consider. For starters, what movies play well without sound (or drowned out by music and party chatter)? What movies have you and your guests seen so many times that they know them by heart?

Sometimes a party needs a movie. What type are you throwing? Theme, frat, or holiday? Consider your guests. Are they friends and family, or co-workers and acquaintances? Teens? Adults? Frat guys? What vibe do you want for the party? Comedy? Introspection? Class? Nostalgia?

As you can see, there are endless variables to weigh when choosing the right party movie for your big shindig. This list of the best party movies should help get you started. Vote up the films you think are best for parties or add one you always put on during a big bash.
  • Toy Story1

    ActorsTom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Penn Jillette, Annie Potts

    Directed byJohn Lasseter

    Before CG and animated films were everywhere, there was Toy Story and it was good. This movie holds up so well. Enjoy it with friends!
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  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off2

    ActorsMatthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Kristy Swanson, Ben Stein

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    A definitive high school film, for the nostalgic half-watching party-goer.
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  • The Fifth Element3

    ActorsMilla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker, Ian Holm

    Directed byLuc Besson

    Crazy visuals, Bruce Willis doing his John McLane thing in the future AND both Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker. What more could you want?
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  • Old School4

    ActorsElisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell, Sarah Shahi, Vince Vaughn

    Directed byTodd Phillips

    Underrated Will Ferrell glory, and also Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson at their best. Can't really go wrong here.
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  • National Lampoon's Animal House5

    ActorsKevin Bacon, John Belushi, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen, John Landis

    Directed byJohn Landis

    THE classic party movie, plain and simple.
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  • Happy Gilmore6

    ActorsAdam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Julie Bowen, Kevin Nealon, Joe Sakic

    Directed byDennis Dugan

    We miss this Adam Sandler so much, take a trip down memory lane to the glory days of Sandler comedy.
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  • The Lost Boys7

    ActorsKiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Jami Gertz, Dianne Wiest

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    For the '80s-appreciative crowd. The most fun you can have with a vampire movie, period.
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  • Beerfest8

    ActorsDonald Sutherland, Cloris Leachman, Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson, Will Forte, Eric Christian Olsen

    Directed byJay Chandrasekhar

    The title really should speak for itself.
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  • Groundhog Day9

    ActorsBill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon, Harold Ramis, Chris Elliott

    Directed byHarold Ramis

    Once again, Bill Murray. At. Every. Party. Great to catch classic moments here and there or watch in full.
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  • Airplane!10

    ActorsKareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman, Peter Graves, Jonathan Banks

    Directed byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

    Steve Martin in his heyday. Comedy gold.
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  • Rush Hour11

    ActorsJackie Chan, Roselyn Sánchez, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Max von Sydow

    Directed byBrett Ratner

    Chris Tucker when he was great! Jackie Chan, who is great, as always! Action comedy at its finest!
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  • Ghostbusters12

    ActorsBill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Walton, Ron Jeremy

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Bill Murray. Bill Murray at every party. The rest of the cast is pretty amazing, too.
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  • Project X13

    ActorsJimmy Kimmel, Alexis Knapp, Miles Teller, Jillian Barberie, Thomas Mann

    Directed byNima Nourizadeh

    This generation's Animal House, mindless fun excitement. May encourage bad behavior, so only play at those house parties that aren't at your house.
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  • Moana14



    ActorsAuli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

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  • Easy A15

    Easy A


    ActorsEmma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell

    Directed byWill Gluck

    Another great teen literary adaptation. This one was way more fun than expected and is another easy background movie.
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  • 10 Things I Hate About You16

    ActorsJoseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Allison Janney

    Directed byGil Junger

    The best modern Shakespeare adaptation, hands down. A classic story that's well executed. Fun. Plain and simple.
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  • Big Trouble in Little China17

    ActorsKurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter, James Hong, Kate Burton

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    A campy, 80's mullet-ed, classic! Play later in the evening and enjoy the lunacy.
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  • Dumb and Dumber18

    ActorsJim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Teri Garr, Lauren Holly, Cam Neely

    Directed byPeter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

    Speaking of brilliantly dumb comedy, go back to one of the movies that made Jim Carrey a star.
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  • The Wolf of Wall Street19

    ActorsLeonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • Pink Floyd – The Wall20

    ActorsBob Hoskins, Bob Geldof, Joanne Whalley, Michael Ensign, James Laurenson

    Directed byAlan Parker

    Trippy, awesome, and can be watched in full or just caught in pieces. Perfect for a party.
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  • Dazed and Confused21

    ActorsBen Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey, Renée Zellweger, Parker Posey

    Directed byRichard Linklater

    Alright, alright, alriiight.
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  • Django Unchained22

    ActorsLeonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Quentin Tarantino

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    All the fun of a western, all of the fun of a Tarantino film, and Leo chewing alllll that scenery. Perfect for a party.
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  • Finding Nemo23

    ActorsEllen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana, Allison Janney, Albert Brooks

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

    Anyone who doesn't like this movie shouldn't be at your party in the first place.
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  • Aladdin24

    ActorsRobin Williams, Gilbert Gottfried, Frank Welker, Jonathan Freeman, Jim Cummings

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    Again, if your friends don't like this movie they should probably leave... Revisit a whole new world, shining, shimmering, splendid!
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  • American Pie25

    ActorsAlyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Christina Milian, Mena Suvari

    Directed byChris Weitz, Paul Weitz

    It's the movie that started the dirty comedy movement! Re-watch it to feel nostalgic and old!
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