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The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party 

Ranker Film
Updated May 18, 2020 1.1k votes 216 voters 20.3k views 39 items

List Rules Films 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.
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list ordered by
1
Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1986

Actors: Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Kristy Swanson, Ben Stein, + more

Directed by: John Hughes

A definitive high school film, for the nostalgic half-watching party-goer. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more

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2
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1996

Actors: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Julie Bowen, Kevin Nealon, Joe Sakic, + more

Directed by: Dennis Dugan

We miss this Adam Sandler so much, take a trip down memory lane to the glory days of Sandler comedy. Happy Gilmore is a 1996 sports comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Robert Simonds. It stars Adam Sandler as the title character, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers ...more

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3
10 Things I Hate About Y... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1999

Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Allison Janney, + more

Directed by: Gil Junger

The best modern Shakespeare adaptation, hands down. A classic story that's well executed. Fun. Plain and simple. 10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American romantic comedy film directed by Gil Junger, and a modern retelling of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. After finding out his crush ...more

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4
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1984

Actors: Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Walton, Ron Jeremy, + more

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Bill Murray. Bill Murray at every party. The rest of the cast is pretty amazing, too. Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more

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5
National Lampoon's Anima... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1978

Actors: Kevin Bacon, John Belushi, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen, John Landis, + more

Directed by: John Landis

THE classic party movie, plain and simple. National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The film was a direct spinoff from National Lampoon magazine. It is about a misfit group of fraternity ...more

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6
Dumb and Dumber is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1994

Actors: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Teri Garr, Lauren Holly, Cam Neely, + more

Directed by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

Speaking of brilliantly dumb comedy, go back to one of the movies that made Jim Carrey a star. Dumb and Dumber is a 1994 American road buddy comedy film starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. It was written by the Farrelly brothers and Bennett Yellin, and is the Farrelly Brothers ...more

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7
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1993

Actors: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon, Harold Ramis, Chris Elliott, + more

Directed by: Harold Ramis

Once again, Bill Murray. At. Every. Party. Great to catch classic moments here and there or watch in full. Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis. A derisive weatherman (Bill Murray) finds himself reliving the same day over and over again after reporting a small ...more

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8
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1980

Actors: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman, Peter Graves, Jonathan Banks, + more

Directed by: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

Steve Martin in his heyday. Comedy gold. Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more

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9
Easy A is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
2010

Actors: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, + more

Directed by: Will Gluck

Another great teen literary adaptation. This one was way more fun than expected and is another easy background movie. Easy A is a 2010 American teen comedy film directed by Will Gluck. A clean-cut high school student (Emma Stone) relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

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10
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
2003

Actors: Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana, Allison Janney, Albert Brooks, + more

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Anyone who doesn't like this movie shouldn't be at your party in the first place. Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more

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11
Dazed and Confused is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1993

Actors: Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey, Renée Zellweger, Parker Posey, + more

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Alright, alright, alriiight. Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming of age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including ...more

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12
Big Trouble in Little Ch... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1986

Actors: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter, James Hong, Kate Burton, + more

Directed by: John Carpenter

A campy, 80's mullet-ed, classic! Play later in the evening and enjoy the lunacy.
Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action film directed by John Carpenter, and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film was released in the United ...more

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13
Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1992

Actors: Robin Williams, Gilbert Gottfried, Frank Welker, Jonathan Freeman, Jim Cummings, + more

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Again, if your friends don't like this movie they should probably leave... Revisit a whole new world, shining, shimmering, splendid! Aladdin is a 1992 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Aladdin is the 31st animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

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14
Pink Floyd – The Wall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1982

Actors: Bob Hoskins, Bob Geldof, Joanne Whalley, Michael Ensign, James Laurenson, + more

Directed by: Alan Parker

Trippy, awesome, and can be watched in full or just caught in pieces. Perfect for a party. Pink Floyd - The Wall is a fulldome production about Pink Floyd’s album The Wall. It was screened at 2011 Melbourne International Film Festival.

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15
American Pie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1999

Actors: Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Christina Milian, Mena Suvari, + more

Directed by: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

It's the movie that started the dirty comedy movement! Re-watch it to feel nostalgic and old! American Pie is a 1999 teen comedy film written by Adam Herz and directed by brothers Paul and Chris Weitz, in their directorial film debut. It is the first film in the American Pie theatrical ...more

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16
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1994

Actors: Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Rowan Atkinson, + more

Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

Remind your friends what it's like to be a kid and what a good kids movie is like. Also a winner when it comes to sing alongs, as everyone knows the words to "Hakuna Matata." The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

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17
Old School is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
2003

Actors: Elisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell, Sarah Shahi, Vince Vaughn, + more

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Underrated Will Ferrell glory, and also Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson at their best. Can't really go wrong here. Old School is a 2003 American comedy film released by DreamWorks Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company and directed by Todd Phillips. The story was written by Court Crandall, and the film ...more

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18
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1987

Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Jami Gertz, Dianne Wiest, + more

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

For the '80s-appreciative crowd. The most fun you can have with a vampire movie, period. The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, ...more

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19
Mamma Mia! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
madeleine.jt added 2008

Actors: Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, + more

Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd

Mamma Mia! is a 2008 British/American/Swedish musical/romantic comedy film adapted from the 1999 West End/2001 Broadway musical of the same name, based on the songs of successful pop group ABBA, ...more

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20
Project X is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
2012

Actors: Jimmy Kimmel, Alexis Knapp, Miles Teller, Jillian Barberie, Thomas Mann, + more

Directed by: Nima 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. Project X is a 2012 American comedy film directed by Nima Nourizadeh and written by Michael Bacall and Matt Drake based on a story by Bacall, and produced by director Todd Phillips. The film ...more

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21
Zoolander is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
2001

Actors: Natalie Portman, Paris Hilton, Heidi Klum, David Bowie, Milla Jovovich, + more

Directed by: Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller's masterpiece. Infinitely quotable, it's great to have on in the background, or foreground. Zoolander is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Ben Stiller and, starring Stiller and Owen Wilson. The film contains elements from a pair of short films directed by Russell Bates and ...more

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22
Fletch is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1985

Actors: Chevy Chase, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Geena Davis, George Wendt, M. Emmet Walsh, + more

Directed by: Michael Ritchie

Chevy Chase of late might not be what he used to, but a lot of people don't know this wonderful 80's flick. Show them. They'll thank you. Fletch is a 1985 comedy film about an investigative newspaper reporter, Irwin M. Fletcher. The film was directed by Michael Ritchie and written by Andrew Bergman, loosely based on the popular ...more

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23
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1982

Actors: Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, + more

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Trippy visuals, growly Harrison Ford, and a storyline that leaves you going, huh? Sober or drunk, this is a great party movie.  Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more

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24
Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
1995

Actors: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Penn Jillette, Annie Potts, + more

Directed by: John 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! Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy-comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by John Lasseter, Toy Story was the ...more

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25
The Wolf of Wall Street ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party
2013

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, + more

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort. An ambitious stockbroker (Leonardo DiCaprio) tells ...more

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