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The Best Movies to Have Playing During a Party

Updated May 18, 2020 1.2k votes 223 voters 21.2k 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.
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  • 1
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    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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  • 2
    National Lampoon's Animal House

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

    Directed byJohn Landis

    THE classic party movie, plain and simple.

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  • 3
    Ghostbusters
    30
    19

    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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  • 4
    10 Things I Hate About You

    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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  • 5
    Dumb and Dumber

    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.
  • 6
    Happy Gilmore

    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.
  • 7
    Rush Hour
    25
    15

    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!
  • 8
    Airplane!
    25
    18

    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.
  • 9
    Big Trouble in Little China

    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.
  • 10
    Groundhog Day

    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.
  • 11
    Moana
    23
    16

    Moana

    2016

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

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

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  • 12
    Easy A
    25
    20

    Easy A

    2010

    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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  • 13
    Pink Floyd – The Wall

    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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  • 14
    Dazed and Confused

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

    Directed byRichard Linklater

    Alright, alright, alriiight.
  • 15
    Finding Nemo
    22
    22

    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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  • 16
    Aladdin
    20
    20

    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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  • 17
    American Pie
    13
    11

    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!
  • 18
    The Lion King

    ActorsWhoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Rowan Atkinson

    Directed byRob 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."

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  • 19
    Mamma Mia!

    ActorsAmanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters

    Directed byPhyllida Lloyd

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  • 20
    EuroTrip
    11
    10

    ActorsMatt Damon, Kristin Kreuk, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lucy Lawless, Vinnie Jones

    Directed byJeff Schaffer, David Mandel, Alec Berg

    This one didn't do as well as it should have at the box office, but it's become something of a cult classic. It's a great comedy in that American Pie vein the 90's/early 2000's thrived in.
  • 21
    Zoolander
    12
    16

    ActorsNatalie Portman, Paris Hilton, Heidi Klum, David Bowie, Milla Jovovich

    Directed byBen Stiller

    Ben Stiller's masterpiece. Infinitely quotable, it's great to have on in the background, or foreground.

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  • 22
    The Matrix
    9
    12

    ActorsKeanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Gloria Foster

    Directed byAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

    Action classic. It's already 15 years old... (yepppp) so most everyone should have seen it by now. Feeling old yet?

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  • 23
    The Wolf of Wall Street

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

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • 24
    Blade Runner

    ActorsHarrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Trippy visuals, growly Harrison Ford, and a storyline that leaves you going, huh? Sober or drunk, this is a great party movie. 

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  • 25
    Fletch
    7
    10

    Fletch

    1985

    ActorsChevy Chase, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Geena Davis, George Wendt, M. Emmet Walsh

    Directed byMichael 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.