The 20 Best Party Movies of All Time


There’s nothing quite like a movie party. They’re always so big and extravagant and full of larger-than-life shenanigans. Whether it’s a college party, a house party when the parents are away, or a last hurrah among old friends, party movies are great fun to watch. Some of them are so good that they’ll have the viewer wishing they had gotten an invitation.


From classics like Animal House to newer releases like Neighbors and The Hangover, the party trope is a popular one used over and over again in movies. Most party movies are comedies, but they can also be romantic, like the classic The Great Gatsby, or even scary, like 2019’s Ma. Even though New Year’s Eve is over, the party can still rage on all year long. Here are the best party movies to check out.

Update on January 8, 2024: If you are a fan of party movies, then you will be happy to know that this article has been updated with more titles by Samuel Comrier and where each entry is currently streaming.


20 21 & Over (2013)

21 & Over

Release Date
March 1, 2013

Rating
R

Runtime
93

The excitement that comes before one’s 21st birthday is a universal feeling every American has experienced — or will eventually. Reaching the legal drinking age and being able to enter bars is a very celebration-worthy milestone for a lot of people and is often part of the recipe for a “party you’ll never forget,” or rather, one you won’t remember at all. 21 & Over is about just that. It’s about three friends (played by Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, and Justin Chon) who go out drinking to celebrate one of their 21st birthdays, despite having an important medical school interview the next morning.

Why 21 & Over It a Must-Watch Party Movie

The movie was released in 2013 and certainly did not get kind reviews from critics. However, if one can submit themself to a dumb comedy for a little over an hour and a half it’s funny, entertaining, a bit predictable and cliché at times, but that’s exactly what 21 & Over set out to be. It also is one of the first major films for star Miles Teller, who has since gone on to become a major movie star in films like Whiplash and Top Gun: Maverick. 21 & Over is currently available to stream on Hulu.

19 Project X (2012)

Project X

Found-footage movies are one of those types that are either loved or hated. Project X is a found-footage comedy about three friends who want to gain popularity and plan to do so by throwing a party. But things get out of hand when one of the friends advertises the party throughout their entire school, and through the power of the grapevine, it gets out of hand fast.

Project X Tapped Into a Generation

Project X really isn’t any different from any other party movie about a group of friends throwing a house party when Mom and Dad are out of town. However, its found-footage approach is unique. Project X received mixed reviews from critics, mostly falling on the negative side. Still, the movie had a massive cultural impact — though much of it was negative — leading to several Project X-inspired parties around the world. It is one of those rare films whose title became part of the cultural zeitgeist which makes it worth checking out. Project X is currently available to rent on Apple TV, Prime, and Vudu.

18 Ma (2019)

ma

Ma

Release Date
May 29, 2019

Director
Tate Taylor

Rating
R

Runtime
119

Ma is definitely an oddball on this list: while most think about romcoms or teen movies when hearing “party”, Ma is a horror movie that features parties all throughout. Ma (Octavia Spencer) lives alone in her big house in Ohio. One day, she helps a group of teens buy some alcohol and eventually invites them to party in her basement, which becomes a more and more popular hangout spot. However, Ma soon begins to act strangely, begging the teens to spend time with her.

A Different Type of Party Movie

Ma is a great horror movie that reinvents the party genre. The plot feels unique and fresh for both genres. Spencer wanted to break away from her usual roles, and she certainly did. Nonetheless, the actress showed her versatility, successfully portraying the twisted deadpan murderer. Ma is probably the best horror movie to watch during a party. Or maybe not, actually…Ma is currently available to stream on DirecTV.

17 Rough Night (2017)

rough night

Rough Night

Release Date
June 15, 2017

Director
Lucia Aniello

Rating
R

Runtime
101

Rough Night stars Scarlett Johansson, Gillian Bell, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, and Kate McKinnon as five women who gather for a bachelorette party in Miami. While the night starts out fun, with a simple dinner that eventually turns into a drug-filled night at the club, things take a turn for the worse when they accidentally kill someone who seemingly is a male stripper. Now, the women find themselves needing to deal with the death and make sure it cannot be linked back to them as it could ruin all of their lives before realizing there is more to the case than meets the eye.

Why Rough Night is Underrated

Rought Night sadly bombed at the box office when it opened in theaters (and was beaten by another film that will appear later on this list, which opened a month later), but the film is a laugh-out-loud riot. While marketed originally as a Bridesmaids or The Hangover knockoff, the film was a much darker comedy and got a lot of good laughs out of the dead body, similar to Weekend at Bernie’s. From a creative team that had a history working on Broad City, Rough Night is a party movie for audiences who want something a little darker. Stream on Starz

16 The House Bunny (2008)

The House Bunny

The House Bunny

Release Date
August 22, 2008

Director
Fred Wolf

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
98

The House Bunny premiered in 2008 and tells the story of Shelley (Anna Faris), a former Playboy Bunny who signs up to be the housemother of an unpopular sorority after being kicked from the Playboy mansion. Alongside Faris, The House Bunny presented a strong cast, including names like Kat Dennings, Colin Hanks, Katharine McPhee, Kiely Williams, Rumer Willis, Emma Stone, and even a Hugh Hefner cameo.

House Bunny is a Party Must Watch

Despite its simple nature, The House Bunny is actually a pretty good movie and offers a lot of funny moments from a well-cast group of characters. It’s a very light, silly movie that doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and that’s a big part of what makes The House Bunny so entertaining to watch even all these years later. Despite its mixed reviews from critics, the movie went on to gain a cult following and is still well-loved today. It features the fun fantasy of a Playboy Mansion party, without the true life drugs and crimes that were happening.The House Bunny is currently available to stream on Netflix.

15 Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

Can't Hardly Wait-1

Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, and Charlie Korsmo, the 1998 motion picture is all about a high school graduation party. Can’t Hardly Wait is a typical high school movie as it gathers attractive girls and boys, different personalities, love triangles, and drama. However, one thing for sure is that all the students want a night to remember before they all venture onto various paths. With Can’t Hardly Wait, you’re in for a great party.

What Makes It Great

The dynamic film shows you a diverse ensemble that keeps audiences entertained and reminds them of the taste of youth and excitement. It will take you on a nostalgic trip as it embodies the ’90s vibe, particularly as the movie features many stars before they were famous. It also featured a great soundtrack with artists like Smash Mouth, Third-Eye Blind, Run D.M.C., and Blink 182, just to name a few, which makes for a great party playlist. Can’t Hardly Wait is currently available to stream on DirecTV.

14 Good Boys (2019)

good boys

Good Boys

Release Date
August 14, 2019

Director
Lee Eisenberg , Gene Stupnitsky

Cast
Jacob Tremblay , Molly Gordon , Midori Francis , Millie Davis , Enid-Raye Adams , Keith L. Williams

Rating
R

Runtime
95

Good Boys is another coming-of-age comedy that centers on a trio of guy friends, except instead of being grown men or high school or college students, the friends in question are a trio of sixth-grade boys. Starring Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith Williams, Good Boys follows the three friends as they try to attend a party hosted by some of their popular classmates.

Good Boys Shows Partying Can Start Young

The film is hilarious. There’s something about the juxtaposition of three misfit sixth-graders trying to attend a house party and the ensuing misadventures that make this movie so fun. Good Boys also constantly contrasts the fact that the movie is using the conventions of a high school party film with a sixth-grader party, which is a rather tame experience. While its main focus is to make you laugh, Good Boys also has heart, and it manages to balance that with humor, creating a well-rounded storyline perfectly. Good Boys is currently available to stream on Netflix.

13 13 Going on 30 (2004)

In 13 Going on 30, Jenna is a young girl growing up in the late 80s. She’s nerdy and has no friends. For her 13th birthday party, she manages to invite the most popular girls in school in exchange for doing their homework. However, the girls put her in a closet under the guise of doing “7 minutes in heaven” with her crush and leave her house. Realizing she has been duped, she wishes she wasn’t a kid anymore and ends up waking in the body of her thirty-year-old self. But, while she has the body, the job, the friends of a thirty-year-old, Jenna is still thirteen in her head.

What Makes It Great

Two parties are what make 13 Going on 30. The first one is child Jenna’s failed birthday party at the very beginning, where she gets cruelly pranked by her classmates, and suddenly turns thirty years old. The second one is the business party that adult Jenna attends, wearing her best 80s tween outfit, which ultimately results in the mythical scene where Jenna entices all the attendees into dancing to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. This film celebrates parties, whether they’re a pity party or a total blast. 13 Going on 30 is currently available to stream on Netflix.

12 Neighbors (2014)

Neighbors

Neighbors

Release Date
May 8, 2014

Rating
R

Runtime
96

Neighbors is a fun concept. It’s about a couple (played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) who are enjoying their quiet suburban life with their infant daughter, even if these new parental responsibilities prevent them from enjoying their old partying lifestyle. That is, until a fraternity known for its insane parties led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco moves into the house next door. Next comes a back-and-forth battle between Rogen and Byrne and the frat bros as they try to find some common ground between them.

Neighbors Makes Partying Generational

Neighbors certainly have all the laughs one would expect from a Seth Rogen movie, and the film has a lot of fun poking fun at the idea that just a few years earlier, Rogen would have been one of the party guys in the fraternity. It is also a standout performance by Zac Efron, who steals the show, bringing the perfect balance of humor and slight villainousness that helped him shed his Disney channel image to be one of the most sought-after actors working in Hollywood. After its release, a sequel titled Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was announced and premiered in 2016, following a similar formula, except the new neighbors are a sorority this time. Neighbors is currently available to stream on Netflix.

11 The Night Before (2015)

The Night Before

The Night Before

Release Date
November 20, 2015

Director
Jonathan Levine

Rating
R

Runtime
100

The Night Before is a holiday-centered comedy about three childhood friends (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie) who get together every Christmas Eve ever since one of their parents died in a car accident around the holidays several years ago. The trio has gotten together every holiday since, but now that they have bigger adult responsibilities like families and careers, they decide to get together one last time before putting the tradition to bed.

What Makes It Great

The Night Before is a rare holiday party movie. While most holiday movies have a wholesome vibe to them, The Night Before brings the R-rated laughs to the genre that make it stand out while also featuring plenty of heart one expects from a Yuletide film. The Night Before is a fun, non-traditional watch during the holiday season but can also be enjoyed as just a great party movie any time of the year. The Night Before is currently available to rent on Apple TV, Prime, and Vudu.

RELATED: Best Comedy Movies of All Time: Ranked

10 Animal House (1978)

animal house

Animal House

Release Date
July 27, 1978

Cast
Tom Hulce , stephen furst , Mark Metcalf , Mary Louise Weller , Martha Smith , James Daughton

Rating
R

Runtime
109

Animal House is the ultimate party movie. Premiering in 1978, the movie is about a troublesome fraternity that lives to challenge the authority of their college dean. Starring big names like John Belushi, Kevin Bacon, Tim Matheson, and Peter Riegert, Animal House is recognized as culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant by the Library of Congress and was added to the National Film Registry in 2001.

What Makes It Great

It is also considered one of the movies that sparked the start of the gross-out movie genre. It’s one of those movies that often tries to be imitated, but it’s hard to achieve what Animal House did in the ’70s today. Even all these years later, Animal House has truly withstood the test of time and is still just as funny and likable today as it was when it hit theaters years ago. It’s a true classic, and the grandfather of the frat party movie trope. Animal House is currently available to stream on AMC+.

9 Booksmart (2019)

booksmart

Booksmart

Release Date
May 24, 2019

Rating
R

Runtime
105

Booksmart is one of the newest releases on this list. It’s about two academically-driven girls (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) on the eve of their high school graduation who realize they missed out on all the fun of high school and decide to cram four years of fun and partying into one night for the last hurrah before college. Booksmart was Olivia Wilde’s feature directorial debut and also starred Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, and Billie Lourd.

What Makes It Great

Booksmart was very well-received and even earned Feldstein a nomination for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes. It’s a funny and sweet coming-of-age story that’s especially unique as it focuses on two girls rather than a frat or group of guy friends that are most commonly featured in movies about finding the last big party before school lets out. Booksmarts highlights the extreme lengths that going out for a night can sometimes entails and the humorous but also frustrating elements of jumping between various parties. A laugh out loud comedy that also features many different unique parties throughout so there is something for everyone. Booksmart is currently available to rent on Apple TV, Prime, and Vudu.

Related: Best Movies That Pass The Bechdel Test

8 Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused is another classic entry into the party movie genre. It follows a few different groups of high school-age teenagers in Texas on the last day of school in 1976. Full of partying and standard teen movie hijinks, Dazed and Confused is a cult classic that ranks on several best high school movie lists.

What Makes It Great

One of the best parts of Dazed and Confused is its ensemble cast. It features several names that later went on to have successful careers like Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane, Anthony Rapp, Ben Affleck, and Renée Zellweger among others. While this movie was made in the 90s, it takes place in the 70s, and perfectly encapsulates that critical decade, with the inclusion of many pop culture references. With its star-studded cast, entertaining plot, and dialogue that can be quoted to no end, Dazed and Confused is a top-notch coming-of-age movie. Dazed and Confused is currently available to stream on Paramount+.

7 Another Round (2020)

Another Round

Another Round

Release Date
September 24, 2020

Director
Thomas Vinterberg

Cast
Mads Mikkelsen , Thomas Bo Larsen , Lars Ranthe , Magnus Millang , Maria Bonnevie , Susse Wold

Runtime
115

While most party movies tend to downplay alcohol consumption, especially if the partygoers are underage, a Danish drama decided to make it all about the booze. Another Round tells the unique story of four bored high school teachers who suddenly decide to be constantly drunk on weekdays to see what effect this habit will have on their health, as well as their professional and social lives.

What Makes It Great

This movie is an enjoyable watch, but it makes viewers think about the place of alcohol in their lives (and human history), as well as what defines a party. Do not be fooled, though; Another Round is far from sad. It is a celebration of life and the way that alcohol in moderation can help one loosen up and change their outlook. Also, it is always nice to see Madds Mikkelsen act in his native language. Another Round is currently available to stream on Hulu.

6 Girls Trip (2017)

girls trip

Girls Trip

Release Date
July 21, 2017

Rating
R

Runtime
122

Remember how we mentioned a movie similar to Rough Night that did better? We are, of course, talking about Girls Trip. Released in July 2017 (one month after Rough Night), Girls Trip features an all-star cast with Regina King, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and, of course, Tiffany Haddish, who, despite being the lesser-known cast member at the time of its release became the breakout star of the movie. The movie follows a group of friends who go on a trip to New Orleans to reconnect, and of course, hijinks ensue, and friendships are tested.

Girls Trip Is Exceptional

Girls Trip was a surprise hit when it came out, grossing $140 million worldwide on its $19 million budget, and was the first comedy of 2017 to gross over $100 million. It was a big deal, and part of that was due to the cast, who played off each other well, and their adventures and parties in New Orleans inspired many great laughs (nobody who saw the film will ever look at a grapefruit the same way again). A sequel has been in development for years, and fans are waiting because, like any good party, this is one audiences want to revisit again. Stream Girls Trip on TNT, TBS, TruTV.

5 The Hangover (2009)

The Hangover opened in theaters 2009 and relaunched the party genre for a new era. It tells the story of four friends (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha) who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. But when the guys wake up the next day with no memory of the previous night and notice the groom (Bartha) is missing, they set out on an adventure to put the pieces of the night together and find the groom before his wedding day.

What Makes It Great

The Hangover is a funny movie about friendship and partying that takes the “what happens in Vegas” concept to a whole new level. It was so well-received that it spawned a trilogy, with two more movies premiering in 2011 and 2013. Though the sequels were decently successful, neither was as well-received nor as good as the original. Yet it is hard to understate just how big The Hangover was when it came out as it was a comedy that took the whole world by storm with people quoting it and various studio comedies, many on this list, were greenlit in an attempt to cash in on The Hangover. The Hangover is currently available to stream on TNT, TBS, and TruTV.

4 This Is the End (2013)

There really isn’t another movie out there like This Is the End. Premiering in 2013, This Is the End features an ensemble cast playing exaggerated versions of themselves as they try to survive a global biblical apocalypse that starts in the middle of a housewarming party in Los Angeles. The motion picture is the epitome of ensemble casting, including a range of celebrities like Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Rihanna, Channing Tatum, and even the Backstreet Boys.

What Makes It Great

The movie was a massive success, both critically and at the box office, and is arguably one of the most unique — and best—party movies of all time. Featuring the various actors as exaggerated versions of their on-screen persona makes for some incredibly humorous moments that play on convention but also some that go against type, like Michael Cera being a hard drug-using sexual deviant. It’s worth a watch if you are looking for something to really make you laugh, and it’s so good that one can watch it several times and still enjoy it as much as the first. This Is the End is currently available to stream on Roku and History Vault.

3 Superbad (2007)

Superbad

Superbad

Release Date
March 20, 2007

Rating
R

Runtime
113

Superbad is another classic coming-of-age tale of a trio of friends who want to throw a massive party to boost their popularity — and ego — before graduating from high school. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Superbad premiered in 2007 and starred Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the leads. It also featured a cast of other comedians like Rogen himself, Bill Hader, Emma Stone, and Dave Franco.

What Makes It Great

It is one of the big standout movies from the 2000s and has been credited with having a significant impact on the millennial generation it targeted at the time of its release. From the hilarious dialogue to the chemistry between Cera and Hill and the iconic moments and one-liners like the McLovin scene, Superbad is hailed as one of the greatest party movies to date. Superbad is currently available to stream on DirecTV.

Related: Was Superbad Really the Last Good High School Movie?

2 Wedding Crashers (2005)

The entertaining comedy took the United States by storm when it was released in 2005. Wedding Crashers was a huge commercial hit. The wedding-themed film hit the spot for many, where the protagonists take advantage of the ceremony’s atmosphere and make their move on the women they fancy. With nothing serious in mind, their approach is to have fun, but when one of them falls for a woman he meets at a party, everything changes.

What Makes It Great

The memorable film balances fun, adventure, and a good storyline. Audiences can sit back and relax and venture with characters played by Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn as they crash weddings, enjoy the party, and have a pretty good time while they learn a thing or two along the way. In a summer filled with blockbusters like Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Four, and War of the Worlds, Wedding Crashers stood out as one of the biggest movies of that summer giving audiences a big laugh and a goodtime party vibe they wanted to keep reliving. Wedding Crashers is currently available to stream on Netflix and AMC.

1 The Great Gatsby (2013)

The two-time Oscar-winning film delves into the lifestyle of the millionaire Jay Gatsby (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who leads a lavish lifestyle. When his neighbor, Nick (Toby Maguire) takes note of this, his curiosity regarding his neighbor grows. The Great Gatsby was based on the 1925 novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The mysterious character of Gatsby is intriguing and passionate and is trying to fulfill a dream he has catered his whole life towards achieving. However, will it ever be enough? Has he been trapped in an illusion? In this film, where madness, tragedy, past, present, and love meet, the viewer is taken into some of the lives of the richest of the rich, and of course, parties and more parties.

The Great Gatsby Mixes High and Low Class for a Party

Directed by Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby is a party movie, unlike anything audiences were used to. The 1920s are the roaring 20s, but in the pop culture zeitgeist, it is still seen as a somewhat stuck-up period. It is hard to imagine someone’s great-grandparents being party animals, but with this new take on a piece of classic American literature, Luhrmann shows how partying is both universal and generational. The party scenes are massive and bombastic, featuring plenty of good-time wild scenes that rival anything in films like Project X or 21 & Over, which were released around the same time. The mix of modern-day hip-hop and rap made a clear parallel to the excess of the 1920s and the same for the 2010s. The Great Gatsby shows that partying is something people have always done and will continue to do. The Great Gatsby is currently available to rent on Apple TV, Prime, and Vudu.



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