Posted March 14, 2014 by Dane Jackson in Features

The Top 10 Party Movies of All Time

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, the Irish are poised to celebrate the arrival of Christianity in their homeland, while Americans are simply looking for an excuse to wear green, eat corned beef, and drink copious amounts of green beer. Sounds good right? To get you in the mood to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, I’ve compiled a group of movies that will help inspire your party planning this year.

Old School

Will Ferrell in “Old School.”

After looking at the movies I picked out for this list, the thing that strikes me is how many are set in and around schools – high school and college respectively. I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t remember any school I attended being like any of these movies. So, without further ado, here are my picks for the Top 10 Party Movies of All Time. Did I leave your favorite out? Or maybe the rankings are simply all wrong? What do you think?


10. Superbad (2007)

SuperbadWhile Superbad focuses on the friendship of Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), the plot of the movie is framed around a party being thrown by Seth’s high school crush, Jules (Emma Stone). Things go horribly wrong for the duo while trying to obtain alcohol for said party.


9. House Party 2 (1991)

House Party 2House Party (1990) and House Party 2 are the Evil Dead (1981) of house party movies starring 1990s rappers – both movies essentially have the same plot but the second one is much better than the first. With House Party 2, there’s an added element to the party formula – pajamas!


8. Old School (2003)

Old SchoolWhen Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) walks in on his wife participating in an orgy, he leaves and buys a frat house. His friends (Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell) throw a huge party to help him get over the breakup, which leads to the formation of a new fraternity…and even more parties. Will Ferrell as Frank the Tank steals the show.


7. Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and ConfusedAs a kid, what did you want to do on the last day of school? Let loose a little, right? That’s just what the students of Lee High School do. After the outgoing seniors haze the new incoming freshman, things shift towards having fun and enjoying the first day of summer break. The movie culminates in a giant keg party and a quest for Aerosmith tickets. Alright, alright.


6. Bachelor Party (1984)

Bachelor PartySchool kids aren’t the only people who can have fun and party. Bachelor parties are typically a guy’s last stand before settling down, so of course there are some parties that get a little out of control…especially in the case of dueling bachelor parties like in this film.


5. The Hangover (2009)

The HangoverBefore two sub-par sequels tarnished the original film’s luster, The Hangover was a movie that came out of nowhere. It centers on a group of friends who wake up from one hell of a bachelor party in Vegas. The only problem is the groom is missing and no one can remember the events of the previous night or where he might be. The three friends then set out to try to piece the evening back together and make everything right.


4. Van Wilder (2002)

Van WilderRyan Reynolds stars as the title character in this surprisingly charming National Lampoon film. Refusing to graduate and being a seven year student, Van Wilder spends his time having fun and throwing parties. Faced with an overbearing father who decides to cut his losses and quit paying Van’s tuition, Wilder is forced into deciding whether to graduate or not.


3. PCU (1994)

PCUIf you have a movie where George Clinton and P-Funk performs, that immediately throws it near the top of my list. This is also the first time that I saw Jeremy Piven in a movie and he didn’t disappoint. Droz puts Van Wilder to shame. Plot-wise, PCU has the typical college movie plot: misfit frat, parties, and the threat of being shut down. No matter how formulaic, it’s a fun ride.


2. Animal House (1978)

Animal HouseIf I made this list a year or two ago, Animal House would have been in the number one spot no questions asked. John Belushi as Bluto and everything that goes on in Delta House is classic college party movie material. It’s the movie that set the standard for all college party movies. Without it, there’s no PCU; no Revenge of the Nerds; no Van Wilder. It’s just that perfect.

The problem is, this list is about parties, which means I begrudgingly have found a movie that tops the madness of the parties in every movie on this list to far.


1. Project X (2012)

Project XThe movie is billed as “The Party You’ve Only Dreamed About,” and after watching it, the film’s marketing is spot on – although I’m more inclined to say the party is more nightmare than dream. In Project X, a group of friends sets out to throw a party to top all parties in an attempt to catapult them out of social obscurity. What results is a party that just escalates and gets more depraved and extreme as the evening goes on. Watching this movie is like watching a train wreck. It’s uncomfortable, but you just can’t look away. While it’s not the greatest movie in the world, Project X is definitely the biggest party I’ve ever seen on film.

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Dane Jackson
Dane Jackson has been writing about movies since high school when he had a monthly column in the school paper about cult movies. His cinematic tastes have matured (slightly) since then.

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