Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – This Thanksgiving holiday should be about looking back and all around you and being grateful.
Thanksgiving movies of all time.
Here’s a list of some of the Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving.
It may seem tempting to plan a more adventurous post-pie Thanksgiving activity, but here’s an excuse to slip into your comfiest sweatpants and curl up on the couch with your family on Turkey Day.
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – No matter what you’re in the mood for—whether it’s a comedy, romance, or kid-friendly cartoon—here are some great movies to to add to your after-dinner Thanksgiving traditions with this list of festive films.
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – Regardless of what you choose, all of these fan-favorite Thanksgiving movies have a few things in common: Iconic dinner scenes, relatable family feuds, and overarching themes of gratitude.
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – Kids
A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING (2003)
75% AUDIENCE SCORE
TV Short, G, 25 Min
The Browns are preparing to go to their grandmother’s for Thanksgiving dinner when Charlie Brown gets a phone call from Peppermint Patty, who is alone for Thanksgiving (her father is out of town) and wants to come over for dinner.
Two quick subsequent phone calls from Peppermint Patty add Marcie and Franklin to the guest list for a dinner that didn’t exist.
Linus suggests to a perplexed Charlie Brown that he could have two Thanksgiving dinners. The first Thanksgiving feast can be for himself, Sally, Peppermint Patty, and the others, while the second one can be at his grandparents’s house for his family.
Charlie Brown says his cooking skills are limited to “cold cereal and maybe toast,” so Linus recruits Snoopy and Woodstock to help. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock and Linus prepare a feast of toast with margarine, pan-fried popcorn, pretzel sticks and jelly beans; later, Snoopy sets up a ping pong table and chairs (sparring with a lawn chair that comes to life), then dresses himself and a reluctant Woodstock (at pop-gunpoint) in Pilgrim attire for the occasion, though Charlie Brown rejects the latter idea.
The guests arrive and make their way to the backyard for the Thanksgiving feast. Linus leads the group in prayer that details the First Thanksgiving in 1621, and then Snoopy serves up the feast.
Patty’s initial shock at the unconventional meal quickly turns to outrage, and when she loudly berates the chefs, Charlie Brown timidly leaves the table. Patty’s tirade continues until Marcie quietly reminds her that she had invited herself along with Marcie and Franklin.
Coming to her senses, Patty asks Marcie to apologize to Charlie Brown on her behalf; Marcie reluctantly agrees, but Patty soon follows and apologizes to him herself.
Following this, Charlie Brown is reminded that he and Sally are due at their grandmother’s house for dinner, so he calls her and explains his situation.
When he mentions his friends are there, and that they did not eat, his grandmother invites them all to Thanksgiving dinner, which is welcomed with cheers from everyone.
After the kids leave singing, Snoopy and Woodstock go to the doghouse and cook up their own traditional Thanksgiving meal.
They then pull the wishbone which Woodstock wins.
Over the end credits, the two friends each devour a large piece of pumpkin pie then sit back with contented smiles as Woodstock pats his full stomach.
Free Birds (2013)
44% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG, Adventure/Comedy, 1h 31m
Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history, and get Turkeys off the Thanksgiving menu for good.
Pardoned by the president, a lucky turkey (Owen Wilson) named Reggie gets to live a carefree lifestyle, until fellow fowl Jake (Woody Harrelson) recruits him for a history-changing mission.
Jake and Reggie travel back in time to the year 1621, just before the first Thanksgiving.
The plan: Prevent all turkeys from ever becoming holiday dinners.
Unfortunately, the two birds encounter colonist Myles Standish (Colm Meaney), out to capture feathered friends for all the hungry Pilgrims.
GARFIELD’S THANKSGIVING (1989)
NA% AUDIENCE SCORE
TV Short, TV-G, 24min
Jon falls for Garfield’s veterinarian–who puts Garfield on a diet–and invites her to Thanksgiving dinner.
Just because he’s a lasagna lover doesn’t mean Garfield (voiced by Lorenzo Music) is opposed to indulging in a juicy turkey.
Join the animated cat as he attempts to cook Thanksgiving dinner alongside Jon and Odie.
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – Comedies
PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987)
87% AUDIENCE SCORE
Comedy/Other, 1h 32m
A Chicago advertising man must struggle to travel home from New York for Thanksgiving, with a lovable oaf of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.
Easily excitable Neal Page (Steve Martin) is somewhat of a control freak.
Trying to get home to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his wife (Laila Robins) and kids, his flight is rerouted to a distant city in Kansas because of a freak snowstorm, and his sanity begins to fray.
Worse yet, he is forced to bunk up with talkative Del Griffith (John Candy), whom he finds extremely annoying.
Together they must overcome the insanity of holiday travel to reach their intended destination.
Thanks to the impeccable chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy, as well as a deft mix of humor and heart, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a hilarious, heartfelt holiday classic.
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean
Directed By: John Hughes
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1995)
72% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 1995, Comedy/Other, 1h 43m
After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family.
When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home.
Starring: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning
Directed By: Jodie Foster
57% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 2002, Comedy, 1h 18m
Coming-of-age story about a suave 15-year-old prep school student who falls in love with his stepmother.
When her best friend responds to his advances, he suddenly finds himself in way over his head.
Presenting a sexual awakening with surprising candor, Tadpole is a spiky coming of age tale that benefits from a deeply felt performance by Aaron Stanford and a script that is unafraid to wade into morally choppy waters.
Beautiful, sophisticated women are all over Oscar Grubman (Aaron Stanford).
He is sensitive and compassionate, speaks French fluently, is passionate.
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Stanford, John Ritter, Bebe Neuwirth
Directed By: Gary Winick
ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES (1993)
63% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 1993, Comedy, 1h 33m
The Addams Family try to rescue their beloved Uncle Fester from his gold-digging new love, a black widow named Debbie.
New, well-developed characters add dimension to this batty satire, creating a comedy much more substantial than the original.
The members of the odd Addams Family are up to more macabre antics in this sequel.
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
FUNNY PEOPLE (2009)
48% AUDIENCE SCORE
R 2009, Drama/Comedy, 2h 26m
When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship causes him to take a struggling performer named Ira (Seth Rogen) under his wing as his opening act.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana
Directed By: Judd Apatow
THE TURKEY BOWL (2019)
92% AUDIENCE SCORE
R , Comedy, 2h 0m
Businessman and former high school quarterback Patrick Hodges (Ryan Hansen) gets tricked into returning to his hometown for Thanksgiving weekend.
When he arrives expecting a funeral, he learns that his old buddies need his help finishing a football game from 15 years ago, known as “The Turkey Bowl.”
62% AUDIENCE SCORE
2014, Comedy/Other, 1h 28m
Home for Thanksgiving break after their first semester at college, five friends discover just how much things change (and don’t) after high school.
Four friends from high school return home for their first Thanksgiving break from college and discover just how much has changed.
Starring: Rachel Keller, Tobin Mitnick, Claire Chapelli, Tristan Erwin
Directed By: Anna Martemucci
PIECES OF APRIL (2003)
73% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 2003, Drama/Comedy, 1h 21m
Pieces of April transcends its small-scale setting and budget with endearing performances, playful humor, and genuine sweetness, resulting in a touching holiday treat.
Quirky and rebellious April Burns (Katie Holmes) lives with her boyfriend in a low-rent New York City apartment miles away.
April invites her dying mother and the rest of her estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.
Starring: Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt, Derek Luke
Directed By: Peter Hedges
Tower Heist (2011)
48% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13, Adventure/Comedy, 1h 45m
When a group of hard-working guys find out they’ve fallen victim to their wealthy employer’s Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence.
Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, and Gabby Sidibe join forces for a Brett Ratner holiday heist.
Their goal: to rob the wealthy hotel owner (Alan Alda) who ripped them off with his self-serving Ponzi scheme.
There’s a game plan made out of LEGOS, a fake Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and plenty of Murphy zingers to keep the entire family satisfied.
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – Dramas
THE BIG CHILL (1983)
77% AUDIENCE SCORE
1983, Drama/Comedy, 1h 43m
A once close-knit gang of friends — including an actor (JoBeth Williams), a doctor (Glenn Close) and her husband (Kevin Kline), a Vietnam veteran (William Hurt), and a journalist (Tom Berenger) — meets for a weekend after the funeral of their much-envied friend Alex, who committed suicide.
The friends spend the weekend confronting the personal truths, sacrifices and betrayals that have left them disenchanted.
Each must contend with unresolved issues they have with Alex, and with one another.
This is the movie to stream if you’re feeling philosophical about the passage of time with all your besties at an orphan Friendsgiving.
Goldblum stars alongside Tom Berenger, Glenn Close and William Hurt in the Lawrence Kasdan film.
The Blind Side (2009)
85% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 2009, Drama/Biography, 2h 8m
Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) and her husband, Sean (Tim McGraw), take him in.
The Tuohys eventually become Michael’s legal guardians, transforming both his life and theirs.
Michael’s tremendous size and protective instincts make him a formidable force on the gridiron, and with help from his new family and devoted tutor, he realizes his potential as a student and football player.
Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years.
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, Directed By: John Lee Hancock
SCENT OF A WOMAN (1992)
92% AUDIENCE SCORE
R 1992, Drama, 2h 37m
It might soar on Al Pacino’s performance more than the drama itself, but what a performance it is — big, bold, occasionally over-the-top, and finally giving the Academy pause to award the star his first Oscar.
Frank is a retired Lt. Col. in the US army. He’s blind and impossible to get along with.
Charlie is at school and is looking forward to going to college. To help pay for a trip home for Christmas, he agrees to look after Frank over Thanksgiving.
Frank’s niece says this will be easy money, but she didn’t reckon on Frank spending his Thanksgiving in New York.
Starring: Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar
Directed By: Martin Brest
75% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13, Drama, 2h 4m
Tear-jerker alert. Stepmom is one of the all-time greats guaranteed to make you cry.
Three years after divorcing Jackie (Susan Sarandon), the mother of his children, Luke Harrison (Ed Harris) decides to take the next step with his significantly younger girlfriend, fashion photographer Isabel Kelly (Julia Roberts).
But, when the flaky Kelly meets Harrison’s children for the first time, their fierce allegiance to their mother is obvious.
Try as she might, Kelly fails to endear herself to her young charges — and to Jackie — until a looming family crisis changes everything.
After Isabel begins dating Luke, she adjusts to his family dynamics—including her complicated relationship with his ex-wife and the mother of his kids, Jackie.
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986)
90% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 1986, Drama/Comedy, 1h 46m
Smart, tender, and funny in equal measure, Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen’s finest films.
Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah’s husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly.
Three successive family Thanksgiving dinners mark time for Hannah (Mia Farrow), her younger sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne West).
Starring: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Carrie Fisher
Directed By: Woody Allen
77% AUDIENCE SCORE
R, Drama/Other, 1h 23m
Krisha returns for Thanksgiving dinner after ten years away from her family, but past demons threaten to ruin the festivities.
Raw, bracingly honest, and refreshingly unconventional, Krisha wrings fresh — and occasionally uncomfortable — truths from a seemingly familiar premise.
Tensions rise at a Thanksgiving gathering when a troubled woman (Krisha Fairchild) reunites with the extended family that she abandoned.
Krisha is the story of a woman’s return to the family she abandoned years before, set entirely over the course of one turbulent Thanksgiving.
When Krisha shows up at her sister’s Texas home on Thanksgiving morning, her close and extended family greet her with a mixture of warmth and wariness.
Almost immediately, a palpable unease permeates the air, one which only grows in force as Krisha gets to work cooking the turkey and trying to make up for lost time by catching up with her various relatives, chief among them her nephew, Trey.
As Krisha’s attempts at reconciliation become increasingly rebuffed, tension and suspicion reach their peak, with long-buried secrets and deep-seated resentments coming to the fore as everyone becomes immersed in an emotionally charged familial reckoning.
THE ICE STORM (1997)
82% AUDIENCE SCORE
R 1997, Drama, 1h 53m
Director Ang Lee revisits the ennui-laden decadence of 1970s suburban America with deft humor and gripping pathos.
In the 1970s, an outwardly wholesome family begins cracking at the seams over the course of a tumultuous Thanksgiving break.
In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, middle-class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control.
Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Henry Czerny, Adam Hann-Byrd
Directed By: Ang Lee
78% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG 1990, Drama, 2h 6m
This drama, largely based on the family history of director Barry Levinson, follows the immigrant Krichinsky clan as they settle.
A Polish-Jewish family comes to the U.S. at the beginning of the twentieth century. There, the family and their children try to make themselves a better future in the so-called promised land.
Starring: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Leo Fuchs
Directed By: Barry Levinson
A FAMILY THANKSGIVING (2010)
29% AUDIENCE SCORE
2010, Drama/Other, 1h 24m
A lawyer trying to make partner is shown the joys of living a more balanced life.
All hell breaks loose when Claudia (Daphne Zuniga) is pressured by her sister into baking a homemade pie for Thanksgiving.
The comical plot will make you think twice about assigning gender roles during the holidays.
Best Movies to Watch on Thanksgiving – Drama / Romance
SWEET NOVEMBER (2001)
76% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13, Drama/Romance, 1h 59m
Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) and Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) have nothing in common except an hour spent in DMV hell. Intrigued by each other, but not quite ready to commit, they settle on a rather unconventional courtship: a one-month trial, after which they’ll go their separate ways.
No expectations. No pressure. No strings attached.
What neither of them counts on is falling in love.
When Sara randomly meets Nelson, they immediately hit it off.
And so when she later invites him to spend the month of November with her, he agrees. But little does he know that she will take him on the journey of a lifetime.
GRUMPY OLD MEN (1993)
76% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13, Drama/Romance, 1h 59m
If you think you’ve dealt with your fair share of frenemy experiences, wait until you watch this classic Thanksgiving movie about two neighbors competing for the attention of a lucky lady.
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau irrefutably prove your rivalries are mild at best.
AUTUMN IN NEW YORK (2000)
54% AUDIENCE SCORE
PG-13 2001, Drama/Romance, 1h 43m
Autumn in New York follows the sexual exploits of Will Keane, a New York restaurateur, infamous verging-on-50 playboy, master of the no-commitment seduction until he runs into an unexpected dead end when he meets Charlotte Fielding.
Charlotte is half Will’s age and twice his match, a 21-year-old free spirit yearning to get out and taste the excitement of adult life.
It is a season long encounter that will shatter Will’s preconceptions about women, sex and responsibility.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
86% AUDIENCE SCORE
R, Romance/Drama, 2h 2m
Like many movies about football, Silver Linings Playbook is also a story of redemption and unexpected second chances.
Only the heartfelt movie isn’t about the team, but the people who love the team.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play the unlikely central duo, who bond over ballroom dance, the Philadelphia Eagles, and traumatic pasts that they can help each other work through.
87% AUDIENCE SCORE
R, Crime/Mystery & Thriller, 2h 33 minutes
When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal take the lead in this whodunit thriller that doesn’t release its grip until the literal final shot.
Jackman plays a father desperate to find his little girl and her friend who went missing on Thanksgiving Day; Gyllenhaal co-stars as the cop on the case. Viola Davis and Terrence Howard co-star also.
It’s helmed by Canadian writer/director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Blade