The Thanksgiving movies that are actually worth watching
Thanksgiving is definitely a very awkward sort of time of year. On the one hand, you’re celebrating good things like togetherness, family, and taking the time to reflect on the non-material things in your life that make it rich. On the other, it’s increasingly pushed to the side by Christmas and then there’s the fact that white settlers were horrible to the Native Americans. Also people are so obsessed over Black Friday that workers don’t really get to enjoy the family time, even going into work on the holiday because DEALS.
So, really, it’s a double-edged sword of a holiday. Great message, icky history, and Karens needed to calm down so that people can spend the holiday with their loved ones. While there are Christmas movies by the bucketful and the network, Thanksgiving films have a slightly less robust offering. But what is there, however, is actually pretty good! Thanksgiving films are an overlooked genre.
If you want something to throw on to stop the political talk or your aunt asking when you’re going to get married, then here are some movies to check out.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Apple has such a stranglehold on that Peanuts copyright that we didn’t get the yearly airing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Even so, these holiday specials hit that special nostalgic place in all of our hearts. While Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is going to look real different this year, then this is definitely a shorter thing to watch with your kids to give your family some good feels.
Yes, Chris Evans in that sweater makes the world 100% better even though he’s playing the worst tool to ever tool in the history of tools. Also Knives Out is just some deliciously fun campiness with an all-star cast and whatever accent Daniel Craig is doing. At the very, very least, you’ll probably feel better about your own family drama upon watching things take a distinctly murderous turn in this film.
Or, you can vicariously live through the murderer on screen. No judgement here at all.
Addams Family Values
Want a transition film from Halloween before breaking out The Nightmare Before Christmas? Addams Family Values will perfectly fit that bill. Why? The famous Thanksgiving play that Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) gleefully hijacks at her summer camp. Plus, she and the other kids get real about what more than likely happened on Thanksgiving.
There are some major (and maybe literal?) eat the rich vibes going on here. Plus, it’s just so delightfully spooky.
Planes, Trains, And Automobiles
This? This is the quintessential Thanksgiving movie. Starring Steve Martin and John Candy, Planes, Trains, And Automobiles follows Neal Page (Martin) who is stuck with a travel partner in Del Griffith (Candy) after his flight home gets rerouted through rural Kansas after a surprise snowstorm. It’s a comedy of errors as Martin tries to get home in time to celebrate the holiday with his family and maybe makes a friend along the way.
Home for the Holidays
In this Jodie Foster-directed film, Helen Hunt is a single mother, Claudia, who lost her job, kissed her ex-boss, and finds out her daughter is spending the holidays with her boyfriend. Claudia flees back to her parents home for the Thanksgiving holiday joined by her brother, Tommy (Robert Downey, Jr.), who knows all the mayhem going on in her life.
Let the family dysfunction begin!
The Blind Side
Family and football, is there any other film that gets the several sides of Thanksgiving? The Blind Side tells the real life story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), who is taken in by stalwart matriarch Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock). Over his time with her and his new adopted family, Oher goes from homeless teen to first round draft pick in a seriously heartwarming story.
Definitely get the tissues for this one.