The Best Thanksgiving Movies the Whole Family Will Love
How do you imagine the perfect Thanksgiving? For starters, there needs to be a feast. Stuffed turkey is the traditional way of doing it, and there is pumpkin pie, corn casserole, etc. Once the meal is over, you want to enjoy a beautiful and relaxing time with your family and friends. And is there a better way than watching the best Thanksgiving movies?
That’s where this guide comes into play! We have a detailed list of 30 movies ideal for this holiday. The first half includes family-friendly movies suitable for all ages and interests. You’ll also find separate sections dedicated to children’s films, but also horror movies, which are a better fit for adults. And if you have Netflix, we got you covered. You can turn on this streaming service and check out the top Thanksgiving movies found there.
Does that sound good? If your answer is yes, keep reading to discover the ideal films for Thanksgiving Day!
- Top 15 Thanksgiving Movies for Everyone
- Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies for Kids
- Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies on Netflix
- Top 5 Horror Thanksgiving Movies
Top 15 Thanksgiving Movies for Everyone
Can you imagine a better fit for a Thanksgiving movie than one that can be enjoyed by all ages and interests? You can gather children, elderly folks, males and females, and they’ll all love watching a holiday-oriented movie with a positive note. Here are the top suggestions for Turkey Day movies you shouldn’t miss!
1. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
The famous movie from 1998 is the ideal choice for Thanksgiving Day. It tells a wonderful story about Kathleen and Joe meeting in an online chatroom. They don’t know each other in real life, but it seems they are a great match.
The problem occurs when Joe realizes he owns a large bookstore chain that threatens to put Kathleen’s small bookshop out of business. And as if that’s not enough, they are both married. Fortunately, love finds its way, as usual, ensuring that You’ve Got Mail is a true feel-good Thanksgiving movie.
2. Holidate (2020)
If you’ve ever been single for the holidays, you know that can be a hassle. Jackson and Sloane don’t want to put up with meddling families and bad dates, so they agree to act as a couple during the holidays.
Holidate starts unwrapping slowly, and we only get small glimpses that these two are made for each other. The entire crew did an amazing job, and viewers can enjoy a balance of funny and cute scenes during the film. Although you know they are soulmates, watching the last scene makes your heart full, and don’t be surprised if you shed a few tears.
3. The Humans (2021)
The Humans are a relatively new title, but they deserve a place among the best Thanksgiving movies. Please note this movie isn’t casual fun. It’s rather a true family drama that shows relationships between different generations.
The Blakes decide to spend Thanksgiving in a pre-war duplex in New York City. A daughter and her new partner rent the apartment, but it’s not in good condition. As the dark falls, unpleasant things start to unravel. If you enjoy drama and movies that make you think, this is a great choice.
4. The Blind Side (2009)
The Blind Side is among the best thanksgiving movies based on a true story. Michael Oher is a traumatized boy whose mom is a drug addict. He’s an African-American teenager with poor education and few skills.
But Leigh Anne Tuohy believes in him. She knows Michael deserves an opportunity, and he thinks he is a football talent. Leigh helps him become a part of a high school team while assisting with his grades, too. Sandra Bullock plays in this amazing family film, telling a story about a boy who eventually played in the NFL.
5. Sweet November (2001)
You look at the cast and see Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. That’s an immediate sign this can be a great movie to watch after a memorable Thanksgiving dinner. Keanu stars as Nelson, a successful advertiser who meets Sara (Charlize).
Sara fails a driving test because of Nelson and keeps a grudge. After finding him, they have a memorable night together. Sara invites him to live together for an entire month. Nelson rejects it at first, but after getting dumped and fired, he gives it a go. And that Sweet November will change their entire lives!
6. Friendsgiving (2020)
What does your Thanksgiving dinner look like? Abbey thought she would spend it peacefully with her close friend Molly. But Molly brings her new boyfriend, together with his mother, to the dinner table. The guestlist doesn’t end there since there are also exes, shamans, and even some Fairy Gay Mothers.
Friendsgiving is a cheesy dramedy with funny scenes for the entire family. The critics might not put it among the best Thanksgiving movies, but it guarantees loads of fun!
7. The Big Chill (1983)
Although it’s been almost four decades since filming it, The Big Chill remains one of many’s favorite holiday films. Glenn Close and Tom Berenger put in great performances in this dramedy that gathers former college friends at the funeral of one who belonged to their gang.
The reunion is the perfect opportunity to discuss what happened in the last decade and how their lives changed. The Big Chill discusses their student ideals and what changed in the meantime while telling a great story and offering good laughs.
8. Little Women (2019)
Little Women is an Oscar-winning film featuring Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, and Florence Pugh. The plot occurs in Massachusetts in the 19th century. Marmee March and her four daughters are alone after their father (and husband) goes to the Civil War.
The movie tells stories about young girls who want to live life on their terms. It has childhood crushes, schoolteacher marriages, and handsome neighbors. Little Women is a beautiful and romantic story ideal for the whole family to spend an evening together.
9. Autumn in New York (2000)
Winona Ryder plays Charlotte Fielding, a woman with a terminal heart condition. Richard Gere, on the other hand, stars as a playboy named Will who attracts the opposite sex and changes partners frequently.
Will and Charlotte are old friends who haven’t seen each other for a long time. Reuniting invites romantic feelings, but they acknowledge a long-term relationship doesn’t have much chance at first. Will starts believing this relationship is different but is that enough to make Charlotte fight for her life? Autumn in New York is a romantic drama that deserves a spot among the best Thanksgiving movies for its heartwarming story.
10. The Turkey Bowl (2019)
A school football team had a huge chance to beat their crosstown rivals and win a trophy called The Turkey Bowl. Unfortunately, it snowed, and the game was never completed. It’s been two decades since then, and it’s time to finish the final match!
But the problem is the star player has become a major political figure in Chicago. Although he doesn’t want to return at first, once Hodges arrives in his hometown, the memories start coming back. And if you like sports-themed movies for the holiday season, you can’t go wrong with this one!
11. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)
Neal Page, starred by Steve Martin, wants to return home and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with his family. But the bad weather cancels his flight, so Neal needs to find an alternative.
The good news is that Del Griffith is also traveling to Chicago and wants to share a cab. The problem is that Del is talkative and clumsy. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a fantastic laugh out loud comedy with the cast putting in fantastic performances!
12. Alice’s Restaurant (1969)
Arlo Guthrie released a song and album called Alice’s Restaurant in 1967. Two years later, that song deserved a cinematic adaptation. It starts with Arlo visiting Alice for Thanksgiving.
She asks him to take out the trash, but the dump is full. Arlo throws the trash on a pile, but the sheriff discovers it. That law problem continues to haunt Arlo even when he needs to join the army. The movie is a unique gem and the Thanksgiving break from modern titles that the entire family needed!
13. Antwone Fisher (2002)
A young sailor has yet another violent outburst, making it a problem for the navy. They send it to a psychiatrist, but he refuses to open up at first. However, after cracking down, the sailor reveals terrible childhood secrets.
Denzel Washington stars as the psychiatrist that helps Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) face his childhood traumas and find hope for the future. It’s a tense story based on true events, but one that delivers the right message for the Thanksgiving holiday.
14. Funny People (2009)
George Simmons is a stand-up comedian who discovers he’s terminally ill. After realizing he needs a true friend, George gets a young comedian to be his opening act and assistant. During his journey, George will also encounter Laura, a now-married former girlfriend.
Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen unite to give a funny and heartwarming family thanksgiving experience in this title. Be ready to laugh and cry while enjoying a great performance by these actors!
15. Lez Bomb (2018)
Lauren wants to tell her parents she’s a lesbian, and she even brings her girlfriend home. But before they even gather for the Thanksgiving dinner, Lauren’s male roommate shows up.
Lez Bomb starts by focusing on comedy, but it has drama elements, especially in its final parts. Jenna Laurenzo directed and wrote the movie, and she also plays the lead.
Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies for Kids
Don’t think of these as Thanksgiving movies only suitable for kids. The suggestions below are true gems of moving pictures. Even adults will enjoy watching a casual film and sharing laughs with their children. Check out the following suggestions to maximize the fun!
1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
Although it was shot in 1973, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving has remained one of the best Thanksgiving movies for children of all time. Charlie talks with Peppermint Patty, and she invites herself and the gang to his house for the holiday.
It’s not easy to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, and Charlie is doing his best with Snoopy, Linus, and Woodstock. The movie is perfect for older family members to remember how they used to wait for cartoon specials in the evening. And the new kids also get to meet Charlie Brown, who’s super-lovable!
2. Addams Family Values (1993)
Uncle Fester falls in love with Debbie, the nanny they hired for the baby Pubert. She’s a black widow and only in it for his money. It’s up to the rest of the Addams Family to rescue him. And that’s literally rescue because Debbie has a devious plan to get Fester’s money.
Oh, and Pugsley and Wednesday have their problems as they get sent off to the summer camp. Addams Family Values is a fantastic comedy and one of the best Thanksgiving movies, especially if you enjoy this weird family.
3. Garfield’s Thanksgiving (2017)
Garfield’s Thanksgiving also isn’t a full movie, but it’s perfect for watching it with your children during a Thanksgiving break. Our favorite cat doesn’t like Jon’s new girlfriend. She’s a vet and believes Garfield should be on a diet.
The problem occurs when Jon invites her over for a holiday. But Garfield doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to try the treats at the Thanksgiving table, which guarantees many funny scenes!
4. Free Birds (2013)
While watching a stuffed turkey is a beautiful Thanksgiving scene for some, the chances of these animals enjoying that are low. That’s why Reggie and Jake have a master plan – they’ll return in time to replace turkey as the #1 Thanksgiving food!
Free Birds is an animated movie that takes Jake and Reggie to 1621 to inspire their fellow turkeys to fight. But can they truly change the world’s history?
5. Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (2015)
Tim and Annie Emmerson are children who don’t enjoy their father taking them to visit Aunt Cly, a town without the internet. They only get interested when they hear about the Howling Hoodoo.
The kids go searching for the local fantasy monster but end up noticing a real crime plot. The neighbor plans to steal the turkeys and frame Aunt Cly. This family thanksgiving movie tells a beautiful story about children and their dad strengthening the mutual relationship.
Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies on Netflix
According to Statista, Netflix has 223 million subscribers in 2022. If you are among them, you are aware it has a rich TV show and film library. But what about the best Thanksgiving movies on this platform? Check them out below and pick your favorite!
1. Holiday Rush (2019)
Rush Williams loses his job as a radio host In Pittsburgh. And in the worst time of the year since his four children shared Christmas present lists. Rush and the kids move in with their aunt, who has the plan to bring him back on the air.
Holiday Rush is a great family Thanksgiving movie since it sends the most important message. And it’s that it doesn’t matter what you have, but who you have. So, next time when you think about making four different Thanksgiving meals, ask your family. They’ll tell you they’d prefer more hours together than you spending the entire day in the kitchen!
2. The Willoughbys (2020)
Willoughbys kick out their four children from the house. The kids plan to hit back by sending them on a vacation that’ll actually end their life, so they can raise themselves.
But after the siblings stay on their own, a journey that teaches them the value of family begins. If you enjoy animated pictures, The Willoughbys is among the best Thanksgiving movies to watch with your kids.
3. Yes Day (2021)
Yes Day is a family comedy that’s perfect for lifting the holiday spirit. Allison and Carlos Torres don’t have a habit of saying yes to their children’s requests and pleas.
However, they now decide to have a day where they’ll only say yes. Some ground rules exist, but this wild adventure is among the best Thanksgiving movies that bond parents and children. Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez only spice up the entire experience with wonderful performances.
4. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal play Sally and Harry, friends from the university that keep bumping into each other after every breakup. They eventually form a friendship, but does that really exist between a man and a woman?
When Harry Met Sally is the moment, they felt attraction for the first time. They rejected it over and over again, and seeing them deal with these beautiful emotions is the ideal movie for a Thanksgiving weekend.
5. Trolls the Beat Goes On: Funsgiving (2018)
It’s a special episode where the famous troll gang converts the famous holiday into Funsgiving! Biggie takes the task of being the host seriously, but is there a danger he’ll miss the fun of being present at the Thanksgiving scene?
If you enjoyed this feature, don’t miss other episodes of the Trolls the Beat Goes On. And don’t forget that the entire franchise started from the famous Troll movie created by Dreamworks in 2016.
Top 5 Horror Thanksgiving Movies
The horror genre has a huge fanbase in the US and worldwide. And although these aren’t classic family-friendly movies, many enjoy a good scare for a holiday. Once the kids go to sleep or you gather an adult crowd, here are the horror titles to consider!
1. Pilgrim (2019)
Pilgrim is a horror gem that’s a part of the Into the Dark show created by Hulu. It fits the best Thanksgiving movies with its theme, too.
Cody has an idea to gather friends for a holiday dinner. She wants to make everything authentic so it looks like the first Thanksgiving. But guests refuse to break character, and the evening takes an unexpected turn!
2. ThanksKilling (2008)
Okay, we’ll admit that ThanksKilling doesn’t have to be on the list of the best Thanksgiving movies. But it does have this holiday for the theme, and how many movies featuring a homicidal turkey have you watched?
The turkey goes wild and starts killing college students, so now somebody has to stop hip. ThanksKilling is a horror comedy that doesn’t aim to scare you but to make you laugh. It even has sequels if the original isn’t enough for you!
3. The Oath (2018)
The government requires Chris and Kai to admit their loyalty by signing an oath they’ll pay taxes. They only have until Black Friday, but the couple keeps refusing it.
Chris and Kai enjoy Thanksgiving, but agents show up the day after. Can the couple discover how to keep the family safe and stay out of jail?
4. Séance (2021)
Six friends gather in an elite female boarding school to kick off one of the best Thanksgiving movies in the horror genre. They know a story of a dead student haunting the halls, so they call her spirit.
After one of the girls dies of violent death the same night, others start wondering if the séance was the right call. The movie is high-paced and full of scary scenes, which are even more effective if you turn off the lights!
5. Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
Here’s another movie that’s not a classic horror but features a comedy and musical twist. Unlike homicidal turkeys, Poultrygeist features zombified chickens.
The victims are fast-food workers who have the bad luck of working in a restaurant built on an ancient cemetery. Oh, and there’s the fact they are cooking chicken. The movie has surprisingly good ratings from both critics and viewers!
What are Some Good Movies to Watch During Thanksgiving?
It depends on the preferred genre. You can’t go wrong with classics like You’ve Got Mail. Children would enjoy Garfield’s Thanksgiving, while adults might appreciate comedies like Yes Day or even horror movies like Pilgrim.
What Movie Should We Watch on Thanksgiving?
If you expect the family to gather, pick a movie suitable for all ages. Go for a romantic comedy or even an animated film centered around Thanksgiving.
What are The 3 Main Colors of Thanksgiving?
These are orange, brown, and yellow. We associate orange with Thanksgiving because of the pumpkin, brown for the stuffed turkey, and yellow due to the corn.
Are There any Thanksgiving Movies on Netflix?
Yes, there are great Thanksgiving and holiday movies on Netflix overall. Some suggestions include Holiday Rush, The Willoughbys, and Yes Day.
Does Hallmark Have any Thanksgiving Movies?
A Family Thanksgiving from 2010 is a Hallmark original movie directly centered on this holiday. The network has many other films perfect for this day, such as A Harvest Wedding.
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