20 Good Thanksgiving Movies You Can’t Miss

It’s the Holiday season, which means nonstop television of the same old movies. Oddly, something about these films doesn’t tire us but rather sets the scene for the holidays. We have something for Halloween and Christmas season, but not many people talk about Thanksgiving movies.

Skip-scrolling for hours to find the perfect movie because we’ve compiled a selection of some good movies. Relax and enjoy watching with your whole family this Thanksgiving dinner with the help of this list.

This list of Thanksgiving movies doesn’t only contain the new ones but also the old movies that have become a staple in most households today during the holiday season.

Now Let’s Dive into our List

1. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Peanut's Holiday Collection | Digital Trailer | Warner Bros. Entertainment

The animation in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is quite well done. It’s bright and colorful, with intricate backgrounds and appealing (but never obnoxious) illustrations.

The music score is lighthearted and whimsical, and the songs are instantly memorable and have just the appropriate amount of emotional intensity. During Linus and Lucy, who can’t help but feel warm?

The story is equally humorous, engaging, and poignant. The strange touches were nice and didn’t feel out of place, such as Snoopy battling with the deck chair, which was also one of the funnier moments. In reality, it belongs to some good movies that have become a rite for decades.

2. Addams Family Values

Addams Family Values (1993) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Addams Family Values is a 1993 comedy-drama film featuring characters developed by Charles Addams, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and written by Paul Rudnick. It is also the Addams Family’s sequel (1991).

While Wednesday and Pugsley are away at summer camp, Debbie Jellinsky marries Fester Addams in order to murder him for his inheritance.

Addams Family Values is a darker comedy. The tale remains frighteningly thin, but it glides out over ice with technical glitz and a superb cast. Anarchic spirit, which accepts and relishes in all that is politically incorrect. It is one of its most notable virtues, it makes your family’s Thanksgiving day exciting and adds a little bit of spookiness.

What do you think? Should the movie be part of the best Thanksgiving movies?

3. The Big Chill

The Big Chill (1983) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

A group of thirtysomethings gathers for their friend’s burial after his startling suicide. They wind up spending the weekend together and reminiscing about their childhood in the 1960s and grappling with the uncertainties of adulthood in the 1980s.

This baby boom generation milestone launched writer-director Lawrence Kasdan as a celebrity and is possibly the decade’s finest ensemble film.

The Big Chill practically has a perfectly tailored soundtrack with its selection of sixties rock and R&B tunes. Watch the movie this Thanksgiving break on Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services with your family.

4. Paul Blart Mall Cop

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 - Official Trailer - In Theaters 4/17!

The film was directed by Steve Carr. The American comedy film Paul Blart: Mall Cop, starring Kevin James, was released in 2009.

Paul Blart wanted to join the New Jersey State Police but couldn’t pass the exam due to health issues. He now works as a mall security guard at the West Orange Pavilion Mall.

Even if most of his coworkers and customers don’t, he takes his job very seriously. Santa’s little helpers take over the mall and kidnap his daughter and girlfriend as hostages. He learns that no one knows the area as he does. Paul seizes the opportunity to shine, mounting his faithful steed, a Segway, and riding to the rescue.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade)

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

George Seaton wrote and directed the 1947 American Christmas comedy-drama film The Miracle on 34th Street.

A divorced mother employs a charming old man to impersonate Santa Claus. However, she is taken aback by his claim to be the real Santa. When his sanity is called into doubt, he goes through a trial where he is defended by a lawyer who claims that he is not insane.

Miracle on 34th Street will never be replaced by another film. However, it has been given a modern makeover. A beautiful and warm-hearted film that keeps authentic to the original story’s spirit and gives an alternate perspective.

6. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was written, produced, and directed by John Hughes in 1987. It stars Steve Martin as a stressed marketing executive and John Candy as Del Griffith, a kind but obnoxious marketer.

Despite their disagreements, they go on a three-day journey. It consists of misadventures in the hopes of getting Neal home to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving Day supper with his family.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a classic in my opinion. Yes, it’s nostalgic, but it’s also hilarious, heartwarming, and moving. John Hughes does an excellent job directing the film, and it looks stunning, with photography in particular.

The music is a good touch, and the story is lovely and, I believe, heartwarming, with a script that is full of amusing and tragic moments. Then there’s Steve Martin’s and John Candy’s chemistry. These two are fantastic together, and both are fantastic separately, especially Candy. One can imagine very few people could play the role, as well as Candy, did; he was genuinely one-of-a-kind.

7. Home for the Holidays

Home For The Holidays (1995) - Official Trailer

Claudia Larson is a young lady who leaves Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with her chaotic family after losing her job, kissing her ex-boss, and learning that her daughter has holiday plans of her own.

The superb ensemble cast creates the perfect combination of family dysfunction and personal circumstances for a Thanksgiving celebration. It serves as a reminder that family should be consumed in moderation. The conclusion reminds us why we keep coming back for more.

Jodie Foster is an American family comedy-drama movie. Directed and produced Home for the Holidays, 1995. W. D. Richter wrote the script based on Chris Radant’s short tale. Mark Isham composed the film’s musical score.

8. The Ice Storm

The Ice Storm Trailer #1 (1997) | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Ice storm takes place when an early winter storm sweeps through Connecticut, throwing a pall over Thanksgiving. Affluent adults shiver restlessly in their split-level homes in a forested suburb, unhappy not just by their lives but also by their entertainment and even their misdeeds.

Their adolescent children have begun to dabble with the same sorts of escapism that they did: drink, marijuana, and sex. Ang Lee, whose previous work was an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” directed the film, which is based on a novel by Rick Moody.

Both films are about families who follow tradition and see each other. The only thing that has changed is the regulations. The social revolution of the 1960s had crept down, or up, through into yuppie classes, who aspired to be “with it” and supplemented their martinis with marijuana, in the early 1970s. For the protagonists in this film, the sexual revolution is in high gear.

9. You’ve Got Mail

You've Got Mail - Trailer 1

You’ve Got Mail is a romantic comedy. You’ve Got Mail depicts the story of two people who fall in love online but don’t realize they are business rivals.

The movie’s primary characters are lovable. The contrast in the way people speak on the Internet and in real life is truly a treat to witness. It makes viewers want to know whether they will find out about each other, and how will it finish. “You’ve Got Mail” is a charming and pleasant flick.

It was Tom Hanks and Ryan’s third collaboration, after Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993), both directed by Ephron.

10. Free Birds

Free Birds Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Owen Wilson Animated Movie HD

Free Birds is an animated comedy film about two turkeys that travel back in time to prevent their species from being served for Thanksgiving on dinner tables. Reggie is kidnapped and forced into a covert mission by a huge, intense, and maybe psychotic turkey named Jake in “Free Birds.” After which the movie goes in a completely different route.

It was the first theatrical entirely animated feature film created by Reel FX Creative Studios. The film was directed by Jimmy Hayward, who also co-wrote it with the film’s producer, Scott Mosier. Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler star in the picture.

11. One True Thing

One True Thing is the type of film that leaves the viewer with awe-inspiring performances. This isn’t to say that the film is upbeat, because it isn’t. In truth, the film is rather gloomy. It takes a lot for a film to elicit emotional tears from the audience.

Finding Thanksgiving movies could be difficult, considering the different kinds of people joining you on Thanksgiving. In “One True Thing,” Zellweger plays an adult journalist who goes home to care for her dying mother in the middle of a family conflict. The film follows an adult kid as she comes to grips with her parents’ adult viewpoint. As they gradually expose themselves to be less than the ideal she knew as a youngster.

The One True Thing is based on Anna Quindlen’s novel of the same title, about a New York magazine writer. Ellen is bright and attractive, yet she has a faint wounded expression on her face. A kind like she’s been injured before and expects to be harmed again.

12. Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Nicol Paone. A holiday plan for two long-time friends to drown their sorrows transforms into something far more entertaining.

Their irritating rants about failed relationships make the movie a perfect comical drama. It cooks up by assembling a diverse group of mismatched, unusual personalities. The type of people you couldn’t picture hanging out with freely in the first place.

Friendsgiving could be added to great Friendsgiving movies and not only a part of Thanksgiving movies. The drama, the friendship, and the tension make up the perfect spice to add to your memorable Thanksgiving dinner.

13. Krisha

Krisha | Official Trailer HD | A24

Krisha is a 2015 American drama film. It is the narrative of a woman’s long-ago abandonment of her family. The story is conveyed throughout one stormy Thanksgiving.

Krisha tries to reunite with her long-lost family. And her family embraces her with a mix of affection and caution. A distinct sense of dread pervades the air, and it only grows stronger as Krisha gets to work. She attempts to make up for the missed time by meeting up with her family.

But her attempts at reunion are increasingly thwarted. Tension and suspicion rise, bringing long-buried secrets and deep-seated grudges to the surface. This makes everyone get involved in an emotionally charged familial confrontation. This act of reconnecting speaks volumes making it to stream.

14. Pieces of April

Peter Hedges wrote and directed the 2003 American comedy-drama film Pieces of April. The film follows April as she prepares a Thanksgiving dinner for her estranged family.

April Burns is an eccentric and rebellious young woman. She lives in a low-rent New York City apartment with her lover, far away from her emotionally distant family. However, when she learns that her mother has a deadly form of breast cancer, she invites the entire family to her home for Thanksgiving weekend.

While her father attempts to bring her family into town, April, an unskilled cook, stumbles into cooking difficulty and must seek assistance from a neighbor.

15. The Oath

The Oath is a black comedy film released in 2018. After the US government requires all inhabitants to take a loyalty pledge, The Oath follows a politically divided family over Thanksgiving.

When Chris, a high-strung news addict, and his more level-headed wife learn that citizens will be required to take a loyalty oath to the president, they are stunned.

The Thanksgiving signing deadline approaches, and the mix of feuding families. Chris’ anxiousness and the sudden entrance of two government agents take the holiday gathering completely off the tracks. The differences in the characters and their approaches toward various situations mold the film in a fun direction making it perfect for our list.

16. Instant Family

Instant Family is a family comedy-drama film directed by Sean Anders. When Pete and Ellie wish to start a family, they find themselves in the world of foster care adoption. They want to take in one tiny child.

The twist is they meet three siblings, including a defiant 15-year-old girl, and they find themselves going from zero to three children overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ins and outs of quick motherhood in the hopes of starting a family. Thanksgiving movies bring out the best in you and add to the holiday spirit.

Sean Anders also authored the screenplay with John Morris and Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty, Tig Notaro, and Octavia Spencer.

17. The Turkey Bowl

THE TURKEY BOWL Trailer (2020) Matt Jones, Brett Cullen Comedy Movie

Patrick Hodges, a former small-town high school quarterback who is now a high-powered Chicago businessman hitched to the daughter of a politician, hasn’t returned to his tiny Midwestern village in years.

His old buddies enticed him back for Thanksgiving to force him to complete the Turkey Bowl, a football game that had been snowed out 15 years before.

Patrick must put his career in danger to lead his ragtag squad against their fierce crosstown rivals, eventually learning how much he misses the simpler life and the girl who got away.

18. Tower Heist

This film follows a group of employees at a high-end apartment complex who want to reclaim what a wealthy financial guru has taken from them.

Tower Heist depicts the story of a group of dedicated and diligent people who lost their pensions due to a financial guru’s deception. The theft that follows is amusing and ridiculous, but the movie is well worth watching making it to our list of Thanksgiving movies to watch that you can’t miss this Thanksgiving.

Taking revenge on them is sure to tug at the public’s heartstrings. Tower Heist is a modern-day Robin Hood tale with a touching conclusion.

19. Garfield’s Thanksgiving

‘Garfield’s Thanksgiving’ is a solidly amusing film, with several excellent laughs and some nuance in the sentiment. The characters are as interesting as they’ve always been, with Garfield being his usually irascible self.

There are numerous fantastic sight gags, and Grandma’s aid ensures a lot of action. In “A Garfield Christmas,” she stole the show, and she did the same here. When Jon is modeling costumes for Garfield, he’s as comically awkward as he’s ever been.

There’s a terrific series of gags. When he stalls for time by regaling Liz with Thanksgiving history, he also threatens to put her to sleep. Odie is still as charming as ever.

The greatest jokes revolve around the talking scale; they’re aimed more at adults than children, who won’t get the references, but they’re still hilarious.

20. What’s Cooking?

What’s Cooking? is much more than just another Thanksgiving dinner, commemorating the occasion by weaving together the lives of four African-American, Jewish, Latino, and Vietnamese families.

Closing Thoughts

Thanksgiving movies possess a sense of excitement in them, this movie has it all. Differences in cultures and their perspectives add so much color to the table. They all serve turkey in some form, surrounded by traditional meals from their respective countries. That means four different Thanksgiving meals; some are sick of turkey and try to disguise it.

Gurinder Chadha, an Indian woman of Punjabi origin and Kenyan roots who grew up in London and has been married to Paul Mayeda Berges, a half-Japanese American, brought these families together. Isn’t it enough to make you smile? They co-wrote and directed the film.

Now all that’s left is to choose from this list and enjoy your Thanksgiving break with some good movies.

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