Thanksgiving might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of holiday-themed movies, but there are quite a few movies that have tackled the fall holiday over the years. Here are 1
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
This lover Peanuts special has been a staple of broadcast and cable television since its premiere on CBS in 1973, and will be streamed exclusively on Apple TV + from 2020. It contains some classic “good grief!” moments for the unfortunate Charlie Brown, including another soccer ball snatched by his friend Lucy just as he is about to kick it.
RELATED: How to Stream ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’
Charlie Brown also puts together a rundown Thanksgiving dinner in the backyard for his friends (plus dog Snoopy and his bird sidekick Woodstock), before everyone ends with a more traditional Thanksgiving at his grandmother’s house, for a heartwarming holiday.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving streams on Apple TV + ($ 4.99 per month after a seven-day free trial) and PBS on Nov. 22, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. local time / 6:30 p.m. CT.
How do turkeys feel about Thanksgiving? The main characters of turkeys in this animated movie aren’t fans of the holiday where millions of Americans eat turkey, so they use a time machine to travel back to the first Thanksgiving in 1621 to keep turkeys from becoming the Thanksgiving meal of choice. It’s a silly premise with some noble messages about respecting animals along with lots of crazy antics and bright colors to keep kids entertained.
Free birds streams on Hulu ($ 5.99 + per month after a seven-day trial), free with ads on Tubi, and free on Hoopla through many local libraries.
Starring Malin Akerman and Kat Dennings, this comedy is 2020’s contribution to the Thanksgiving canon, and takes on the modern tradition of holiday gatherings that are more about friends than family. Comedy all-stars Aisha Tyler, Chelsea Peretti, Wanda Sykes and Margaret Cho also appear in this tale of two best friends whose plans to have a quiet Thanksgiving together quickly turn into a raucous house party.
Friendsgiving is available for digital purchase ($ 6.99) and rental ($ 5.99) from Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, iTunes, and other retailers.
Home for the holidays
Jodie Foster directed this drama about the various accidents that happen to a single mother (Holly Hunter) and her family when she goes home for Thanksgiving. It was a minor commercial disappointment when it was released in 1995, but it has since become a holiday favorite, thanks to a powerful cast (including Robert Downey Jr., Claire Danes, Anne Bancroft and Dylan McDermott), plus Foster’s careful handling of sensitive family issues. .
Home for the holidays streams on Starz ($ 8.99 per month), available for rent ($ 3.99) from Google Play, iTunes, Amazon and other retailers.
Planes, trains and cars
Filmmaker John Hughes was the king of teen comedies in the 1980s, before dominating family films such as the Home alone and Beethoven franchises in the 1990s. But he did make a handful of movies aimed at adult audiences, including this energetic showcase for Steve Martin and John Candy as opposing travelers who end up stuck together on a poignant journey to get home for Thanksgiving. Martin’s tense Neal and Candy’s sociable Del get on each other’s nerves in hilarious ways and eventually come together in the spirit of the holiday.
Planes, trains and cars streams on AMC + (available through your TV provider) and is available for purchase ($ 14.99) and rent ($ 3.99) from Google Play, iTunes, Amazon and other retailers.
The house of Yes
Bringing a significant new home for the family for the first time on Thanksgiving is hard enough, but what if your mentally disturbed sister thinks she’s Jackie Kennedy and is determined to end your relationship? That’s what happens in this black comedy based on a critically acclaimed play.
Parker Posey makes quite the impression as “Jackie O,” and the film deals with themes of murder and mental illness in a darkly funny way. It is certainly not your typical holiday party.
The house of Yes streams on CBS All Access ($ 5.99 + per month after a seven-day trial) and is available for digital purchase ($ 9.99) and rental ($ 3.99) at iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and other retailers .
Family Thanksgiving can get pretty intense, as captured in this acclaimed indie drama from writer-director Trey Edward Shults. Shults cast his own aunt, Krisha Fairchild, as the title character, an unstable alcoholic who invades her estranged sister’s Thanksgiving gathering and wreaks havoc after insisting on cooking dinner herself.
The blurry, chaotic movie style reflects the main character’s troubled internal state, as well as the way the day gradually gets out of hand for the whole family.
Krisha streams on Showtime ($ 10.99 per month after a 30-day trial) and for free on Kanopy and Hoopla through many local libraries.
If you think arguing about politics with your family over Thanksgiving dinner is bad, you have nothing about the family in this dark comedy from writer / director / star Ike Barinholtz. Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish play a couple on their way to Thanksgiving dinner in a near-future world where every American is strongly encouraged to sign a document pledging allegiance to the US
The fights for the oath (which is clearly not optional) are spiraling out of control, in violent and morbidly funny ways. It will make you feel better if you don’t agree with that one uncle you only see once a year.
The oath streams on Hulu ($ 5.99 + per month after a seven-day trial) and for free on Kanopy through many local libraries.
Pieces of April
Katie Holmes plays the title character, a rebellious young woman who lives with her boyfriend (Derek Luke) in a dilapidated New York City apartment. She’s not your typical Thanksgiving host, but she’s determined to prepare a suitable meal for her family, including her terminally ill mother (Patricia Clarkson), who has agreed to come visit, though April has distanced herself before kept. It is a simple story of family reconciliation, characterized by tears of both sorrow and joy.
Pieces of April streams on Amazon Prime ($ 119 per year after a 30-day free trial), Epix ($ 5.99 per month after a seven-day trial), and Hulu ($ 5.99 + per month after a seven-day trial) .
Son in law
It may be hard to believe now, but there was a time when Pauly Shore was one of the biggest stars at the box office. This crazy comedy, about a laid-back California dude who’s totally out of place when he comes with his girlfriend for Thanksgiving on her family’s farm in South Dakota, represents arguably the pinnacle of Shore’s comedic talent. With Carla Gugino as a college student trying to convince her family she hasn’t changed, Son in law is an engaging spotlight for the Weasel’s own talents.
Son in law streams for free on Hoopla through many local libraries.