THANKSGIVING MOVIES WORTH WATCHING
By Michael Ahr
However you traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving, gathering with loved ones around a movie never goes out of style, and there are some excellent films suitable for the holiday.
Some of these are beloved classics, others are less obvious, and a few have a streak of cynicism for those who think Thanksgiving is for the birds.
Addams Family Values is a rare sequel that’s better than its predecessor thanks to Christina Ricci’s deadpan humor during a summer camp that features a Thanksgiving pageant.
Alice’s Restaurant is an inadvertent Thanksgiving comedy based on Arlo Guthrie’s folk song, and it tells the story of counterculture antiheroes who are arrested after a big holiday dinner.
Of course, no list would be complete without A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which has been a November staple on TV for decades since first airing in 1973.
The Oscar winner on the list is Hannah and Her Sisters, a film about a family framed between two Thanksgivings and the year that connects them.
For dysfunctional families, there’s Home for the Holidays, starring Holly Hunter as a woman who’s lost her job and must spend Thanksgiving with her awful parents and estranged daughter.
Knives Out isn’t about Thanksgiving, but it was released at November’s end in 2019, and the family gathering in the brilliant whodunit seems appropriate for the season.
Martin Scorsese shot The Band’s farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day, 1976 for The Last Waltz, in which the audience of 5,000 was served a literal Thanksgiving dinner.
Mistress America is a clever throwback set during autumn in New York City and a trip to the suburbs of Connecticut that ends with the protagonists isolated on Thanksgiving.
The most classic Thanksgiving comedy has to be Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, in which Steve Martin and John Candy battle mishaps as they try to get home for the holiday feast.
A less traditional choice might be Prisoners, which opens with a Thanksgiving dinner involving two Pennsylvania families, each with two little girls that unexpectedly go missing.
Want a terrible film to laugh at with the fam? Try Thankskilling, an exploitative horror movie with a turkey possessed by a smartmouthed demon who murders coeds. Happy Thanksgiving!