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Best Thanksgiving movies to watch for the holiday

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful...including for the films on offer

Steve Martin and John Candy sit in a destroyed car in a scene from the film 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles', 1987.
By
Published: Thursday, 25th November 2021 at 4:30 pm
20 items

It's one of the biggest holidays of the year for many nations.

For countries including the United States of America and Canada, Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and to look back on the last year and appreciate what has been gained as a time of harvest is reached.

In the US, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, this year falling on November 25, 2021.

There are many traditions for Thanksgiving in the US, including Turkey, lots of food, parades, and coming together with loved ones for a celebration.

Therefore, what better way to celebrate than by viewing some classic Thanksgiving films?

Whether you are looking for laughter, tears, arguments, romance or even murder - we have them all below to suit the holiday season through setting or mood.

So, without further ado, here are the Best Thanksgiving films as assembled by RadioTimes.com.

Showing items 1 to 20 of 20

  • Knives Out

    Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his kin to an 85th birthday party at his mansion, but festivities are cut short by arguments. When the writer apparently commits suicide, Detective Lieutenant Elliott and Trooper Wagner attend the scene, while private detective Benoit Blanc hovers in the background, closely observing family members. Writer/director Rian Johnson's comedy crime thriller, starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

    Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Funny People

    Comedy drama starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. Comedian George Simmons has a string of hit movies and a glamorous lifestyle, but when he is diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease he realises how truly alone he is. He hires aspiring stand-up Ira Wright to provide him with new material, but then begins to turn to him for friendship, too.

  • Home for the Holidays

    Comedy drama starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr and Anne Bancroft. A woman has to face her family at Thanksgiving after she loses her job, has an affair and learns her daughter has a new boyfriend.

  • You've Got Mail

    Romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as the owners of rival New York bookshops. When Joe Fox threatens to put Kathleen Kelly out of business, he shares his misgivings about the impending closure of her store and other personal secrets with an anonymous chat-room partner - and makes a startling discovery that only adds to his dilemma.

  • Addams Family Values

    Comedy horror starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia. The arrival of baby Pubert leads to some "deadly" games in the Addams household as the jealous Wednesday and Pugsley try to dispose of their new sibling. Morticia and Gomez hire Debbie as a nanny for the new arrival, and Debbie soon attracts the amorous attentions of Uncle Fester. But the nanny's motives prove to be even more sinister than the Addams clan itself.

  • Mistress America

    Comedy starring Lola Kirke and Greta Gerwig. After moving to New York for university, freshman Tracy feels lost and lonely. But when she meets up with her bohemian, soon-to-be stepsister Brooke, her life takes an exciting turn.

  • Scent of a Woman

    Oscar-winning drama starring Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell. Student Charlie Simms doesn't realise what he's let himself in for when he takes on a Thanksgiving holiday job looking after blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade. When Frank wishes to indulge in some of his "favourite" things one more time, the reluctant Charlie, with the threat of expulsion hanging over him, is whisked off on an eventful trip to New York.

  • The New World

    Historical drama from director Terrence Malick, starring Colin Farrell, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christian Bale and Christopher Plummer. Virginia, 1607: as English settlers struggle to establish the new American colony of Jamestown, disgraced soldier of fortune Captain John Smith is sent on a food-gathering expedition. Ambushed by members of the native ruling Powhatan tribe, Smith is taken prisoner and it's only the pleas of chief's daughter Pocahontas that saves his life. The two develop a gradual relationship, each learning about the customs and cultures of their different peoples. But when Smith returns to Jamestown and chief Powhatan discovers the colonists have no intention of leaving, Pocahontas is forced to choose between her tribe and the enemy she now loves.

  • The Last Waltz

    Martin Scorsese's documentary following Canadian-American rock group the Band's farewell concert in November 1976, held on Thanksgiving Day at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Featuring contributions from Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, the Staple Singers and Emmylou Harris, as well as interview with band members Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson

  • Rocky

    Oscar-winning sports drama written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. Rocky Balboa is a down-on-his-luck boxer scraping a living collecting debts for a Philadelphia loan shark. But when heavyweight champion Apollo Creed puts his title up for grabs in a US Bicentennial publicity stunt, Balboa receives an unexpected shot at the big time.

  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    A stressed businessman just wants to make it home to spend Thanksgiving with his family. However, when his flight is forced to land miles from its destination, he finds himself sharing a disaster-strewn journey across America with an amiable but slobbish salesman. Comedy road movie, starring Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Kevin Bacon and Michael McKean

  • The House of Yes

    A mentally unbalanced young woman - who is convinced she is Jackie Kennedy - flies into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he is engaged.

  • Avalon

    Epic family saga completing Barry Levinson's Baltimore trilogy of films which also includes Tin Men and Diner, starring Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins and Armin Mueller-Stahl. In 1914, Sam Krichinsky emigrates from Eastern Europe to Baltimore where he joins up with his three brothers who operate a decorating business and are also weekend musicians. At a concert, Sam meets Eva whom he later marries and together the couple produce a son whose choice of career is to shape the family's destiny.

  • Home for the Holidays

    Comedy drama starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr and Anne Bancroft. A woman has to face her family at Thanksgiving after she loses her job, has an affair and learns her daughter has a new boyfriend.

  • The Joy Luck Club

    Bittersweet drama set in San Francisco, based on the bestselling novel by Amy Tan, that charts the trials and tribulations of four Chinese women and their American-born daughters.

  • An American Tail

    Animated adventure. At the end of the 19th century, the Mousekewitz family of mice decide to leave their native Russia and set sail for a new life in America. But, during a storm, young Fievel is washed overboard and separated from his family. Finding himself alone in New York, he sets about searching for them.

  • Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow

    Fantasy adventure starring Mary Steenburgen. Recently divorced, a father takes his two kids to visit their aunt in the woodsy little town of Turkey Hollow which, according to legend, is also home to a fuzzy creature called the Howling Hoodoo. Naturally, the kids resolve to seek it out.

  • The Ice Storm

    Drama based on the novel by Rick Moody, directed by Ang Lee, and starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen. Thanksgiving 1973: the Hoods and the Carvers are neighbours in an outwardly peaceful and prosperous New England community. But beneath the tranquil exterior lies a hotbed of intertwined relationships involving both the parents and children of the two families.

  • The Blind Side

    Drama based on a true story, starring Oscar-winning Sandra Bullock. The life of homeless and largely abandoned African American teenager Michael Oher seems to be heading nowhere. That is until the intervention of wealthy white housewife Leigh Anne Tuohy, who takes Michael into her family home and helps him fulfil his potential - especially on the football field.

See more Best Thanksgiving movies to watch for the holiday
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