30 Thanksgiving movies to stream this holiday

Hooah! The 30 Best Thanksgiving Movies To Stream

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One way or another, a movie always seems to work its way into plans at Thanksgiving. For those who think that Hollywood ignores movies about the day where families gather, give thanks and think again. There is a bounty of Thanksgiving movies to stream that either feature a Thanksgiving dinner scene or focus entirely on that fourth Thursday in November.

After culling through countless Tinseltown T-day deliveries, an extraordinary list of the best Thanksgiving movies has emerged. It features the biggest names working — such as Sandra BullockMeryl StreepKeanu Reeves, and there’s even an endearing Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan rom-com! There is also a variety from slapstick and super silly comedies to dramas that will make your holiday seem like a trip to Disney World.

The following are ranked in order of good to great, complete with our very own Turkey Meter! In the mood for a movie moment that will have you craving mashed potatoes and stuffing? We live in a magical time. Movies at the cinema are a blast, sure, but how fantastic is it that we can choose to stream these 30 best Thanksgiving movies in the comfort of our own home? Sit back and serve yourself a streaming plate full of Hollywood holiday goodness.

Bryan Cranston sported a hippy look, complete with long hair and mutton-chop sideburns, in the movie National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion.

What: “National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion”

Platform: Amazon

Why? The comic creators from National Lampoon are no strangers to launching laughs for the holidays. These are the folks who gave us the priceless holiday gift that has been giving since 1989, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. There may be no Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) in National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion, but the 2003 LOL launcher finds Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop) and Penelope Ann Miller (Best Picture-winning The Artist) starring in the tale that follows Mitch Snider (Reinhold) wanting the traditional family gathering. The issue is that he has little extended family to speak of. But wait! An invitation arrived from his forgotten cousin, Woodrow (Cranston), and this Thanksgiving promises to be the best ever. Then again, this is National Lampoon, and nobody milks culture clashes like the funny film factory. Let’s see how these suburbanites break bread with the country-dwellers.

Turkey Meter: 6/10

The red and blue heroic turkeys at the heart of Free Birds need a mediator to work out their differences before heading back in time to get turkeys off the Thanksgiving dinner menu.

What: “Free Birds”

Platform: Amazon

Why? Pizza Day instead of Turkey Day? That’s the premise of the 2013 animated film starring Owen WilsonWoody Harrelson and Amy Poehler. Imagine a pair of turkeys who found a way to travel back in time to the very first Thanksgiving. Their goal: To switch out their ancestors as the original food. That would certainly save a lot of flightless birds. What’s even better than the general premise is the inspirational element of the film. In a great message for the kids, the two turkeys who go back to the first Thanksgiving are from different walks of life and do not care for one another in the slightest. They must overcome their differences to achieve their collective goals.

Turkey Meter: 7/10

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Kevin James rocked his Segway in his mall cop uniform in a scene from Paul Blart.

What: “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”

Platform: Amazon

Why? If mindless comedy that doesn’t require too much thought or isn’t too taxing on the brain sounds good for Thanksgiving weekend, then play the 2009 comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Black Friday has become as much a part of the whole Thanksgiving weekend experience as turkey and mashed potatoes. Our favorite mall cop, Kevin James’ Paul Blart, is working the establishment on its busiest weekend — always on the lookout for criminals getting in the way of families enjoying some good old fashioned, all-American shopping. Lucky for those shoppers that Paul is working as a heist takes place and the crooks have no idea that the Segway-riding security guard has plans to ruin their day.

Turkey Meter: 7/10

Thanksgiving movies sweet november

What: “Sweet November”

Platform: Amazon

Why? Keanu! Charlize Theron! In love! With a title like Sweet November, one has to guess that Thanksgiving will factor in there somewhere. In addition to that, two beautiful people fall head over heels in this 2001 flick. Theron’s Sara actually had a good trip to the DMV … because she met Reeves’ Nelson. After the sparks fly from that initial meeting, Sara gathers the confidence to ask Nelson to spend the month with her. She vows that his life will not be the same in December. Sweet November will pull strongly at those heart strings.

Turkey Meter: 7/10

Thanksgiving movies pieces of april

What: “Pieces of April”

Platform: Amazon

Why? The 2003 film starred Katie Holmes as April. She invited her mom and the rest of her (now distant) family over to her place for dinner. Mom is dying of cancer, and April figured that it was time to put aside her issues with her family and use the “giving” aspect of Thanksgiving to mend some broken relationships. Pieces of April is often touching, tender, amusingly candid and always approachable.

Turkey Meter: 7/10

Thanksgiving movies son in law

What: “Son in Law”

Platform: Amazon

Why:Pauly Shore recreated a basic American town in this underrated 1993 Thanksgiving holiday comedy. It also stars Carla Gugino as the girl next door who went away to college and returned for the major American holiday with her friend (Shore) in tow. Imagine showing up at your conservative parents’ home claiming that the longhaired goofball is your fiancé! The film also featured a pre-90210 Tiffani ThiessenSon in Law has heaps of innocent heart, timely humor and even found Shore’s character slowly but surely winning over everyone from Gugino’s parents to almost everyone in this small farming town. This thing is a total charmer.

Turkey Meter: 7/10 for cheese factor … meaning fun for the whole fam.

Thanksgiving movies grumpy old men

What: “Grumpy Old Men”

Platform: Amazon

Why? There was no team like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon to bring legendary gravitas to comedy. This movie found two longtime neighbors (who haven’t gotten along since they were children) finding a new reason to distrust each other. The pair fell for the same woman, Ann Margaret. It made for one interesting storyline — and for one very funny Thanksgiving scene.

Turkey Meter: 7/10

Thanksgiving movies whats cooking

What: “What’s Cooking?”

Platform: Amazon

Why?What’s Cooking? leaps around to four different Thanksgiving meals — all thrown by Los Angeles-based families from diverse backgrounds with a few things in common: stress, food, and stressing over food. With these families from African American, Jewish, Latino and Vietnamese backgrounds, the viewer immediately finds connections that are seemingly congruent across cultures. It’s also nice to see Thanksgiving serve as a common thread in this tapestry of tastes, humor and fantastically rich relationships.

Turkey meter: 7.5/10

Parker Posey, dressed like Jackie-O, welcomed her brother, Josh Hamilton, and his fiancée, played by Tori Spelling, as the couple are drenched from a rainstorm as they prepare for Thanksgiving.

What: “The House of Yes”

Platform: Amazon

Why? This 1997 dramedy takes us back to Thanksgiving in 1983. Marty (Josh Hamilton) has brought his fiancée, Lesly (Tori Spelling), home to meet his family. It’s an interesting group, to put it mildly. There’s his overtly horny brother Anthony (Freddie Prinze Jr.), his simultaneously distant and meddling mother, Mrs. Pascal (legend Geneviève Bujold), and his former First Lady-obsessed sister, Jackie-O (Parker Posey) — yes, that’s her name. So, how does it all go? Let’s just say that describing it as utterly unhinged is too tame a descriptor! For fans of the indie darling, Parker delivers what may be her most envelope-pushing performance of her entire career and, yes, that is saying something.

Turkey Meter: 8/10

Thanksgiving movies tadpole

What: “Tadpole”

Platform: Netflix

Why? The 2002 charmer Tadpole will warm your heart, albeit not in the most traditional sense. Most 15-year-old boys are obsessed with the opposite sex, but how many set their sights on their new stepmother? In all seriousness, Tadpole was quite the buzz at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Director’s Award for Gary Winick. See, Oscar Grubman (Aaron Stanford) is not your typical teenager. He’s fluent in French, devours French novels and one can see why. His mother divorced his father, Stanley (the late great John Ritter), and moved to Paris. Meanwhile, dear old dad moved on and married Eve (Sigourney Weaver). After living in the city of love, Oscar comes back to the States armed and ready to woo the opposite sex. When he meets Eve, he knows where his attention will go. His focus captures the awareness of Eve’s pal Diane (Bebe Neuwirth), who plays a vital role in how this entire affair plays out. Hey, it’s very French. And over the course of his home visit for Thanksgiving, Oscar will discover a lot about life that has nothing to do with amore.

Turkey meter: 8/10

The entire cast of Avalon struck a pose for a family photo after their Thanksgiving dinner.

What: “Avalon”

Platform: Amazon

Why? Back in 1990, director Barry Levinson completed his Baltimore autobiographical trilogy with Avalon. The flick follows four decades in the lives of an immigrant Jewish family. It’s 1914, and it’s fascinating to see Levinson paint a picture of a family celebrating Thanksgiving that illustrates that very little has changed in 100 years. The “you cut the turkey without me” Thanksgiving scene is priceless and just one spoke on this awesome wheel that is enriched by Randy Newman’s (who was nominated for an Oscar for You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story) soulful score.

Turkey meter: 8/10

Thanksgiving movies youve got mail

What: “You’ve Got Mail”

Platform: Amazon

Why? You’ve Got Mail becomes a Turkey Day flick due to that now iconic Thanksgiving scene. The 1998 film was also prophetic in its spot-on prediction of how an Amazon-type corporate bookstore would wind up wiping out the mom and pop stores of the world. The third Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie also cemented the dynamic duo as the king and queen of rom-coms. Tom played the owner of a nationwide chain of bookstores who is about to open one right near a locally owned (by Meg) store that will surely be the death knell for her establishment. That iconic Thanksgiving grocery store scene aside, You’ve Got Mail also makes this list because of its emphasis on the importance of family, traditions and the idea that despite challenges near and far, we can all find something to be thankful for, even in troubling times.

Turkey Meter: 8/10

Thanksgiving movies addams family values

What: “Addams Family Values”

Platform: Amazon

Why?Christina Ricci was merely 11 when she was cast as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. In the sequel, the spotlight was firmly on the young actress who hit it out of the park with what has become her iconic Thanksgiving scene. Here’s a hint, make sure you are not eating or drinking when Ricci, dressed as a Native American, delivers a fateful speech in her Thanksgiving play. Just a sample from Ricci’s speech, “The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said, ‘Do not trust the Pilgrims.’ We cannot break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours.’” Ricci launched into a monologue that most actresses — regardless of age — would die to deliver. For those of you comfortable with a little righteous humor with your turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, then 1993’s Addams Family Values is firmly for you.

Turkey Meter: 8/10

The all-star jam session that is The Last Waltz included Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan with The Band.

What: “The Last Waltz”

Platform: Amazon

Why? One of the best music documentaries of all time will make you the most rocking Thanksgiving house on the block! Martin Scorsese directed the 1978 film that chronicled the historic Thanksgiving concert that served as the farewell performance of the legendary group The Band. Among the rockers’ guests, the man who used them as his backup band, Bob Dylan, as well as Eric Clapton, Neil DiamondRingo StarrJoni MitchellVan Morrison and Neil Young. “Up on Cripple Creek” and a slew of other musical classics will do wonders for your digestion!

Turkey Meter: 8/10

Thanksgiving movies spider man

What: “Spider-Man”

Platform: Amazon

Why? The 2002 flick that introduced us to the webbed wonder — as played by Tobey Maguire — had what has become one iconic Thanksgiving scene that could not have been filled with more tension! Remember when Maguire went to Thanksgiving dinner with his pal Harry Osborn (James Franco) and his best girl, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst)? Who happened to be at the dinner table? None other than Harry’s pop, Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), aka the Green Goblin! Needless to say, without giving away too much, the stuffing hits the fan, and the entire third act of Spider-Man comes catapulting from that fateful Thanksgiving meal.

Turkey Meter: 8/10

The all-star cast of August: Osage County gathered around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

What: “August: Osage County”

Platform: Amazon, iTunes

Why?Meryl Streep and her dysfunctional cinematic family gathered for Thanksgiving. With all those fireworks, viewers may think it was the Fourth of July. The 2013 dramatic comedy focused on the powerful and headstrong women of the Weston family. Julia RobertsJuliette LewisAbigail Breslin and Margo Martindale are joined by Chris CooperEwan McGregorDermot Mulroney and Benedict Cumberbatch. The John Wells directed film is based on a stage play by Tracy Letts — who adapted it for the screen. This family would not be gathered for such a holiday if tragedy had not demanded their attendance at their Oklahoma home. For the viewers, the joy is in how this family puts the “function” in dysfunctional.

Turkey Meter: 8/10

Thanksgiving movies funny people

What: “Funny People”

Platform: Amazon, iTunes

Why? The dramatic comedy from Judd Apatow (SuperbadKnocked Up) stars Adam Sandler as George Simmons, a supremely successful movie star who wishes to get back to his stand-up comedy beginnings. What spurs the move? He was diagnosed with leukemia. Soon after his diagnosis, he meets a comedian (Seth Rogen) in major need of guidance. What makes it such a great holiday film is its riveting reflection on how family is what you make it. The toast that Adam’s George delivers at Thanksgiving dinner encapsulates that pervasive Funny People theme and will leave you hugging all your Thanksgiving guests.

Turkey Meter: 8.5/10

Kevin Kline (in a London Fog raincoat) and Joan Allen (in a white fleece winter jacket) looked serious as their red and black flannel adorned daughter Christina Ricci looked on.

What: “The Ice Storm”

Platform: Amazon

Why?The Ice Storm comes from Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (The Life of Pi) and is one of those flicks that features powerful performances from all involved — Sigourney WeaverKevin KlineJoan AllenTobey MaguireChristina RicciKatie Holmes (in her second Turkey Day must-see movie) and Elijah Wood. It will entertain while also making you feel fantastic about your own family, given the divisive family drama that happens that Thanksgiving weekend in suburban 1973 Connecticut. There’s adultery, heavy alcohol use and yes … an ice storm that will freeze our players in metaphorical ways as much as it covers the outside world in a thick sheet of the slippery stuff. Paul Hood (Tobey), 16, comes home for Thanksgiving weekend and probably wishes he had stayed at his boarding school. Paul’s 14-year-old sister, Wendy (Christina), is a character of the times, firmly obsessed with the Watergate investigation that only enhances her contemptuous personality. The entire ensemble is outstanding! You cannot go wrong with 1997’s The Ice Storm.

Turkey Meter: 8.5/10

Paul Newman, in a red and grey plaid flannel, sat next to Bruce Willis, in a beige and green flannel, in a scene from Nobody’s Fool.

What: “Nobody’s Fool”

Platform: Amazon

Why?Paul Newman! 1994’s Nobody’s Fool is one of the last great headlining vehicles for Paul. He stars as Sully, an upstate New York construction worker who has been in constant conflict with a contractor (Bruce Willis), whose wife (Melanie Griffith) he happens to fancy. Sully’s routine becomes upended by the arrival of his estranged son, Peter (Dylan Walsh), just prior to Turkey Day. This causes seismic changes in everybody’s lives. It all adds up to a majorly amusing (and disarming) Thanksgiving-centric character study that shines a lighthearted light on loneliness, reconciliation and the unexpected ways people achieve contentment.

Turkey Meter: 9/10

Thanksgiving movies rocky

What: “Rocky”

Platform: Hulu

Why? There are myriad reasons why Rocky should rock your Thanksgiving. Yes, there’s a Thanksgiving scene that is unforgettable, but lest we forget, any cinematic experience that can have the entire clan jumping to their feet and cheering for the Italian Stallion is priceless. The Oscar winner for Best Picture and Best Screenplay (for star Sylvester Stallone!) has all the feels, and since its 1976 debut, it has built a fan base that makes Rocky so much more than a boxing film. It is an experience that captures the American dream and the innate desire to better our place in life.

Turkey Meter: 9/10

The Oath found Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish tensely welcoming their family around the Thanksgiving table.

What: “The Oath”

Platform: Hulu

Why? Laughter strikes at Thanksgiving in the Donald Trump era! Ike Barinholtz (Blockers) wrote, directed and stars as Chris in this hilarious take on the politico-socio climate, and like all good comedies, he takes it to the limit to simultaneously achieve laughs and make its piercing point. Chris and his wife, Kai (the uber hot Tiffany Haddish), are hosting his family for Thanksgiving dinner, and the talk of the country focuses on how the president has asked all of its citizens to sign an oath declaring allegiance to him. It is a divisive issue, and it all comes to fruition during Thanksgiving dinner as a few of Chris’ president-adoring family have no trouble sharing their disdain for anyone who won’t sign The Oath. Well, Chris is one of them and yes, hilarity ensues. John Cho (Star Trek)Jay Duplass and Max Greenfield (New Girl) add to the laughs as well.

Turkey Meter: 9/10

Thanksgiving movies miracle on 34th street

What: “Miracle on 34th Street”

Platform: Amazon

Why? Whether you care for it or not, there is no question that Thanksgiving means that Christmas can firmly take command of our collective attention after that turkey has been eaten and after thanks has been given. That is not why Miracle on 34th Street is one of the best Thanksgiving movies to watch with your family. People forget, but the 1947 classic that starred icons, Maureen O’HaraJohn Payne and Natalie Wood, embarks on its epic journey on Thanksgiving Day with the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Turkey Meter: 9/10

The Tuohy family sat down to Thanksgiving dinner in The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

What: “The Blind Side”

Platform: Amazon

Why? Thanksgiving, amongst many things, means football and family. Few films combine both aspects in a more entertaining and enlightening manner than Sandra Bullock’s Oscar winner. The Blind Side is the true story of Michael Oher, who was homeless and struggling to survive when he was taken into the Tuohy home. Bullock scored the role of her life as the Tuohy matriarch, Leigh Anne. Oher not only made his mark on the football field but also in the classroom as the film movingly illustrates that he was simply a kid in need of inspiration. Sure, he earned a full scholarship to Ole Miss (Leigh Anne’s alma mater) and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, but by the conclusion of The Blind Side, it is us who are most inspired. Oh, and that Thanksgiving scene is priceless and belongs in the “family dinner movie scene” hall of fame!

Turkey Meter: 9/10

Al Pacino sat at the head of the table in a three-piece beige suit, surrounded by his family and special guest in a suit and tie, Chris O’Donnell.

What: “Scent of a Woman”

Platform: Amazon

Why? Hooah! In the 1992 Oscar-winning Scent of a WomanChris O’Donnell stars as a prep school student whose journey into maturity significantly increases over Thanksgiving weekend. He was tasked with taking care of a blind retired army Lt. Col. Frank Slade. Writer-director Martin Brest (Midnight Run) was nominated for Best Director for this wickedly entertaining flick, which would serve as the role that finally earned the legendary performer his first Academy Award for Best Actor. At its core, Scent of a Woman is about friendship and how it can appear where you least expect it. Looking for a warm-your-heart picture? You cannot go wrong with the film that featured the Oscar winner uttering one of his most iconic quotes, “Hooah!”

Turkey Meter: 9/10

Thanksgiving movies the big chill

What: “The Big Chill”

Platform: Amazon

Why? The 1983 classic will not only have you rocking with its ‘60s soundtrack, but its Thanksgiving weekend set will have you practically tasting cranberry sauce. The Big Chill hits all the emotional notes and features one of the more chemistry cohesive casts of the early ‘80s with Glenn CloseJeff Goldblum, William HurtTom BerengerKevin KlineMary Kay Place,JoBeth Williams and, in one of his first roles, Kevin Costner (he’s the dead guy!). It’s cliché, but you will laugh and you will cry and and both will fill you with the warm and fuzzies.

Turkey Meter: 10/10

Thanksgiving movies home for the holidays

What: “Home for the Holidays”

Platform: Hulu

Why? One of the best Thanksgiving movies ever! Claudia Larson (Oscar winner Holly Hunter) is set to have the worst Turkey Day ever … what with the divorcée having been fired from her job and her daughter announcing that she’s spending the holiday with her new boyfriend. Claudia is facing the prospect of spending the holiday with her dysfunctional family solo. Home for the Holidays presented one stunning cast with Robert Downey Jr. — who portrayed Claudia’s gay younger brother (ahead of its time for 1995 to have such a prominent homosexual character in a big studio holiday release) — legends Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning depicting her parents and Dylan McDermott slaying it as Leo Fish, who Claudia believed was her brother’s boyfriend. This is a classic holiday tale where our protagonist learns valuable lessons about family, life and love — all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. Also of note, Home for the Holidays starred a young Claire Danes and was directed by Jodie Foster, her second effort after Little Man Tate.

Turkey Meter: 10/10

Thanksgiving movies krisha

What: “Krisha”

Platform: Netflix

Why? Think your family holiday dinners were uncomfortable? Check out what Netflix has gifted us this Thanksgiving with 2016’s Krisha. In the Trey Edward Shults written and directed flick, the main character (played by Krisha Fairchild) was estranged from her family and did not see them for 10 years. She decided to return for Thanksgiving, ready to tackle everything that had put a wedge between her and her family. Krisha arrived at her sister’s Texas home the morning of Turkey Day, and she was met with an interesting response. The family’s tension gets ratcheted up as the minutes go by. Now, the titular character is trying her best to make up for lost time as she interacts with the various people in her family with mixed results. Needless to say, reconciliation does not come as easily as she anticipated, and that tension meter heads into the red. After seeing Krisha, all that awkwardness at your family meal will seem like a walk down Easy Street.

Turkey Meter: 10/10

Thanksgiving movies charlie brown thanksgiving

What: “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

Platform: Amazon

Why? There is something synonymously sensational about watching a Charles Schulz specific holiday special. Fresh from witnessing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Halloween, the turn of the calendar brought the harvest of heart that is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Charlie and Sally are gearing up to head to Grandma’s for the full turkey dinner spread when Peppermint Patty calls and invites herself to “Chuck’s” house. What’s a kid to do? Well, why not throw two Thanksgiving dinners. After all, what’s better than one T-giving dinner? You guessed it, two!

Turkey Meter: 10/10

Thanksgiving movies planes trains and automobiles

What: “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

Platform: Hulu, Amazon

Why? Have you seen it?! If not, seriously subscribe to Hulu just to watch this classic. Planes, Trains and Automobiles found Steve Martin as a desperate person bucked at every turn as he tried to make it home for Thanksgiving. The comedy had the late John Candy as a good-natured — also stranded — person who is (or he claimed to be) in the same boat, i.e. a traveling businessman who is away from home too often and will do anything to be by his family’s side for Thanksgiving. The comedy landed in 1987 and came from the movie magic man known as John Hughes. The Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club writer-director gifted the world with one of the most hilarious and heartfelt Thanksgiving films ever.

Turkey Meter: 10/10

The cast of Friends (Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer) was joined by Brad Pitt in a Thanksgiving episode that is classic.

What: “Friends”

Platform: Netflix

Why? Yes, we know that Friends is not a movie, but might we suggest a Central Perk-centric collection of the NBC smash hit’s Thanksgiving episodes? Since Friends is set to leave Netflix in early 2020, the time is perfect to binge watch those precious Thanksgiving episodes. Few sitcoms captured that holiday better than that sensational sextet. At 22 minutes per episode, and 10 of those holiday episodes, it’s like a super-long movie that you know you’re going to adore! Every fan has a favorite, and many list it as the Brad Pitt guest-starring role where he detests Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), which of course is LOL funny given that the two were married at the time.

Turkey Meter: 10/10

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