Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Movies That Will Rejuvenate Your Holiday Spirit

With Thanksgiving upon us, everyone is in good holiday spirits. Spending time with your family on this holiday is the best celebration. After all, we are all grateful for our families more than anything. Why not lay back and enjoy some of the best Thanksgiving movies this Thanksgiving? There are a lot of Christmas movies out there but not many Thanksgiving movies.

However, this doesn’t imply that there aren’t a few Thanksgiving classics deserving of annual screenings. Similar to beloved Christmas movies, these films convey something about the essence of the holiday, albeit in a contemporary and slightly historical context. Some may evoke tears, be it from laughter or a nostalgic recognition of personal memories. Others might elicit cringes, and at least one may induce fear or nausea. For those who haven’t experienced the joy of indulging in stuffing, mashed potatoes, and Uncle Jimmy’s conspiracy theories, these movies offer a glimpse into the unique Thanksgiving experience.

Best Thanksgiving Movies:

As the crisp autumn air settles and families gather around tables adorned with a feast of gratitude, it’s the perfect time to usher in the holiday season with a cinematic celebration of Thanksgiving. While Christmas movies often steal the spotlight, there exists a hidden trove of films that capture the essence of Turkey Day, blending humor, sentimentality, and a touch of chaos. In this exploration of the “Best Thanksgiving Movies,” we embark on a cinematic journey that goes beyond the traditional fare, discovering films that resonate with the spirit of gratitude, family, and the quirks that make Thanksgiving a uniquely cherished moment.

10. Home for the Holidays (1995)

10. Home for the Holidays (1995) Best Thanksgiving Movies

Home for the Holidays,” directed by Jodie Foster and released in 1995, is a heartwarming and comedic exploration of the chaotic yet endearing nature of Thanksgiving gatherings. This is among the classic Thanksgiving movies. The film follows Claudia Larson, played by Holly Hunter, as she navigates the turbulent waters of familial relationships during the Thanksgiving holiday. After losing her job and experiencing a series of personal setbacks, Claudia reluctantly returns to her childhood home to spend Thanksgiving with her quirky and dysfunctional family. The movie beautifully captures the highs and lows of family dynamics, emphasizing the relatable mix of love, tension, and laughter that often accompanies holiday reunions.

9. Scent of a Woman (1992)

9. Scent of a Woman (1992) Best Thanksgiving Movies

“Scent of a Woman,” directed by Martin Brest and released in 1992, is a powerful and emotionally charged drama that, although not exclusively a Thanksgiving movie, features a pivotal and memorable Thanksgiving sequence. The film stars Al Pacino as Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, a blind and retired army officer, and Chris O’Donnell as Charlie Simms, a student who takes on the responsibility of caring for Slade over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Thanksgiving scene becomes a turning point in the narrative, unfolding as a poignant exploration of gratitude, friendship, and redemption. Slade, despite his blindness and often abrasive demeanor, insists on experiencing the holiday with all its traditions. The sequence showcases the contrast between Slade’s tough exterior and the vulnerability that lies beneath, as well as the genuine connection that forms between him and Charlie.

As the characters navigate the complexities of their own lives and relationships, the Thanksgiving setting becomes a metaphorical backdrop for reflection and renewal.

8. Holidate (2020)

8. Holidate (2020) Best Thanksgiving Movies

“Holidate,” a romantic comedy released in 2020 and directed by John Whitesell, offers a humorous take on the challenges of navigating the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, as a single adult. It’s definitely among some of the best Thanksgiving movies on Netflix. The film stars Emma Roberts as Sloane and Luke Bracey as Jackson, two strangers who decide to be each other’s platonic “holidates” to ward off the pressures of societal expectations and family interrogations during various holidays.

While Thanksgiving is just one stop on their calendar of holiday shenanigans, it plays a significant role in the storyline. As Sloane and Jackson continue their unconventional arrangement, Thanksgiving becomes a backdrop for both hilarity and heartwarming moments. The holiday setting allows the characters to confront their insecurities, reevaluate their perspectives on relationships, and discover unexpected connections.

7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Best Thanksgiving Movies

“Hannah and Her Sisters,” a 1986 film directed by Woody Allen, is a nuanced exploration of relationships, personal struggles, and the passage of time, with key scenes revolving around Thanksgiving gatherings. The film features an ensemble cast, including Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, and Woody Allen himself.

The narrative unfolds over two years, with Thanksgiving serving as a thematic anchor for pivotal moments in the characters’ lives. The film centers around three sisters—Hannah (Mia Farrow), Lee (Barbara Hershey), and Holly (Dianne Wiest)—and their interconnected relationships. Reviewed by many as one of the best Thanksgiving movies. The Thanksgiving dinners act as a backdrop against which the characters grapple with love, infidelity, existential angst, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment.

6. Krisha (2015)

6. Krisha (2015) Best Thanksgiving Movies

“Krisha,” the 2015 film directed by Trey Edward Shults, is like your wild Thanksgiving dinner that starts with excitement but takes unexpected turns. Picture this: Krisha, the estranged family member, returns home for the holiday after years away, aiming to mend relationships and share in the festive cheer. But, oh boy, does chaos ensue!

Thanksgiving becomes the backdrop for a rollercoaster of emotions. Krisha, played by Krisha Fairchild, brings a mix of hope and tension to the family table. As the turkey roasts, so do long-buried resentments and unresolved issues. The holiday feast becomes a stage where family dynamics take center stage – from laughter to tears, and everything in between. If you’re looking to watch a Thanksgiving movie with your family, this might be a great choice, it’ll make you laugh. 

5. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

5. Always Be My Maybe (2019) Best Thanksgiving Movies

Who doesn’t like a romantic comedy around the holidays? We found this gem of a Thanksgiving movie that has it all – love, laughter, and a dash of awkwardness. Set against the backdrop of San Francisco, the film follows childhood sweethearts Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) and Marcus Kim (Randall Park) who reunite years later, just in time for a Thanksgiving dinner that’s as quirky as it is heartwarming.

As Sasha, now a celebrity chef, returns to her hometown, she and Marcus navigate the tricky terrain of rekindling old flames. Enter Thanksgiving, the ultimate recipe for family drama. The holiday scenes in the film are a delightful mishmash of cultural clashes, hilarious family dynamics, and that awkward moment when your past collides with your present. A worthy mention among the best Thanksgiving movies on Netflix. The Thanksgiving table becomes the perfect stage for a mix of emotions, from the bittersweet to the downright funny. It’s not just about the turkey; it’s about the simmering chemistry between Sasha and Marcus, the well-intentioned meddling of family members, and the universal theme of finding love in unexpected places.

4. Thanksgiving (2023)

4. Thanksgiving (2023) Best Thanksgiving Movies

A notable mention among the best Thanksgiving movies and it just released this year. In the horror film “Thanksgiving,”, the seemingly tranquil town of Plymouth, Massachusetts transforms into the stalking grounds for a masked killer on Thanksgiving day. Renowned for his gruesome and tension-filled horror films, director Eli Roth skillfully integrates Thanksgiving traditions into a harrowing narrative. “Thanksgiving” presents a chilling examination of the sinister aspects of the holiday, employing Thanksgiving customs and symbolism to evoke an atmosphere of apprehension and suspense. The movie strikes a balance between its graphic violence and gore, incorporating moments of humor and suspense, resulting in a captivating and entertaining horror experience.

3. The Ice Storm (1997)

3. The Ice Storm (1997) Best Thanksgiving Movies

Thanksgiving Movies like these are a treat to watch with your family “The Ice Storm” is like your Thanksgiving leftovers – it’s still rich, intriguing, and has layers of complexity that you didn’t quite catch the first time around. This 1997 drama, directed by Ang Lee, brings the tumultuous atmosphere of the ’70s to a Thanksgiving weekend in suburban Connecticut.

As the turkey gets roasted in the oven, the Hood and Carver families simmer with their struggles and desires. Thanksgiving becomes the stage where family dynamics, teenage angst, and the general confusion of life collide. It’s like sitting at the dinner table with your eccentric relatives, but the tension is palpable, and secrets are as well-kept as Grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe.

The film doesn’t just dish out a traditional Thanksgiving feast; it serves up a buffet of emotions and societal commentary.

2. Spider-Man (2002)

2. Spider-Man (2002) Best Thanksgiving Movies

Swing into the world of “Spider-Man” circa 2002, where the friendly neighborhood superhero battles baddies and manages to squeeze in a bit of Thanksgiving drama. Directed by Sam Raimi, this Spidey tale brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “sticky situations.”

So, picture this: Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, is not just juggling school, Aunt May, and his newfound spider powers; he’s also trying to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner. Classic superhero problems, right? But here’s the twist – Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), decides to crash the Norman Rockwell-esque family gathering.

Thanksgiving becomes more than just a time for turkey and stuffing; it’s a battleground for Spidey and the Green Goblin, with all the action and web-slinging you’d expect. It’s like trying to carve the turkey while dodging pumpkin bombs – not your average holiday!

The film captures the essence of Thanksgiving chaos, blending superhero spectacle with the relatable challenge of balancing personal life and responsibilities. Plus, Aunt May’s wisdom and Peter’s struggles make it feel like a holiday dinner you’d want to attend. This isn’t your average Thanksgiving movie. 

1. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

1. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Best Thanksgiving Movies

The best Thanksgiving movie and the critics back it. In real-world America, Thanksgiving is a day filled with feasts, football, and time spent with friends and family. However, in the realm of movies, the holiday is often portrayed as a challenging obligation, where longstanding tensions tend to erupt at the dinner table. That’s precisely why “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” stands out as the go-to Thanksgiving film for many families.

While, for those with a fear of travel, John Hughes’ comedic tale of road trip mishaps might feel like an extended panic attack, it effectively underscores the notion that Thanksgiving is worth the struggle to reach home. So, if you’re ready for a laugh-out-loud journey through Thanksgiving madness, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” is your ticket to a holiday classic that reminds us all to be grateful for the unexpected detours that make life, and Thanksgiving, memorable.


  1. Are these Thanksgiving movies suitable for all ages?
    • The selection includes movies suitable for various age groups. However, individual preferences and sensitivities may vary, so it’s recommended to check the movie ratings and reviews.
  2. Where can I watch these Thanksgiving movies?
    • Availability can vary based on location and streaming platforms. Popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others may have some of the listed movies. Check your preferred streaming service for specific titles.
  3. Do the movies on the list cover different genres?
    • Yes, the list encompasses a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, and family-friendly options, providing something for everyone’s taste.
  4. Are there any classic Thanksgiving movies on the list?
    • The list includes both classic and contemporary Thanksgiving-themed movies, offering a mix of timeless favorites and newer releases.
  5. Will the article include where to buy or rent these movies?
    • While the primary focus is on recommending Thanksgiving movies, the article may provide general information on where to find or purchase them.
  6. Do these movies focus solely on Thanksgiving dinner or cover broader themes?
    • The movie selection goes beyond just Thanksgiving dinners, exploring diverse themes related to the holiday, family, and gratitude.
  7. Is there a specific order or ranking to the list?
    • The movies are listed in no particular order, allowing readers to choose based on their preferences. Each movie recommendation is unique, offering a variety of Thanksgiving experiences.
  8. Can I find movies suitable for a family Thanksgiving gathering?
    • Yes, the list includes family-friendly movies suitable for Thanksgiving gatherings. However, individual family preferences may differ, so it’s advisable to review the movie details.
  9. Are there any heartwarming or emotional Thanksgiving movies on the list?
    • Yes, the list includes movies with heartwarming and emotional themes, capturing the spirit of Thanksgiving and the importance of family and gratitude.
  10. Will the article provide information on the release year of these movies?
    • Yes, the article will include the release years of the recommended Thanksgiving movies, allowing readers to explore both classic and more recent films.

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