Top 12 Thanksgiving Movies in 2023 (IMDB Popularity)

Shikhar Jauhari

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Top 12 Thanksgiving Movies in 2023 (IMDB Popularity)

Halloween has passed, and it is time for one of America’s favorite holidays: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving allows us to gather with loved ones, show our Thanksgiving for what we have, and express our appreciation. Across the country, families get together for turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Nothing beats a good Thanksgiving movie to put you in the holiday spirit! From heartwarming dramas to hilarious dysfunctional thrillers, this list of Thanksgiving movies covers it all, be it heartfelt dramas or excruciating thrillers. Whatever your tastes on Thanksgiving, there is sure to be something here that’ll get you in the holiday spirit – from hidden gems and cult favorites that’ll have you laughing or even thinking back on past family dinners of old!

Here are the 12 most popular Thanksgiving movies this year

12. The New World (2005) – 6.7

The New World

Stream Now on Netflix

Genres: Biography, Drama, History

Run Time: 135 min

This film is not an overly gooey specimen of incontinent pictorialism or one featuring Noble Savage characters that plague modern American cinema. Instead, it depicts a real-life historical meeting between Native Americans (known in this film as Naturals) and European colonists over 300 years ago. It is also a film with an enticing mixture of visual poetry and prose, with its beautiful shots, mournful music, and the ambient sounds of nature.

 The film was directed by Terrence Malick, who is known for his meticulous attention to detail and rigorous love of a good story that touches universal emotions. The movie is based on the history of Pocahontas, who was a Native American princess and helped the English colonists in the founding of Jamestown in Virginia, America.

As with most of his previous films, The New World is a film that is beautifully shot, particularly by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. The wide-framed and 65mm used for parts of the film creates a sense of epic scale and allows us to appreciate the stunning landscapes and natural settings in which it takes place.

11. Home for the Holidays (1995) – 6.5

Home For The Holidays

Stream Now on Hulu

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Run Time: 103 min

Following her acclaimed yet disappointing effort Little Man Tate, Jodie Foster tried her hand at directing again with this uproarious comedy about family dysfunction titled Home for the Holidays. With its superb ensemble cast and irrepressibly funny script, this entertaining flick stands up well over time.

Holly Hunter plays Claudia Larson, an art restorer who loses her job just before attending Thanksgiving dinner with her mother at her mother’s house in Iowa. Robert Downey (Tommy) brings with him an attractive comrade. Tommy’s girlfriend, Jack, played by Zach Duhame, is also present.

 The film opens with a stress-inducing scene when Claudia calls her brother, who has just been fired, and her daughter tells her that she will be losing her virginity to her boyfriend at the family Thanksgiving dinner. She then leaves her phone message.

In short order, a drunk Aunt Glady (Geraldine Chaplin), a chain-smoking mom named Adele (Anne Bancroft), and a forgetful, clingy father called Henry (Charles Durning) join the party as well. As the day progresses, the tension between the siblings and their families rises to dangerous levels.

10. Dutch (1991) – 6.5

Dutch

Stream Now on Hulu

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Genres: Comedy, Drama

Run Time: 107 min

Dutch, released in 1991, is a story of a spoiled brat named Doyle (Ethan Embry) who becomes infuriated when his father abandons him at prep school for Thanksgiving, prompting Dutch (Ed O’Neill), an upstanding working-class individual, to offer to drive him home instead of leaving him at pre-p.

Hughes takes greater pleasure in exploring the relationship between his two leads than preaching working-class platitudes, and this film deserves applause from its viewers. The wit and street smarts of O’Neill and Ethan Embry are evident throughout, and they do a fine job of building their bond, even as the movie’s laughs tend to wallop them.

Despite the film’s dated writing and poor chemistry between O’Neill and Williams, Dutch delivers some of the most entertaining and heartwarming moments in any John Hughes movie. It’s also a great Thanksgiving family film that offers plenty of warm chuckles and a message of determination and perseverance.

The premise is simple, yet it’s also clever: A slimy, rich snob decides to break his promise to pick up his son for the holidays from a posh private school in the South, and his pissed-off preteen takes full advantage of the situation.

9. Four Brothers (2005) – 6.8

Four Brothers

Stream Now on Netflix

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama

Run Time: 109 min

After their mother Evelyn is murdered during a grocery store holdup, the Mercer brothers — Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin), and Garrett Hedlund) take matters into their own hands to avenge her murder. John Singleton directed this action-packed tale about brotherhood and justice. It’s an urban Western that plays like the 1965 American film “The Sons of Katie Elder,” though with more modern Detroit.

When the brothers return to their hometown for Evelyn’s funeral, they find that the police have failed to track down her killers. They’re determined to hunt down the gangsters and bring them to justice. They beat people up, poured gasoline on them, chased them with cars, and shot at them.

In the film, we see the Mercers bonding as brothers. Bobby is a petty criminal who loves to fight; Angel is an ex-hustler; Jeremiah is married with kids; Jack is a rock star. The four Mercers have all made their lives in Detroit, but each has a different version of Evelyn Mercer.

8. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – 6.6

Miracle on 34th Street

Stream Now on Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Run Time: 103 min

John Hughes brought Christmas joy back into our homes with this timeless tale from George Seaton screenwriter George Seaton’s screenplay of A Christmas Story (1984). Although there is some critique of consumerism – Kringle knows where children can find toys without necessarily profiting from any particular store – ultimately, this film embraces belief as more fulfilling than skepticism.

This movie features many intelligent characters, including Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, the department store Santa who believes he is the midnight present giver; Elizabeth Perkins as Doris Walker, the event director of Macy’s who hires Kris to take over the Santa role after their original Santa becomes inebriated. Mara Wilson is believable as Doris’ daughter, Susan, a non-believer who is swayed by the presence of Kris.

Attenborough is a natural at playing Kris Kringle, a cheerful, merry-go-round guy unafraid to show his feelings or make a fool of himself. His lovable, endearing manner makes him more than just an excellent character to root for. The script is well written, with a leisurely pacing that works perfectly to tell the story of Santa Claus.

7. Pocahontas (1995) – 6.7

Pocahontas

Stream Now on Disney+

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama

Run Time: 81 min

Pocahontas caused controversy upon its 1995 release. While some saw it as progressive and feminist, others claimed it whitewashed a painful history.

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Contrary to most Disney films, this one does not shy away from taking on some pretty serious topics and features several endearing characters like Grandmother Willow and her trusty sidekick Meeko raccoons. Flit, a hummingbird, is Pocahontas’s second animal companion. He seems to be trying to keep Pocahontas on the straight and narrow, but it’s not clear how he fits into the plot or if he’s supposed to be an inseparable ally or just a weird character.

The story revolves around English explorers John Smith and Captain Ratcliffe landing in Virginia. They quickly begin cutting down trees, digging holes, and preparing to kill the Indians, with the young girl, Pocahontas (voiced by Irene Bedard), watching curiously.

Supervising animator Glen Keane studied Feminine Beauty by Sir Kenneth Clark and met two Powhatan sisters, Shirley Little Dove Custalow-McGowan and Debbie White Dove Custalow, in Virginia to learn more about their history and culture. He says that these experiences left a lasting impression on him and helped him to create Pocahontas’s look.

6. Grumpy Old Men (1993) – 7.0

Grumpy Old Men

Stream Now on Apple TV

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Run Time: 114 min

A classic comedy that brought two legendary actors back together late in their careers still holds up well today. Lemmon and Matthau were at their comic best, and their timing was flawless.

John Gustafson and Max Goldman have long been at each other’s throats; however, when Ann-Margret moves in next door, their rivalry escalates exponentially. As a result, they are competing for the attention of her and her dog Slick.

The movie is an excellent example of how comedies can be made with only a minimal budget. The film also showcases a lot of witty dialogue and is full of warm humor that will leave you smiling for days.

In 1993, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau launched a string of mildly raunchy family comedy hits as the iconic duo. With Mark Steven Johnson writing the screenplay, Grumpy Old Men was the first in the series (followed by Grumpier Old Men and Out to Sea).

As a homage to the two stars, we will cover this 25-year-old essential that reunited them and became an unexpected hit.

5. Scent of a Woman (1992) – 8.0

Scent of a Woman

Stream Now on Netflix

Genres: Drama

Run Time: 156 min

Scent of a Woman, an extraordinary drama and lesson about life, stars Al Pacino as an embittered former Army lieutenant colonel who hires Charlie Simms from an elite prep school as his companion over Thanksgiving weekend. Pacino’s magnificent performance earned him an Oscar nomination. As he brings Frank to life, Pacino masterfully turns a foul-mouthed, suicidal, drunken, and bitter older man into a dynamic character.

The story is told from the point of view of Charlie, a 17-year-old scholarship student at Baird, an exclusive New England preparatory school. The school’s headmaster, Mr. Trask, is stiff, but he and his assistant, Mr. Williams, are easy to please.

One of the boys in the group, George Willis Jr., witnesses a prank on the new Jaguar of the headmaster. The prank destroys a brand-new car, and Trask offers a letter of recommendation to Harvard University to Charlie as a reward. The school’s disciplinary committee is scheduled to meet the Monday after the long holiday weekend.

4. Addams Family Values (1993) – 6.8

Addams Family Values

Stream Now on Prime Video

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy

Run Time: 94 min

Barry Sonnenfeld followed the success of Addams Family with an unexpected sequel that will keep viewers guessing! Here, the Addamses welcome a mustachioed baby into their household while his older siblings, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley, attempt to eliminate him through various means. It’s 1993, and the Addams Family are finally welcoming a new addition to their brood: the adorable baby Pubert.

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Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) are delighted at the birth of their third child, but soon jealousy rears its ugly head. Wednesday and Pugsley resort to homicidal efforts, including beheading their new brother. Despite this, little Pubert is resilient and fortuitously survives the many attempts to kill him.

The Addams Family Values movie is a dark comedy that spoofs cherished traditions and dwells on the dark side of life, but it’s also enjoyable. It has a fast pace and a lot of hearty laughs, but it’s a good reminder that you don’t have to be like everyone else to be happy.

3. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) – 7.6

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Stream Now on Hulu

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Run Time: 93 min

John Hughes first made his mark as a director with films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club; Planes Trains & Automobiles marked his transition into adult comedy.

Neal Page (Steve Martin) wants to get home in time for Thanksgiving with his family, but when his flight is diverted due to a snowstorm, he must bunk up with chatty Del Griffith (John Candy) for safety during their travels home. Together, they must overcome the insanity of holiday travel. Their adventures involve hotel rooms stacked on each other, rental car clerks who refuse to help, train breakdowns, and a faulty tractor-trailer that goes up in flames!

When we see them first, we know that they are unlikely to be able to get home. Nevertheless, we root for them as they are thrown into comical mishaps.

The film’s title refers to the fact that a plane flying from New York’s LaGuardia airport to Chicago’s O’Hare is rerouted to Wichita, Kansas, because of a freak snowstorm. While Martin and Candy have a great rapport, the two are more than just good-natured comical foils. They share their frustrations.

2. Spider-Man (2002) – 7.4

Spider-Man

Stream Now on Netflix, Prime Video

Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Run Time: 121 min

this entertaining Sam Raimi flick starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker – an introverted teenager who gets bit by a genetically modified spider during a school field trip and wakes up with superhuman strength, agility, and sensory perception powers. He can see without glasses, climb walls, eject webbing with the pull of rope and steel, anticipate danger, and become a powerful force for good in a world of bad guys.

The physical aspect of the film is fascinating, with Maguire developing a comically goofy but ultimately endearing performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He’s never as over the top as his more famous counterpart, but he has a lot of fun playing the part of the innocent newcomer.

Sam Raimi and David Koepp take the best idea from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s classic comics story: to see a hero struggle between his responsibilities as a man with his extraordinary powers, putting both together compellingly and logically that also manages to be both funny and moving. The resulting film is one of the most enjoyable, memorable, and essential blockbusters ever.

1. Thanksgiving (2023) – 7.1

Thanksgiving

Still in Theaters

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Run Time: 107 min

Starring Grey’s Anatomy’s Patrick Dempsey and Suits’ Rick Hoffman, this slasher film centers around an unidentified killer terrorizing Plymouth, Massachusetts. What seems to start as random killings turns into part of an intricate plan.

As the slasher movie comes together, it’s clear that this one has some serious blood on its hands. It’s based on a fake trailer Roth put out for the 2007 horror homage Grindhouse, but now it’s given the big screen treatment thanks to Spyglass Media Group.

The movie, which stars Patrick Dempsey, Gina Gershon, Rick Hoffman, and Addison Rae (He’s All That), centers on a town still recovering from the Black Friday riot a year ago. As the city gears up for another sale, a local waitress is murdered by a man who resembles John Carver.

Mitch Collins plays the character of Thomas Wright, who owns the store RightMart. He has been an excellent father to his daughter Jessica and tried to do his best after the riot. But his efforts are tested when a killer dressed in black comes to kill him, and everyone in the town is looking for him.

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