10 movies you should watch for Thanksgiving in 2021

"Happy Thanksgiving" written on a table surrounded by plates of food
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Thanksgiving might not be what comes to mind when people think of vacation-themed movies, but there are quite a few movies that have touched on the fall vacation over the years. Here are 10 Thanksgiving movies you can stream at home.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This beloved Peanuts special has been a staple in broadcast and cable TV since it premiered on CBS in 1973, and starting in 2021, it airs exclusively on Apple TV +. It includes some classic “good mourning!” Moments for hapless Charlie Brown, including once again a soccer ball snatched by his friend Lucy just as he’s about to hit it.

Charlie Brown also throws a Thanksgiving dinner in the run down backyard for his friends (as well as dog Snoopy and his bird sidekick Woodstock), before everyone ends up with a more traditional Thanksgiving at his grandmother’s house, for a heartwarming holiday celebration.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving streams on Apple TV + ($ 4.99 per month after a seven-day free trial).

Free birds

What do Thanksgiving turkeys think? The main turkey characters in this animated film are not fans of the party where millions of Americans eat turkey dinner. It’s a silly premise with lofty messages about respecting animals, plus plenty of wacky antics and bright colors to keep kids entertained.

Free birds streams on Netflix ($ 8.99 + per month) and for free on Hoopla through many local libraries.


This comedy starring Malin Akerman and Kat Dennings is 2020’s contribution to the Thanksgiving canon, picking up on the modern tradition of holiday gatherings that are more about friends than family. Comedy stars Aisha Tyler, Chelsea Peretti, Wanda Sykes and Margaret Cho also appear in this story of two best friends whose plans to spend a Thanksgiving together quickly turn into a boisterous house party.

Friends streams on Netflix ($ 8.99 per month) and is available for digital purchase ($ 5.99 +) and rental ($ 3.99 +) on Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes and other points of sale.

Home for the holidays

Jodie Foster directed this comedy-drama about the various incidents that happen to a single mother (Holly Hunter) and her family when she returns home for Thanksgiving. It was a small commercial disappointment when it was released in 1995, but it has since become a holiday favorite, thanks to a powerful cast (including Robert Downey Jr., Claire Danes, Anne Bancroft and Dylan McDermott), as well as management. cautious of fostering family problems.

Home for the holidays is available for rent ($ 2.99 and up) on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and other outlets.

Planes, trains and automobiles

Filmmaker John Hughes was the king of teen comedies in the 1980s, before dominating family films like the Alone at home and Beethoven franchise in the 90s. But it made a handful of films aimed at adult audiences, including this energetic showcase for Steve Martin and John Candy as opposing travelers who get stuck with each other on a trip. heartbreaking to get home for Thanksgiving. Neal tense from Martin and Del gregarious from Candy’s get excited in a hilarious way, ending up in the holiday spirit.

Planes, trains and automobiles is available to buy ($ 9.99 +) and rent ($ 2.99 +) on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and other outlets.

The house of yes

Bringing a loved one home for the first time on Thanksgiving is hard enough, but what if your mentally disturbed sister thinks she’s Jackie Kennedy and is determined to end your relationship? That’s what happens in this black comedy based on an acclaimed play.

Parker Posey makes a strong impression as “Jackie O,” and the film deals with themes of murder and mental illness in a dark and funny way. This is definitely not your typical holiday celebration.

The house of yes streams on Sling TV ($ 35 + per month), Showtime ($ 10.99 per month after free trial) and available for digital purchase ($ 9.99 +) and rental ($ 3.99 + ) on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and other electrical outlets.


Family Thanksgiving can get pretty intense, as this acclaimed indie drama from writer-director Trey Edward Shults shows. Shults chose his own aunt, Krisha Fairchild, as the main character, an unstable alcoholic who barges into his estranged sister’s Thanksgiving gathering and wreaks havoc after insisting on cooking dinner herself.

The chaotic and chaotic directing style reflects the troubled internal state of the main character, as well as how the day gradually gets out of hand for the whole family.

Krisha streams on Showtime ($ 10.99 per month after a 30-day trial) and for free on Kanopy and Hoopla through many local libraries.

The oath

If you think discussing politics with your family over Thanksgiving dinner is bad, you’ve got nothing about family in this dark comedy from writer / director / star Ike Barinholtz. Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish play a couple heading to Thanksgiving dinner in a near world where every American is strongly encouraged to sign a United States loyalty document

The fights for the oath (which is clearly not really optional) are getting more and more out of control, in a violent and morbid way. It will reassure you to disagree with that uncle you only see once a year.

The oath is available for purchase ($ 5.99 +) and rental ($ 3.99 +) on YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV / iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu, and for free on Kanopy through many local libraries.

April songs

Katie Holmes plays the main character, a rebellious young woman living in a run down New York apartment with her boyfriend (Derek Luke). She’s not the typical Thanksgiving host, but she is determined to cook a proper meal for her family, including her terminally ill mother (Patricia Clarkson), who agreed to visit her even though April had previously babysat its distances. It is a simple story of family reconciliation, marked by tears of sadness and joy.

April songs is streaming on Amazon Prime ($ 119 per year after a 30-day free trial), Pluto TV (free with ads), and buy ($ 14.99 +) and rent ($ 3.99 +) on Google Play, Apple TV / iTunes and Vudu.

Beautiful son

It might be hard to believe now, but there was a time when Pauly Shore was one of the biggest box office stars. This wacky comedy, about a laid-back Californian dude who’s completely out of place when he joins his girlfriend for Thanksgiving on the family farm in South Dakota, may represent the height of Shore’s comedic talent. With Carla Gugino as a student trying to convince her family that she hasn’t changed, Beautiful son is an endearing spotlight on the talents of the weasel itself.

Beautiful son is streamed for free on Hoopla through many local libraries and is available for purchase ($ 17.99 +) and rental ($ 3.99 +) on Google Play, Apple TV / iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, and YouTube.

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