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Best Thanksgiving Movies to Celebrate Family and Gratitude

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15 Best Thanksgiving Movies to Celebrate Family and Gratitude

The Thanksgiving holiday is the perfect opportunity to watch cheerful movies that celebrate family, gratitude, and the joy of the season. While many families choose to watch the classic holiday movie, there are plenty of modern films that capture the spirit of Thanksgiving. Whether you’re looking for a comedy or a heart-warming family drama, there is a perfect Thanksgiving movie out there for everyone. 

Here are the 15 best Thanksgiving movies to watch to get into the holiday spirit.

  1. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a classic comedy from the 1980s. It tells the story of two radically different men, played by Steve Martin and John Candy, who end up traveling together in order to make it home for Thanksgiving. As the two characters face complications on their journey, they become unlikely allies. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles teaches us about gratitude, family, and friendship.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street is a classic Christmas movie, but it takes place in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. In the film, an elderly department store Santa claims to be the real Santa Claus and his special brand of optimism is put to the test in court. Miracle on 34th Street is a heart-warming movie that teaches us to have faith in the goodness of mankind.

  1. Free Birds (2013)

Free Birds is an animated movie about two turkeys, voiced by Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, who go back in time in order to save their species from slavery to humans. Free Birds is a great way to teach children about the beauty of gratitude and how important it is to practice it.

  1. Home for the Holidays (1995)

Home for the Holidays is a comedy about a single mother, played by Holly Hunter, who brings her dysfunctional family home for the holiday. Despite the chaos that ensues, the family manages to learn how to understand and embrace each other. Home for the Holidays is a funny and sincere movie about the importance of family.

  1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a 1973 made-for-TV special. It follows the Peanuts gang as they come together to celebrate the holiday. The gang is joined by Linus’s grandmother, who helps them to cook a meal out of her kitchen. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the perfect choice for families with children. It is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

  1. This Is My Father (1998)

This Is My Father is a drama about a man, played by Aidan Quinn, who learns the truth about his parents’ past while visiting Ireland. As he unravels the mystery, he discovers new perspectives on family, love, and gratitude. This Is My Father is a heartfelt movie about coming to terms with the past and learning to appreciate the present.

  1. The House of Yes (1997)

The House of Yes is an off-beat comedy about a family who reunites for Thanksgiving. The family’s secrets and eccentricities come to light, resulting in hysterical and awkward situations. The House of Yes may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly an original take on Thanksgiving.

  1. The Ice Storm (1997)

The Ice Storm is a 1997 drama set in Connecticut during Thanksgiving weekend. It follows two estranged families as they navigate their difficult relationships. The movie covers a lot of important themes, such as family, friendship, and the moral compass of the times. The Ice Storm is a great movie to watch on Thanksgiving.

  1. Dutch (1991)

Dutch is an overlooked comedy from the 1990s. It tells the story of a blue-collar man, played by Ed O’Neill, and the adventures he has on his way to picking up his girlfriend’s son and taking him home for the holiday. Dutch is a funny and heart-warming movie about the importance of family.

  1. Home for Thanksgiving (2017)

Home for Thanksgiving is a modern made-for-TV movie. It follows a newly divorced woman, played by Annette O’Toole, who invites her family to gather for Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday and reunite. Home for Thanksgiving is a touching and honest movie about accepting change and learning to appreciate the family we are blessed with.

  1. Happy Thanksgiving (2014)

Happy Thanksgiving is an independent comedy about a man who returns home to his dysfunctional family for the holiday. As the old tensions surface, the family must work together to make the most out of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving is a great movie for both adults and teens as it deals with themes of family, love, and appreciation.

  1. The Best Man Holiday (2013)

The Best Man Holiday is a comedy sequel to the 1999 classic The Best Man. It follows a group of college friends who reunite for Thanksgiving and learn some truths about each other. The Best Man Holiday is a great movie to watch if you’re looking for a fun and sincere Thanksgiving viewing experience.

  1. The New World (2005)

The New World is a historical drama about the first English settlers in America and their encounters with the Native Americans. As the settlers learn from their new neighbors, they also learn about being thankful for what they have. The New World is a great movie for history buffs, but also for anyone looking for an inspiring story about Thanksgiving.

  1. Pieces of April (2003)

Pieces of April is a deep and heartfelt drama about a family struggling to be together. It tells the story of a daughter, played by Katie Holmes, who invites her estranged family to her home to have Thanksgiving dinner. As the family members come together, they learn to appreciate the moments they have with loved ones.

  1. Dutch Uncle (1999)

In Dutch Uncle, an elderly man heads to the Netherlands for Thanksgiving to confront his past. During his visit, he meets his long-lost nephew and learns about the importance of family and the power of forgiveness. Dutch Uncle is a great movie for adults as it deals with some difficult and complex emotions.

This Thanksgiving, gather the family and watch a movie together. From classics like Miracle on 34th Street to modern gems like The Best Man Holiday, there is no shortage of Thanksgiving movies to choose from. Watch a movie that captures the spirit of the season while enjoying some holiday treats. There is no better way to celebrate family and gratitude than with a festive movie night!

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