Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends, great food, football, fun, and of course, good movies. Yes, Americans love the holiday season so much that watching countless movies about this time of year is a must for most of us. What better way to unwind than to relax on the couch and put on some seasonal favorites. That said, with so many choices out there, you may be wondering which are the best Thanksgiving movies to add to the playlist.
Those playlists have many streaming options available these days. A recent study found that the average person’s streaming playlist consists of 16 movies, along with 13 TV shows—a total of 104 hours! It might be hard to add more titles to this list, but there’s something to be said for enjoying the holiday spirit, especially with family. If anything, watching movies is a way to keep any family squabbles aside for at least a couple of hours.
Above all, feel-good movies evoke healthy emotions in viewers — they’re intended to make us feel good. “In addition to elements of humor and classic happy endings, feel-good films can be identified by certain recurring plot patterns and characters,” says Kevan Sarkhos, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, in a 2021 study on the appeal of cognition. – Good movies. “Often it involves outsiders in search of true love, who must prove themselves and fight against adverse circumstances, and who ultimately find their role in the community.”
So, all that said, which movies make Americans feel the best on Turkey Day?
StudyFinds is set to find the best Thanksgiving movies, according to expert reviews. To do that, we visited 10 “expert” websites to see which titles they recommend the most. Because there were so many options and suggestions, we used each site’s top 15 recommendations to come up with a consensus top seven movies. We’ve also included five honorable mentions.
List: The Best Thanksgiving Movies, According to Experts
1. A Charlie Brown thank you
Perhaps the most obvious choice on this list, the most recommended Thanksgiving movie is this classic family film starring Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and others. peanuts the gang
“When Charlie Brown tries to prepare a Thanksgiving meal with the help of Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock, things don’t go as planned. This 1973 animated classic will remind your family of the true meaning of Thanksgiving,” writes Parade.
With plenty of laughs to go around, Town & Country magazine notes that one of their favorite scenes involves Snoopy and Woodstock trying to pull apart a turkey’s wishbone.
“This 25-minute animated film tugs at our hearts the way only a true classic can. Watch Charlie Brown learn the meaning of Thanksgiving with the beloved Peanuts gang’s Motley Crue,” adds PureWow.
2. Little Women (2019)
Older viewers may first think of the 1994 adaptation of the iconic book starring Winona Ryder, but it’s the 2019 version that’s made more “Best Thanksgiving Movies” lists.
“Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has been adapted countless times before, but Greta Gerwig’s 2019 version captured the sisters’ warmth and easy laughter, as the four girls’ real-life families told us,” notes OprahDaily.com.
Experts agree that the importance of family shines through in this movie, making it perfect for a Thanksgiving gathering.
“Little Women Obviously not a Thanksgiving movie, though it’s mostly taken around the holidays and in the run up to Christmas, and there are plenty of scenes around the table to give you that cozy feeling – and make you feel thankful. Your family,” says Good Housekeeping.
3. You got mail
Inspired by America Online’s signature phrase, this movie makes the list of best rom-coms for many. While this isn’t exactly a movie specifically about Thanksgiving, who could possibly resist a modern-day love story starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan?
“The whole movie has great foliage scenes and a crisp, autumnal atmosphere, where Joe runs to the front of Zabar’s cash-only line to futilely fend off a work enemy (or so he thinks . . . ) actually happens on Thanksgiving Day.” He writes for Town and Country magazine.
PureWow adds: “Our all-time favorite rom-coms have not one, but two Thanksgiving scenes. This is an accurate picture of Nora Ephron at her best and at a moment in time (the late ’90s).”
4. Addams Family Values
You might think it’s better suited for Halloween, but this sequel to the 1991 hit lands in the middle of our experts’ list for the best Thanksgiving movies. Yes, get ready for a disgusting take on Turkey Day.
“Dare we say that the second chapter of the tale of the creepy, kooky and creepy brood is better than the first? We dare, and we do. And it’s thanks in no small part to Wednesday Addams’ stone-cold performance in the school’s production. Leaving the script, “She rewrites the history of what really happened on the day we now know as Thanksgiving,” writes Harper’s Bazaar.
Uncle Fester and his hopes for romance are the central story of this hilarious adventure, sure to win the hearts of everyone at your family gathering.
“Feel free to have a friendly discussion with your family members on any of the following topics: Good The Addams Family film, Wednesday’s iconic style, and — of course — the iconic Thanksgiving pageant,” says Cosmopolitan.
As mentioned above, family feuds sometimes slip into Thanksgiving dinner, and swear This highlights the problem for many families.
“In this dark comedy, Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz star as a married couple who vow not to discuss politics (and a controversial new loyalty oath) with their extended families over Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s not long before the plan goes off the rails,” Cosmopolitan tells
Although it might make some people a little uncomfortable if political battles at the table are a serious issue, maybe some levity can help people get along better for their annual meal.
“Based on the conversations you’ve had with some relatives this year, the plot may be almost on the nose,” writes Esquire.
It’s a concept that has grown in popularity in recent decades, especially because of the problems swear: Instead of getting together with family for Thanksgiving, why not make it a day off for friends? Thus, Friendsgiving was born. But, as it turns out, in this friends Take it, being with friends doesn’t necessarily mean better results.
“This flick is about a Friendsgiving celebration filled with dysfunction — like, a lot of it. Who doesn’t want to see some friendly chaos?” Cosmopolitan says.
“The trend of hosting Friendsgiving seems to become more popular every year. Starring Malin Akerman and Kat Dennings, this comedy is somewhat relatable in its depiction of how our Pinterest boards are never as quirky as we imagine,” adds Town & Country magazine.
7. Thanks to Garfield
And last, but certainly not least, another old friend proves to be one of the best Thanksgiving movies of all time. If you want to avoid all the drama flicks in real life, stick with the happiest fat cat who knows how to steal our hearts.
“Who doesn’t have half an hour to get acquainted with that orange fur ball you grew up watching? Just one of many holiday specials starring the lazy cat voiced by Bill Murray and his yellow-dog sidekick, Garfield’s Thanksgiving is part nostalgia, part comedy, and an absolute must in your seasonal movie lineup,” Opradelli says.
Adds Harper’s Bazaar: “The Orange Cat, who loves lasagna more than you love it, hosts a Thanksgiving special that not only tugs at the nostalgic heartstrings, but also provides a distraction for the kids while you set the table. The classic toon begins with a trip to the vet and ends with Grandma doctoring the Thanksgiving feast, which is the perfect ending.”
- soul food
- Home for the holidays
- Steal the tower
- Planes, trains and automobiles
- Free Birds
Town and Country magazine
living in the country
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not affiliated or affiliated with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.