Movies to watch this Thanksgiving, for every kind of family or friend group
The turkey’s been destroyed, the pie’s been reduced to crumbs, and the plates are in the dishwasher. Everyone’s starting to get restless. Then someone suggests going out to see a movie, some others murmur in agreement, and you just know you’re in for another two hours of indecision and cluelessness until it gets too late and everyone just decides to go home.
Except you’re not. Not this year. Because this year, you’ve got us to help you.
Here’s what to watch this Thanksgiving if you’re with…
… your uncle who gets way too into his Oscar pool: The Favourite
This period piece is definitely one to know if you’re invested in the acting categories, as Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone all stand a good chance of getting in. Plus, it’s just plain fun—think Thrones-level scheming, plus more oddly compelling camerawork and a healthy side of pitch-black humor. Did we also mention there are cute bunnies?
Darn it, that’s not playing nearby: The racial dynamics Green Book are… problematic, to say the least, but it’s bound to win over the same auds who previously rewarded films like The Help.
… your entire family, extended relatives included: Ralph Breaks the Internet
If you’re looking for the crowdpleaser of crowdpleasers, it’s hard to go wrong with Disney Animation. They’re second to none when it comes to entertainment gentle enough to amuse the kiddies and smart enough to impress the grown-ups, and Ralph Breaks the Internet is no exception. Just be prepared to cover the youngest ones’ eyes in that finale—things get pretty intense.
Oh no, that’s sold out: Instant Family probably won’t blow any minds, but it might warm some hearts. (Families with under-13 kids should proceed with caution, though.)
… your mother-in-law who really loves Christmas: The Grinch
It’s an entire movie about how Christmas is not just great, but the absolute best, and will definitely, eventually soften of even hardest of cynics. Which is to say it is the perfect story for the loved one in your life who spends January through November waiting for December to come back around.
She thinks cartoons are just for kids: Well, it also doesn’t get more classically Christmas than The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, even if this version puts a new spin on that old tale.
… your parents who keep asking for movie recs: Creed II
Creed II is an easy win, even if it’s not quite as good as Creed 1. Think sports movie plus family drama plus romance plus beefcake showcase, and then multiply it by the nostalgia that comes from seeing Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago back onscreen. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, you’ll cry, and all that intergenerational drama might even inspire you to say “I love you” to each other.
Eh, sports aren’t their speed: Have they seen A Star is Born yet? They’ll probably like A Star is Born. Everybody likes A Star is Born.
… your Friendsgiving crew: Widows
Warm and cuddly it isn’t, but there is something kind of invigorating about watching a bunch of messed-up people coming together and finding strength in one another, and then using that new power to pull off a truly daring, dangerous heist. Hey, it’s kind of like you guys! Except you guys, presumably, commit fewer crimes.
Duh, saw it last weekend: Prickly yet tender, Can You Ever Forgive Me? seems like it was made for watching with the family you chose.
… your sister who’s fighting off her tryptophan stupor: Overlord
If anything’s exciting enough to stave off that impending food coma, it’s gotta be the movie about killing the fuck out of some Nazi zombies. Overlord promises guts and glory, and the (very 2018) satisfaction of watching some truly horrific creatures get got.
Uf, that’s just gonna make her sick: Robin Hood isn’t as unique as Overlord, but it’s also not as gleefully violent, and it’s got a solid cast including Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, and Jamie Dornan.
… your cousins who just want to get out of the house: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
We’re not saying it’s a good movie; in fact, we’ve spoken at length about how very not-good it is. But it is a long movie, from a franchise pretty much everyone’s familiar with. Plus, the sheer amount of WTFery on display means there’ll be plenty to discuss after, giving you guys an excuse to hit the bar instead of just slinking back home.
Drat, no reserved seats together: Is Bohemian Rhapsody still playing near you, maybe? Someone’s bound to have missed it, and the rest will probably be fine with rewatching what’s essentially a greatest hits album put to video.
… your grandparents who’d really prefer to stay in: The Christmas Chronicles
Admit it: At least two of the people in this room have the hots for Kurt Russell, and at least one of them is intrigued by the idea of him playing a sexy Santa. So why not just embrace it? Change into your PJs, make some hot cocoa, and have yourselves a merry old time with this ridiculous-looking movie.
Good lord, they aren’t that cheesy: Are the Coens more their speed? If so, they’re bound to find something to love in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, an anthology of tales about the Wild West.
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