The Best Thanksgiving Movies

Sharpen those carving knives, you got family coming over! Also, it’s Thanksgiving. This is a holiday all about looking back and all around you and being grateful, a feeling we think you’ll have once you finish our guide to the best Thanksgiving movies of all time.

The sentimentalism game is usually reserved for Christmas movies – Thanksgiving movies are about the family dynamic, both good and bad. Films like Pieces of April and Planes, Trains and Automobiles focus on the positive, as stressful as traveling or preparing meals may be. Meanwhile, The Ice Storm and Krisha take bitter delight in the way the holiday forces people who may not be all too fond of each other together. And other movies you’ll find here, like Funny People or Addams Family Values, may not be the first thing you think of when approaching this time of year, but have memorable or significant scenes set around the Thanksgiving table. The only major stipulation: Every movie on this list had to be Fresh; once we had our list, we sorted it by Tomatometer.

Now we’re ready to serve up this cornucopia of cinema, so enjoy the best Thanksgiving movies ever!

#21
Adjusted Score: 15222%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Emmerson family heads to the quaint town of Turkey Hollow to visit Aunt Cly. Tim and Annie quickly grow... [More]
Directed By: Kirk R. Thatcher

#20

The War at Home (1996)
60%

#20
Adjusted Score: 60198%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Parents (Kathy Bates, Martin Sheen) and flashbacks trouble a Vietnam veteran (Emilio Estevez) living with his family in 1972 Texas.... [More]
Directed By: Emilio Estevez

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 60641%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Grown siblings spend an uneasy Thanksgiving weekend at their parents' home in Maine.... [More]
Directed By: Bart Freundlich

#18

The House of Yes (1997)
62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 63200%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man (Josh Hamilton) and his fiancee (Tori Spelling) visit his warped clan, complete with dark mansion and incestuous twin... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#17

The Oath (2018)
62%

#17
Adjusted Score: 65202%
Critics Consensus: The Oath draws on hyper-partisan modern politics for a pointedly funny satire that hits its targets hard and often enough to more than achieve its desired discomfort.
Synopsis: When high-strung Chris and his levelheaded wife are asked to sign a loyalty oath by Thanksgiving, their refusal -- along... [More]
Directed By: Ike Barinholtz

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 65167%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A draft-dodging folk singer (Arlo Guthrie) visits hippie friends in his VW microbus and ends up in jail for littering.... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 66270%
Critics Consensus: Much like a real-life visit Home for the Holidays, this Thanksgiving-set dramedy can get a little bumpy -- but it also has its share of fondly memorable moments.
Synopsis: Fights and reconciliations mark a single mom's (Holly Hunter) Thanksgiving with her dysfunctional Baltimore clan.... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#14

The Blind Side (2009)
66%

#14
Adjusted Score: 73421%
Critics Consensus: It might strike some viewers as a little too pat, but The Blind Side has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: A well-to-do white family (Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw) takes in a homeless black teen and helps him realize his potential... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#13

Funny People (2009)
69%

#13
Adjusted Score: 76729%
Critics Consensus: Funny People features the requisite humor, as well as considerable emotional depth, resulting in Judd Apatow's most mature film to date.
Synopsis: A gravely ill comic (Adam Sandler) takes a struggling performer (Seth Rogen) under his wing, then gets a chance to... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#12

The Vicious Kind (2009)
70%

#12
Adjusted Score: 28614%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man tries to break up his brother and his new girlfriend and becomes infatuated with her.... [More]
Directed By: Lee Toland Krieger

#11

Hollidaysburg (2014)
75%

#11
Adjusted Score: 31803%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Four friends from high school return home for their first Thanksgiving break from college and discover just how much has... [More]
Directed By: Anna Martemucci

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 81962%
Critics Consensus: New, well-developed characters add dimension to this batty satire, creating a comedy much more substantial than the original.
Synopsis: Upon arrival of their mustachioed baby, Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and Gomez (Raul Julia) hire a greedy nanny who targets Uncle... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#9

Tadpole (2002)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 80197%
Critics Consensus: Presenting a sexual awakening with surprising candor, Tadpole is a spiky coming of age tale that benefits from a deeply felt performance by Aaron Stanford and a script that is unafraid to wade into morally choppy waters.
Synopsis: A 15-year-old (Aaron Stanford) falls for his beautiful stepmother (Sigourney Weaver) and tries to tell her how he feels.... [More]
Directed By: Gary Winick

#8

Pieces of April (2003)
84%

#8
Adjusted Score: 87906%
Critics Consensus: Pieces of April transcends its small-scale setting and budget with endearing performances, playful humor, and genuine sweetness, resulting in a touching holiday treat.
Synopsis: Chaos reigns when a young woman (Katie Holmes) invites her estranged family to her apartment for the first Thanksgiving dinner... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hedges

#7

Avalon (1990)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 86670%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Barry Levinson's saga of a Jewish immigrant family's desire to preserve its heritage while living the American dream.... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#6

The Ice Storm (1997)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89566%
Critics Consensus: Director Ang Lee revisits the ennui-laden decadence of 1970s suburban America with deft humor and gripping pathos.
Synopsis: Suburbanites (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen) in failing marriages seek fulfillment elsewhere, while their teen children explore sexuality.... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#5

Scent of a Woman (1992)
89%

#5
Adjusted Score: 91859%
Critics Consensus: It might soar on Al Pacino's performance more than the drama itself, but what a performance it is -- big, bold, occasionally over-the-top, and finally giving the Academy pause to award the star his first Oscar.
Synopsis: A blind ex-colonel (Al Pacino) takes his preppie guide (Chris O'Donnell) on a lust-for-life trip to New York.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 97267%
Critics Consensus: Smart, tender, and funny in equal measure, Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen's finest films.
Synopsis: Hannah's (Mia Farrow) husband (Michael Caine) has an affair with one sister, and her ex-husband (Woody Allen) marries the other.... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#3
Adjusted Score: 96629%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the impeccable chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy, as well as a deft mix of humor and heart, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a hilarious, heartfelt holiday classic.
Synopsis: An ad exec (Steve Martin) and a shower-curtain-ring salesman (John Candy) become co-travelers on the way to Thanksgiving in Chicago.... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#2

Krisha (2015)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97080%
Critics Consensus: Raw, bracingly honest, and refreshingly unconventional, Krisha wrings fresh -- and occasionally uncomfortable -- truths from a seemingly familiar premise.
Synopsis: Tensions rise at a Thanksgiving gathering when a troubled woman (Krisha Fairchild) reunites with the extended family that she abandoned... [More]
Directed By: Trey Edward Shults

#1
Adjusted Score: 23088%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Phil Roman

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