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: 12.719%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two kids find a magical adventure waiting for them near their quirky aunt's farm in this Thanksgiving-themed family tale from... [More]
Directed By: Kirk R. Thatcher

#20

The War at Home (1996)
60%

#20
Adjusted Score: 60.009%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jeremy Collier (Emilio Estevez) is the army veteran who returns home after his harrowing experiences in battle. His father Bob... [More]
Directed By: Emilio Estevez

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 60.434%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The adult children of a conservative New England family return home for Thanksgiving weekend and find themselves forced to come... [More]
Directed By: Bart Freundlich

#18

The House of Yes (1997)
62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 63.797%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This offbeat comedy is an adaptation of Wendy MacLeod's play about the affluent, dysfunctional Pascal family as they prepare for... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters (VIII)

#17

The Oath (2018)
63%

#17
Adjusted Score: 66.216%
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: A controversial White House policy turns family member against family member in THE OATH, a savagely funny dark comedy about... [More]
Directed By: Ike Barinholtz

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 64.725%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This uneven film is based on Arlo Guthrie's popular song "The Massacre At Alice's Restaurant." Arlo, son of famous folksinger... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 65.752%
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: In this affectionate comedy, an eccentric extended family members gathers for their annual Thanksgiving feast and bring with them their... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#14

The Blind Side (2009)
66%

#14
Adjusted Score: 72.524%
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: Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#13

Funny People (2009)
69%

#13
Adjusted Score: 76.779%
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: George Simmons is a famous stand-up comedian, who learns that he has a terminal illness and less than a year... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#12

The Vicious Kind (2009)
70%

#12
Adjusted Score: 25.819%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Untrusting of women following a bitter breakup on the eve of Thanksgiving, a misanthropic construction worker finds himself inexplicably attracted... [More]
Directed By: Lee Toland Krieger

#11

Hollidaysburg (2014)
75%

#11
Adjusted Score: 26.438%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: HOLLIDAYSBURG is a coming-of-age comedy about finding love, and the thrilling first moments of adulthood. When high school friends reunite... [More]
Directed By: Anna Martemucci

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 80.864%
Critics Consensus: New, well-developed characters add dimension to this batty satire, creating a comedy much more substantial than the original.
Synopsis: When the Addams family welcomes a new baby, they hire a devious nany, Cussack, who falls in love with and... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#9

Tadpole (2002)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 80.559%
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: Most 15-year-old boys are obsessed with the opposite sex, but this may be the only area in which Oscar Grubman... [More]
Directed By: Gary Winick

#8

Pieces of April (2003)
84%

#8
Adjusted Score: 88.13%
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: April Burns is a wild, 21-year-old young woman with a very big problem. Against her own better judgment, she's invited... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hedges

#7

Avalon (1990)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 86.172%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The third of director Barry Levinson's autobiographical "Baltimore Trilogy" (the first two entries were Diner and Tin Men), Avalon covers... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#6

The Ice Storm (1997)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 88.877%
Critics Consensus: Director Ang Lee revisits the ennui-laden decadence of 1970s suburban America with deft humor and gripping pathos.
Synopsis: Set on Thanksgiving weekend of 1973, The Ice Storm looks into the lives of a wealthy Connecticut family who are... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#5

Scent of a Woman (1992)
89%

#5
Adjusted Score: 91.801%
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: Driven by an extravagant, tour-de-force performance by Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman is the story of Frank Slade (Pacino),... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 95.988%
Critics Consensus: Smart, tender, and funny in equal measure, Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen's finest films.
Synopsis: A Woody Allen Manhattan mosaic, Hannah and Her Sisters concerns the lives, loves, and infidelities among a tightly-knit artistic clan.... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#3
Adjusted Score: 95.44%
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: Were it not for its profanity-laden opening scenes, John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles might have been suitable family entertainment:... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#2

Krisha (2016)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97.349%
Critics Consensus: Raw, bracingly honest, and refreshingly unconventional, Krisha wrings fresh -- and occasionally uncomfortable -- truths from a seemingly familiar premise.
Synopsis: When Krisha shows up at her sister's Texas home on Thanksgiving morning, her close and extended family greet her with... [More]
Directed By: Trey Edward Shults

#1
Adjusted Score: 69.688%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Charlie Brown and the gang learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving after Peppermint Patty boldly arranges for everyone to celebrate... [More]
Directed By: Phil Roman, Bill Melendez

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