Posted on Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by Angie Han
One of the many reasons we’re thankful for Thanksgiving is that it cuts the work week short, giving us twice as much weekend time to spend at the movies. And there’s no shortage of titles right now to spend that time on. The only question is where to start.
To help you answer that, we’ve put together a helpful guide that (we hope) covers every base. Hit the jump for our list of 25 movies to watch this Thanksgiving.
Our selection of 25 movies to watch this Thanksgiving is broken up into five sections: Family, Oscar, Indie, Miscellaneous, and VOD. Not all of the films are new this weekend, and (especially with older or more obscure titles) we can’t guarantee that all of them are playing at a theater near you. But whether you’re looking to spend the entire weekend in a theater alone, or only have time for one quick jaunt with the entire family, we should have something for you.
The great thing about Thanksgiving is that it brings everyone together, from your hippie aunt to your hipster cousin to your drooling baby nephew. The bad thing about bringing everyone together is that it’s a challenge to get all of them to agree on anything. But your trip to the cinema isn’t doomed — try one of these titles with broad, multi-quadrant appeal.
If you’re watching with everyone: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Odds are good you’ve already seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but consider watching it again anyway. It’s the big crowd-pleaser: ostensibly a teen movie, but more than smart enough for the adults in your party. There’s thrilling action, heart-pounding drama, intelligent politics and even a healthy dose of humor. And thanks to some truly excellent world-building by director Francis Lawrence and author Suzanne Collins, it’s got great rewatch value.
If you’re watching with kids: Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6 is your perfect Thanksgiving movie. The little ones will be charmed by the bright colors and cute characters, the geeky ones will appreciate the Marvel Comics roots, the sentimental ones will swoon for the sweet family storyline, and everyone will fall instantly and madly in love with Baymax. And unlike last year’s big late-fall hit, Frozen, it’s not a musical, so you won’t be left with Idina Menzel’s voice running on a loop in your head.
If you’re watching with kids who’ve already seen Big Hero 6: Penguins of Madagascar
Penguins of Madagascar is more specifically targeted at children than Big Hero 6, with a sillier storyline and a more hectic pace. But it’s not so sickeningly kiddie as to repel adults. It’s one of the funnier entries in the Madagascar series, with gags ranging from supremely silly to the surprisingly sophisticated (a Werner Herzog cameo falls in the latter category). Plus, don’t you want to see if Benedict Cumberbatch has finally figured out how to say “penguins”?
If you’re watching with slightly older kids: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is not the best option for young children with limited attention spans. On the other hand, older or more introspective kids and their parents will find much to admire in this delicate fairy tale from Studio Ghibli. The hand-drawn images and bittersweet tone stand in stark contrast to the bright colors and relentless cheeriness of mainstream American animation.
If you’re watching with grownups: Interstellar
With a 169-minute running time, complicated scientific ideas, and heavy abstract themes, Interstellar is definitely not one for the kids. But as a surprisingly tender meditation on familial love, it’s a solid choice for your grown-up relatives. If all this family togetherness is starting to wear you down, the heart-rending scenes between Matthew McConaughey and Mackenzie Foy (who plays his daughter) will serve as a helpful reminder to appreciate whatever time you have with your loved ones.