Each year, Hollywood sees a boom at the box office over Thanksgiving weekend. There's something about stuffing bread into a chicken's bum, stuffing family under one roof for an inevitable argument on political discourse, and stuffing the holiday cheer once relegated to December into the final beats of November, that sends the masses running to the nearest multiplex. Go figure.

What doesn't get a boom each year is the output of Thanksgiving-themed movies. As if a few days of wailing grandmothers and spiked apple ciders don't translate to laid-back entertainment -- c'mon, suits, give the people what they want! Thankfully, a few daring directors have risen to the occasion of America's gluttonous holiday and delivered piping-hot feature films for you to take in. Here are a few of the best Thanksgiving movies ever made, which boil down to some of the only Thanksgiving movies (sorry, Dutch, you're not good).

Paramount Pictures

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Steve Martin and John Candy's pinnacle of Thanksgiving comedy is so good, we spent 4,000 words explaining why -- about as many miles as their bickering duo winds up traveling on their way home for the holidays.
Where to watch: Rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube

United Artists

Pieces of April

Novelist Peter Hedges' indie dramedy might have been lost to the ages if it weren't for the ties to Thanksgiving. Katie Holmes stars as the rebellious daughter of a well-off suburban family who tries to prepare the big holiday meal in her Lower East Side tenement apartment. As her family struggles to actually get to her place -- their road trip is thrown off course by everything from Krispy Kreme donuts to roadkill accidents -- April has her own meltdown over cooking turkey. We swear there are happy notes in here.
Where to watch: Rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube

20th Century Fox

Tower Heist

Brett Ratner's caper movie, about a high-rise residence staff who plot a heist after learning their Trump-like boss duped them all in a Ponzi scheme, takes place in the days leading up to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- i.e., the most practical time to scale a 50-story gold building and remove a priceless car from inside the penthouse. Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Gabourey Sidibe, and more make this much funnier than you'd expect.
Where to watch: Rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube

Relativity Media

Free Birds

If you're surrounded by children this Thanksgiving, throw on Free Birds, the story of two turkeys who time-travel back to the 1600s to save their heads from the chopping block. Everyone will enjoy the B-grade Chicken Run antics. Then you'll spend the rest of the night debating time-travel logic with your nerdy-ass cousin. No need to get lives and gain self-respect -- it's Thanksgiving!
Where to watch: Rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube



Plopped into the center of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse, the turducken of horror movies, this fake trailer by Eli Roth is the closest Turkey Day will come to getting its own Black Christmas. Watch it over and over as you displace any rage incurred from the A-hole who stole your drumstick.
Where to watch: Rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube

Paramount Pictures

Home for the Holidays

Jodie Foster directed this quaint, quirky Thanksgiving comedy about a family that gathers to feast, only to fight through every course. Politics, social norms, and who's-dating-whom sparks every type of argument at Foster's dinner table. Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr. make this one worth flying in for.
Where to watch: Rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube



Like Home for the Holidays, Krisha is about what happens when a sprawling family assembles around a single table. Unlike Home for the Holidays, Krisha is a methodical, existential nightmare that floats around a suburban Texas home like it's Terrence Malick filming the beaches of Peru. The title character, an alcoholic who hasn't seen her son or her sister who took him in years, returns sober, delicate, and ready to get her life in order. But since when has anyone recovered at Thanksgiving dinner? Hands down, one of the best movies of 2016.
Where to watch: Stream on Amazon Prime; rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube

Kanal von bluearmyfr111/Youtube

The Last Waltz

On November 25th, 1976, The Band took the stage at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and made musical history. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, and Eric Clapton were all on hand for the epic concert event. Thankfully, celebrated director Martin Scorsese was too. When folk-obsessed old-timers call this one of the greatest concert films of all time, they are not wasted -- tipsy, because that red wine works, man -- but not wasted. It's legendary.
Where to watch: Stream on Amazon Prime and Hulu; rent on iTunes

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Youtube


Right after the Goblin and Spider-Man fight for the second time in Sam Raimi's comic-book movie, their alter egos Norman Osborn and Peter Parker retreat to Aunt May's house for Thanksgiving dinner. So you can definitely watch Spider-Man on Thanksgiving.
Where to watch: Stream on HBO GO; rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube

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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, and Vulture. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.



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