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! Alex Vo

#26
Adjusted Score: 13720%
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

#25

The War at Home (1996)
60%

#25
Adjusted Score: 60065%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After serving in Vietnam, during which he committed acts that still haunt him deeply, Jeremy Collier (Emilio Estevez) lives at... [More]
Directed By: Emilio Estevez

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 60518%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Grown siblings spend an uneasy Thanksgiving weekend at their parents' home in Maine.... [More]
Directed By: Bart Freundlich

#23

The House of Yes (1997)
62%

#23
Adjusted Score: 62754%
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

#22

The Oath (2018)
62%

#22
Adjusted Score: 65983%
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 Chris, a high-strung news junkie, and his more levelheaded wife learn that citizens are being asked to sign a... [More]
Directed By: Ike Barinholtz

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 64521%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Arlo Guthrie plays himself in this film based on his song of the same name. After getting kicked out of... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#20

Grumpy Old Men (1993)
64%

#20
Adjusted Score: 66153%
Critics Consensus: Grumpy Old Men's stars are better than the material they're given -- but their comedic chemistry is so strong that whenever they share the screen, it hardly matters.
Synopsis: John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Walter Matthau) are two curmudgeonly neighbors who have been at each other's throats... [More]
Directed By: Donald Petrie

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 65297%
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: When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#18

The Blind Side (2009)
66%

#18
Adjusted Score: 73729%
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: Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#17

The Big Chill (1983)
69%

#17
Adjusted Score: 71806%
Critics Consensus: The Big Chill captures a generation's growing ennui with a terrific cast, a handful of perceptive insights, and one of the decade's best film soundtracks.
Synopsis: This compassionate "comedy of values" probes the growing pains of seven college housemates from the 1960s who have drifted apart... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#16

Funny People (2009)
69%

#16
Adjusted Score: 78147%
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: Recently learning that he has a fatal disease, comic George Simmons (Adam Sandler) spots a struggling performer named Ira (Seth... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#15

The Vicious Kind (2009)
70%

#15
Adjusted Score: 31387%
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

#14

You've Got Mail (1998)
69%

#14
Adjusted Score: 73361%
Critics Consensus: Great chemistry between the leads made this a warm and charming delight.
Synopsis: Struggling boutique bookseller Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) hates Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate Foxbooks chain store... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#13

Hollidaysburg (2014)
75%

#13
Adjusted Score: 40973%
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

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 80199%
Critics Consensus: New, well-developed characters add dimension to this batty satire, creating a comedy much more substantial than the original.
Synopsis: The members of the odd Addams Family are up to more macabre antics in this sequel. This time around, Gomez... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#11

Tadpole (2002)
77%

#11
Adjusted Score: 79273%
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: Beautiful, sophisticated women are all over Oscar Grubman (Aaron Stanford). He is sensitive and compassionate, speaks French fluently, is passionate... [More]
Directed By: Gary Winick

#10

Pieces of April (2003)
84%

#10
Adjusted Score: 88478%
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: Quirky and rebellious April Burns (Katie Holmes) lives with her boyfriend in a low-rent New York City apartment miles away... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hedges

#9

Avalon (1990)
85%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86232%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This drama, largely based on the family history of director Barry Levinson, follows the immigrant Krichinsky clan as they settle... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#8

The Ice Storm (1997)
86%

#8
Adjusted Score: 88862%
Critics Consensus: Director Ang Lee revisits the ennui-laden decadence of 1970s suburban America with deft humor and gripping pathos.
Synopsis: In the 1970s, an outwardly wholesome family begins cracking at the seams over the course of a tumultuous Thanksgiving break.... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#7

Scent of a Woman (1992)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 92469%
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: Frank is a retired Lt. Col. in the US army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie is... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#6

Scent of a Woman (1992)
89%

#6
Adjusted Score: 92469%
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: Frank is a retired Lt. Col. in the US army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie is... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 96086%
Critics Consensus: Smart, tender, and funny in equal measure, Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen's finest films.
Synopsis: Three successive family Thanksgiving dinners mark time for Hannah (Mia Farrow), her younger sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#4
Adjusted Score: 96633%
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: Easily excitable Neal Page (Steve Martin) is somewhat of a control freak. Trying to get home to Chicago to spend... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#3

Krisha (2015)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 98397%
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

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 101875%
Critics Consensus: Irrefutable proof that gentle sentimentalism can be the chief ingredient in a wonderful film, Miracle on 34th Street delivers a warm holiday message without resorting to treacle.
Synopsis: In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) fills in for an... [More]
Directed By: George Seaton

#1
Adjusted Score: 25216%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Phil Roman