10 Best Thanksigiving Movies to Reign in the Holiday Season

(PCM) The holiday season is in full swing, which means it’s time to reconnect and share with loved ones, stuff our faces full of delicious food, and be thankful for the spirirt of giving, loving, and caring.

Today, being Thanksgiving, PCM wants to give our readers a little something: a list of the top 10 movies to snuggle up with loved ones and celebrate this holiday of giving thanks.

So, whether you’re celebrating with a traditional Thanksgiving feast with your whole extended family or ordering take-out solo this year, here is a list of the top 10 films to usher in the holiday season (in no particular order).

  • Alice’s Restaurant (comedy-drama, rated R, 1969)

An adaption of Arlo Guthrie’s song “Massacre at Alice’s Restaurant,” this somewhat uneven comedy may not be the happiest movie, but it made this list since the film’s pivotal scene takes place after a Thanksgiving dinner when Arlo, attempting to help out some neighbors, is busted for dumping a ton of trash on the side of a road. The film currently has a fresh rating of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles (comedy, rated R, 1987)

John Hughes’ comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy has been praised as a holiday classic for decades. Steve Martin is Neal Page, an uptight business man trying to make it home in time for Thanksgiving whose journey is off to a rough start when his first-class plane ticket is demoted to coach, seating him next to the gregarious and obnoxious salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). From here, a series of inclement weather and hilarious events have the unlikely pair sticking together, giving audiences laugh after laugh at their oli-and-water burgeoning friendship. Certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Adam’s Family Values (comedy, rated PG-13, 1993)

Who can forget Wednesday Addams, sticking it to the man and making chaos out of a kids’ camp Thanksgiving play? For that great piece of cinematic acheivement alone did this movie make the list. Its also just a great satire, following the Addams family as they welcome a new member to clan and unknowingly hire a nanny who turns out to be a serial killer. Certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 78%.

  • Rocky (sports-drama, rated PG, 1976)

A classic underdog movie, Rocky stars Sylvester Stallone as an amateur fighter in Philly, picked to box against the defending champion, Apollo Creed, in the World Heavyweight Championship. The movie spans from November 25, 1975 to New Year’s Day, 1976, covering the whole holiday season. Certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 92%.

  • Free Birds (animated comedy, rated PG, 2013)

While not the best reviewed movie of 2013, Free Birds has landed on this list for its plot; Reggie, a turkey, has been warning his fellow turkeys of the impending doom that Thanksgiving brings, but his fellow turkeys find his claims outlandish. When they finally realize that Reggie is right, they kick him out hoping he will be the turkey selected for the Thanksgiving feast. Ironically, Reggie is pardoned by the President of the United States, and taken to Camp David. From here, a plot is hatched to travel beck in time and stop the first Thanksgiving, keeping turkeys from ever becoming a part of the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Free Birds stars the voice talents of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler.

  • Eat Drink Man Woman (comedy-drama-romance, unrated, 1994)

Okay, I’ll admit, Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman has nothing to do with Thanksgiving or the holidays, but it does have everything to do with food, family, and love, which is what the holidays are all about anyway. Master chef Chu lives in Taipei with his three unmarried daughters and life in the household revolves around the family’s elaborate Sunday meals.

  • The Ice Storm (Drama, rated R, 1997)

Another Ang Lee entry on the list, The Ice Storm takes place during Thanksgiving weekend of 1973 and follows a well-off Conneticut family, the Hoods, sporting a perfect facade while slowly falling apart on the inside. Starring Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Elijah Wood, The Ice Storm is a Thanksgiving film in the way it breaks down the dynamics and drama of the Hood family. Also, Ricci delivers a pretty great and hilarious blessing for the family’s Thanksgiving feast, thanking the Lord for allowing the white people to massacre the indians. Great stuff. Certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 84%.

  • Pocahontas (animated children’s movie, rated G, 1995)

Disney’s animated take on English colonists invading 17th-century Virgina may not be historically accurate, but its still a good watch if you’re a fan of disney and great sing-a-long songs. The film deals with the relationship between englishman John Smith and Pocahontas, the daughter of an Algonquin chief, as they overcome their differences, fall in love, and struggle agaisnt their fellow tribesman and colonists.

  • The New World (historical drama, rated PG-13, 2005)

Terrence Malik’s historical drama, The New World, is a more accurate depiction of 17th-century Virginia and the story of John Smith and Pocahontas than Disney’s take on that historical time period and events. An epic adventure set amid the encounter of European and Native American cultures during the founding of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607, The New World is inspired by the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas. Against a historically accurate Virginia backdrop, two strong-willed characters — a passionate and noble young native woman and an ambitious soldier of fortune – are torn between the undeniable requirements of their civic duty and the inescapable demands of the human heart.

  • Pieces of April (comed-drama, rated PG-13, 2003)

Starring Katie Holmes as the family mifit, Pieces of April tells the story of April Burns as she invites her dying mother and estranged family out to her tiny and untidy apartment in Manhattan for Thanksgiving dinner. A failed oven, a lack of experience, and her family’s lowered expectations make for a memorable lead up the Thanksgiving feast and a heartfelt film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 84%.

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