Thanksgiving can be a busy and stressful time, with all the preparations, cooking, traveling, and socializing. When it finally comes to the big day, taking a break to watch a movie allows everyone to have a minute to relax and unwind. While there are almost thousands of Christmas movies to choose from and what most might be eager to put on, there are plenty of Thanksgiving-based films to choose from. They might not be as plentiful as Christmas films, but these options offer a mix of comedy, drama, and heartwarming moments to get you into the Thanksgiving spirit. Here is our official list of the best movies to watch after Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Movies To Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner 2023
Son in Law ( 1993)
Pauly Shore was known during the 1990s for his over-the-top comedies and his foolish yet charismatic characters. Son in Law follows freshman in college Rebecca (Carla Gugino) and her eccentric friend Crawl (Shore), whom she invites to her small town in North Dakota for Thanksgiving break. After her family believes Crawl is her fiance, they keep up with the lie, causing a rift between Rebecca and her conservative country family. Son in Law is a light-hearted comedy that explores themes of cultural and generational differences and how understanding and togetherness can overcome these obstacles.
Watch on Prime Video
Gory and comedically bad, Thankskilling follows a group of college students being axed off by a murderous turkey during Thanksgiving break. Combined with bad acting and corny practical effects, the film doesn’t take itself seriously and revels in its absurdity, making it a bizarre and fun viewing experience. Comedy horror is a unique genre and typically offers something for everyone; however, Thankskilling can easily be a film not everyone will enjoy. However, for those with a taste for offbeat films, it might be an exciting addition to a Thanksgiving movie lineup.
Watch on Tubi and Pluto TV.
Pieces of April (2003)
Indie films have a way of documenting the beauty and struggles of real life. Pieces of April follows April (Katie Holmes) struggling to make a Thanksgiving feast for her estranged family. However, she finds help from the residents of her building and, along the way, finds her chosen family. The film doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of family dynamics but also offers a message of hope and the possibility of healing and finding love and connection in unexpected places. It’s a heartwarming and authentic portrayal of the Thanksgiving holiday, emphasizing the importance of family, both biological and chosen.
Watch on Max and Tubi.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a hilarious and action-packed comedy movie following a failed police officer, now mall cop ( Kevin James), determined to save his fellow mall workers from a group of organized criminals who take over the mall in a million-dollar heist on Black Friday. While the film has a high-risk plot, Paul Blart: Mall Cop perfectly combines humor and intensity with a message of perseverance and making the most of one’s circumstances. The film’s humor and lighthearted action make it a fun and edge-of-your-seat movie.
Watch on Netflix.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season, and Miracle on 34th Street perfectly encapsulates that as the film starts at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, where a man (Edmund Gwen) is recruited to be Macy’s Santa for the season and soon has the whole Macys department and little Susan Walker, (Natalie Wood) start questioning if this man the real-life Kris Kringle. Miracle on 34th Street is a perfect after-dinner film to mark the beginning of the Christmas season. It serves as a heartwarming reminder of the importance of maintaining a sense of wonder during the Holiday season.
Watch on Hulu and Prime Video.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Traveling home for the holidays is highly stressful, and the classic Planes, Trains & Automobiles captures that feeling as two unlikely companions (Steve Martin & John Candy) embark on the long, chaotic journey home for the holidays. The film skillfully blends humor and heart, emphasizing the importance of compassion and understanding, even in the face of holiday travel-related stress. For many, the film’s overall heartwarming feeling makes it a go-to movie for the Thanksgiving season. Reminding viewers to appreciate this time with loved ones, even if the journey there can be frustrating.
Watch on Paramount+.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and gratitude, but it’s also a perfect occasion to cozy up on the couch and watch movies with or without the family. Watching a movie can add a special touch during Thanksgiving celebrations. Choosing the right movies to watch after Thanksgiving dinner can provide an opportunity for families, friends, or just one person to take a moment and enjoy a movie that captures the essence of the holiday season.