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Best Movies To Watch This Thanksgiving (And Where To Stream Them)

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It’s Thanksgiving time so here are some of the best movies to watch at this time of year, and the streaming services where you can find them. Whether looking for a movie to watch with friends and family, or on your own when you get some alone time, there are plenty of great titles available. For extra added value, many of these movies also double as Holidays movies in general, making them good options to watch now or any time in December.

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Before getting to the best movies, it is worth pointing out that this list has been specifically curated towards homes with subscriptions to streaming services. As a result, it doesn’t include any Thanksgiving movies that require a live TV subscription or ones that are only available to rent. For example, The Oath (2018), A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving, and Turkey Hollow (2015) are all ideal movies for this time of year, but they are all only available to rent. Likewise, Home for the Holidays (1995) is only available to watch with a paid live TV subscription.

By excluding these movies, the idea is to create a list of movies that a home is more likely to already have access to, avoiding the need to pay more to watch them. Even though most homes won’t be subscribed to every service listed below, many streaming services do offer a free trial, making it possible to sign up and watch a Thanksgiving movie without immediately paying for the subscription.

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Best movies to watch this Thanksgiving

Below are 10 Thanksgiving-related movies you can stream right now. While most of them require a paid subscription, some are available to watch for free.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Arguably, Planes, Trains & Automobiles is one of the most famous and popular Thanksgiving movies. Starring John Candy and Steve Martin, the John Hughes movie focuses on a long and incident-ridden journey home for Thanksgiving. A must-watch for the entire family.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles is available to stream for free (with ads) via Pluto. For those that would prefer an ad-free viewing experience, Planes, Trains & Automobiles is also available to watch with a Paramount Plus Premium subscription.

Pilgrim (2019)

If looking for something a little darker, Pilgrim might be the answer. This Hulu original was released back in 2019 and centers on a Thanksgiving involving pilgrim reenactors. The only problem is these reenactors won’t break character.

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Pilgrim is available to stream through Hulu with plans starting at $7.99 per month. For those new to Hulu, a 30-day free trial is also available.

Friendsgiving (2020)

While many will be spending Thanksgiving with family, some might be celebrating with friends, a Friendsgiving. That’s exactly what Abby and Molly attempt to do but find everything doesn’t go quite to plan. For those in the mood for a movie about unexpected guests, Friendsgiving might be worth checking out.

Friendsgiving is available to stream on Netflix with plans starting at $6.99 per month. Netflix no longer offers a free trial to new users.

The Turkey Bowl (2019)

Watching football on Thanksgiving has become a tradition for some homes, and a Turkey Bowl refers to football games played between family, friends, or a community over Thanksgiving. The game in The Turkey Bowl has been on hold for years, but that’s about to change.

Turkey Bowl is available on Epix with a subscription costing $5.99 per month. A 7-day free trial is available.

Son in Law (1993)

Son in Law should appeal to any homes looking to add some comedy to their Thanksgiving. Starring Carla Gugino and Pauly Shore, Son in Law focuses on what happens when someone from LA ends up at a farming community’s Thanksgiving dinner table in South Dakota.

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Son in Law is available to stream through Hulu with plans starting at $7.99 per month. For those new to Hulu, a 30-day free trial is also available.

Black Friday (2021)

Another modern Thanksgiving tradition is shopping, and some stores even open up on Thanksgiving night for those shoppers that just can’t wait to score some Black Friday deals. The We Love Toys store in 2021’s Black Friday is one of them, but these shoppers have a taste for more than just deals.

Black Friday is available to stream on Starz. A standard subscription typically costs $8.99 per month, and Starz does routinely offer discounts and limited-time deals to new users.

Free Birds (2013)

Where would Thanksgiving be without turkey? Well, Free Birds attempts to find out with two time-traveling turkeys who venture back in time to the first Thanksgiving in an attempt to rewrite history.

Free Birds is available to stream on Starz with plans starting at $8.99 per month. Depending on when signing up, a limited-time offer may be available.

Tower Heist (2011)

Tower Heist is certainly not your typical Thanksgiving movie. However, it is set during November and, without giving away too much, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a major part of the story. This movie also comes with an all-star cast led by Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.

Tower Heist is available to watch on Peacock with plans starting at $4.99 per month. For those wanting to watch without ads, the $9.99 Premium Plus plan will be required.

Pieces of April (2003)

Pieces of April has become a bit of a cult classic Thanksgiving movie. Starring Katie Holmes, the movie follows April as she attempts to organize and prepare Thanksgiving dinner for her family. While this won’t be a movie for everyone, it does offer something different to the other titles on this list.

Pieces of April is available to stream on HBO Max with plans starting at $9.99 per month. HBO Max currently doesn’t offer new users a free trial.

What’s Cooking? (2000)

What’s Cooking? is a movie that very firmly places the focus on Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, the movie centers on four very different families and how they each uniquely prepare for the big day, making What’s Cooking? one that many families will relate to.

What’s Cooking? is available to stream for free through many of the popular free streaming services, including Tubi and Freevee. There’s currently no option to stream an ad-free version without renting or purchasing the movie.

More Thanksgiving movies (and where to stream them)

While the movies listed above are all great options to watch this Thanksgiving, they are not the only ones. There are plenty of movies available to stream that are either set on or around Thanksgiving, or the Holidays in general.

All of the movies listed below are currently available to watch with standalone streaming services, most of which require a paid subscription.

  • Escape Room (2019) – Starz
  • Deadfall (2012) – Pluto, Tubi
  • Jack and Jill (2011) – Netflix
  • Little Fockers (2010) – Peacock
  • The Blind Side (2009) – HBO Max
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) – Hulu
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) – Disney+
  • Thankskilling (2007) – Tubi
  • Soul Food (1997) – HBO Max
  • The Daytrippers (1996) – HBO Max

If none of the movies listed above work then it may be worth considering renting one. As mentioned, there are plenty of popular Thanksgiving movies that are not listed here simply because they require a separate rental or purchase. Most streaming devices will come with access to a digital rental store and performing a quick search for “Thanksgiving” should make it easy to narrow down the list of movies that are available to rent or purchase.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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