Culture

10 Films Set Around Thanksgiving That You Can Stream Tonight

Looking for a movie to watch this holiday that’s at least somewhat relevant to the season? Perfect. We’ve got you covered.

These films aren’t necessarily about Thanksgiving, although a couple of them are. Regardless, they each have some connection to the holiday and provide a welcome escape. Here are 10 films set around Thanksgiving that you can stream tonight:

#10. Tower Heist

Capitalizing on real-life headlines regarding Wall Street graft and investment Ponzi schemes, Tower Heist imagines how the staff of a high-rise luxury apartment complex would react to the news that their most high-profile tenant had squandered their retirement savings. The comedy stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, and Alan Alda.

When Alda’s Wall Street billionaire is arrested for scamming investors out of their money, Stiller’s building manager recruits Murphy’s petty thief to help the defrauded building staff steal their money back.

Thanksgiving Connection: The titular heist occurs during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Streaming options: Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#9. Addams Family Values

Generally regarded as a better film than the original, Addams Family Values provides many internal and external threats to the Addams’ relationships. First, there’s the addition of Pubert, the new baby who siblings Wednesday and Pugsley object to (read: repeatedly try to kill). Then there’s the arrival of the duplicitous nanny Debbie Jellinsky, who secretly plots to marry and kill Uncle Fester. When the kids begin to catch on to Debbie’s scheme, the nanny manipulates their parents into sending them off to camp.

Thanksgiving Connection: While off at camp, Wednesday is harangued into portraying Pocahontas in a musical production of the first Thanksgiving.

Streaming options: Available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#8. Spider-Man

The good Spider-Man film, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, tells the same story you saw more recently in The Amazing Spider-Man, only much better. Nerdy teenager Peter Parker pines after the out-of-his-league Mary Jane Watson while bullied, ridiculed, and dismissed by most of his peers. But after being bitten by a genetically modified spider, Peter develops arachnid-like powers which prove oddly representative of puberty and sexual prowess. Some cool web-slinging scenes and fights with Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin round out the adventure.

Thanksgiving Connection: Aunt May hosts an incredibly awkward Thanksgiving dinner with Peter Parker, love interest Mary Jane, her boyfriend and Peter’s best bud Harry Osborn, and Harry’s father Norman, who just happens to be arch-villain Green Goblin.

Streaming options: Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#7. For Your Consideration

Featuring much of the cast and creative team from other Christopher Guest films like This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, and Best in Show, For Your Consideration features the same brand of deadpan character-based comedy. This time around, the story follows the cast of an as-yet-uncompleted film who learn that the project is generating award-season buzz. A roast of the film industry, For Your Consideration centers on the ego-driven comedy of actors obsessing about award potential.

Thanksgiving Connection: The film within the film is originally conceived as Home for Purim, and features a Jewish family reuniting for the holiday with their dying matriarch. Once the award buzz starts, studio execs butt in and insist the title and setting be changed to Thanksgiving, so as not to be “too Jewish.”

Streaming options: Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#6. The Ice Storm

This Ang Lee-directed film may make you feel like your family is functional. If not, if the Hoods and the Carvers seem better put together than you, it may be time to sell your life story to Hollywood.

The Ice Storm centers on these two families, interconnected by adultery, teenage sexual exploits, and neighborhood politics. The cast features Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and teenage versions of Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, and Elijah Wood.

Thanksgiving Connection: The film’s events take place around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Streaming options: Available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#5. Grumpy Old Men

Required viewing for anyone from Minnesota, due to its setting in the state’s trademark winter wonderland, Grumpy Old Men reunites The Odd Couple, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. A stealthy romantic comedy, the film follows the long-standing rivalry between elderly neighbors whose greatest pleasure is needling each other mercilessly. Things escalate with the arrival of a sultry new neighbor, played by Ann-Margret, as both men vie for her affections.

Thanksgiving Connection: Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday season provide a backdrop for the film’s narrative.

Streaming options: Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#4. Rocky

Celebrate the forthcoming production of Creed, a modern-day spin-off of the Rocky franchise, by taking in the 1976 original. Rediscover the consummate underdog story, as everyman “bum” Rocky Balboa takes his once-in-a-lifetime shot at the big time in an exhibition bout with the reigning heavyweight champion of the world.

Thanksgiving Connection: Undoubtedly the weakest Thanksgiving connection of any film on this list, Rocky makes the cut on account of that scene where Paulie throws Adrian’s holiday turkey out into the alley. What a tool, that Paulie.

Streaming options: Available to stream on Netflix. Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

http://youtu.be/TjmMMa5u5hA

#3. Miracle on 34th Street

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season, commonly the point at which Christmas shopping begins. The two holidays have long bookended the season of giving. So, it’s fitting to include a Christmas movie on our list of films to watch on Thanksgiving. There have been many iterations of Miracle on 34th Street. You’re probably best served by the 1948 original. Put Kris Kringle on trial and challenge yourself to believe.

Thanksgiving Connection: The story begins during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, when Kris Kringle objects to the drunk hired to portray Santa Claus and ends up replacing him.

Streaming options: Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#2. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Indulge in some classic comedy with Steve Martin and John Candy, an odd couple of traveling companions beset with misfortune on their way from New York to Chicago. What should have been a short, simple flight turns into a three-day odyssey drawn out by incompetence and horrible luck.

Thanksgiving Connection: The film follows Steve Martin’s Neal as he tries desperately to get home to his family in time for Thanksgiving dinner. The themes of the film prove relevant to the holiday spirit, as Neal grows from uptight marketing executive to an empathetic friend.

Streaming options: Available to stream on Netflix. Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.

#1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Introduce the kids to a classic. It shouldn’t be hard to find. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving usually makes a prime-time television appearance every year. The story is nothing to write home about. This is more about the familiar experience with classic characters like Lucy, Linus, and Peppermint Patty.

Thanksgiving Connection: It’s right there in the name, Charlie Brown, during Thanksgiving.

Streaming options: Available to stream on Netflix. Available to rent/buy on Amazon and Vudu.