It's turkey day and it's family day and there's going to be a lot of food and there's going to be a lot of downtime. So you can either head out to the multiplex (and if you are, check out our list of what movies to see/not see) or click on Netflix and try to choose something that will satisfy everybody. Let’s run through some scenarios that you might encounter today or this weekend.
You want to see Catching Fire, but don’t want to brave the crowds.
Just watch The Hunger Games again.
You sort of want to see Catching Fire but are annoyed by the fact that it’s PG-13.
Okay. Just watch the movie that some of your more pretentious friends keep saying The Hunger Games is ripped off of — Battle Royale. The 2000 Japanese movie presents a world where the government randomly chooses young students to send to an island where they must kill each other to survive.
A bunch of your male family members are sitting in the living room but there’s no football currently on.
Watch the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, or the fourth installment in the Tom Cruise spy franchise, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. (The only film of the four that is not available online is the Brian De Palma–directed first one. However, all seven seasons of the original TV show are available to stream.)
A bunch of your male family members are sitting in the living room but there’s no football currently on and you don’t want to watch an action movie.
It’s been a while since you all cried together, but in a manly way, so just throw on Brian’s Song, the 1971 James Caan/Billy Dee Williams–starring drama about the friendship between two Chicago Bears and what happens when one of them gets cancer. You could also try The Longest Yard, the 2005 remake of the 1974 “playing football in prison” movie starring Burt Reynolds. Adam Sandler takes the lead role in this one. One final choice is Undefeated, the 2011 Oscar-winning documentary about a Memphis high school football team.
Everyone's in the mood for a dumb, new-ish movie that they don't have to pay too much attention to.
You could give the Gerard Butler-starring Olympus Has Fallen, the first (and most successful) of this year's "White House gets attacked" movies. Or, if you want a love-drenched romance, there's this year's Safe Haven, starring Julianne Hough and directed by Lasse Hallström from a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Everyone wants to watch a "good" movie.
There's the Best Picture–winner The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth as the stuttering King of England. Or there's the Best Picture–winner The Artist, which is a silent black and white comedy. And if your family doesn't mind foreign films, the 2011 film The Intouchables, about a rich white quadriplegic and his young black caregiver, is one of France's highest grossing movies ever.
There's a bunch of teenage boys that need to be corralled.
Throw them in the family room, lock the door, and put on any of the Marvel movies currently streaming — The Avengers, Thor, or Captain America: The First Avenger. If the boys are on the older side, and don't mind a little blood, there's the Karl Urban–starring remake Dredd, the old-guys-kick-ass sequel The Expendables 2, the 2011 remake of Conan the Barbarian, or one of the Ahnuld-starring originals — Conan the Destroyer.
So ... many ... kids ...
Netflix Streaming has a very robust kids section, but if you want some reliable options, there are several Disney movies on: Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, The Fox and the Hound, and Robin Hood non-Disney wise, there's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the Dakota Fanning–starring Charlotte's Web.
Everyone wants to watch a Christmas movie.
Just watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.