This Thanksgiving may be the first holiday back with the family in over a year, which means it will be heartwarming or chaotic, or heartwarming and chaotic. Maybe you’ll need help trying to find family activities to do, so we’ll suggest the easiest one: throwing on a good movie or show to keep the family bickering to a minimum. Besides, it’s the perfect time to catch up on all the entertainment you’ve been putting off for the past few months. To that end, we’ve put together a large helping of films and TV shows to consume with anyone in your Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or solo watch party this weekend. You’re welcome!
Movies (in Theaters or on Demand)
House of Gucci
Now, this is the perfect Thanksgiving movie for your family this year. You’ve got Lady Gaga for the stans, Adam Driver for the millennial older sisters, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for the ’rents, and Jared Leto for the weirdo cousin. House of Gucci is shaping up to be a fun, messy time at the theaters and a good way to watch another family fight instead of your own. That’s what movies are for, sweetie!
Congratulations to everyone in Los Angeles and New York, because you are the only ones who can currently see Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, the film debut of baby Haim sister Alana and Cooper Hoffman (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son). Set in the ’70s in California’s San Fernando Valley, the film sees the two swept up in a coming-of-age (for Hoffman’s teen character) love story.
Not only is Disney Animation releasing its first Latinx-led film, but it’s introducing Maluma as a Disney Prince (or just a hottie in the Disney animated canon, we don’t know), and for that we are grateful. Kids will love the singing and colorful adventures of Maribel (Stephanie Beatriz), and moms will love the smooth voice of Maluma. Win-win!
Will a Ghostbusters sequel ever really please? Who knows, but Jason Reitman’s latest take on reanimating the franchise is certainly trying. Between stars Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, and McKenna Grace, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a good family-friendly pick for a weekend theater outing because the family that … you know what, never mind.
Will Smith shines as Venus and Serena Williams’s dad in King Richard, which eschews a traditional biopic in favor of a more total picture of the Williams family, especially the man with a plan. It’s bound to get even your dad a little teary.
Sure, it’s the holiday season, but more important, the past year has been full-on Princess Diana season. Presented as a tragic fable from a real-life fairy tale, Pablo Larraín’s Spencer is utterly hypnotic — due largely to Kristen Stewart’s phenomenal performance — as it tracks three suffocating days in Diana’s life when she visits Sandringham House for the holidays. Spencer is available to rent, but you may as well buy it to watch again in December because I’m officially deeming this a Christmas movie, too. (You’re welcome, Neon.)
No Time to Die
What can we say other than it’s more Bond? You know your dad already has No Time to Die on his must-watch list for when you get home, so just embrace that reality.
Last Night in Soho
Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho is exciting and nostalgic, albeit a bit messy. But with an always guaranteed banger of a soundtrack — and Anya Taylor-Joy musical numbers! — plus a knotty mystery at play, it’s a good watch for a late night this weekend. Because when you’re alone, and life is making you lonely, you can always goooo … downtown! (Or to your television, whatever works.)
Tick, Tick … Boom!
The kitchen timer isn’t the only ticking you have to hear this weekend. (Hold your applause, please!) You and the fam can check out Tick, Tick … Boom!, a musical drama based on the composer Jonathan Larson (a.k.a. the guy who wrote Rent), played here by Andrew Garfield. But if your family needs any more convincing, tell them it was directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy who made Hamilton. That’ll get ’em.
Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut is a beautifully made adaptation of the 1929 novel centering around two women, Irene and Claire, played with poise and intensity by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. As they reunite, Claire reveals that she has been passing as white, sending the pair down a tricky path of choice, repression, and race. It’s a lush, occasionally tense film set to an equally lush Devonté Hynes score.
The Matrix trilogy
The Matrix Resurrections’ debut is so close we can taste it, but to curb our appetite until then, a Matrix-trilogy rewatch must be had. Thankfully, Hulu has all three films ready to binge. Time to go down the rabbit hole.
I think I can eloquently explain Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson’s verse on “Face Off.” He sings, “It’s about drive, it’s about power.” This film is based on the Disney parks attraction that skippers like Johnson’s Frank technically drive, and in the movie, Emily Blunt is looking for a powerfully ancient tree. Are Johnson’s lines in “Face Off” really about Jungle Cruise? I can’t be too sure, but his and Blunt’s characters really “put in the work, put in the hours” to “take what’s ours” in Jungle Cruise. Soooooooo, poetic stuff, really.
Trade in your turkey and mashed potatoes for some Nicolas Cage, his prized pig, and some truffles. Another Neon title, Pig slipped through the cracks for some people earlier this year but is now on Hulu just waiting to be rediscovered.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Do I really need to explain why this is on here? What’s a holiday without Charlie Brown’s trademark existential malaise?
The Beatles: Get Back
It’s literally the Beatles! The name alone either fully signs you up for a watch or not. And in Peter Jackson’s new three-part documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, there’s new, intimate footage from the band’s “Let It Be” era. Let’s just say there has to be some drama.
What’s a family affair without a little chaos? And a coup? Hulu’s The Great just released its entire second season, which picks up a few months after the events of last year’s hilarious debut. Elle Fannings’s Catherine the Great is pregnant, Nicholas Hoult’s Peter is still being held captive, and Gillian Anderson joins the season as Catherine’s brash mother, Joanna. Yay, family dysfunction!
Marvel is going back to the pavement with its latest series, Hawkeye. After Eternals’ heady, cosmic musings, Hawkeye introduces us to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop on the streets of New York as she runs into the eponymous hero, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), himself. Plus, the whole series is set during Christmastime in New York. How can you not have a little fun watching then, bro?
Want double the Hailee Steinfeld? Then may we suggest the actress’s best role to date, Emily Dickinson? Created by Alena Smith, Dickinson is amazing, heartfelt, and really witty television. Its warm, autumnal Massachusetts setting and lavish costumes, paired with Dickinson’s poetic musings, make for a cozy binge. Oh, and did we mention the insanely pitch-perfect guest stars? John Mulaney as Henry David Thoreau, Ziwe as Sojourner Truth, Billy Eichner as Walt Whitman, and Wiz Khalifa as Death. It’s all too good.
If you want to get lost in three seasons worth of yeehaw familial drama, look no further than Yellowstone. Kevin Costner stars as a wealthy rancher with the biggest ranch in Montana who’s fighting off those looking to take it from him. So, you know, it’s about manly stuff: a bunch of dudes searching for power all while wearing cowboy boots and speaking in gruff western accents.
The Sex Lives of College Girls
Okay, maybe it’s not the best thing to watch with your parents, but The Sex Lives of College Girls is a good way to reminisce about your own college days as you head back to your hometown.
So you may not be getting And Just Like That … until after Thanksgiving, but may we suggest the next closest thing? Glee. Specifically, season four, when the series introduces Sarah Jessica Parker as a New York fashion editor (i.e., a Carrie Bradshaw photocopy), except this time she’s singing god-awful yet amazing mash-ups. It’s turkey-lurkey time, babes!
How to With John Wilson
How to have a good time? How to have a good cry? Just watch How to With John Wilson. This docuseries debuted at the height of COVID, reminding us all about human connection and the absurdity of the mundane. Made by documentarian Wilson, each episode gives us a different lesson, from “How to Make Small Talk” to “How to Make the Perfect Risotto.” May as well catch up with season one before season two premieres this week.
The Morning Show
Few things must be seen to be believed, but let us tell you, The Morning Show is one of them. We could outright spoil this batshit show right now and you still wouldn’t believe us. Grab your folks and buckle up.
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