Top Thanksgiving movies
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Pass the Thanksgiving movies

Top ten films for the November holiday season

By Keith Cantrell | Contributor

We all know that Christmas movies have become a permanent holiday season fixture. Even Halloween and Easter-themed movies now regularly appear on the big screen. However, what many people don’t know is that there are actually several great Thanksgiving movies out there, if you know where to look.

Keith Cantrell, a super-senior studying at the TUHIP program in Los Angeles this semester, wanted to share a few of his favorite Thanksgiving films with his fellow Trojans in order to prove that he is alive and well.


10. Meet the Parents (2000)

You might want to write out a prayer before you depart from campus in case you are asked to say grace at your significant other’s family dinner table. As you know if you’ve seen this hilarious movie, Ben Stiller’s character doesn’t quite nail the “Amen.”


9. You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Why not spend your holiday break with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Then, if you happen to be out shopping, take a page out of Tom’s book and buy Thanksgiving groceries for that lovely person next to you in line.


8. Spider-Man (2002)

Pull out this nostalgic superhero flick with Tobey Maguire and (be still, my middle school heart) Kirsten Dunst. The scene where Aunt May slaps Norman Osborn’s hand when he tries to sneak a taste of the turkey is sure to fill you with angst all over again.


7. Babette’s Feast (1987)

This Danish film is about a servant, Babette, who wins the lottery and uses all of the money to prepare a colossal feast for her two stick-in-the-mud employers. Babette ends up teaching everyone a lesson about enjoying life and being thankful. (Tip: This one is in the Zondervan Library. Hurry!)

6. The Blind Side (2009)

A true story that gets to the heart of what Thanksgiving is all about. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) welcomes outsider Michael Oher into her family’s home. The Thanksgiving scene should make each of us want to add a seat at our own table for someone who needs a place to belong.


5. Dan in Real Life (2007)

Flannel shirts. Family drama. Singing around the piano. This movie has “Thanksgiving” written all over it. Steve Carell’s character, Dan Burns, learns that the new flame he met in a bookstore is his brother’s girlfriend. Oops.


4. Rocky (1976)

“Yo, Adrian. I ain’t got nobody to spend Thanksgiving with, ya know? How about maybe you and I go out together and get somethin’ to eat?” If you’re in the mood for a main course of achieving dreams this Thanksgiving with a side dish of romance, you can’t go wrong hanging out with Rocky.


3. Chicken Run (2000)

All vegetarians should consider watching this movie on Thanksgiving to feel honorable about their eating habits. If there’s anything this movie taught us, it is that poultry have feelings, too.


2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

With the exception of a scene where one of the characters spews some choice words to a car rental lady, this is the perfect film for the whole family. It is centered on two men struggling to get home for Thanksgiving. Steve Martin’s irritability and John Candy’s charm flawlessly balance each other out.


1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

Technically this is a 30-minute television special, but it has captured the spirit of Thanksgiving for decades. If you want to celebrate your holiday Peanuts-style, set up a Ping-Pong table and surround it with a mismatched assortment of lawn chairs. Then have your dog cook your uninvited guests an appetizing feast of popcorn, toast, jellybeans and pretzels. Bon appétit!


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