11 Best Thanksgiving Movies on HBO Max (May 2024)

Thanksgiving is one of those occasions where we celebrate togetherness with our near and dear ones. Being thankful for all that we have received the past year, including the blessings, we get to express that joy most piously while feasting on good food. While food plays an important role, it is always fun to spend time watching a movie, especially when it is a full house, isn’t it? Well, keeping that in mind, we bring you ten great movies available on HBO Max that you can watch and add to the Thanksgiving vibe. Each of these movies, in some way, explores a family dynamic, which is what the occasion is all about. Be it sadness or happiness, having a family helps cope with the former while adding to the latter.

11. The Daytrippers (1996)

It’s a family affair, or at least it seems so for Eliza (Hope Davis), who arrives in New York with her family to find out whether her husband Louis (Stanley Tucci) is having an affair because she found a love letter at home in Long Island. Following a dysfunctional family that comprises Eiza’s mother (Anne Meara), sister (Parker Posey), and sister’s boyfriend (Liev Schreiber) in the city that never sleeps, ‘The Daytrippers’ is an entertaining family drama worthy of a watch on Thanksgiving. It was nominated for the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. You can stream ‘The Daytrippers’ here.

10. Free Birds (2013)

This animated movie is directed by Jimmy Hayward and follows two turkeys, Reggie (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Jake (voiced by Woody Harrelson), who set off on a quest to go back in time to the first Thanksgiving of humanity and get turkeys off the Thanksgiving menu. They head back to 1621 to pull off their plan but don’t anticipate the risks, one of which is the colonist Myles Standish (Colm Meaney), who is out to hunt turkeys for the Pilgrims. Will Reggie and Jake save the turkeys from becoming holiday dinners, or will they turn into dinners themselves? To find out, you can watch the movie right here.

9. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

A timeless classic directed by Victor Fleming, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” It follows the story of Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto, who land in the magical world of Oz thanks to a tornado. There, they make friends with a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) without a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) without a heart, and a Lion (Bert Lahr) without courage. Together, they set off to meet the Wizard (Frank Morgan), who can give them what they are in dire need of, as well as send Dorothy and Toto back home. However, to fulfill their wishes, they must bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton). The catch? The Witch is bent on revenge after Dorothy, without even knowing it killed the Wicked Witch of the East, her sister. Will Dorothy and her friends be able to pull off this dangerous feat? To find out, you need to be a part of a magical tale, which you can do by clicking right here.

8. Mistress America (2015)

‘Mistress America’ tells the story of two soon-to-be step-sisters who explore New York. Tracy Fishko is a college freshman who, after being hurt since her crush is dating another girl, is referred by her mother to her future step-sister Brooke. Tracy’s mom is going to marry Brooke’s dad. While some may expect this to be a sign of an upcoming conflict, the two get along very well, with Brooke graciously ushering Tracy into her world that is never at a standstill. Directed by Noah Baumbach, the movie’s cast includes Greta Gerwig as Brooke and Lola Kirke as Tracy, along with Matthew Shear and Michael Chernus. You can join the two ladies in their schemes here.

7. The Ice Storm (1997)

There are two storms that we, the viewers, are subjected to in Ang Lee’s ‘The Ice Storm.’ One is the storm that brews throughout a Thanksgiving weekend within the Hoods family and the Carver family, both of which are involved in substance abuse and mutual adultery. The other is the real ice storm that begins to blow over the neighborhood. The movie explores the dynamic between the two storms and how the winter storm affects the storm within the two families. The ‘The Ice Storm’ cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Christina Ricci, and Tobey Maguire. You can watch it here.

6. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Written and directed by Woody Allen, ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ begins and ends with a Thanksgiving dinner with two years in between. It is what happens in the two years that the plot entails. As the title states, the movie deals with Hannah and her sisters and their intertwined lives that are a result of illicit affairs, courting, romance, and all the emotions that take root from these. The stellar cast of this drama includes Woody Allen, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, and Dianne Wiest. You may watch ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ here.

5. Good Will Hunting (1997)

A recipient of 9 Oscar nominations, out of which it won two, ‘Good Will Hunting’ is a psychological drama directed by Gus Van Sant and stars Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Stellan Skarsgard, and Ben Affleck. It centers on 20-year-old Will Hunting (Damon), who joins MIT as a janitor after being paroled. A self-taught mathematical prodigy, Hunting’s talents are noticed by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Skarsgard) who offers him time away from jail in return for maths lessons and psychotherapy sessions. While for the former, Lambeau himself is enough, for the latter, he reaches out to Sean Maguire (Williams), his friend from college, and asks him to help Hunting. While Hunting doesn’t bother interacting with Maguire at first, he slowly begins to open up. How Maguire gradually brings Hunting out of his shell and helps him turn his life around is what follows in this brilliant drama on self-discovery, self-worth, and the importance of being given a chance. ‘Good Will Hunting’ is certainly an enriching Thanksgiving movie that you can watch right here.

4. Yes Man (2008)

There aren’t many actors who can bring laughter to different generations of people, and Jim Carrey is one of them. So, for you to share laughter with your whole family on Thanksgiving, we bring you ‘Yes Man.’ Directed by Peyton Reed, the film centers on bank loan officer Carl Allen (Carrey), who starts saying no to everything after getting a divorce. However, realizing that things cannot get better unless he stops it, he attends a motivational seminar that addresses the power of saying yes. Thus begins Carl’s hilarious yes-propelled journey, much to our hilarity. Will this help him get better? While Carl would say, “Yes, man,” you can watch the movie here to find out.

3. Wonka (2023)

Directed by Paul King, ‘Wonka’ centers on Willy Wonka, a character in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ The film stars Timothée Chalamet as the titular character and shows how Willy Wonka became the world-famous chocolatier that we know him as. How he overcomes the overwhelming odds posed by the Chocolate Cartel and establishes his chocolate factory is what we find out in this musical fantasy. The cast also includes Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman, Matt Lucas, and Jim Carter. You can watch the movie here.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Directed by Chris Columbus, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ is the first installment of the Harry Potter film series based on J. K. Rowling’s novel series. The film introduces us to a young boy named Harry Potter who finds out that he is a wizard and is admitted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Once there, he learns that he has a connection with the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whom the whole wizard world is afraid of. Thankfully, he has the support of his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as well as their headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. Undoubtedly one of the best films ever made about magic and one that achieved cult status across the globe, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane. The film is the beginning of Harry’s journey as a wizard, which spans eight films, all of which are available on HBO Max. You can start with ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ right here.

1. Superman (1978)

A movie for not just Thanksgiving but any season and one that deserves to be seen by people of all ages, ‘Superman’ showcases the famous DC superhero who was sent to Earth from Krypton as a baby. His parents Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and Lara (Susannah York) sacrificed their lives while saving their son as the whole of Krypton was devoured by destruction. On Earth, he was found by a couple, Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), who named him Clark and brought him up. He would go on to become the superhero Superman we all know. Christopher Reeve plays the titular character who fights evil in Metropolis, his primary foe being the sinister Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). He also has a love interest, his (Clark’s) co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), who doesn’t know that Clark is Superman. Directed by Richard Donner, it is one of the best superhero movies ever made, especially due to the actors who made their roles immortal. You can watch it right here.

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