Thanksgiving break: the holiday that's all about tense family politics, revisiting awkward stories from your childhood, and endless moments we wish we could avoid. Luckily, there’s a solution—a trip to the movies, otherwise known as two hours of no conversation over freshly buttered popcorn.
Besides the break from family drama, seeing a movie is a great option because Thanksgiving falls in the middle of prime movie season, where studios release their top movies of the year prior to awards season. This means that some of this year's most highly awaited films are finally here. Across different genres and target age groups, there are plenty of options for everyone. Here’s the guide to the perfect movie for different situations the Thanksgiving break might throw at you.
When everyone's in the mood to cry: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Starring Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers, the retelling of the beloved children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” is emotional fodder for the whole family. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood tells the story of the close relationship between Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), which began when Vogel was assigned to profile Mister Rogers. Hanks’ portrayal of Rogers will likely be in the conversion for Best Actor come Oscar season. Overall, you’ll be hard–pressed to find a dry eye in the crowd of this movie, based on nostalgia alone.
When you're tasked with taking the younger cousins out for a fun day: Frozen II
Although this Thanksgiving season is generally lacking in animated releases, there's one that'll capture everyone's attention: Frozen II. After six years since the release of Frozen (which currently sits as the second highest grossing animated film ever), Disney is bringing Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), and Olaf the talking snowman (Josh Gad) back for a second round of snow–covered adventure. The plot seems a bit similar to that of the first movie, and while there will be a few new characters and a slightly different storyline, Disney's reputation ensures that everyone watching will leave the theater in a good mood. And honestly, the predictability of the plot doesn’t matter a bit in getting younger members of your family excited. Just start playing “Let It Go” in the car and let them take it from there.
When the family can't agree on a movie and have to split up: 21 Bridges and Queen & Slim
Spirited debates are what Thanksgiving's all about, and that includes debates about which of two vastly different movies the family should watch. A few years ago a split occurred over Lion vs. Doctor Strange, and just last year it was A Star is Born vs. Creed II. You get the idea: divide and conquer so everyone gets to see which of the two completely different movies they want to see. It’s a genius plan to avoid the conflict: everyone gets together for a fun group event, the group splits, and then reassembles for the car journey home over conversation about the movie they didn't see. This year, there’s a number of contenders to create this rigid dichotomy but none more than the action–packed crime and police thriller 21 Bridges and the romantic thriller with commentary on race and heartbreak, Queen & Slim.
When you want a long break from one another: The Irishman
The Irishman is 3 hours and 30 minutes long. Perhaps difficult to pitch to a family that doesn’t see each other all that often, but if you're feeling particularly drained, it's more than worth your time. The movie is an intersection of three of the most prominent actors of the last 30 years—Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci—and Martin Scorsese, director of other classic crime dramas like Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, is at its helm. Also, The Irishman will be released on Netflix on Nov. 27 so you can watch it from the comfort of your own home—and take a bathroom break halfway through.