If “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, then we have way too many Christmas movies. But what about poor Thanksgiving? Conventional wisdom says there are no Thanksgiving movies.

Au contraire!

There are definitely Thanksgiving movies. And not just one or two. A bunch. I’m not even going to count the weirdness of how the ape movie “Mighty Joe Young” became a Thanksgiving movie by channel 9 WOR playing it every Thanksgiving. We’ll leave that one out.

We’ll start with the most obvious one then I’ll give you ten more. Here we go.

11 Thanksgiving movies NJ can watch for the holiday

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

This John Hughes classic is entirely about Thanksgiving travel going wrong and a man (Steve Martin) just trying to get home to his family. He’s helped by a stranger (John Candy) determined to get him there in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

“Home For The Holidays”

Holly Hunter loses her job and is ghosted for Thanksgiving by her daughter when she has to spend the holiday with a problematic family back home. Big names also include Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft and Claire Daines. This was directed by Jodie Foster.

“Pieces of April”

April is played by Katie Holmes. This 2003 movie was low-budget yet got a terrific user rating of 7.0 on IMDB.com. It’s about April’s family visiting her for Thanksgiving in her lousy little New York City apartment.

“Hannah and Her Sisters”

This Woody Allen movie begins and ends with Thanksgiving so I’d say it makes the list. Although I’m not sure you want to play this at a family gathering considering the family drama Allen had by marrying his girlfriend’s daughter.

“What’s Cooking?”

This is what happens when four families from different ethic backgrounds (Vietnamese, Jewish, African and Latino) get together for Thanksgiving. It’s a 2000 comedy starring Julianna Marguiles, Mercedes Ruehl and Kyra Sedgwick.

“Scent Of A Woman”

If you never saw this movie about a bitter, suicidal blind man on a final trip to New York during Thanksgiving weekend please do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s one of the most beautiful movies ever made and one of Al Pacino’s best.

“The Ice Storm”

Casual sex and drug abuse doesn’t sound like the stuff Thanksgiving is made of but it all happens over a Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe just send grandma out of the room.

“Grumpy Old Men”

A Thanksgiving dinner plays into the competition between two old men fighting over a woman. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon star in this 1993 hit.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop”

Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving weekend is safe (is it?) when Kevin James’ Paul Blart is on the job. This 2009 comedy got only on 5.2 rating on IMDB.com. Ouch!


If you can stand a Pauly Shore movie this one is about a small town girl back home from college for Thanksgiving and she brings along her fish-out-of-water lunatic boyfriend.

“Into The Dark: Pilgrim”

What if you’re not over Halloween yet and you want some scary for your Turkey Day? On this horror anthology series, Season 2 Episode 2 is about a woman who invites pilgrim re-enactors to her home on Thanksgiving and things turn very, very dark.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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