7 Family Friendly Films to Stream Over Thanksgiving Vacation

Odds are that you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your family members in the weeks to come, especially over the Thanksgiving weekend. But since actually talking to any them is out of the question, a good movie that you can enjoy with any member of the clan will prove to be an invaluable resource. It’s tough to find something on cable that just two members of the same household can agree on — as such, it is up to you (yes, I know, you already picked up Uncle Gilbert from the airport and drove all the way to the out-of-town Denny’s because Grandma Marlene didn’t like the first waiter’s goatee, but you’re the only one we can count on here) to head to the dark crevasses of the Internet to find the perfect movies for holiday viewing with those nearest and dearest that you are legally bound to tolerate.

Through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, or whatever Video on Demand platform you have at your disposal, there are dozens of new films that might suit the fancy of you and your favorite relatives this holiday season. Whether you aim to sate your underage nephew Skeet, please your FCC-worshipping Aunt Judith, or impress your “They don’t make ‘em like Barbary Coast anymore” Grandpa Lem, the vast cosmos of home cinema has you covered.


Perfect for: The kids. On the off chance that your young cousins haven’t burned out their irises watching this flick over and over and over already, it’s a pretty acceptable choice that’ll also entertain those steeped in that ever present marshland of pre-‘net nostalgia.

Available on: VOD, iTunes, HBO GO, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and Target Ticket.


Perfect for: The grandparents. If Pops and Nana aren’t partial to the high-concept superhero blockbusters that dominate today’s movie industry, they might be inclined to take on this product of an era long gone: the soft, sweet, surprisingly funny postwar Europe-set story of an 18-year-old orphan who leaves her home at the monastery to discover herself through a first union with her long estranged Jewish aunt.

Available on: VOD, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Vudu.


Perfect for: The siblings. Though this PG-13-rated romantic comedy does have its share of sexual themes, it’s nowhere near as coarse or raunchy as most of the young adult-directed material produced by Hollywood these days. There is a bit of nudity (just butts), but most of the humor is mined from the charming chemistry and awkward sensibilities of Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, who play angelic and cute enough to keep from crossing anybody’s most conservative tastes.

Available on: VOD and Vudu.


Perfect for: The parents. Despite star Ralph Fiennes’ potentially off-putting proclivity to spout the F-word at every conceivable turn, the wily, loony humor will remind mom and dad of the Marx Brothers comedies or Billy Wilder farces they grew up with. Trust me — the only comedy movie my dad ever references is Duck Soup, and he loved this film! By the way, this is an R-rated flick, so best to tuck the kiddies in bed before viewing.

Available on: VOD, iTunes, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, and Target Ticket.


Perfect for: A young aunt or uncle… or, if you’re the young aunt or uncle, then a niece or nephew, but here’s the catch: it should be watched as a double-feature with E.T. or The Goonies, to celebrate the lasting effects of the Amblin aura (but to cement the fact that nobody’s done it quite as good since Steven Spielberg).

Available on: VOD, iTunes, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Vudu.


Perfect for: The intellectual cousins with whom you always bond over the insanity of the rest of the family. Though hardly a perfect movie, it's good, fun, sportsmanlike watching, and a film you and the cuz can really sink your analytical teeth into together.

Available on: VOD, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Vudu.


Perfect for: Everyone and anyone. The magical story from Hayao Miyazaki is easily his most mature work, and should drape any viewer, regardless of age, in a renewed state of childlike whimsy. A few scenes are a little harsh for young kids — such as a brief image of a lady suffering blood loss from the face (and there is a heck of a lot of smoking going on) — but older children will revel in the picture about passion and following your dreams.

Available on: VOD.

Images: Disney (2); Warner Bros; Soloban; Entertainment One; 20th Century Fox; Relativity; RADiUS-TWC