Thanksgiving Movies to Watch Instead of 'Free Birds'

It's the weekend and it's almost Thanksgiving, so there's a good chance that you might get dragged to Free Birds . If you've seen the commercials, you probably aren't surprised that it's getting almost universally panned by critics — it looks like someone just wanted to make Chicken Run with turkeys to cash in on all the Thanksgiving family time. But you don't have to watch a hackie animated movie to get into the Thanksgiving spirit (which is the spirit of colonialism? I dunno, just go with it). If someone tries to get you to see Free Birds, just show them this list of far superior Thanksgiving movies that don't have animated poultry making terrible puns (well, except for Thankskilling).

Image: Relativity Media

'Pieces of April'

If the poster featuring a goth Katie Holmes doesn't interest you, then there's not much else I can say to convince you to watch this movie. Pieces of April is a heartfelt, funny movie in which the black sheep of a family (April, of course) invites them all to Thanksgiving because her mother has cancer, so this might be her last. The family is a mess, but the moments between them are touching and real. It's everything you would want in a Thanksgiving movie.

'Hannah and Her Sisters'

Hannah and Her Sisters is bookended by Thanksgiving dinners, and it's considered one of Woody Allen's best movies. Thanksgiving is a time when family forces us to come to terms with our relationships and where we're at in our lives, and no other movie shows this better than Hannah and Her Sisters. Not to mention that the female protagonists are well-rounded characters and the relationships as sisters are well developed, which is a rarity in Hollywood.

'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'

Most comedies from the '80s don't age very well (I'm looking at you, Chevy Chase movies). But Planes, Trains and Automobiles has managed to hold up over time. John Candy's performance in the film has become a classic, and he and Steve Martin have great chemistry. The story of two virtual opposites just trying to get to their families on Thanksgiving not only has a lot of broad comedy that can be enjoyed by everyone, but it has a lot of heart, too.

'The House of Yes'

The House of Yes is a demented black comedy about a woman obsessed with Jackie O. who's been recently released from a psychiatric hospital and starts to go even further off the rails when her brother brings home his fiance for Thanksgiving. And that's not even as crazy as it gets. But the movie pulls off all the madness with an incredible performance by Parker Posey, who has the best crazy eyes of all time.


Really, what's a better way to laugh off your crazy family than to watch one of the worst horror movies ever made? Thankskilling is a movie about a murderous turkey made on an obviously shoestring budget. It's so, so, so terrible, meaning that it will be so, so, so hilarious to watch in your sleepy, post-Thanksgiving state.