Thanksgiving movies: From idealized to horrifying, here’s what to watch

Love your family? Hate your family? Don’t have a family? Just want to put a movie on so you don’t have to talk to anyone for a couple of hours while you recuperate from your food coma? Whatever your relationship to the folks you shovel turkey with this holiday weekend, there’s a fitting Thanksgiving movie to match your mood. Here are 10 of the best.

10. ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ (1969) 

This countercultural cult classic, based on Arlo Guthrie’s sprawling folk musical monologue “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” is still a tradition (as is the song), despite the Vietnam War being long over. Guthrie stars in the film as himself, a long-haired bohemian who gets into a little trouble one Thanksgiving with a VW bus full of garbage and a dump that’s closed for the holiday. It’s certainly one of the more inventive ways of inadvertently getting yourself out of the military draft.

9. ‘Pieces of April’ (2003)

April (Katie Holmes) has spent her lifetime letting down her family, especially her critical (and now critically ill) mother (Patricia Clarkson). So there’s a lot on the line when the black sheep invites her estranged family over to her dumpy New York apartment for Thanksgiving – only to discover, turkey in hand, that her oven is broken. It’s a heartfelt, quirky indie with as much personality as April, whom you desperately want to see succeed.

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