The Best Thanksgiving Weekend Movie Guide

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Let’s be honest: Over Thanksgiving, you’re going to need an escape, whether it be from nosy family members, wailing children, Trump/Clinton fisticuffs or the leftovers staring you in the face. May we recommend a movie balm? Here is your ultimate movie guide for Thanksgiving week.

If you are with a child, or want to feel as free as one: Moana

An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demigod Maui.

Disney’s new Polynesian animated musical (which boasts a whopping 99% positive critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes) has songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a no-holds-barred heroine. Everyone wins!


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If present day is just too much: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Eddie Redmayne stars as a wizard who arrives in America with a peculiar briefcase full of magical beasts.

Trade the real world for J.K. Rowling’s magical one, and watch her new main man Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) try to reclaim his crazy animals in New York City circa 1926.

If you’re taking your grandparents with you: Allied

Brad Pitt plays an intelligence officer during World War II who encounters a French Resistance fighter, played by Marion Cotillard. The pair reunite in London where their relationship undergoes the pressures of the war.

If you regularly hear that “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” we recommend you serve up tickets to this glamorous spy drama featuring bonafide movie stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

If you have a crush on Warren Beatty: Rules Don’t Apply

Warren Beatty wrote, produced, directed and stars in the romantic comedy/drama ‘Rules Don’t Apply,’ also featuring Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich. 20th Century Fox

Speaking of throwback fare, fans of Beatty will be thrilled to see the director/actor back in action (after 15 years!) as Hollywood-bound Howard Hughes — even if critics didn’t happen to love his final cut.

If you’re feeling left out of the awards conversation: Moonlight 

‘Moonlight’ follows a young man’s struggle to find himself while growing up in a dysfunctional home and tough neighborhood.

So you say you’re an awards season junkie? Then Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age drama about a gay African-American boy growing up in the Miami projects is required viewing.

If you need to see the heart (and the law) at work: Loving

Based on a 1967 landmark Supreme Court case, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga play Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who fought for their love after Virginia law prohibited their marriage.

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga remarkably re-create the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an unassuming Virginia couple whose 1967 Supreme Court ruling effectively struck down laws against interracial marriage across the nation.

If you’ve lost sight of the meaning of life: Arrival

Amy Adams plays a linguist recruited by the U.S. military to help translate alien communications.

Having a hard time making conversation? Take a cue from Amy Adams, who is the only person in this sci-fi drama able to break down barriers and talk to octopus-like aliens who park it on Earth.

If you want to be creeped out in a beautiful way: Nocturnal Animals (in select cities) 

An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.

Tom Ford’s sophomore directing effort stars Adams (she’s in two big movies right now!) as a wealthy art dealer whose writer ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) sends her a murderous manuscript — which turns out to be kind of like their marriage.

If only a bloody war will do: Hacksaw Ridge

Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer and Vince Vaughn star in the World War II drama ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ directed by Mel Gibson.

Take in Mel Gibson’s return to the director’s chair in this World War II tale about a non-violent medic (Andrew Garfield) who becomes a hero in battle.

If angst is what you need: The Edge of Seventeen

High schooler Nadine must survive all sorts of adolescent awkwardness, including the moment her best friend starts dating her older brother.

Have a pity party with your teen years by commiserating with Hailee Steinfeld in this excellently awkward coming-of-age tale. Also: Woody Harrelson is the best bad teacher of the year.

If you could use a strong cocktail: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton returns as the worst Santa ever on Nov. 23.

Sneak a drink into this one. Billy Bob Thornton is back as the boozy, crass St. Nick — and this time Santa’s decided to rob a holiday charity.

If you need a reminder that your family is normal: Almost Christmas 

Mo’Nique rules the roost in this star-packed family affair, where flag football and burned dinners pave the way for high holiday comedy.

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