The Complete Thanksgiving Streaming Guide: Great TV Shows and Movies to Watch This Year

Jack Ryan / Amazon Studios
Jack Ryan / Amazon Studios

Get ready for the holiday season: Thanksgiving is almost here. And while we’re gearing up to make a few delicious desserts from scratch and to successfully carve the perfect turkey this year, the holiday also means it’s time to kick back with family and friends and dive into a new series or classic movie until it’s time for leftovers—again. What’s the best thing to watch on Thanksgiving weekend this year? Here are some TV series and movies to watch and stream on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV +, Disney+, along with HBO and Hulu.

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New Release Series to Stream

Jack Ryan Season 2 – Amazon Prime: John Krasinski is back for a new mission in Jack Ryan, with the second season heading to South America for some major political intrigue. If you want to get in shape like Krasinski did for the series, check out a workout he did with trainer Don Saladino right here:

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Jack Ryan Season 2 / Amazon Studios / Paramount Television
Jack Ryan Season 2 / Amazon Studios / Paramount Television

The Mandalorian – Disney Plus: Pedro Pascal stars as the titular bounty hunter in the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series.

Maradona in Mexico – Netflix: In this incredible documentary series, soccer great Diego Maradona comes to Culiacán, Mexico, the heart of the Sinaloa Cartel, to save the local team, the Dorados, and maybe himself. It’s a fascinating story, and one you won’t want to miss.

The Crown Season 3 – Netflix: The new season of the series marks the change in cast from Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies. Colman is coming off of her Oscar-winning role in The Favourite as Queen Anne, and the season will go over events like the Apollo 11 moon landing, the death and funeral of Winston Churchill, as well as the decolonization of Africa.

See – Apple TV Plus: Jason Momoa stars in this post-apocalyptic series where the people of the future have lost their vision after the outbreak of a virus, which has destroyed most of mankind. Momoa plays Baba Voss, the leader of a tribe of blind survivors who eventually becomes the father of twins born with the ability to see.

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New Release Movies to Stream

The Irishman – Netflix (November 27): Based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, the film stars Robert De Niro as hitman Frank Sheeran as he gets involved with union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). This Martin Scorsese gangster epic is three-and-a-half hours long—just enough time in between trips to get more of that banana bourbon bread pudding.

The King – Netflix: Adapted from a group of Shakespeare’s Henriad plays, the film follows the story of Henry Prince of Wales, played by Timothée Chalamet, as he eventually rises to become King Henry V. The film has some thrilling medieval battles and was made to be more realistic, raw, and less poetic than Shakespeare’s original writings.

The King / The Irishman / Netflix
the King / The Irishman / Netflix

The Report – Amazon Prime (November 29): Looking for something a little more serious? This Adam Driver drama is a true story that follows the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the CIA use of torture tactics on prisoners following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Men’s Journal had the chance to see the movie at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and while it’s a serious subject matter, director Scott Z. Burns’ thrilling film packs an emotional punch. If anything, it will certainly get the conversation going around the house.

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Streaming on HBO Now

Us from Jordan Peele:

Us is available to stream on HBO NOW starting November 23rd. This marks the streaming service debut of Jordan Peele’s inventive hit film. Academy Award®-winning visionary Jordan Peele (Get Out) returns with his second feature. Starring Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Winston Duke (Black Panther), Us follows an endearing American family that is pitted against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

Us / Blumhouse
  • Anastasia, 1997 
    A young orphan might be the last of Czarist Russia’s bluebloods in this musical fable of royalty, risk and romance. 
  • Big, 1988 
    Tom Hanks earned a 1988 Best Actor Academy Award® nomination for this film about a boy whose wish to be ‘big’ comes true. 
  • The Big Green, 1995 
    Steve Guttenberg leads a ragtag youth soccer team into battle against a superior city team and its nasty coach. 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 2010 
    The plucky Pevensie children find themselves on a wild seafaring adventure in Narnia in this third film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ books. 
  • Despicable Me, 2010 
    A supervillain discovers he has a heart while using three adorable tots for his latest scheme in this animated hit. 
  • George of the Jungle, 1997 
    Brendan Fraser stars as the screwball ape-man with a klutzy streak in this riotous retelling of the 1960s animated series. 
  • Gulliver’s Travels, 2010 
    Jack Black finds himself in the land of Lilliput where he towers over its tiny citizens in this adaptation of the classic novel. 
  • Jingle All the Way (Director’s Cut), 1996 
    Christmas Eve finds Arnold Schwarzenegger desperately in search of a hard-to-find toy for his son in this holiday comedy. 
  • Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, 2008 
    A bright Cincinnati girl dreams of being a reporter during the Great Depression in this family film inspired by the ‘American Girl’ series. 
  • Kung Fu Panda 2, 2011 
    Kung-fu fighting Dragon Warrior Po is back–and he’s facing the biggest challenge of his life in this family-style animated adventure. 
  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, 2019 
    When Lego Duplo invaders threaten their city, it’s up to Emmet, Lucy, and their pals to save the day in this sequel.
  • The Little Rascals, 1994 
    Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat and the gang are back in this outrageous family comedy based on the beloved Depression-era shows. 
  • Madagascar, 2005 
    A zebra’s response to the ‘call of the wild’ winds up getting him and his zoo pals crated off to the jungle in this animated comedy. 
  • The Mighty Ducks, 1992 
    Arrogant lawyer Emilio Estevez is punished for a DUI by being assigned to coach a clumsy pee-wee ice hockey team. 
  • Paddington 22018 
    Paddington must use his detective skills to catch a book thief in this fun-filled sequel.

Thanksgiving-Related Picks

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – (Available to rent/buy on Amazon, Vudu): It’s hard to go wrong with a holiday classic. The 25-minute short film follows the Peanuts crew, including Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and Woodstock, as they prepare a Thanksgiving feast.

Rocky – Netflix: While it might be the first thing you think of when it comes to “Thanksgiving movies,” Rocky at least has a holiday connection. Part of the film takes place during the American holiday, and at one point in the film, Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky comes over to take Adrian (Talia Shire) out for a date, which happens to be on Thanksgiving.

Home for the Holidays – Hulu: Holly Hunter stars as Claudia Larson in this Jodie Foster-directed film and returns to her hometown of Baltimore for the Thanksgiving holiday. She’s been laid off from her job and when she comes back, plenty of family drama is brought back up over dinner. The film also stars Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, and Dylan McDermott.

Scent of a Woman – Starz: This classic Al Pacino performance—which finally won him a Best Actor Oscar—takes place over the Thanksgiving holiday. In the film, Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) takes a job over the Thanksgiving weekend to help take care of Army Ranger Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (Pacino), who’s blind and kind of mean. The movie has an epic Thanksgiving scene with some angry words between Pacino and Bradley Whitford’s characters.

Classic Movies to Watch

If you’re looking for some fun classics to watch over Thanksgiving weekend, VH1 is putting together a Thanksgiving Throwback Movie Marathon with a bunch of enjoyable movies, including ones like Space Jam, Legally Blonde, and Coming to America, among many others. The marathon starts on Wednesday, November 27th at 10PM ET/PT and the movies include: Space Jam, Legally Blonde, Coming to America, Beetlejuice, The Goonies, Titanic, Trading Places, Footloose (1984), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Overboard (1987), and Scrooged.

Here’s a look at the lineup:

Classic Thanksgiving-Related TV Episodes

Friends (Season 5, Episode 8) – “The One With All the Thanksgivings” – Netflix: While there are a bunch of episodes of Friends that take place on Thanksgiving, none of the others have the classic moment featuring Monica with a turkey wearing sunglasses on her head.

Seinfeld (Season 6, Episode 8) “The Mom & Pop Store” – Hulu: This episode has a major plot revolving around a Thanksgiving Eve party being thrown by Tim Whatley, played by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston. When George is the only one of the gang to not get an invite to the party, he tries to figure out a way in—and naturally all hell breaks loose. Eventually, the Woody Woodpecker balloon from the Thanksgiving Day parade gets punctured.

The Sopranos / HBO
The Sopranos / HBO

The Sopranos (Season 3, Episode 8) “He Is Risen” – HBO/HBO Go: Because this year marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the show, why not throw on a Sopranos episode for old times sake? The events of this episode take place during and around the Thanksgiving holiday, highlighted by some major tension between Tony (James Gandolfini) and Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano), which eventually leads to Tony disinviting Ralph and his family from Thanksgiving dinner.

How I Met Your Mother (Season 3, Episode 9) “Slapsgiving” – Hulu: This episode brings everyone together for Lily and Marshall’s first Thanksgiving as a married couple, and naturally things do not go as planned. On top of that, Barney is owed a “third slap” by Marshall from events during the previous season, and he constantly tries to taunt Barney, including by creating a slap countdown website. By the end of the episode, Marshall gets to slap Barney, sending him across the room.

Other Movies to Watch

Creed II – Hulu: In the follow-up to Creed, Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis is now on top of the world, but he faces a major challenge from Viktor Drago, the son of the man who killed his father. Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren face off again as trainers after fighting as Rocky and Ivan Drago back in Rocky IV.

Free Solo – Hulu/Disney Plus: Still haven’t watched the Oscar-winning documentary? Now you can stream the thrilling doc from co-directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, which follows climber Alex Honnold as he navigates the treacherous 3,200 foot climb of El Capitan at Yosemite National Park—all without the help of a rope. Once you see it, go inside the making of the film and read our previous interview with Honnold here.

'Free Solo' Documentary - 2018 Alex Honnold 2018
S Crossley/N Geographic/Kobal/Shutterstock

The James Bond Series – Amazon Prime: Basically every classic James Bond film is streaming on Amazon Prime, so you have quite a few to choose from.

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We’ve narrowed down five of our favorites here that you can check out:

  • Dr. No (1962) – Sean Connery stars in first Bond film, the one that started it all.
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – George Lazenby starred in just one Bond film–and it’s this one. That fun quirk adds to this entry in the series, plus, it features the first appearance of the Aston Martin DBS in the Bond series.
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – After stepping away for one Bond film, Sean Connery returns in this adventure that features iconic Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • The Living Daylights (1987) – Timothy Dalton stars in this Bond film, which features both the Volante and Coupe versions of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
  • Die Another Day (2002) – Pierce Brosnan’s Bond got to drive the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish in this film, becoming the first Bond actor to drive two different Aston Martin cars in different films.

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The Matrix Series – Netflix:  With Keanu Reeves coming back for The Matrix 4, it’s the perfect time to brush up on the series over the holiday weekend. The John Wick star is front-and-center in The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, showing off the fighting skills he’d later get to use in the Wick series.

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