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The 14 Best Movies and TV Shows to Watch Thanksgiving Weekend

Clockwise from top: Saltburn, Napoleon, Fargo season 5, Squid Game: The Challenge.
Clockwise from top: Saltburn, Napoleon, Fargo season five, Squid Game: The Challenge. Photo-Illustration: Vulture

The holidays are swiftly approaching, which means it’s time to escape to TV and the movies. If you’re lucky (a.k.a. you live by the Paris Theater in New York City), you can check what all the fuss is about in Bradley Cooper’s Maestro. For the rest of us, Ridley Scott’s latest historical war epic, Emerald Fennell’s fizzy little 2000s-styled thriller, a new Disney animated flick, and even a free classic Peanuts special are available to draw you away from the craziness of Thanksgiving. Enjoy. —Savannah Salazar

Featured Presentations


Fargo season five

Jon Hamm and Ted Lasso’s Juno Temple lead season five of Fargo as housewife Dorothy “Dot” Lyon and the sheriff searching for her, respectively. Joining Temple and Hamm this season are Joe Keery as the sheriff’s kid, Gator; Lamorne Morris; Richa Moorjani; Sam Spruell; and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Fargo takes on its most current time period yet: 2019. —S.S.

Streaming on Hulu


Squid Game: The Challenge

It’s incredibly depressing but perhaps inevitable that a TV show about a horrendously demeaning and brutal competition among desperate contestants looking for a payday would inspire a reality-TV spinoff in which desperate contestants looking for a payday compete in a horrendously demeaning and brutal competition. —Roxana Hadadi

Streaming on Netflix

➽ I would simply win the Squid Game, but I’m built different.



Writer and director Emerald Fennell’s second film is bound to cause great divides in your group chats. Starring Barry Keoghan as another little weirdo, Saltburn follows a young man’s (Keoghan) psychosexual obsession with a fellow Oxford classmate, Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), as he befriends him and spends the summer at Catton’s family estate, Saltburn. Messy, nasty chaos ensues, and you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it — or maybe have a secret third feeling, an affinity to seeing Elordi and Keoghan be sick freaks. All valid. —S.S.

In theaters now



Ridley Scott has been having a barnburner of a press tour for his new epic, basically telling historians and anybody who cares about little things like “historical accuracy” to go touch grass. If you want nuance and context for your story about Napoleon’s rise and fall (and rise and fall again), you might not find it here. But you will find epic battles and lots of surprisingly funny scenes of Joaquin Phoenix being a weird little guy. Sometimes, that’s enough. —James Grebey

In theaters now

For real, go see Napoleon. We owe it to Sir Ridley for doing The Last Duel so dirty. Sorry my generation was too busy on our cellphones, king.


Faraway Downs

Fifteen years ago, Baz Luhrmann directed and co-wrote the flop Australia, a sprawling war epic featuring the fantastically hot Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman and exquisite landscapes. In Faraway Downs, described as a “reimagining” of the film, Luhrmann expands the nearly three-hour story into a six-episode miniseries with new footage and an alternate ending. —R.H.

Streaming on Hulu

Bradley Cooper’s Maestro will be nosing its way into select theaters this weekend ahead of its Netflix streaming debut on December 20.

A Helping of Thanksgiving

The 2023 National Dog Show

The Thanksgiving Day Parade is mid. Too many sequences where very cold Broadway dancers perform an out-of-context snippet of one of the songs from whatever show they’re in, not enough footage of big balloons and floats. The real draw is the National Dog Show, which begins after the parade is over at noon ET. Look at all those good boys and girls! —J.G.

Starts at noon EST on NBC

There are also, like, football games on Thanksgiving? But let’s be real: We’re indoor kids. Look for that stuff elsewhere.

Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Turkey Day Marathon

Watching Joel (or Mike) (or Jonah) and his robot friends Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot watch bad movies is as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as arguing with your uncle across the table. This year, 24 classic episodes will stream on a ton of different services, like Pluto TV and on Twitch. Feast on these absolute turkeys of movies. —J.G.

Streaming on Shout! TV

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

One of the most memorable Peanuts TV specials of all turns 50 this year. It won’t celebrate with a broadcast on TV, though, since Apple scooped up the rights to all of them a few years ago. At least it will be available to stream for free for a limited time on Apple TV+ on Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. If you want to watch the gang serve up a feast of popcorn, buttered toast, and jellybeans before then, you’ll have to pay. —Eric Vilas-Boas

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Genre Fare

Doctor Who’s 60th-anniversary special

David Tennant is back for the 60th-anniversary special of the long-running sci-fi series, but he’s not reprising his role as the Tenth Doctor. Instead he’s the 14th Doctor — even though casting has already confirmed that actor Ncuti Gatwa will be ultimately playing the next iteration of the Doctor once the series comes back in earnest next year. All of this makes perfect sense in context, I promise. Mostly. —J.G.

Streaming on Disney+

Animation Station


When you’re surrounded by squealing, chattering, Cheeto-dusted kids day in and day out, it’s normal to feel your age — even more so when you happen to be a 75-year-old lizard. Adam Sandler stars in Leo as the titular septuagenarian classroom reptile facing a late-life crisis: He realizes that he’s only ever lived encased in glass. Once he tries to change that before his time is up, it becomes mildly existential, highly musical, and overall pretty entertaining. —E.V.B.

Streaming on Netflix


Disney’s celebrating its 100th anniversary with a new original animated movie that is very aware it’s a celebration of a century of Disney, featuring lots of allusions to old classics and the return of a straight-up Disney Villain for the first time in a decade (courtesy of Chris Pine’s King Magnifico). Ariana DeBose stars as Asha, a young girl who wishes upon a star, and the star itself answers her call. —J.G.

In theaters now

All That and More

Good Burger 2

Hey … do you guys remember All That? The ’90s kids who remember Kenan and Kel’s goofy, charmingly dumb spinoff movie Good Burger are now old enough to subscribe to Paramount+ and can watch the sequel, which comes out just over a quarter of a century after the original. Wait, no, that can’t be right. That would make … me … old? —J.G.

Streaming on Paramount+

By Popular (On) Demand


July 2023 was a good time, wasn’t it? Sure, it was only four months ago, but you can finally create your own little Barbenheimer experience at home, just in time for the holidays, with Christopher Nolan’s three-hour epic finally hitting VOD. Bust out the fedoras and let Oppenheimer blow out your speakers. —S.S.

Buy or rent on VOD

Make It a Double Feature

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Emerald Fennell said she was inspired to cast Barry Keoghan in Saltburn because of Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, an unnerving and vicious psychological thriller. He stars as a young teenager who slowly starts to infiltrate into the lives of a cardiovascular surgeon (played by Colin Farrell) and his family (Nicole Kidman, Sunny Suljic, and Raffey Cassidy) — to disastrous results. It’s as hard to stomach as the amount of spaghetti Keoghan ate in that one scene. —S.S. 

Streaming on Netflix

Want more? Read our recommendations from the weekend of November 17.

The 14 Best Movies and Shows to Watch Thanksgiving Weekend