The Fabelmans; Glass Onion.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos Courtesy of the Studios
Happy Thanksgiving! I like to think this is just practice for the many more holiday celebrations and family dinners around the corner, so if Turkey Day is overwhelming and you need some time to unwind, there are plenty of options to do so, too. Certainly, there’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Strange World to watch with the whole family (you could also throw on Home Alone 2, which is 30 years old this week, if prepping for Christmas spirit is your thing). Or you and the cousins can sneak off to check out the new Timothée Chalamet cannibal romance. Plus, we snuck in a couple Thanksgiving-inspired movies, ensuring there’s enough entertainment to choose from before and after you’re stuffed on Thursday.
It’s like Twilight with cannibals. Okay, maybe that’s it a bit of a stretchbut Timotheé Chalamet and Taylor Russell play two cannibal outsiders, Lee and Maren, who find each other and flee on a road trip, outrunning other eaters. Bones and All skews more horror than director Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Namebut it’s still a gorgeous romance all the same.
A new Steven Spielberg movie to ring in the holidays is a great treat. Instead of directing a musical, though, Spielberg has joined the auteur-director trend of turning your life’s story into a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film with The Fabelmans. Michelle Williams and Paul Dano star as young aspiring filmmaker Sammy’s (Gabriel LaBelle) parents.
The rollout for Disney Animation’s latest movie has seemingly been quieter compared to its usual princess fare, but Strange World is indeed in theaters, everyone! Inspired by pulpy adventure stories of yore, Strange World centers around the Clade family, a famous line of explorers in the town of Avalonia. Although Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid) goes missing, his son, Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal), is left behind and discovers a life-saving plant. It isn’t until that plant is threatened that Searcher goes off to investigate what’s wrong with his wife, Meridian (Gabrielle Union), and son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White). It’s a nice little film to entertain your kids with this weekend, plus it’s a Disney movie that finally has more than just an “exclusively gay moment,” so that’s nice.
A new Rian Johnson movie is afoot. Two years (and a new distributor) later, the sequel to Johnson’s word-of-mouth hit is finally hitting theaters — though unfortunately only for a week. Glass Onion brings detective Benoit Blanc to Greece to participate (then investigate) a murder-mystery party gone wrong, and with another deliciously stacked cast, the sequel is earning even better raves than the original. But Knives Out is still killer and has actually become a Thanksgiving movie in my household. It has fall vibes, cable-knit sweaters, family gatherings going haywire? Yup, sounds like the holidays.
If you prefer a Thanksgiving movie with a slower, psychologically dramatic burn, The Humans is it. Centered around a family’s holiday dinner, playwright Stephen Karam made his directorial feature-film debut with this A24 adaptation of his play. The movie stays with the Blake family as their tensions, woes, affections, and worries melt into a mood piece of unsettling wit. It’s probably not exactly the family-friendly movie suggestion some of you are looking for, but for others, it’s perfect.
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig may have their next collab, White Noise, coming out soon, but Mistress America was the last time actor-writer (and director) Gerwig worked with now-husband Baumbach. Frances Ha certainly, and deservedly, gets most of the praise, but Gerwig shines as the fun and slightly chaotic older stepsister of Tracy (Lola Kirke), a lonely college freshman in New York. Now, why am I imploring you to check this out on Thanksgiving weekend? Well, its climax is set during the holiday, even featuring the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Plus, why wouldn’t you want to see Gerwig hilariously smashing all the one-liners in this movie?
City boy and country girl — you can probably get the gist of the movie just through that dynamic, but Son in Law is a chaotic little comedy and stars Pauly Shore and Carla Gugino as the aforementioned boy and girl, Crawl and Rebecca. The two play close college friends, and when Thanksgiving rolls around, Rebecca takes Crawl to visit her family in South Dakota. It’s quite a fish-out-of-water scenario, to say the least.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m not quite a cook, but I am the one who wakes up my siblings to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at the crack of dawn. Watching the parade is a tradition, because where else can you see massive SpongeBob and Grogu balloons floating in the air and Broadway numbers and celebrities badly lip-syncing to pop hits from the comfort of your couch? It’s fun! And for cord-cutters, this year you can even stream the parade on Peacock.
Yes, I’m adding in Andor once again, and what about it? Andor is really that girl (girl, in this case, being the best Star Wars series). And if you’ve been slacking in firing up Tony Gilroy’s show, now is the perfect time, because not only is it the long holiday weekend, the series is premiering its season finale today. Disney is even debuting the first two episodes of Andor across Hulu, ABC, Freeform, and FX, so truly there is no excuse in missing Diego Luna’s incredible leading performance.
The show that got me through high school is back, baby. Spencer Reid may not be returning (booo!), but some other fan favorites — most of the final-season cast — are back, from Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) to David Rossi (Joe Mantegna). The gang being together again may not hit as well as it did in the original 2005 series, but we love a crime series, don’t you all?
The torch is being passed from Christina Ricci to Jenna Ortega, and Ortega’s (Latina!) Wednesday really is kooky, spooky, and cool as hell. The new series, spearheaded by Tim Burton, Alfred Gough, and Miles Millar, follows our eponymous heroine as she transfers to Evermore Academy and finds herself in the middle of a dark mystery. And while Wednesday is more YA than the beloved The Addams Family movies ever were, I’m such a sucker for this show. She’s like a goth Nancy Drew! How can I not like that?
No, Kumail Nanjiani won’t be playing a stripper. He instead stars as Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the mogul behind Chippendales, the male-stripping empire. Based on a true story, Welcome to Chippendales recounts Banerjee’s life, probably set to a deluge of ’80s hits just so you know that you’re in the ’80s. Rounding out the cast is Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Juliette Lewis, Andrew Rannells, Dan Stevens, and more.
Need a break from RuPaul’s Drag Race but want to stay in the orbit of the queens you love? Try We’re Here, an HBO series with Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela, and Eureka at the helm. The trio of queens goes from small town to town to help a nominated person and their community live out their drag-queen dreams for the day. It’s quite heartfelt, and with its third season arriving this weekend, there’s plenty to catch up on.
Also! Read our streaming recommendations from the weekend of November 18. Vulture’s next list of weekend streaming picks goes online Friday, December 2.