Ask Americans for their favorite holiday and you’ll hear quite a few say Thanksgiving. It’s a relaxing, low pressure day in a way that Christmas never could be, and it brings with it far more clear and definable traditions than July 4th. It’s one of the few holidays that almost everyone can get on board with, regardless of ethnicity, belief system or country of birth, which is why it’s shocking that Hollywood hasn’t offered up more films about Turkey Day.

Luckily, those that have hit theaters, on the whole, are actually pretty good. In fact, when we sent around a memo asking some of Cinema Blend’s writers what they watch every year on the holiday, everyone came back with a different answer. So, as a great way to pass a slow day and as a public service to our fine readers, we decided to give everyone a few paragraphs to convince others that their favorite Thanksgiving flick is better than the rest.

Thumb through these choices. Weigh the pros and cons and pop in your favorite Thanksgiving choice later tonight. After all, I can pretty much guarantee you it will be more satisfying than listening to your family debate about Obamacare.

Kelly’s Pick: Dutch
John Hughes made a career out of writing great screenplays that keep the story’s format simple, emphasizing characters while blending humor and heart in a relatable way, and Dutch is truly no exception there. Stuck-up prep school kid Doyle (Ethan Embry) hero-worships his father Reed (played by the great Christopher McDonald) and thinks very little of his mother (JoBeth Williams), but a road trip with Mom’s new boyfriend, Dutch Dooley (Ed O’Neill), opens his eyes and heart to a bit of necessary reality and humor, leading Doyle to rethink how he views his parents and himself. Dutch has everything a great Thanksgiving comedy needs, from whacky road trip shenanigans — some involving fireworks or prostitutes — to a genuinely heartfelt conclusion, which is capped off with a few more laughs that'll leave you smiling while the credits roll.

It’s a wonder Dutch hasn’t gone down in history as one of the all-time classic Thanksgiving comedies for the ages. Maybe it misses the mark on a technicality, as the Thanksgiving aspect of the plot is really just a device to bring Dutch and Doyle together, and a way to put the family around the table at the end of the film. Regardless, it’s set during Thanksgiving, so it certainly fits the bill as a movie well worth watching during the holiday… or any other time of year, for that matter.

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