Thanksgiving Movie Guide: How To Choose Between The Muppets, Hugo, And More New Releases
Every year the long Thanksgiving weekend is a prime opportunity for studios to release their big, broad-appeal crowd-pleasing movies. They figure, correctly as it turns out, that at a certain point everyone gets sick of being locked inside with their relatives and leftover turkey, and how better to get out of the house and spend time with them (without speaking) than go to the movies? Sure, in smaller arthouses in the city there will be releases of some indies that are strictly grown-ups only-- seek out A Dangerous Method or Rampart for that-- but for the most part the week's releases are the kind of things you take your baby cousins and grandma to see with no fear of awkwardness.
But this year the competition for family eyeballs is more insane than ever, with no fewer than three PG-rated movies being released on more than 1,000 screens, all of them aiming for essentially the same audience of people who want to enjoy themselves with their entire extended families. Arthur Christmas, The Muppets and Hugo are all going to be in stiff competition, and that's without even mentioning the smaller movies coming out that you might at least be able to take your older relatives to see-- The Artist, My Week With Marilyn and hey, Breaking Dawn is still in theaters.
So while we normally just let you guys read the site and figure out for yourselves what you ought to see, this Thanksgiving weekend is a special case. Read below for our guide to Thanksgiving releases, who you ought to take to see them, and which previous Thanksgiving release it might remind you of-- making sure you pick this year's Enchanted and not this year's Polar Express. It might not help you decide between the three family movies, but I'm pretty sure that's an impossible decision no matter who's guiding you.
Best for: Entire families, or groups of friends who are ready to argue passionately about the relative merits of each member of the Electric Mayhem.
Kind of like that time you all saw… Enchanted in 2007, and were transported back to the Disney princess movies of your youth but also impressed by how much kids were into it as well.
Best for: Families with slightly younger kids than might dig The Muppets, Anglophiles.
Kind of like that time you all saw… Happy Feet in 2006, but really would have preferred it take place at the North Pole instead of the South.
Best for: Families with antsy grown-ups who don't think they'll like a kid's movie like Hugo, film preservationist societies, Scorsese completists.
Kind of like that time you all saw… National Treasure in 2004, and wished it was actually smart instead of a bunch of crazy historical nonsense.
Best for: Grown-ups who really need to feel like grown-ups for a few hours, old movie fans who couldn't be talked into Hugo, people who want a jump start on the Oscar race.
Kind of like that time you all saw… The King's Speech last year, and felt pretty good about seeing a bunch of guaranteed Oscar nominees before most people did.
Best for: Fans of movies even older than Marilyn Monroe's, .
Kind of like that time you all saw… The Quiet American in 2001, and felt proud for avoiding the commercialized masses.
Best for: Grown-ups who can handle being in a dark mood, Oscar obsessives, fans of Oren Moverman's previous movie The Messenger.
Kind of like that time you all saw… Down to the Bone in 2005 because you heard about Vera Farmiga's powerful performance and didn't mind being depressed for days after.
Best for: Silent film aficionados, anyone of any age in the mood for an adventure.
Kind of like that time you all saw… I'm Not There in 2007 because it was black and white and arty, but wished it was even a little bit accessible.
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