Mirabel from 'Encanto'
8 Movies To Watch In Theaters Thanksgiving Weekend

Decisions, decisions.


Going to the movies with your family and friends on Thanksgiving weekend is a well-loved tradition. There’s nothing better than stuffing yourself with leftover turkey, mac and cheese, and pumpkin pie, then pilling into the car and rushing to make it to your seats before the previews end. But the best part might be afterward, when everyone dissects the movie and gets into heated yet fun discussions about the film. If you’re planning on participating in this cherished custom this year, here are the best movies to watch in theaters for Thanksgiving weekend 2021.

Sure, chilling on the sofa and streaming films at home is fine, but nothing can replace the magical feeling of being at the cinema. The movie theater is one of the few places where you can get lost in an entirely new world — it’s basically the best form of escapism. This feeling is extra special during the holiday season, as it's usually when the most highly anticipated movies are released. This year is no exception; major studios including Marvel, Disney, and many more are dropping films this time of year, meaning there’s an option for every person in your family, no matter how selective their film tastes may be.



You can’t go wrong with watching a Disney movie with the fam this Thanksgiving. Encanto tells the story of Mirabel, a young girl who lives in a magical house with her extended family in Colombia. A true Disney character, Mirabel’s a bit of an outcast: Whereas the rest of her family has inherited special powers, she never received any magical abilities. But when her home and relatives suddenly lose their magic, it’s up to Mirabel to save the day. The movie also features original music from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, so you know it’s going to be a good time.


Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

If you’re still in a spooky mood post-Halloween, the latest flick in the Resident Evil franchise is for you. Welcome to Racoon City doesn’t have an actual connection to the earlier Resident Evil films; instead, this one closely follows the storyline from the video games. After a pharmaceutical giant ravishes an entire town, a group of survivors seek revenge and vow to find out the truth behind the evil company.


Licorice Pizza

Paul Thomas Anderson fans, rejoice. The acclaimed writer/director has released another movie set in the ‘70s, just like his breakout hit Boogie Nights. The trailer for Licorice Pizza doesn’t reveal too much about the plot, but with its beautiful cinematography set against a Bowie track, it’s a treat to watch. A coming-of-age film, the story revolves around two young teens who fall in love and deal with everything that comes with that.


Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the second recent reboot of the original franchise, though this movie doesn’t have any connection with the 2016 version starring Melissa McCarthy. Rather, it closely follows the events from the OG films. When a family moves into a new, rural town, they uncover a familial connection to the iconic Ghostbusters.


House of Gucci

One of the most anticipated movies of this year, House of Gucci stars Lady Gaga and Adam Driver as Patrizia and Maurizio Gucci, the infamous couple at the forefront of the iconic fashion brand. The drama, based on true events, has an A-list cast and takes a deep dive into the Gucci family, exploring Maurizio’s eventual murder.


King Richard

King Richard tells the incredible true story of Tennis superstars — and sisters — Serena and Venus Williams, with Will Smith playing the titular role as their father. The film documents the Williams sisters’ upbringing and how they defeated the odds and became household names, but it mostly focuses on the critical role their dad played in both their lives and careers.


Clifford The Big Red Dog

If you want a fun family film that will definitely tug on your heartstrings, look no further than Clifford The Big Red Dog. For fans who used to read the books or watch the cartoon as kids, the movie is sure to be a walk down memory lane as it revolves around the bond between a young girl and her gigantic red puppy, Clifford.



Eternals is a different kind of Marvel movie. Not only does it come from director Chloe Zhao, who usually works on quieter films like Nomadland, but it also doesn’t have such an obvious connection to the MCU. The film follows the events of Avengers: Endgame when the Eternals — a group of immortal aliens with otherworldly powers — race to help humanity against a vicious threat known as the Deviants.