(OK, so I wrote this right before Thanksgiving, but the list still applies. I would only add Jackie with Natalie Portman this week, IF it happens to be playing in your town.)
What are you supposed to do with your relatives, once you’ve eaten all the food and run out of things to talk about? You GO TO THE MOVIES, of course! The sooner the better too, before anyone starts talking about politics again. Here’s my list of the Top 8 Movies to See Over Thanksgiving Weekend, which has a little something for everyone.
8. Look, I’m not going to lie to you about Manchester by the Sea. It is a heartbreaker. I almost pulled my kids out of school after watching it, just to hug them. I DIDN’T, by the way, but that’s how intense this story about a man who loses everything really is. I can promise you, however, that Manchester by the Sea is worth the emotional commitment and that it features TWO of the best performances you’ll see all year, courtesy of Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams.
7. Loving tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who were sentenced to prison in 1958 for their interracial marriage. There aren’t many bells and whistles to this one, but it’s better movie for it. Sometimes, a film only needs a little true-love-conquers-all to get it’s point across.
6. Did you know that Mel Gibson is making movies again? He directed Hacksaw Ridge, which is about Desmond T. Doss, a Conscientious Objector. Doss refused to use weapons during WWII, but was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics. It’s a great movie, but Hacksaw Ridge is also unbelievably gory. Imagine Braveheart, but set in Okinawa and with lots of explosions. You won’t mind though, because Andrew Garfield is absolutely precious at Desmond Doss.
5. Think long and hard about taking your daughter to see The Edge of Seventeen. Sure, it’s an awesome coming-of-age tale that young AND old women will appreciate, but it’s also rated R and raunchy as hell. Believe me, she’ll be much happier (and far less embarrassed) watching The Edge of Seventeen with her girlfriends while YOU go see it with your grown-up girlfriends.
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is far from a perfect movie, but how often do we get brand new peek into the Harry Potter world? Especially one that’s as clever and fully-realized as this one. Just prepare yourself for a confusing storyline and a super-awkward Eddie Redmayne, and you’ll have a blast watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
3. Doctor Strange is the latest from Marvel Studios and MAN, is it a doozy! Benedict Cumberbatch plays a neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands in a devastating car wreck. He stumbles into a world of MAGIC while searching for a cure and OF COURSE, the Infinity Stones are involved. Do yourself a favor and see this one in IMAX 3-D, because the special effects take Doctor Strange to a whole new level.
2. Arrival is currently in my Top 3 Favorite Movies of the Year, and considering the stellar stuff I’ve seen lately, that speaks volumes. It’s quiet, gorgeous, and surprisingly deep. Arrival also isn’t just about the struggle to speak with aliens who’ve landed on Earth. No, there’s a separate and much deeper story that makes Arrival extraordinary.
1. If you have children and DON’T take them to see Moana as soon as humanly possible…I have to ask “WHY?” Maybe you should call one of my kids so they can tell you how I cried all the way to the car after seeing it. Or they could just tell you how much they loved Moana. Then you should watch the trailer below but, believe me, even that doesn’t do the movie justice. Just see Moana and give yourself one more thing to be thankful about this year!