Thanksgiving Holiday Movie Survival Guide

Thanksgiving is a great holiday for bingeing—not just on food but also on films. As we did last year, we’re providing you with a Thanksgiving Movie Survival Guide.

So loosen that belt (or your sweatpants band) and enjoy all the cinematic bounty on offer. The Thanksgiving holiday is a major cinematic feast.

*All times Eastern Standard

Wednesday, November 27 


It’s transit day for many of us, but for those lucky enough to already be wherever they plan to spend Thanksgiving, there’s plenty to watch. At 9:00 you have Jerry Maguire on E!, while Good Will Hunting comes on at 9:55 on Encore.  If you’re into early Paul Thomas Anderson (you should be), why not catch Punch-Drunk Love at 10:30 on FX. For Twilight fans, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is also on at 10:30 on Showtime 2. Amanda Bynes searching for her father, Colin Firth? Yup, it’s What a Girl Wants at 11:32 on MTV.  We’re not done! Before he nailed his serious role in Alexander Payne’s wonderful Nebraska, Will Forte was MacGruber, which you can catch on Comedy Central at 11:49.


Everybody pretty much agrees that watching Miracle is the best, so here’s your chance, at 12:05 on Encore. Over on HBO2 you can take a long walk with Bilbo Baggins and friends in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 1:25. If you’re looking for some history, Red Tails, the story of the African-American Tuskegee Airmen who flew at the height of WWII, plays at 1:45 on Cinemax. At 2:30 you get to choose between farce and force, as Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me appears on FX while Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, a one-man show directed by Spike Lee, airs on HBO. At 4:00 on Cinemax, the most rare of genres, the zombie-romantic comedy Warm Bodies, shuffles onto TV. At 4:30 over on Disney XD  The Incredibles is playing, one of the best animated films of all time. At 4:35 The Princess Bride will renew your faith in humanity (and the brilliance of Mandy Patinkin and Robin Wright) on Encore.


Catch Johnny Depp on HBO at 6:00 as he stars in Dark Shadows as Barnabas Collins, who returns to his mansion after being entombed for 200 years. The Hallmark Channel will be showing Christmas Magic at 6:00 as well. Cinemax will be showing Ang Lee’s visually stunning Life of Pi at 8:45, while the swords and sorcery are available on BBC America with Highlander playing at 9:00. Reese Witherspoon goes to Washington D.C. in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde at 9:45 on Flix. At 10:33 Green Lantern plays on FX, while night owls can revisit a fantastic actor we lost far too soon when A Knight’s Tale, starring Heath Ledger, airs at 12:45am on Encore.

Thursday, November 28 


It might not be a movie, but who doesn't start with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 9:00 on NBC. Meanwhile The Disney Channel will be playing Toy Story 3 at 9:00 as well. You can pile the kids in front of The Cartoon Network’s showing of Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz at 10:00. If you need a good heaping helping of time to kill, we’ve got two long films, one of which is not only a classic but a Thanksgiving staple. We’re talking about The Godfather, which starts at 11:30 on AMC (part of their mini Godfather marathon). Or you can take in Tom Hooper’s epic 2012 version of Les Misérables, playing at 11:45 on Cinemax. 


Encore will be showing 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man at 12:50, ABC Family will be showing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at 1:00. At 1:13pm Comedy Central shows 1993’s Coneheads.  Something’s Gotta Give for aging lothario Jack Nicholson (spoiler alert: it’s Diane Keaton), at 2:00 on Bravo. Back on AMC at 3:30 is The Godfather, Part II, continuing the marathon. Speaking of marathons, ABC Family continues theirs at 4:00 with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  At 5:30 X-Men Origins: Wolverine is being shown on Fox Movie Channel. 


Before he took a turn into more serious fare, Matthew McConaughey was the go-to romantic comedy lead, as he is here in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, airing on Bravo at 6:30. At 7:20 The Campaign gets underway on Cinemax, or you can head back over to ABC Family to continue your boy wizard binge with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. At 9:00 on E! you can see the man behind the noseless Voldermort become the dapper politician in love with a chambermaid when Ralph Fiennes and Jennifer Lopez get together for Maid in Manhattan. Then it’s the critically acclaimed third installment of the Men in Black 3 plays on Encore at 9:40. The night owl looking to reconnect with his or her childhood can watch A Boy Named Charlie Brown on ABC Family, while those looking to cry themselves to sleep can watch The Wrestler on IFC at 12:30am.


Friday, November 29 

You can’t do much better than a dose of Vertigo with your coffee on AMC at 9:00. Of course if that’s too heavy for you first thing in the morning, there’s always Beavis and Butt-head Do America on Comedy Central at 9:14. Or take in Joe Wright’s luscious take on Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley as the doomed Anna, at 9:20 on Cinemax. Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins swoops down at 11:00 on Spike. Take a road trip with the crew in Little Miss Sunshine on Bravo at 11:30, or ride some giants by watching the surfing saga Chasing Mavericks also at 11:30 on HBO.



Disney XD will be playing Toy Story 2 at 12:46 while two classics begin at 1:00—Dave on OWN, and Cocktail on Showtime. Comedy Central will be giving us a dose of the beloved, late Chris Farley with Black Sheep playing at 1:19. There’s a chance to watch Adam Sandler do his man-child thing in Billy Madison on IFC at 3:15, or catch the final installment in Nolan’s Batman triology with The Dark Knight Rises at 3:30 on HBO. Also on at 3:30 is The Shawshank Redemption on OWN. On Cinemax blast off with the crew of the Prometheus at 4:00 and watch one of the most intense scenes of any 2012 film (you’ll know it when you see it).


At 8:00 you can watch 2 Fast 2 Furious on Bravo, see Mark Wahlberg deal with Contraband on Cinemax, hang with the ladies of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle on Encore, or learn how Billy Beane changed baseball, played by Brad Pitt, in Moneyball on Fox Movie Channel. Emma Stone goes for the Easy A at 9:00 on FX, the RZA plays a blacksmith in rural China who makes himself into a living weapon in The Man With the Iron Fists on HBO 2 at 9:00 as well. You can Walk the Line at 11:00 over on Oxygen, while John Singleton’s classic Boyz N the Hood at 12:00am.





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