What to watch in theaters this Thanksgiving break

Ali Gold | Senior Cadenza Editor

Thanksgiving Break is a notoriously weird break. It’s not quite a post-midterms reprieve like Fall Break nor is it a month-long pajamas and hot chocolate festival like Winter Break. It’s a gawky five days off, which is a little more than a long weekend but not long enough to justify unpacking and settling in.

All this is to say, the weather’s getting colder, you have some free time on your hands, and you’ll almost certainly be close to a movie theater at some point this weekend/week/break/however you refer to this time off for Thanksgiving. Here’s a round-up of films that will help you relax and wind-down over the holiday weekend no matter who you’re spending it with.

With your younger cousins/siblings, or your extended family:


“Coco” is Pixar’s newest animated film, following a young boy, Miguel, who lives in a Mexican village. Despite a generations-old family curse banning music, Miguel wants to become a famous musician. “Coco” promises stunning animation and gorgeous sets. Plus, the sets supervisor on the film is a Washington University alum; so, after you and your family go see this film, you can brag about how cool your school is to all of them. This film is perfect for two groups of people in your life:

Your extended family: “Coco” explores themes of tradition, heritage and family. People in Miguel’s family even from generations ago impact his life. These same themes are a perfect fit for Thanksgiving, when families often come together from across the country to celebrate family traditions and customs.

Younger family members: Little kids love Pixar movies as a rule, making it a natural fit for people trying to entertain younger siblings or cousins.

With your high school friends:

“Lady Bird”

One of my favorite parts of every long weekend or break is getting to catch up with friends who have gone to school all across the country. Although we all have different majors, career aspirations, extracurricular activities and internships now, what binds us all together is our awkward, sometimes painful but mostly fun memories of high school. “Lady Bird” is a dramatic comedy starring Saoirse Ronan as a high school senior deciding where she wants to apply for college, maintaining a tenuous relationship with her mom and trying to find her place socially. These all-too-relatable feelings of high school angst are certainly in the rearview mirror for most of us college folk, but not too far that we’ve forgotten them entirely. “Lady Bird” seems like a great film to bring back high school memories and evoke nostalgia.

With your dad:

“Daddy’s Home 2”

Ever since my sister and I saw “Stepbrothers” at an embarrassingly young age with our parents, we have been huge Will Ferrell fans. In December 2015, our dad took us to see “Daddy’s Home,” starring Ferrell as a dorky step father, competing with Mark Wahlberg, his step kids’ ultra-cool biological father. The film, as all of Ferrell’s films, had some embarrassingly laughable (and some not so funny) moments. It also was sweet at some points, about the lengths that parents will go to for their children and family love in general. Good thing “Daddy’s Home 2” is out in theaters in time for this Thanksgiving break. It may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it’s full of dad jokes.

With your mom:

“Bad Moms Christmas”

When my mom saw the first “Bad Moms” movie last year, she told me after that she actually found it empowering and touching. She took it to mean that moms can mess up sometimes, but at the end of the day love their kids and will do anything for them. Which is sweet. A little deep, but sweet. This break, my mom and I will probably return to the theater for “Bad Moms Christmas,” starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. If you want your mom to feel empowered this Thanksgiving (Isn’t that what we all want?), “Bad Moms Christmas” could be the perfect choice.

With yourself or literally anyone who will go with you:


The movie I’m most looking forward to seeing this break is “Wonder,” starring Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts. The film is based on a New York Times bestseller and shares the story of a young boy with facial differences as he attends mainstream elementary school. This is one of my younger sister’s favorite books, and I know we’ll see it this break as soon as possible. “Wonder” is the perfect film to give you all the warm fuzzies during this cold November break.

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