Our 2013 Thanksgiving Feast of Netflix Instant Films to Enjoy on Break

November 27, 2013

Netflix Thanksgiving

This year people are going crazy with shopping on Thanksgiving after gorging on turkey. But it's also a great time to hit the cinema for a good flick. This week, new releases like Frozen, Homefront and Oldboy arrive, and you can still check out The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World everywhere, not to mention awards contenders Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska where you can find them, plus plenty of other films. But if you just want to stay at home and enjoy an excellent movie with the family, we've got another Thanksgiving feast of films available on Netflix Instant to enjoy quickly. Look!

Here are some of our favorite offerings from the past few years available now (unless otherwise noted):

The Impostor
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A documentary that is almost too crazy to believe, Bart Layton directs this tale about a 13-year-old boy who vanished in Texas and shows up three years later in Spain. However, this boy is not who he says. A runaway foreign teen comes "home" and turns a family's world upside down. With dramatization combined with talking heads, this documentary is thrilling, suspenseful and just plain unbelievable.

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Laika's gorgeous animation is the star of this animated horror flick that is fit for children of the right age. With traits of old school horror films and plenty of humor that adults will enjoy as well as kids, this is a pitch perfect piece of animation. Featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Kodi Smit-McPhee and more, it's a treat for the whole family.

V/H/S 2
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The horror anthology sequel goes into even weirder territory than the first with short horror stories looking at alien abduction and more. All these short stories are tied together with a bookend that is just as suspenseful and terrifying as the tapes in between. With some of the brightest up and coming horror directors tackling this sequel, it's sure to give you the chills.

End of Watch
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A surprising installment in the found footage craze that swept Hollywood, director David Ayer (Training Day) turns in a police thriller that is engaging and features some phenomenal chemistry between leads Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Using a combination of security cameras, small devices on the cops and their cars, and one from the point of view of the criminals, this is a unique film in the subgenre, and is quite a compelling story.

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The ridiculous SyFy movie that took the internet by storm is available on Netflix Instant. If you're looking for a good laugh with a movie so bad that no one even needs to make fun of it, this will do the trick.

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Before Tom Hardy became a coveted A-list star with well-known turns in The Dark Knight Rises and Inception, he turned in this amazing performance in Nicholas Winding Refn's biopic about the United Kingdom's most notorious prisoner, Charlie Bronson. Hardy plays a young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson, who tells his story.

Cabin in the Woods
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One of the best horror films of the past 20 years, this clever film cuts to the core of all the horror tropes and cliches, but gives them a reasonable explanation, This is one of those films that is much better if you know nothing about it. You really shouldn't even watch the trailer, but if you need some convincing, we've included it anyway. Even though this came out after Thor, star Chris Hemsworth actually shot this and the film was completed way before he became a superhero.

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Undoubtedly the best contemporary James Bond film and one of the best in the long history of the iconic spy, the film almost feels like a better reboot than Casino Royale, especially with the set up and introduction of several key characters from the series. Daniel Craig has never been better, and Javier Bardem plays a villain in the same vein as the classic bad guys without getting too silly.

My Week with Marilyn
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Michelle Williams disappears into the late, great Marilyn Monroe in this film that follows a short time in the starlet's life while shooting a film with Laurence Olivier. During the production, Monroe sparks up a cute relationship with a young British man (Eddie Redmayne) working on the film as Olivier's assistant. It's an awards film through and through, but this brief time from Monroe's life gives us some great insight into the actress' difficult time in the spotlight, and Williams really makes you feel for the blonde bombshell.

Europa Report
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More found footage, but this time in the form of sci-fi. Sharlto Copley leads a team of privately funded space-explorers sent to determine whether Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, can sustain life. But, of course, there's something much more terrifying in store for the team. This one has a lot of real science driving the plot, so it's not just horror fodder like Apollo 18.

The Hunger Games
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Since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is taking audiences by storm right now, why not watch the film that kicks off the franchise if you haven't already? The sequel is a Dark Knight-level of improvement over this first chapter in the tale, but Jennifer Lawrence brings gravitas to the story of a young woman forced to fight in barbaric games dictated by an overbearing capitol as punishment for a revolution from the past. It's pretty mature for a young adult novel adaptation, and the cast really elevates it to something worth watching. At the very least, it should be seen just so you can see the sequel.

Olympus Has Fallen
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It's Die Hard in the Whit House with Gerard Butler, except it's not nearly as good as the Bruce Willis led action classic. Still, this one has a solid supporting cast (including Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Melissa Leo)  and brings some decent action to the table, making it superior to the far more silly White House Down from this year. Plus, you should probably watch it since there's the sequel London Has Fallen coming sometime down the road.

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An Oscar nominated performance from Denzel Washington really makes this worth watching, not to mention a great supporting turn from a John Goodman looking not far removed from The Big Lebowski himself. The story is a bit drawn out, but Washington keeps the audience engaged, and the ethical questions within are good food for thought. Plus, it's nice to have director Robert Zemeckis get back into live-action filmmaking.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
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This may not be a recent release like the other films above, but this one is a Christmas classic that I've been watching every year since I was a small lad. It's the second best film in the comedy series, and there's nothing better than Clark Griswold's (Chevy Chase) decent into holiday madness as his family makes the Yuletide holiday a nightmare. Plus, there's no crazier family member than Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie, though it's sad that he actually went crazy himself.

And here's a smattering of oldies-but-goodies, spanning decades of entertaining movies, also available:

Clueless, Hot Rod, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Manhattan, Punch-Drunk Love, Chasing Amy, Brick, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary's Baby, The Odd Couple, True Grit, Double Indemnity, Metropolis, Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Man on the Moon, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Naked Gun, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, Love Actually, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Trainspotting, Forrest Gump, Captain America: The First Avenger, Glengarry GlenRoss, Zodiac, Capote, Dredd, Oldboy, There Will Be Blood, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, Our Idiot Brother, Memento, Jackie Brown, Robot & Frank, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Maniac, Pulp Fiction, Zoolander, Salinger, Upside Down, The Truman Show, The Dictator, Side Effects, Arbitrage and The Avengers.

And if that's not enough, here's a whole slew of TV shows with entire seasons available to watch now:

Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, 30 Rock, The Office, Parks & Recreation, Louie, Archer, Wilfred, Sons of Anarchy, Portlandia, Family Guy, The IT Crowd, Futurama, Firefly, Star Trek, Weeds, Scrubs, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Mythbusters, Rescue Me, New Girl, Dexter, Bob's Burgers, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, Sherlock, American Dad, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Fringe, Heroes, The Wonder Years, Cheers, Revolution, The Following, 24, Adventure Time, Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, Goosebumps, Arrow, The Whitest Kids U Know, Scandal, Comedy Bang Bang!, The X-Files, Raising Hope, Comic Book Men, The Cleveland Show, Friday Night Lights, The West Wing, Malcolm in the Middle, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros., Robot Chicken, Alias, Coupling, Undecalred and Derek

Well, we hope that's enough to keep you and your family busy the rest of the weekend, and the food, films, family and friendship over the next few days make for a nice Thanksgiving. What will you be watching?

Find more posts: Netflix Instant, To Watch



"oldies"? lol

DavideCoppola on Nov 28, 2013


Considering that a large chunk of the movies in that section are from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, with some also from the past decade, the adjective still applies. They are older movies, and not from the past few years.

Ethan Anderton on Nov 28, 2013


They also have Some MST3K! And Farscape!

Jimmy Love on Nov 28, 2013


I just recently watched Flight, and although it was tough to watch a person go through that level of self destruction, it was a brilliant performance by Denzel. That plane crash scene was an amazing achievement as well. I've gone back and watched that scene in particular a few more times. Good list Ethan.

Quanah on Nov 28, 2013


You realize Frances Ha, Computer Chess, and Wake in Fright are all streaming.

jckinnick on Nov 28, 2013


This list isn't comprehensive. But thanks for letting everyone else know.

Ethan Anderton on Nov 28, 2013

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