11 Family Saga Movies On Netflix To Keep You Company On Thanksgiving

by Lia Beck

In the spring and summer, a long holiday weekend might mean going to the beach or a cookout, or at least feeling obligated to do something outside. But when it's cold out, a holiday weekend is all about piling on some blankets and watching TV shows or movies until it's time to eat again. So if you're looking for something to watch on Netflix this Thanksgiving, these family saga movies are great candidates — either for watching with family, or for watching alone while you hide from family.

Thanksgiving is known for being a dramatic time for families — or at least a time where you might get sick of being around people — so maybe you'll just need everyone to shut up for two hours and watch Mamma Mia!. Or maybe you need to feel like your family at least doesn't have the same multi-generational weirdness that's in Rumor Has It. Or, hey, you probably aren't searching through the Ozarks for your missing dad, but that story in Winter's Bone does make for a solid film worth digging into.

Whether you're looking for a comedy, a drama, a thriller, or an animated movie that will make anyone who watches it cry, the following movies about families are available on Netflix now.

'20th Century Women'

20th Century Women is a dramedy about Dorothea (Annette Bening), who lives with her teenage son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), and the two people who board with them (Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup). Dorothea enlists them both to impart wisdom to her son, who, in 1979, is growing up in a world far different than the one she remembers.


Coco is about a young Mexican boy who learns about his family history while visiting Land of the Dead. It's also about you uncontrollably weeping by the movie's end.


Dumplin' is about a teenager named Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald) and her former pageant queen mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston), whose strained relationship reached a breaking point when Willowdean, aka Dumplin', enters a pageant her mom is judging as a form of protest.

'Like Father'

A woman (Kristen Bell) who gets left at the altar on her wedding day ends up going on her honeymoon cruise with her estranged father (Kelsey Grammer), so you know some emotional revelations are going to happen.

'Mamma Mia!'

Sure, Mamma Mia! is a musical filled with ABBA songs, but it's definitely a family saga, too, as Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) tries to figure out who her real father is (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, or Colin Firth) without telling her mother (Meryl Streep).

'My Sister's Keeper'

My Sister's Keeper is about a family with two daughters: Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), who has cancer, and Anna (Abigail Breslin), a "savior sibling" who was born in order to provide transplants for Kate. The film shows what happens when Anna says she wants medical emancipation.

'Rachel Getting Married'

Anne Hathaway stars in this movie about a woman who returns from rehab to attend her sister Rachel's (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding. Drama with the whole family ensues as a tragedy from the past resurfaces.

'Rumor Has It'

In Rumor Has It, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who finds out that The Graduate is based on her family... and then things take an odd turn when she meets the man (Kevin Costner) she suspects might be her real father.

'Winter's Bone'

In Winter's Bone, a teenager named Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) has to search through rural Missouri for her missing father, because her family's home will be taken away if he doesn't show up for a court date.

'The Squid and the Whale'

The Squid and the Whale follows a family living in New York City after the two parents (Laura Linney, Jeff Daniels) decide to get a divorce, focusing on the psychological strain it puts on their sons (Owen Kline, Jesse Eisenberg).

'Something's Gotta Give'

It's the story of what happens when a woman's (Diane Keaton) 29-year-old daughter (Amanda Peet) starts dating a 60-something-year-old man (Jack Nicholson), but then she falls for the man instead... while also dating a doctor (Keanu Reeves).

Here's hoping that any family drama you encounter this holiday season is as exciting as being in a love triangle with Keanu Reeves.