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Movies about family that are off the beaten path

Family stories for everyone.

November is mainly about Thanksgiving. And rightfully so. It has the most decorations, gives us time to extend our weekend, and offers ups lots of great food. It is also about family. It is a time that people travel across town or the world to go and be with their loved ones. It is a chance to reconnect, remember, and argue. Here are some family stories that encapsulate the Thanksgiving feeling.

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

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There are many movies from South Korea that have made a large impact on American cinema. Most recently, Parasite made Oscar history while 2003’s Oldboy is considered one of the best movies of all timeA Tale of Two Sisters also left its own indelible mark. The film is based on an old Korean folk tale and has been adapted to film many times. It even made it to the United States as a mediocre remake in 2009. A Tale of Two Sisters is about is about a recently released mental patient that returns home only to be confronted by her family’s dark past.

Burning (2018)

Parasite may have broken through the Academy Award’s glass ceiling, but it was Burning that opened the door the year before. The psychological thriller is not so much about dealing with your family as it is finding one. (That being said, family plays a big part in the story.) The story is about a young man who runs into a childhood friend. They soon meet a young man who is from a different social class. The plot soon turns into one about missing people, murder, and a strange habit.

Death at a Funeral (2007/2010)

Take your pick since either version of this movie is great. (The British original is fantastic, but I am partial to the Chris Rock version.) The comedy features an ensemble cast and is about a family trying to sort out all of their familial problems. The time they pick to choose to air out their grievances? The funeral of the family patriarch. Dark with strong performances and incredibly funny.

My Heart Won’t Beat Unless You Tell It To (2021)

One of the riskiest films of the year, this emotional horror movie takes a popular horror genre and twists it into something familiar while being completely fresh. The story is about a fractured family of siblings. The youngest brother has a mysterious illness while his siblings must resort to increasingly horrific conduct to keep him alive. A powerful character driven story that only gets better with time.

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Wes Anderson movies have a particular feel and this may be the most Wes Andersony of them all. The Royal Tenenbaums is about an eccentric family whose children who were extremally successful in their youth before everything fell apart as they grew older. Meanwhile, their estranged father is back and trying to con is way back into their lives. Witty, heartwarming, and a little disturbing, the film is arguably Anderson’s best.


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