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The 6 best movies to see in theaters Thanksgiving weekend

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There's a good chance you're headed to the movies this weekend. Thanksgiving and the days following it are supposed to be among the busiest each year for theaters, with plenty of families heading out to spend some time together. The good news this year is that there are some pretty great movies to see right now. Here are our recommendations for what you should check out, most of which should make for a fun couple of hours:

The Imitation Game

A compelling thriller built around a wonderful performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game makes for a great mixture of history and excitement as it runs through the life of mathematician Alan Turing during his time as a World War II codebreaker. It's exciting enough that thrill-seekers will enjoy it, interesting enough that history fans will like it, and smart enough that just about everyone should find something in it to like.

Read our review of The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Reactions to Interstellar have been mixed, but it's hard not to recommend seeing what Christopher Nolan has done with such a huge sci-fi palette. If you're heading to the theater with fans of space, science fiction, or epic stories, Interstellar should be an easy choice. Just remember: it's almost three hours long, so make sure you clear your schedule.

Read our review of Interstellar

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is a Disney superhero movie about a boy and a goofy, inflatable robot. If you're going to the theater with kids, Big Hero 6 should be the obvious choice. It's The Avengers for beginners — a fun superhero flick that's great for kids and enjoyable enough for adults, too.

Read our review of Big Hero 6

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Opinions on Mockingjay Part 1 are heated in the Verge newsroom, with some calling it a smart commentary on what it means to be a figurehead and others viewing it as easily the weakest entry in the series. But let's be real: if you've already seen the first two Hunger Games, you're going to want to see this one. There's still one more to go, coming this time next year.

Read our review of Mockingjay Part 1

Gone Girl

So you want real tension? Forget The Imitation Game and head over to Gone Girl. If you haven't caught David Fincher's latest thriller yet, it's about time that you do. It's an eerie, dark, and smart film with some great performances. In other words: everything you'd expect from Fincher. Just be aware that, as much as you might enjoy Gone Girl as a film, you're not exactly going to be walking out happy.

Read our review of Gone Girl

Birdman

If you're the type of person who loves cinema, Birdman is a must-see. It's a stunning portrait of a washed-up actor and the people around him, but it's also just a feat of incredible filmmaking — the entire movie is made to look like it takes place in one long shot. It's not a movie for everyone, but if you're intrigued, definitely check it out.

Read our review of Birdman

Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

star wars episode vii 7 the force awakens

Even if none of this weekend's movies interest you, there's still one good reason to go to the theater: to get the first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The trailer is 88 seconds long, and it'll be playing at 30 movie theaters across North America. You might just want to swing by one of them if you're in the area.