‘Tis the season to give thanks, and one thing I’m always thankful for is the ability to escape into another world for a few hours while enjoying a movie. Here are 4 I’ve watched recently that I’m especially grateful for.

BlacKkKlansman – This is one of those true stories that is so crazy, it’s hard to believe it really happened. But it did. In what might be his best film yet, director Spike Lee shows us how Colorado Springs’ first black police officer, Ron Stallworth (played by Denzel Washington’s, son, John David Washington), infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1970s with the help of another officer (Adam Driver). Yes, it’s a heavy topic, but there are several lighter moments too, I promise. However, its ending will — and should — leave you rattled. I consider BlacKkKlansman a must-see in these divided times.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies – I’m thankful for this one for many reasons, with the top two being: 1) I’m a huge fan of the Teen Titans Go! TV series on Cartoon Network and was ecstatic that this film version exceeded my seriously high expectations, and 2) it’s hard to find a movie that everyone (kids, boys, girls, parents) will like, yet everyone in my household loved this one so much we saw it multiple times in the theater and then bought it. Though now I’m a little teary-eyed over the hilarious shout-out these DC Comics characters give in the film to the beloved Marvel superhero co-creator Stan Lee, who passed away November 12.

I Think We’re Alone Now – I love Game of Thrones and specifically Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in the series. I’ve also been wildly impressed with the young Elle Fanning over the course of her career to date. So when I found out that they were going to star together in a post-apocalyptic drama (one of my favorite genres — for real), I couldn’t wait to see it. I’ll admit that this film might not be for everyone and that its final act takes one of those love-it-or-hate-it turns, but I am always appreciative of any movie that tries something new or that makes me really think. And this movie did both.

A Quiet Place – I’m thankful for sooooo much about this movie — from a bearded John Krasinski looking mighty fine, to his real-life wife Emily Blunt kicking butt in warrior mode — but mostly I’m just thankful for a horror movie I could actually watch. Its story about blind alien monsters who track humans with their supersensitive hearing IS scary … but it’s not blood-and-guts scary (which I can’t handle). It’s more edge-of-your-seat-oh-wait-I-haven’t-taken-a-breath-in-ten-minutes scary. And it made me feel less guilty about wanting JUST ONE MINUTE OF SILENCE IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK out of my three- and six-year-old kids on any given day. If you’re rattled after a procession of family get-togethers, large meals, football games and parades on Thanksgiving, this movie will give you the “quiet place” you so desperately crave.

No matter how you spend (or recover from) Thanksgiving, I’m wishing you a safe and happy one.

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