1. Dirty Harry (Sundance TV)
A lot of dads are going to be all over this marathon of Clint Eastwood's rogue cop series from the '70s and '80s.
THURSDAY, Nov. 27, starting at 7 a.m. ET: Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, The Dead Pool
And then again starting at 6:30 p.m. ET: Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, The Dead Pool
2. Animated movies with powerful animals (FX)
These offerings from DreamWorks Animation and Blue Sky Studios all feature an endearing cast of animals — some who talk, some who don't — who strive to save the day.
THURSDAY, Nov. 27, starting at 8 a.m. ET: Horton Hears a Who!, How to Train Your Dragon, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Lorax, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (again)
3. The most random space movie marathon ever (SyFy)
Start with the sublime, and soak in Stanley Kubrick's head-squeezing sci-fi masterpiece as your prep your Thanksgiving feast. Next, you can segue straight into the ridiculous, starting with one of the junkiest Star Trek movies ever (and the last one with the Next Generation cast), then onto director-star Clint Eastwood's senior-citizens-in-space romp, and finally wrap things up with the silly 1994 aliens-built-the-pyramids adventure, starring Kurt Russell and James Spader.
THURSDAY, Nov. 27, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek: Nemesis, Space Cowboys, Stargate
4. The Jurassic Park trilogy (AMC)
Just in time to capitalize on the interest in next year's Jurassic World, the first new film in the franchise in 14 years! But for now, you can marvel at how the level of sophistication in the Jurassic Park movies' visual effects increased in roughly the same proportion as the sophistication in storytelling decreased!
THURSDAY, Nov. 27, starting at 10 a.m. ET: Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III
And then again starting at 6 p.m. ET: Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III
5. Alfred Hitchcock's finest (TCM)
If all that concentrated time with your family is making you feel a wee bit homicidal, why not exorcise those demons with some of Hitchcock's most diabolical tales of murder and mayhem?
FRIDAY, Nov. 28, starting at 7:30 a.m. ET: Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Dial M for Murder, Marnie, The Birds, Psycho
6. Rambo (with a bit of Cliffhanger) (AMC)
After an appetizer of Sylvester Stallone's under-appreciated mountain climbing thriller Cliffhanger, you can gorge on a meal of arguably the most '80s franchise ever — twice!
FRIDAY, Nov. 28, starting at 9 a.m. ET: Cliffhanger, First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III
And then again starting at 5:30 p.m. ET: First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III
7. Groundhog Day (Sundance TV)
You'll get three opportunities to remind yourself why this Bill Murray comic fantasy is about as perfect as a movie can get.
FRIDAY, Nov. 28, at 9:15 a.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. ET, and 1:45 p.m. ET
8. The Matrix trilogy (AMC)
The first Matrix movie is still insanely great. The second two… well… let's just say that half-watching them with commercial interruptions while starting to decorate for Christmas is about as much attention as you'll need to give them. It's a win-win, really.
SATURDAY, Nov 29, starting at 11 a.m. ET: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions
And then again starting at 8 p.m. ET: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions
9. Tear-jerking classics for animal lovers (TCM)
Grab the tissues and sob through these classics about how humans fall in love with — and then all too often cruelly betray — the dogs, horses, and even fawns under their care.
SUNDAY, Nov. 30, starting at 8 a.m. ET: International Velvet, Good-Bye My Lady, Sounder, Zebra in the Kitchen, The Yearling, Lassie Come Home, The Black Stallion, National Velvet
10. The Indiana Jones series (Spike TV)
The first one could not be better. The second one is a weird and nightmarish curiosity in Steven Spielberg's career. The third one is a brilliantly entertaining father-son adventure. And the fourth one is a figment of your imagination.
SUNDAY, Nov. 30, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
11. Fractured Christmas family comedies (TBS)
With Thanksgiving over, Christmas celebrations can now legally begin. (It's true: Any pre-Thanksgiving celebration of Christmas is technically illegal. It's a thing. Trust me.) So why not start with a loosely connected series of movies about how the yuletide season apparently causes people to make some astoundingly ill-advised life choices?
SUNDAY, Nov. 30, starting at 1:45 p.m. ET: Home Alone, Surviving Christmas, Fred Claus, Four Christmases, Four Christmases (again)