The holiday season has arrived, which means it's time to eat yourself to the point of extreme discomfort, spend time with family and mentally check out during your time off to recharge before getting back to the grind. And while you're stuck at home with your family and unable to move due to that crippling food coma, you'll probably wind up on your couch watching movies.
So to help you avoid spending hours arguing with your family about what to watch (or the recent election), we've mined through Netflix to find the 10 best travel films currently available for you to watch over the holidays. Thank us later.
1. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
A film based on one of the great adventure stories of all time, created by one of the greatest directors of all time, starring one of the greatest actors of our generation; what else do you need? George Clooney and John Turturro star in the Coen Brothers' reimagining of The Odyssey as escaped convicts searching for hidden treasure in 1930s rural Mississippi. It's epic, funny, dramatic and the folk-driven soundtrack is pretty much perfect.
Part ode to cooking, part classic road trip, Chef is a feel-good movie that follows a struggling chef on a cross-country road trip in a recently purchased food truck as he tries to build a relationship with his young son and revive his career by getting back to his roots cooking Cuban sandwiches. It’s a little cheesy at times, but there’s enough food porn, witty banter and Sofia Vergara that it doesn't matter.
3. Coming to America
It may be hard to remember now, but once upon a time, Eddie Murphy was actually funny. And back in 1988, when Murphy was still one of the most hilarious men on earth, he played Prince Akeem Joffer of the fictional country of Zamunda, who decides he wants to slum it in 1980s Queens before getting married and inheriting an African kingdom.
The satire calls attention to racial stereotypes and socioeconomic issues. It also makes light of travelers who want to live like the locals, even if that means sacrificing the enjoyment of their trip. Considering the desire of millennial travelers to get "authentic" experiences, the movie holds up perfectly.
4. Touching the Void
Touching the Void is a documentary reenacting two adventurers’ harrowing 1985 climb of the nearly 21,000-foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Tense throughout, the film follows Joe Simpson and Simon Yates as they battle extreme conditions on their descent from the summit of the previously unclimbed mountain after Simpson breaks his leg and Yates is forced to cut him loose to save his own life.
Not exactly a cuddle-up-with-your-family-and-a-big-bowl-of-popcorn kind of movie, but definitely worth watching if you want an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.
5. Tommy Boy
One of the ultimate buddy movies from one of the best comedy duos of the 90s, Chris Farley plays lovable buffoon Tommy Callahan (basically the same as every other Chris Farley character) and David Spade plays irritating know-it-all Richard. They're forced into a cross-country sales trip in an attempt to save Tommy’s father’s company and the town it supports.
Shenanigans ensue, slapstick comedy dominates and it's got something for everyone, from a cow-poo covered Chris Farley singing Hall and Oates to Bo Derek in a bikini.
Another great buddy film and road-trip movie, an even more politically incorrect farce starring Woody Harrelson, playing a hook-handed former-pro-bowler-turned-hustler, and Randy Quaid, playing an innocent young Amish man with dreams of bowling glory. The two set out on the road from Pennsylvania to Reno to compete in a bowling tournament to win $1 million to save an Amish community (and get Harrelson's charcter out of poverty).
This early Farrelly brothers movie is really about the glorious corruption of an innocent, the redemption of a lost soul and fast-paced comedy.
7. What About Bob?
In what might be his most underrated movie ever, Bill Murray plays a man who has a paralyzing fear of, well, just about everything. Murray’s character, Bob Wiley, has never even been on a vacation, but when his psychiatrist leaves town with his family for Labor Day, a panicked Bob goes full stalker and follows him.
Bob endears himself enough to steal the love of his shrink’s family, and as he hilariously expands his comfort zone and cures himself of his mental disorder, he simultaneously drives his shrink, played by Richard Dreyfuss, to the loony bin. Perfect to watch with your family. Or better yet, someone else’s family.
8. The Painted Veil
Part period piece, part romance, part travel tale, The Painted Veil is set in 1920s China, where Edward Norton plays a doctor sent to a small village to treat a cholera epidemic with his unfaithful wife, played by Naomi Watts. As Norton tries to heal his patients, the couple tries to heal their relationship, and the whole thing is set in the jaw-dropping backdrop of the lush landscapes and karst peaks of rural China.
9. The Great Alone
There are few greater adventures in the world than the Iditarod, or so it seems (nobody here at 10Best knows personally, because nobody at 10Best is crazy enough to go on a 1,150-mile dog-sled race in the Alaskan winter through temperatures that reach well below zero).
The Great Alone tells the story of Lance Mackey, a four-time winner of both the Iditarod and Yukon Quest, from his childhood to his cancer diagnosis to his near miraculous comeback. If that’s not enough to convince you it's worth watching, consider this: there are adorable puppies. So. Many. Adorable. Puppies.
10. Across the Universe
Love The Beatles? Check out this film in which a character named Jude makes his way from Liverpool, England to New York. The film ambitiously tells the story of the 1960s – with all its Vietnam activism and hippies and existentialism – through 34 Beatles songs. Hate The Beatles? Go seek help.
Bonus: Chasing Ice
We know it’s the holiday season, and as much as we want your holiday to be a barrel of laughs, this is an important film worth watching. In Chasing Ice, environmental photographer and former global warming skeptic James Balog goes to the arctic with a team of adventurers to capture the movement of ice formations over the course of several years. Incredible time-lapse footage results in a visually stunning, dramatically captivating film that shows years' worth of environmental change in a matter of seconds. The result is hauntingly beautiful, a little terrifying and truly mind-blowing.