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As Thanksgiving approaches, a weary nation’s thoughts turn to family entertainment. And food. So much food. In this month’s roundup, we’re paying special attention to the most crowd-pleasing TV series and movies coming to the major streaming services in November, with special favor bestowed upon anything tasty or nostalgic — good for families or for background viewing while basting. Below are the most interesting of what we’ve found, followed by a roundup of all the best new titles in all genres for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO. (Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice.)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Starts streaming: Nov. 1, on Netflix.

Getting ready for mashed potatoes? This movie has a mountain of them. But that doesn’t make this 1977 Steven Spielberg classic a Thanksgiving movie. And it’s not quite a family film in the traditional sense, either — not when the hero walks away from his wife and kids to go on a galactic joy ride. What “Close Encounters” is, is a paean to optimism — to the idea that world governments and the international scientific community could come together to plan a friendly welcome for some unexpected extraterrestrial visitors. The movie is a rare thing among sci-fi flicks, full of awe, humility and hope. It’s pretty wonderful.

Morgan Freeman, left, and Matt Damon in “Invictus.”CreditKeith Bernstein/Warner Bros.

Starts streaming: Nov. 1, on HBO.

South Africa, 1994: The World Cup of rugby is coming and South Africa has been allowed to compete again after years of international boycotts, and the newly inaugurated president, Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), hopes the sport will help bring unity to his post-apartheid country. The mostly white national team, the Springboks, are despised by the country’s black majority, which sees them as a lingering symbol of white oppression. So Mandela sends the team (including Matt Damon and the real-life Springbok McNeil Hendricks) on a good-will tour, traveling the country and coaching young black players in townships. The big game is a set piece of dense, roiling scrums, but the ultimate competition is for hearts and minds.

‘Julie & Julia’
Starts streaming: Nov. 1, on Netflix.

Half of this movie — the half in which Meryl Streep cooks up a delicious performance as the great Julia Child — could have been a wonderful film on its own. Streep is a sweet, fluttery wonder, and her scenes with Stanley Tucci (playing Julia’s husband, Paul) constitute a glowing portrait of deep married love. (Oh, and the food! Trussed chicken, boeuf bourguignon, Queen of Sheba chocolate cake … it’s so mouthwatering.) The writer-director Nora Ephron stitches together Child’s story with a true story set 50 years later, in which the food blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams) cooks her way through Child’s monumental “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Ocean’s Eleven
Starts streaming: Nov. 1 on Hulu.

With its breezy banter, snazzy editing and peppy score, this 2001 remake by Steven Soderbergh is a more enjoyable heist comedy than the Rat Pack original from 1960. Stepping into the Chairman’s role, George Clooney is the very definition of dapper, and his caper cronies (Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Carl Reiner, and the contortionist Shaobo Qin) seem to be having a blast. That’s especially true of Pitt, who spends most of his time snacking.

Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon in “Pleasantville.”CreditNew Line Cinema

Starts streaming: Nov. 1 on Hulu.

Nostalgic for the era of “Father Knows Best” and “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet”? Two modern-day twin siblings — David (Tobey Maguire) and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) — are zapped into the black-and-white world of a ’50s family sitcom where everything is simple, sunny and heavily sanitized. (No need for toilets!) David and Jennifer are natural disrupters of period prejudice and social conformity, which of course makes them liberators, too. And as one after another TV citizen is set free of repression, coming fully alive in vivid color, we glimpse a vision of a better world to come.

‘Searching for Bobby Fischer’
Starts streaming: Nov. 1 on Hulu.

No chess expertise required: This movie is really about the personal costs of being a child prodigy. The film is based on Fred Waitzkin’s book about his son, Josh (played here by a wide-eyed Max Pomeranc, an actual top-ranked chess whiz), who discovers his gifts among the chess hustlers of Washington Square Park (Laurence Fishburne chief among them). Josh then studies with an intense coach (Ben Kingsley), who insists that the boy develop a killer instinct. Can Josh become a top-level tournament player without sacrificing his childhood?

Julia Roberts in “Homecoming.”CreditTod Campbell/Amazon Prime

‘Homecoming’ Season 1
Starts streaming: Nov. 2 on Amazon.

Based on the podcast of the same name, “Homecoming” is a paranoid thriller (think “The Conversation” or “The Parallax View”) that is parceled out over 10 half-hour episodes. Julia Roberts plays Heidi Bergman, a former counselor at an experimental-treatment center for soldiers with post-traumatic stress. When a Department of Defense investigator (Shea Whigham) shows up with questions about her time at the center, Heidi can’t remember it; she doesn’t even know how she wound up as a waitress at the greasy spoon. Like the podcast, this series has a sleek sound design, and director Sam Esmail (the creator of “Mr. Robot”) brings great visual flair. Remember, it’s not paranoia if they’re really after you.

‘Oh My Ghost’ Season 1
Starts streaming: Now, on Netflix.

This sweet South Korean rom-com (with occasional thriller flourishes) features a randy ghost named Soon-ae, who thinks she’s stuck on earth because she died a virgin. Determined to rectify that, she sets about inhabiting other women — and ends up inside of Bong-sun, a timid chef’s assistant who could use a bit of supernatural self-esteem. This new, improved Bong-sun stands up for herself, flirts with her boss and, as a bonus, displays some dazzling kitchen savvy. One of the show’s great charms is watching the way people in Bong-sun’s life react to her lively new personality.

Starts streaming: Nov. 2 on Amazon and Hulu.

The 10-year-old Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) is a natural outsider, the victim of a cranial disorder and survivor of multiple corrective procedures that have left his face sadly distorted. Deeply loved by his home schooling parents (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson), Auggie is belatedly enrolled in a Manhattan middle school, where he encounters the expected hostility from a few fellow students but also finds friendship and affection. Based on the best-selling novel by R.J. Palacio, the movie opens up into multiple points of view and ultimately demonstrates the need for both kindness and forgiveness. Kleenex required.

From left, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig in “The Great British Baking Show.”CreditNetflix

The Great British Baking Show’ Season 6
Starts streaming: Nov. 9 on Netflix.

This gentle competition show is comforting to watch, has lots of opportunities for in-jokes and will give you new faith in humanity — contestants actually help one another on this show. This season’s new bakers are also a little more prone to tears or the occasional meltdown (looking at you, Rahul). Woman to watch: Kim-Joy Hewlett, a 27-year-old from Leeds who specializes in fantasy foods like mermaid pie, bumblebee eggs and space turtles. She needs her own program, or maybe her own universe. Warning: This is not a show to watch without nibbles nearby.

New to Netflix: “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (Nov. 1), “Children of Men” (Nov. 1), “Cloverfield” (Nov. 1), “Doctor Strange” (Nov. 1), “The English Patient” (Nov. 1), “From Dusk Till Dawn” (Nov. 1), “Good Will Hunting” (Nov. 1), “Sex and the City: The Movie” (Nov. 1), “Sixteen Candles” (Nov. 1), “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” Season 1 (Nov. 1), “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” (Nov. 1), “House of Cards” Season 6 (Nov. 2), “Outlaw King” (Nov. 9), “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” Season 1 (Nov. 16), “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Nov. 16), “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (Nov. 22) and “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet” (Nov. 22).

New to Amazon Prime Video: “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Nov. 1), “The Adventures of Tintin” (Nov. 1), “The Birdcage” (Nov. 1), “Cruel Intentions” (Nov. 1), “Excalibur” (Nov. 1), “It’s a Wonderful Life (Nov. 1), “Jacob’s Ladder” (Nov. 1), “Leaving Las Vegas” (Nov. 1), “Little Man Tate” (Nov. 1), “Lord of War” (Nov. 1), “Michael Clayton” (Nov. 1), “The Motorcycle Diaries” (Nov. 1), “My Girl” (Nov. 1), “Terms of Endearment” (Nov. 1), “Weird Science” (Nov. 1), “Kick-Ass” (Nov. 3), “The Children Act” (Nov. 10), “The Expanse” Season 3 (Nov. 15), “Little Women” Season 1 (Nov. 20), “Box of Moonlight” (Nov. 21) and “Loving Pablo” (Nov. 21).

New to Hulu: “28 Days Later” (Nov. 1), “The Accused” (Nov. 1), “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Nov. 1), “Amelie” (Nov. 1), “The Big Lebowski” (Nov. 1), “The Birdcage” (Nov. 1), “Benny & Joon” (Nov. 1), “Existenz” (Nov. 1), “Hoosiers” (Nov. 1), “The Interpreter” (Nov. 1), multiple “James Bond” titles (Nov. 1), “Jane Eyre” (Nov. 1), “Leaving Las Vegas” (Nov. 1), “Little Man Tate” (Nov. 1), “Lord of War” (Nov. 1), “Map of the Human Heart” (Nov. 1), “Radio Days” (Nov. 1), “Rescue Dawn” (Nov. 1), “Rob Roy” (Nov. 1), “Soapdish” (Nov. 1), “Kick-Ass” (Nov. 3), “Monster’s Ball” (Nov. 11), “The Wolfpack” (Nov. 12) and “Box of Moonlight” (Nov. 21).

New to HBO: “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (Nov. 1), “Anywhere But Here” (Nov. 1), “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Nov. 1), “Hard Candy” (Nov. 1), “In the Name of the Father” (Nov. 1), “The Mask” (Nov. 1), “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” (Nov. 1), “Love, Simon” (Nov. 10), “The Emperor’s Newest Clothes” (Nov. 15) and “My Brilliant Friend” Season 1 premiere (Nov. 18).