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The 50 Best Comedy Movies Ever

From Buster Keaton to Andy Samberg, we present a road trip through the history of comedy cinema.
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By  · Published on June 12th, 2019

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Best Comedy Movies Hot Fuzz

Danger lurks amongst the hedges in small-town Britain. This British interpretation/satire of a buddy-cop film (with a deliciously twisted sense of humor) rides on the killer chemistry between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as they work to solve a series of mysterious deaths. The cast also includes Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman, Game of Thrones alum Jim Broadbent, and an array of great cameos. It combines tropes from classic buddy-cop films with hedge-trimming small-town villagers, secret cults, and over-the-top explosions, gunfire, and gore. (Sam Olthof)

Superbad (2007)

Best Comedy Movies Superbad

The storied rise of comedy giants Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg started with the script for this groundbreaking riff on the ‘School’s out’ movie, first written when they were both but teenagers. Coming-of-age sex comedies usually age about as well as a bottle of vinegar, but Superbad continues to pay dividends thanks to its stellar cast (featuring an early Emma Stone breakout performance), its instantly quotable script, and the palpable love between its stars, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. Possibly the sweetest movie to ever feature the phrase ‘Iron Chef of pounding vag’. (M.G. McIntyre)

In Bruges (2008)

Best Comedy Movies In Bruges

Martin McDonagh might have won an Oscar for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, but In Bruges is still his true masterpiece. Starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as a pair of hitmen forced to spend time in the titular city following a botched assignment, the movie is one of those rare treats that manages to be as hilarious as it is dark and emotionally devastating. In this world, actions have consequences and the film does a great job of making us fall in love with some questionable people. It also contains the line “You’re an inanimate fucking object!”, which is by far the greatest insult I’ve ever heard. (Kieran Fisher)

In the Loop (2009)

Best Comedy Movies In The Loop

There’s something primally satisfying about Armando Iannucci’s political satire In the Loop. It’s a frighteningly smart movie, introducing American audiences to the prescient insights and joke-a-second delivery that Iannucci explored even further with Veep. But its true strength lies in its most enduring character: Peter Capaldi’s vulgarian PR guy extraordinaire, Malcolm Tucker. With his cathartically foul swears and lightning-quick mental reflexes, Malcolm’s not an exemplary human, but he’s someone we’ve all secretly wanted to be at some point. With In the Loop, Iannucci created a political satire for the ages, but he also gave us the personification of every withering insult you wished you could hurl at your enemies. This movie is like the mental equivalent of a kickboxing workout. It’s exhausting, but the burn is oh so worth it. (Abby Olcese)

What We Do In the Shadows (2014)

Best Comedy Movies What We Do In The Shadows

What We Do In The Shadows belongs in the top tier of comedies for its sheer brilliance. Any comedy-horror worth its salt roots its humor in the innate absurdity of the genre, something we’ve seen since David Naughton’s wolf-man woke up nude in the zoo in An American Werewolf in London (1981). Shadows‘ hilarity comes from the absurdity that arises when you put horror into the mundane, rather than the other way around. A camera crew follows a bunch of vampire roommates around as they struggle to adapt to the modern world, what’s not to love?” (Anya Stanley)

Spy (2015)

Best Comedy Movies Spy

Action movies and even action/comedies far too often stick with the expected male leads, but Paul Feig, long a champion of funny ladies, delivers one of the best action/comedies going with the utterly hilarious and game for anything Melissa McCarthy. She takes her character from mousy office worker to ass-kicking queen, and while plenty of the antics involve slapstick and accidental shenanigans she’s allowed to actually be great at her job as well. It’s extremely funny, and Feig pairs it with some killer action choreography too. Those craving testosterone, though, aren’t left in the cold as Jason Statham is along for the ride too with a tear-inducing turn poking fun at his own persona. It’s all just so damn great and highly rewatchable. (Rob Hunter)

Toni Erdmann (2016)

Best Comedy Movies Toni Erdmann

Who is this monster that sired you? Ines never understood her father with his uncomfortable passion for pranks and a greater love for his dog than his daughter. Bah! She doesn’t need him. She’s got work. She’s got a hunger for petit fours. However, when dear old dad’s dog finally passes, he discovers a deep need to repair his broken relationship with Ines. To achieve such a feat he must adopt the false personality of Toni Erdmann and succeed in her world through confident buffoonery. Pop is a doof, but he’s her doof, and his absurd character ultimately gives her a reason to lead with conviction rather than hiding as a cog in the machine. Maren Ade‘s film is not a neverending string of guffaws, but when they come they erupt from the gut and land with an empathetic force. Press play, laugh, cry, repeat. (Brad Gullickson)

Popstar: Never Stop Stopping (2016)

Best Comedy Movies Popstar

Perhaps the most influential force on 21st century SNL, Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island (Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer) took their satirical music group stylings to the silver screen with Popstar in 2016. The digital short maitre d’s nailed every gut-busting, incisive critique in their mockery of the pop music sphere (Bieber and One Direction among their primary targets). With no room for subtleties, every song shamelessly and explicitly states its message (like real top 40 hits), whether through nauseating, faux-woke social awareness (“Equal Rights (feat. P!nk)”), the concept of celebrity modesty (“I’m So Humble (feat. Adam Levine)”), or another irrefutably relevant topic. Popstar will age like the finest of wines as we get further from the present and find ourselves wanting to reflect on the early stages of utter lunacy that is the corporate pop machine. (Luke Hicks)

Game Night (2018)

Best Comedy Movies Game Night

2018’s best mainstream comedy film was also, coincidentally, the most overlooked. Game Night follows Rachel “Underrated Hilarious Actress” McAdams and Jason “Always a Variation of Michael Bluth” Bateman, as they played a competitive couple experiencing bumps in their marital bliss, and who host a game night for their friends that goes amiss in the most criminal sense. It’s smart and genuinely funny in a way it feels like mainstream comedy films haven’t been for years. Plus, it’s got Jesse Plemons in a darkly comedic turn that deserved every award and received none, and Billy Magnussen being, you know, Billy Magnussen (which is to say, awesome). (Brianna Zigler)

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