The 45 Best Comedies on Netflix (March 2018)

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The 45 Best Comedies on Netflix (March 2018)

It’s time again to look at all the comedies on Netflix and nudge you towards the good ones. March saw only one movie from our last version of this list bid farewell (smell you later, Barefoot in the Park), but a handful of favorites made their triumphant return to the streaming service after months (and sometimes years) of absence. That includes Wet Hot American Summer (yes, a movie that has had two miniseries sequels exclusively on Netflix was not available on Netflix for several months) and the low-key, understated cult fave Adventureland, worth watching for Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig’s supporting turns alone. Bigger box office hits are also among the new kids, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the original Ghostbusters (along with it’s, uh, less inspiring sequel, Ghostbusters 2, which would’ve come in near the bottom of this list if we included multiple entries from the same franchise.)

Sadly this is the last month to enjoy a stalwart of this list, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. If you haven’t seen Wes Anderson’s undersea dramedy, you’re missing one of Bill Murray’s best comedic performances, and also probably his single best dramatic performance. It has to say goodbye to Netflix on March 26, as a previously forgotten Netflix bylaw apparently stipulates that for every two new Bill Murray movies on the service another one must be removed. You’ve got just under three weeks to give that one a crack.

That’s just one movie, though. No matter your taste, even if you only like a third of the movies listed below, you’ll still find a ton of to keep you entertained during the slow sad quiet hours of your life. Get streamin’.

(Oh, and here’s your monthly reminder: I’m the comedy editor here. I like well-made films and can appreciate some heady heavy drama, but when I’m compiling a list like this I’m primarily interested in how much a movie makes me laugh. Yeah, all the factors that go into moviemaking get considered a bit—that’s why something like Frances Ha ranks higher than the more-laffs-per-minute Casa de Mi Padre—but almost no level of cinematic artistry can overcome the sheer endless hilarity of the top two movies on this list, even if they’re both not exactly what most people would consider great movies. This is about comedy here, with a little bit of cineaste tendencies on the side.)

band of robbers movie poster.jpg 45. Band of Robbers
Year: 2016
Directors: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee
As strong as the talent is in front of the camera (including the comedic sidekick duo of Hannibal Buress and Matthew Gray Gubler), consider the talent behind it even more. The Nees know their stuff, whether they’re setting up a punch line (of which Band of Robbers has many) or composing countless lovely shots in widescreen. They’ve made a film that’s as hilarious as it is beautiful. As Huck himself might say, it’s nothin‘ but magic.—Andy Crump

goon movie poster.jpg 44. Goon
Year: 2011
Director: Michael Dowse
You’d think Slap Shot would’ve said all there is to say about violence as a crucial marketing tool for minor league hockey, but Goon carves out its own nook in the sports comedy pantheon thanks to a funny script from Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg and fine performances from Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber. A sequel is actually being released a week from the day this list was originally published in March 2017.—Garrett Martin

sausage party poster.jpg 43. Sausage Party
Year: 2016
Directors: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Though Sausage Party is uneven at times, all is made whole by a third act that presents scene after scene of some of the most unbelievable ridiculousness ever shown in a film. Credit goes to Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who wrote This Is the End and The Interview, as well as to The Night Before writers Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir. This team knows how to end their films with a literal and metaphorical bang that pays off beautifully.—Ross Bonaime

little evil poster (Custom).jpg 42. Little Evil
Year: 2017
Director: Eli Craig
Seven years after he gave us Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, one of the best horror comedies in recent memory, director Eli Craig has finally returned with another horror comedy exclusive for Netflix, Little Evil. An obvious parody of The Omen and other “evil kid” movies, Little Evil wears its influences and references on its sleeve in ways that while not particularly clever, are at least loving. Adam Scott is the sad-sack father who somehow became swept up in a whirlwind romance and marriage, all while being unfazed by the fact that his new step-son is the kind of kid who dresses like a pint-sized Angus Young and trails catastrophes behind him wherever he goes. Evangeline Lilly is the boy’s foxy mother, whose motivations are suspect throughout. Does she know that her child is the spawn of Satan, or as his mother is she just willfully blind to the obvious evil growing under her nose? The film can boast a pretty impressive supporting cast, from Donald Faison and Chris D’elia as fellow step-dads, to Clancy Brown as a fire-and-brimstone preacher, but never does it fully commit toward either its jokes or attempts to frighten. The final 30 minutes are the most interesting, as they lead the plot in an unexpected direction that redefines the audience’s perception of the demon child, but it still makes for a somewhat uneven execution. Tucker & Dale this is not, but it’s still a serviceable return for Craig. —Jim Vorel

Adventurelandposter.jpg 41. Adventureland
Year: 2009
Director: Greg Mottola
For anyone who has ever held a summer job, this film hits home. Jesse Eisenberg is a recent college graduate whose plans for a trip to Europe fall through due to financial problems. Instead, he gets a job at the titular amusement park. Adventureland is full of poignancy in capturing that time of uncertainty, but also of post-college growth. Plus it has a kick-ass soundtrack.—Caitlin Peterkin

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