The 50 Best Comedy Movies on Netflix (2016)

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The 50 Best Comedy Movies on Netflix (2016)

Comedy is subjective. Duh. All art is subjective. Your favorite movie might be the only movie I’ve ever walked out of the theater on (uh, if your favorite movie is Caddyshack II, well, bless your heart.) So if you compare this list to the one we ran last year, you’ll see not just a lot of different films (Netflix has a lot of churn) but something of a difference in philosophy. I’m the comedy editor. I’m here for comedy. Silver Linings Playbook is clearly a better made film than, say, The Brothers Solomon, but it’s not nearly as funny. Both are filed under the comedy section on Netflix, though, so they’re fair game for a list like this. I pored through the entire list of comedy movies on Netflix this month, which is several hundred movies long, and found the 50 best to share with you today. I hope you find something you’ll enjoy.

And for the best movies on other platforms like HBO, Amazon and Hulu, or for our genre-specific Netflix lists (Best Comedies on Netflix, Best Dramas, Best Action Movies, Best Sci-Fi Movies, Best Documentaries ), visit the Paste Movie Guides.

Here are the 50 Best Comedy Movies Streaming on Netflix in May 2016:

50. Crocodile Dundee

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Year: 1986
Director: Peter Faiman
If you’re going to travel to America for the first time, it helps to be a charming badass from the Australian Outback. For all of the societal cues that Mick Dundee misses (that those fine women are hookers, that a bidet squirts water up your butt), he makes progress with his easy smile and his huge knife. Obviously, it also helps that he speaks English, albeit a version of the language filled with slang unfamiliar to his new friends. Yet for his ability to carry himself well in New York City, it’s clear that his heart remains in Australia—even though his proposed “walkabout” will take him through America, it’s more like he’s transplanting his home country here rather than assimilating. Fortunately, we don’t have to find out what would’ve happened on that journey, since Sue wises up and picks him over Richard.—Zach Blumenfeld


49. Silver Linings Playbook

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Year: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
With leads as winning as Cooper and Lawrence, and Russell’s signature mix of clever and sincere dialogue, the hook is set. Every single detail doesn’t gel—Chris Tucker’s role as Danny, Pat Jr’s escape-prone friend from the treatment facility, seems a bit extraneous—but it doesn’t need to. By the end of the dance competition finale (yeah, there’s that), the audience, actors and director are on exactly the same page—and it’s Russell’s playbook.—Michael Burgin


48. Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie

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Year: 2012
Directors: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim
So, yeah: comedy is subjective. Not everybody likes what Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim do. That’s cool. Those who do dig it will love their movie, where they take their patented aesthetic and their love of uniting the perverse and the mundane and stretch them out to feature-length. You know how when you watch a David Lynch movie you can’t always tell when he’s trying to be funny? Tim and Eric are clearly trying to be funny throughout this thing, but it still can be as weird and frightening and (yes) unforgettable as a Lynch movie.—Garrett Martin


47. The Wood

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Year: 1999
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
16 years before Dope, Rick Famuyiwa directed this charming coming-of-age story about three friends growing up in Inglewood in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It’s a funnier, less stressful cousin to movies like Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society, but doesn’t shy away from addressing the impact gangs and violence can have on a community. Great performances from Taye Diggs, Omar Epps and its charismatic teenage cast elevate a funny, if sometimes sitcommy.—Garrett Martin


46. Frank

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Year: 2014
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
It’s hard to read Frank’s emotions because his facial expression never changes. How could it? It’s painted on. Walking around with a big, spherical paper mâché head, he looks like a walking cartoon character. But unlike the folks at Disneyland, Frank plays bizarre, haunting music with disorienting melodies and foreign, electronic tones. It would all be quite intimidating if his disembodied voice weren’t so darn friendly. The title character in Frank looks like Frank Sidebottom, the alter ego of British comedian and outsider musician Chris Sievey. But Frank is a variation on a theme in a contemporary setting rather than a true story. The film enters Frank’s world through the eyes of Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), a young, aspiring musician who doesn’t have much to say or any ideas how to say it. He lives a comfy life at home until he is swept into the adventurous life of a band on the road, driving all night and playing to empty rooms. He sees the romance, but is rather slow to pick up on some of the anguish and mental illness that his bandmates suffer. Frank doesn’t just wear the head for shows—he never takes it off. Michael Fassbender has the most difficult job of any cast member, as he has to create the character of Frank without any facial expressions. He uses his voice and body language to express excitement, a welcoming nature and varying degrees of anxiety. Director Lenny Abrahamson finds plenty of humor in his band of misfit characters, but the movie doesn’t treat their odd behavior as mere fodder for slapstick. The movie’s heart lies in its understanding of their fragility. At the film’s finale, Fassbender’s stirring performance reminds us of the power that can be had simply by singing the song you want to sing.—Jeremy Mathews


45. Adventureland

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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


44. Legend of Drunken Master

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Year: 1994
Director: Chia-Liang Liu
1994’s Drunken Master II (released in the US as The Legend of Drunken Master) is Jackie Chan’s best movie by far—it has everything that makes him uniquely awesome as a martial-arts movie star and each of his prime elements (fluidity of motion/technique, comedic timing, sheer athleticism) is showcased better than in any of his other films, including the original 1978 Drunken Master (starring a much younger Jackie Chan). Chan stars as Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung who utilizes his Zui Quan (Drunken Boxing) skills to stop the corrupt British consul who is illegally exporting Chinese artifacts out of the country. While nearly all the action sequences are impressive and memorable, the final fight is a real show-stopper.—K. Alexander Smith


43. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

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Year: 2010
Director: Eli Craig
Let’s face it, hillbillies and their ilk have been getting the short end of the pitchfork in movies since the strains of banjo music faded in 1972’s Deliverance. And whether due to radiation (The Hills Have Eyes) or just good old determined inbreeding (Wrong Turn and so, so many films you’re better off not knowing about), the yokel-prone in film have really enjoyed slaughtering innocent families on vacation, travelers deficient in basic map usage skills, and, best of all, sexually active college students just looking for a good time. But fear not, members of Hillbillies for Inclusion, Consideration & Kindness in Screenplays (HICKS)—writer/director Eli Craig has your hairy, unloofahed back. His film, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, answers the simple question: What if those hillbillies are just socially awkward fellows sprucing up a vacation home and the young college kids in question are just prone to repeatedly jumping to incorrect, often fatal, conclusions? Think Final Destination meets the Darwin Awards.—Michael Burgin


42. Zoolander

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Year: 2001
Director: Ben Stiller
Zoolander was a landmark comedy in 2001, thanks to the wonderful chemistry between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as a pair of male models. Wilson’s Hansel cares more about what bark is made out of and idolizing Sting (not for his music, but for the fact the he’s out there doing it) than his rivalry with Ben Stiller’s Zoolander. Eventually, the two supermodels must work together to try and bring down Mugatu (Will Ferrell), after he brainwashes Zoolander with the Frankie Goes to Hollywood song “Relax.”—Ryan Bort


41. The Brothers Solomon

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Year: 2007
Director: Bob Odenkirk
You might be wondering how a movie written by Will Forte, directed by Bob Odenkirk and starring Forte and Will Arnett developed a rep as a catastrophic failure. Well, it kind of was, at least at the box office: it’s one of the few widely released films I can think of that didn’t even crack a million dollars its first weekend, and it didn’t even make a million total during its short time in theaters. Okay, and critics hated it, too, but critics have hated a lot of hilarious comedies. And although The Brothers Solomon is too inconsistent to be genuinely hilarious, it’s still a movie that will make you laugh hard and often if you’re on the same comedic wavelength as Forte. Forte has certain stylistic tics—a love for music, a weird way with language, a fascination with cringe-inducing awkwardness from characters that often have sincere and good intentions, the courage to then take those characters into dark and depressing territory as those intentions turn sour—and they are all as present in The Brothers Solomon as they are in his beloved TV show The Last Man on Earth. The Brothers Solomon is far from perfect, but it’s a vital part of Forte’s oeuvre, and a weird footnote to comedy god Bob Odenkirk’s multifaceted career.—Garrett Martin


40. Alan Partridge

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Year: 2013
Director: Declan Lowney
Alan Partridge has been the star of sketches, radio programs, TV sitcoms, fake talk shows, web shorts and, yes, this movie, and through it all the character has always worked brilliantly. As great as Steve Coogan has been in so many projects, the petty, insecure, clueless Partridge will go down as his defining role. It’s a testament to how fully Coogan embodies this pathetic person, and how smart Coogan and cowriter Armando Iannucci are in adapting Partridge’s specific type of gormlessness to any number of contexts and situations. The movie might not be as strong as the various shows and other appearances, but Coogan, Iannucci and their team of writers succeed at making a movie that’s both an extension of the type of comedy Partridge is known for and a parody of unnecessary film spin-offs of TV characters.—Garrett Martin


39. Casa de Mi Padre

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Year: 2012
Director: Matt Piedmont
Will Ferrell’s Spanish-language comedy is more than just a gimmick or one-note joke. It alternates between being a pitch perfect telenovela parody and a bloated, feature-length version of Ferrell’s more surreal Saturday Night Live work. Ferrell is wonderful, of course, but it also has great turns by Diega Luna and Gael García Bernal (who, yes, American film critics will always automatically associate with one another because of Y Tu Mamá También). There’s one scene with all three of them in a bar together that is one of the most scathing and hilarious criticisms of modern day America you’ll see in any comedy.—Garrett Martin


38. Kingpin

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Year: 1996
Directors: Bobby and Peter Farrelly

Kingpin is probably the best movie ever made about bowling, which is kind of sad, since it’s basically making fun of bowling. Okay, it doesn’t completely disrespect the sport that Dick Weber and Earl Anthony made famous, but we’re clearly supposed to find the milieu of competitive bowling (both professional and underground) inherently hilarious. This isn’t the strongest script for a Farrelly movie (it’s one of two live-action films they directed where they don’t get a writing credit) but it might be funniest thanks to great performances by Bill Murray, Woody Harrelson and Randy Quaid. Murray’s as amazing as ever, but it’s Woody’s movie, and one of his best film roles.—Garrett Martin


37. Sleepwalk With Me

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Year: 2012
Director: Mike Birbiglia
Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” Mike Birbiglia takes the pain of a struggling comic, an unsure boyfriend and a scared sleep-disorder patient, and plays with these mounting problems for our amusement. Not many sleep-disorder stories—even those first shared with Ira Glass on This American Life—have ever been as funny as Birbiglia’s.—Monica Castillo


36. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

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Year: 2002
Director: George Clooney
Chuck Barris was probably full of shit when he claimed to be a covert CIA op in his autobiography. Hosting The Gong Show doesn’t fit the profile for a real-life James Bond. The mixture of fact and fiction found in his memoir makes for a fun dark comedy, though, especially with Barris being played by the fantastic Sam Rockwell, in one of his best performances. Moving back and forth between period piece recreations of ‘60s and ‘70s junk TV nostalgia and tense, violent spy jobs gives the movie a schizophrenic vibe that perfectly fits its subject and source material.—Garrett Martin


35. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey

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Year: 1991
Director: Pete Hewitt
This could very well be a case of having one’s expectations so low that anything passable would have been deemed a huge triumph. Yet, there’s no denying the charm, wit, visual panache and postmodern joy of this follow-up to the sci-fi/comedy hybrid starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as the brain dead saviors of mankind. The actual framing of the story with evil Bill and Ted robots trying to ruin our heroes’ path to glory is fairly silly. The fun comes when the titular schmoes are killed and have to find a way to get resurrected. This takes them both heavenward and Hades-bound (the original title of the film, if you didn’t know, was Bill & Ted Go To Hell), accompanied by Death, played with surprising sweetness by William Sadler. It’s both The Divine Comedy and The Seventh Seal writ for the Pauly Shore generation.—Robert Ham


34. Sixteen Candles

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Year: 1984
Director: John Hughes
It’s the movie that made Molly Ringwald a star, and rightfully so: as Samantha, the everywoman whose parents forgot her birthday and whose crush doesn’t know she exists, she appeals to the angsty high-schooler yearning to be seen in all of us. Samantha’s undeniably middle-of-the-road—she’s not popular, but she’s not a geek; her home life is messy, but it’s not dysfunctional—and that gives her mass appeal, so much so that her story’s become sort of a modern fairy tale, the American Dream of teen romantic comedies. —Bonnie Stiernberg


33. Scrooged

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Year: 1988
Director: Richard Donner
We learn all we need to know from Bill Murray’s modern day Ebeneezer in his introduction: After viewing the latest promos for his television network, Frank opens his desk drawer, catches his reflection in a small mirror, smiles, fixes his hair and then closes it. In case it’s not clear: Frank Cross has a drawer in his desk devoted to a vanity mirror. While the rest of the film sometimes devolves into over-the-top nonsense, it’s Murray’s committed touches like these that make Frank Cross so memorable.—Greg Smith


32. Clerks

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Year: 1994
Director: Kevin Smith
Sometimes a labor of love becomes something much bigger. When Kevin Smith spent $27,575 to film a black-and-white film about a slacker working at a Quick Stop, no one could imagine how much it would resonate. Filled with philosophical discussions on relationships, purpose and the relative innocence of construction workers on the Death Star, it established Smith as a unique voice for at least a corner of the slacker generation. Smith would return to the world of Dante, Randal, Jay and Silent Bob many times (and with modestly larger budgets), but it would never feel quite as a perfect as the original.—Josh Jackson


31. Dope

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Year: 2015
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Available: Feb. 10
At its core, Dope is a coming-of-age story told from the black geek perspective. Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is a brainy high school student who’s trying to leave “The Bottoms” of Inglewood, California. This isn’t a straight-up, feel-good comedy—drugs and gangs aren’t easy comic fodder—but Dope satirizes preconceived notions of race and culture. Famuyiwa keeps things entertaining while still posing hard-hitting questions to the characters and audience. Dope’s infectious energy, and Famuyiwa’s tendency to throw genre and stereotypes to the wind, is refreshing. Dope is dope. —Christine N. Ziemba

30. Tiny Furniture

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Year: 2010
Director: Lena Dunham
There is much to love about his film. Dunham and cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes compose compelling tableaus on the screen, especially those framed by the stark, almost oppressively minimalist white backgrounds in the loft. The writing is sharp and often funny, and some of Dunham’s actors are especially winning. Her sister Grace (who plays Nadine) has a goofy charm and unselfconsciousness that play well in indie world. Alex Karpovsky, as the freeloading YouTube sensation Jed, has a wonderful stillness to his persona, and he’s willing to let words hang in the air around the characters (a quality in short supply with either actors or directors these days). And Jemima Kirke steals the show as Charlotte, the Rayanne Graf to Jena’s Angela Chase.—Michael Dunaway


29. Bernie

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Year: 2011
Director: Richard Linklater
Bernie is as much about the town of Carthage, Texas, as it is about its infamous resident Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), the town’s mortician and prime suspect in the murder of one of its most despised citizens, Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine). Unlike Nugent, Bernie is conspicuously loved by all. When he’s not helping direct the high school musical, he’s teaching Sunday school. Like a well-played mystery, Linklater’s excellent, darkly humorous (and true) story is interspersed with tantalizing interviews of the community’s residents. Linklater uses real East Texas folks to play the parts, a device that serves as the perfect balance against the drama that leads up to Bernie’s fatal encounter with the rich bitch of a widow. The comedy is sharp, with some of the film’s best lines coming from those townsfolk.—Tim Basham


28. About a Boy

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Year: 2002
Directors: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
No stranger to romantic comedies, Hugh Grant delivered perhaps his best performance ever in About a Boy, a different kind of rom-com. Through his relationship with a young teenager, Grant subtly transforms from notorious womanizer into, well, a man capable of loving the beautiful Rachel Weisz. Grant’s relationship with the boy is tender and thoughtful, much like the film itself.—Jeremy Medina


27. Flirting With Disaster

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Year: 1996
Director: David O. Russell
Back when he was able to make movies without Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell made this gem, which is still his funniest film. This dark screwball comedy reins in Ben Stiller’s tendency to go big, taps into Téa Leoni’s well-known comic chops, and gives Patricia Arquette the opportunity to show off her own formidable comedy skills, and then surrounds them all with such experienced pros as Mary Tyler Moore, Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda and George Segal. If you think Russell’s recent movies have grown a little too pandering and self-indulgent, you should watch this taut farce.—Garrett Martin


26. Swingers

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Year: 1996
Director: Doug Liman
With their breakout roles in Swingers, Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau established the personalities that still define them 20 years later. Vaughn’s a fast-talking Eddie Haskell type who isn’t quite as charming as he thinks, and Favreau’s an affable everyman with a sensitive side. This carries over to their recent film work: Vaughn motormouths his way through comedies and dramas alike, while Favreau makes big budget Hollywood films that tend to be a little bit smarter and better crafted than most. The ease and charm of their friendship is what makes Swingers so memorable—it would’ve been called a bromance so often if that portmanteau existed in 1996. Swingers is a character-first comedy that captures a specific time and place in vivid detail.—Alan Byrd


25. Tommy Boy

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Year: 1995
Director: Peter Segal
The ill-fated journey of Chris Farley’s Tommy Callahan and tiny curmudgeon Richard Hayden (played wonderfully and probably not with much difficulty by David Spade) is just as relevant as it was in 1995, if not moreso. Pairing the slapstick buffoonery of Farley’s bull in a china shop anxiety with Spade’s insecurity masked as smarmy assholism, Tommy Boy is more than the sum of its buddy comedy parts. Though the economic boom of the 1990s was a welcomed reprieve from Reaganomics and George Bush’s “thousand points of light” predecessors, the turnaround didn’t help the kind of middle-class manufacturing that made companies like Callahan Auto and towns like Sanduskey , Ohio possible. Still reeling from the overcooked economics of the 1980s and the increasing globalization of the 1990s, the middle class worker’s struggle in that decade was represented with no more honest absurdity than in Tommy Boy.—Jonathan Dick


24. Charade

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Year: 1963
Director: Stanley Donen
Cary Grant is the most charming male lead ever. Audrey Hepburn is the most charming female lead ever. Everything else is just bonus in this romantic thriller about a woman pursued in Paris for her late husband’s stolen fortune: the Henry Mancini score, the Hitchcock-ian suspense, the plot twists and Walter Mathau as a CIA agent.—Michael Dunaway


23. Moonrise Kingdom

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Year: 2012
Director: Wes Anderson
Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola avoid clichés at every opportunity. The forces that would typically work to tear Sam and Suzy apart instead rally behind them, perhaps infected by the conviction of their love, which never wavers, even in argument: “I love you, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Moonrise Kingdom is whimsical and, yes, precious, but it is so in the very best sense of the word.—Annlee Ellingson


22. Wayne’s World

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Year: 1992
Director: Penelope Spheeris
Don’t blame Wayne’s World for everything that came after it. Yeah, Blues Brothers came first, but the smash success of Wayne’s World spawned a torrent of malformed movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches that ran throughout the 1990s. Wayne’s World was the first and the best by such a large margin that it’s basically impossible to even quantify. Under the guidance of Penelope Spheeris, Wayne’s World was a smart pop culture parody that nicely dovetailed into the anti-corporate sentiments of post-Nirvana alternative culture. It’s also hilarious, the best work of Mike Myers’ career.—Garrett Martin


21. Amélie

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Year: 2001
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
A delicate, delicious little French trifle, Amélie is easily one of the most romantic films on Netflix. The adorable Audrey Tautou launched herself into the American consciousness as the quirky do-gooder waitress who sends her secret crush photos and riddles masking her identity in order to make their first encounter—and first kiss—the most romantic moment of her life. Endlessly imaginative and beautifully photographed, Amélie is a film to be treasured.—Jeremy Medina


20. Punch-Drunk Love

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Year: 2002
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
It may be hard to recall, but there was once a time when the world believed in Adam Sandler—and we have P.T. Anderson to thank for such a glimpse of hope. Compared to the scope of There Will Be Blood, or the melancholy of Boogie Nights, or the inexorable fascination at the heart of The Master, Punch-Drunk Love—a breath of fresh, Technicolor air after the weight of Magnolia—comes off like something of a lark for Anderson, setting the stage for the kind of incisive comic chops the director would later epitomize with Inherent Vice. But far from a bit of fluff or a reactionary stab at a larger audience, Punch-Drunk Love is what happens when a director with so much untapped potential just sort of throws shit at the wall to see what sticks. A simple love story between a squirmy milquetoast (Sandler) and the woman (Emily Watson) who yanks him from his stark blue shell, the film is part musical, part silent film and all surreal comedy. That this is Sandler’s best role is hardly up for debate; that this may be Jon Brion’s best soundtrack is something we can talk about later. That the rest of the film, which in any other director’s hands would be a total mess, feels so exquisitely felt is almost … magical. And that? That’s that, Mattress Man.—Dom Sinacola


19. The Trip

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Year: 2011
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Two British actor/comedians playing versions of themselves travel the beautiful and bleak north England countryside, stopping to eat at various upscale restaurants, but mostly just talking. And talking and talking. And doing impressions of Michael Caine, Woody Allen, and Liam Neeson, as well as British personalities an American audience might not recognize. But mostly just talking, with overlapping affection and competition. Sound like a good idea for a film? It absolutely is. [Also worth watching on Netflix: The sequel, The Trip to Italy.]—Jonah Flicker


18. Galaxy Quest

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Year: 1999
Director: Dean Parisot
J.J. Abrams once called this Star Trek parody one of the best Trek movies ever. He’s not wrong. Galaxy Quest is less interested in making fun of Star Trek than in making fun of Star Trek culture, from obsessive fans to goofy special effects to actors who alternately hate, resent or are proud of their time on the show. It also features one of Alan Rickman’s greatest roles, in case you’re one of those kids who only knows him from his Harry Potter stuff and wants to take in the full measure of the man.—Alan Byrd


17. In Bruges

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Year: 2008
Director: Martin McDonagh
You know you’ve tripped into the ambiguous realm of Postmodernism when medieval Europe, midget jokes and ultraviolence converge into a seamless whole. Theater auteur Martin McDonagh’s debut feature, In Bruges, thrives on these stylistic clashes with its narrative of two sympathetic hitmen who seek refuge in a European wonderland full of tourists and irony. The film’s visual appeal complements irreverent and hilarious dialogue—timed brilliantly with the Anglo-Saxon bravado of Fiennes, Farrell and Gleeson—to produce one of a most pleasant dark-horse dramedy.—Sean Edgar


16. Major League

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Year: 1989
Director: David S. Ward
Many can laugh at this crazy cast of oddballs, but only a select few can look back and laugh. Because for those in Cleveland and northeastern Ohio, it’s all too real. Not until the second film’s release did the Cleveland Indians finally break out of their 30-year slump. Some will say it was the new stadium. Others, the even more superstitious ones (most baseball fans), may point to the dominance and swagger of Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, as portrayed by Charlie Sheen. (Fun fact: Sheen was actually a star pitcher in high school.) Whatever the case, the really bad times are in the past, and let’s hope, for the sake of another one of these movies popping up, they stay there.—Joe Shearer


15. Bedazzled

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Year: 1967
Director: Stanley Donen
Get that Brendan Fraser / Elizabeth Hurley monstrosity out of your head right now. Stanley Donen’s 1967 original is such a cutting satire of modern life that it still feels prescient almost 50 years later. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are a legendary comedy duo in England, and Americans who wonder why will quickly figure it out as Cook’s devil tempts and tricks Moore’s suicidal sadsack. Cook’s script accentuates their strengths as performers and as a team, and Donen’s understated direction lets the comedy breathe.—Garrett Martin


14. In the Loop

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Year: 2009
Director: Armando Iannucci
If clever verbal humor were easy, we’d have more comedies like In the Loop. But it’s not, and this one stands in a class of its own. It’s the most quotable film of the decade—by miles—and the cynical potty mouths on screen are so articulate and creative that, after the avalanche of witticisms, you’re left with the lingering sense that you’ve seen not just a funny movie but also a wicked political satire of the highest order, the kind where the absurdity speaks for itself.—Robert Davis


13. A League of Their Own

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Year: 1992
Director: Penny Marshall
Although a film about women’s baseball during WWII, the real star of the feature is not one of the girls; it’s Tom Hanks. His portrayal of a fallen baseball great trying to regain respect (and kick the bottle) is one of the actor’s finer moments. Who can ever get tired of that famous quip, “There’s no crying in baseball!” a staple that baseball commentators throw out like it’s their fastball? It’s still a great line mulled over to this day. That’s when you know a movie has weight. Geena Davis and Lori Petty’s sibling relationship is swell, too.—Joe Shearer


12. Coming To America

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Year: 1988
Director: John Landis
If this movie consisted of the barbershop scenes inside of My-T-Sharp and nothing else, it would still be one of the greatest comedies of all time. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall teamed up with director John Landis (Blues Brothers) and created a classic. As Prince Akeem from the fictional African country of Zamunda, Murphy travels to the great United States of America to evade his arranged marriage and find true love (in Queens, obviously). Akeem encounters all of the wonders of black America, but the satirical twist is genius—the black preacher (via Hall as the incomparable Reverend Brown), the club scene, the barbershop, hip-hop culture, and Soul Glo—it’s all here. Cameos from actors like Cuba Gooding Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Louie Anderson, and Murphy’s Trading Places co-stars Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy take the Coming to America experience to a whole new level. An excellent comedy and a great tribute to New York City, this story of a prince just looking to be loved is a must-see for everyone—including those of us who’ve already seen it.—Shannon Houston


11. Clueless

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Year: 1995
Director: Amy Heckerling
A combination of comedy, romance and high-school spunk, Clueless is a story with true ’90s flair. Alicia Silverstone stars as the pretty and popular Cher, a privileged valley girl with a penchant for matchmaking. While she cruises potential boyfriends for her girlfriends, she struggles to figure out her relationships. The film is a charming, modern take on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma, and with performances by a youthful Paul Rudd and Brittany Murphy, it’s anything but an airhead. Could we love this film anymore? As if!—Megan Farokhmanesh

10. Hot Fuzz

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Year: 2007
Director: Edgar Wright
The second chapter in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (before there was ever such a thing), Hot Fuzz is clear evidence that Edgar Wright is capable of anything. A blockbuster action flick, a thriller, a pulp plot, a winking noir, a commentary on classism in an increasingly urbanized society—the movie is all of these things, down to the marrow of its very existence. Moreso than Shaun of the Dead or The World’s End, Hot Fuzz inhabits its influences with the kind of aplomb to which any cinephile can relate: Somewhere between fascination, revulsion and pure visceral joy there walks the Michael Bays, the Don Simpsons, the John Woos, the Jerry Bruckheimers, and Wright gives each stalwart his due. Plus, he does so with total respect, showing that he understands their films inside and out. And in that intimate knowledge he knows even better that filmmaking is a conflagration: Best to burn it all down and see what remains than build it from the ground up.—Dom Sinacola


9. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

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Year: 1985
Director: Tim Burton
Tim Burton’s full-length directorial debut is also one of his best. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure brings us into the bizarro world of Pee-wee Herman, the excitable, ageless protagonist that’s hopelessly attached to his bike. After it’s stolen in broad daylight, we see Herman travel across the U.S. to reclaim his baby. And through the adventure and its ongoing discoveries (who knew the Alamo didn’t have a basement?) we’re introduced to unforgettable characters like Herman; his (sort-of) love interest, Dottie; the horrifying trucker ghost Large Marge; the snotty, rich Francis; and Herman’s dog, Speck. Herman’s wacky world is fully realized through the eye of Burton, and this one stands alone as a film that kids and adults can both get a kick out of.—Tyler Kane


8. Heathers

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Year: 1988
Director: Michael Lehmann
Heathers might look like another teen comedy, but it’s probably the darkest and most brutal movie on this list. It’s a cynical deconstruction of the typical high school comedy, turning peer pressure fatal and elevating the stakes from social lives to actual lives. It smartly subverts one of the stalest genres of comedy, and still remains edgy almost 30 years later.—Garrett Martin


7. The Princess Bride

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Year: 1987
Director: Rob Reiner
Quite possibly the most perfectly executed transformation of a beloved book to a beloved film in the history of the sport. A family-friendly “kissing movie” with pitch-perfect performances by the entire cast—from main character to bit player—The Princess Bride is the most relentlessly quotable film anywhere this side of Monty Python and their Holy Grail. Though regarded warmly enough by critics, its status as comedic fable ensures it is criminally underrated on most lists. Inconceivable? Alas, no. But unfair, nonetheless.—Michael Burgin


6. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

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Year: 2006
Director: Adam McKay
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly go together like reconciliation and getting thrown out of Applebee’s. In one of the finest films directed by Adam McKay, the duo play race-car drivers in a loving send-up of NASCAR culture. Sacha Baron Cohen is perfect as Ferrell’s European foil Jean Girard, and the film is jam-packed with both sight gags (the live cougar in the race car) and brilliant dialogue (the prayer to eight-pound-six-ounce-newborn-infant Jesus). His sons Walker and Texas Ranger, the random appearance of Elvis Costello and Mos Def in Girard’s back yard, and Amy Adams recreating the Whitesnake video in the bar all provide Hall of Fame moments from the Judd Apatow canon.—Josh Jackson


5. Wet Hot American Summer

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Year: 2001
Director: David Wain
A cult film that’s long since surpassed that status, Wet Hot American Summer is a lot of things: It’s hilarious; it’s perfectly cast; and it’s a clear demonstration that Christopher Meloni has more range than simply playing a dour sex crime detective. But what makes it so brilliant, 15 years later and with a Netflix series on lock, is that it’s so painfully, relentlessly nihilistic. We could trade quotable lines for days (my personal favorites being what Jon Benjamin’s can of vegetables admits he’s acrobatically capable of, and then Paul Rudd bluntly refusing to make out with Elizabeth Banks’s character due to her burger flavor), but the key to the movie’s endurance—past its timelessness grounded in a specific brand of ’80s sex romp flick—is the way in which it treats nostalgia. Like Wain, Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black’s Stella series, Wet Hot American Summer, which takes place over the course of Camp Firewood’s last day, exists in a bleakly amoral world. Here, bad things happen to good people—and really only to good people. Wain takes innocence and obliterates it, punishes it, gleefully destroying all nice memories anyone would ever hold dear about long lost summers, first loves and youth. Without a shred of wistfulness, Wet Hot American Summer surpasses its origins in parody and becomes something more: It earns its comedy. Taunting our very explicitly American tendency to let everything we touch devolve into sentimentality, the film proves that when we obsess over remembering ourselves at our best, we might as well be celebrating us at our worst. —Dom Sinacola


4. Roman Holiday

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Year: 1953
Director: William Wyler
Start by casting the male lead with one the most honorable, decent leading men in the history of American cinema. Then cast the female lead with one of the most graceful, beguiling women ever to appear onscreen. Add one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the music of Cole Porter and you’ve already got a worldbeater of a movie. But the beautiful, tentative, demure performances by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, and the greatest bittersweet romantic ending this side of Casablanca, seal the deal.—Michael Dunaway


3. His Girl Friday

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Year: 1940
Director: Howard Hawks
Adapted from the widely acclaimed play The Front Page, His Girl Friday is a classic whose sharp, witty dialogue matches that of old newsrooms. This smooth-talking editor, played by the always-charming Cary Grant, recognizes true journalistic talent and goes to great lengths to get his best reporter to cover a major story.—Bonnie Stiernberg


2. Best In Show

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Year: 2000
Director: Christopher Guest
Available: April 1
Coming smack dab in the middle of Guest-Levy’s improvisational collaborations, Best in Show saw everyone involved working at their best. With a series of memorable characters all determined to win the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show, the film had no end to unforgettable moments and lines. While Waiting for Guffman came first, Best in Show displayed why this team—from its creators to its actors—had a special gift for this particular type of storytelling.—Amanda Wicks


1. Groundhog Day

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Year: 1993
Director: Harold Ramis
Bill Murray, director/co-writer Harold Ramis and screenwriter Danny Rubin take a Twilight Zone-esque comedic premise—a self-centered weatherman gets stuck experiencing February 2 again and again—and find unexpected profundity. A more conventional film would have love resolve the chronological predicament, but instead, it falls to Murray to become the best man he can possibly be. A Hollywood comedy that challenges middle-class Americans to better themselves, Groundhog Day doesn’t just elicit laughs, but leaves audiences more deeply moved than they ever expected.—Curt Holman

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