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The 100 best comedy movies, Slap Shot
"Slap Shot"

The 14 best comedies on Netflix right now

The biggest laughs lurking in your queue.

Written by
Andy Kryza
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf
Matthew Singer

As anyone who’s taken a chance on one of the many random comedies available on Netflix, finding an actual funny movie on the streamer isn’t easy. Sure, the platform has plenty of selections under the ‘comedy’ genre, but many are low-grade laughers that prompt nary a chuckle. And when you’re really in need of a hearty guffaw, you really can’t risk getting sent deeper into the doldrums by something that can barely even make you smile.

We’re here to help. We’ve scoured Netflix to find the best comedies streaming right now. And once you push aside the corny and the cringey, you’ll find everything from off-the-rails satires to brilliantly stupid slapstick to comforting romcoms. Sit up, settle in, and make sure to properly time your sips of milk.


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Best comedies on Netflix

  • Film

Director: Harold Ramis

Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

Plenty of movies and TV shows have used the time-loop concept to deliver a message about appreciating the things in life that really matter, but none have truly bested Bill Murray as a cranky weatherman forced to relive his worst nightmare over and over (and over and over and over) again: being stuck in a small, cheery Pennsylvania town famous for the faux-meteorological tradition known as Groundhog Day. It’s lighthearted but hilarious, and Murray’s signature hangdog demeanour has never been better utilised. 

Bad Trip (2020)
Photograph: Netflix

2. Bad Trip (2020)

Director Kitao Sakurai

Cast Eric André, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery

On paper, Bad Trip sounds a lot like a tired mix of Borat and Bad Grandpa, featuring a lovesick Eric André on a road trip interacting with real people via elaborate pranks involving crashed cars, projectile vomit and plenty of nudity. What a surprise, then, when the film reveals itself not as a ‘gotcha’ flick seeking to show the dark underbelly of the American south, but rather one in which its marks prove to be kind, helpful and empathetic. The movie is uneven, but when the laughs hit, they hit hard, all while positioning Bad Trip as an unexpected feel-good comedy classic.

  • Film

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy

Coming along at the height of Apatow Mania, Bridesmaids proved it was possible to make a bromantic comedy without the bros and have it succeed with both critics and audiences. Wiig is great as Annie, a thirtysomething baker in the midst of a personal crisis whose life only gets more vexing when she’s asked to serve as the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding. In terms of heartfelt vulgarity, it’s every bit the equal of fellow Apatow productions like Knocked Up or The 40-Year-Old Virgin – but it’s proven to have greater staying power than almost any of them.   

The Jerk (1979)
"The Jerk"

4. The Jerk (1979)

Director: Carl Reiner

Cast: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jackie Mason

‘I was born a poor black child’. It’s one of the great opening lines in movie comedy, the punchline being that it’s spoken by Steve Martin. It kicks off one of the most unabashedly silly road movies ever made, as Martin’s poor, adopted simpleton leaves home on a mission of self-discovery. It was Martin’s first-ever leading role, and it was a near-perfect translation of his particular brand of humour: knowingly dumb, secretly brilliant, and endlessly hilarious. 

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Greg Mottola

Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Superbad is often credited with reviving the teen sex comedy, but it’s a long way from Porky’s. Sure, it’s plenty raunchy, and its plot – two awkward high school seniors (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill) make a last-ditch effort to ensure they don’t graduate as virgins – shares DNA with countless other horny, problematic films from previous decades. But Superbad is sweeter, smarter and more authentic-feeling than the vast majority of them, owing to the chemistry between its leads and the fact that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg started writing the script back when they actually were awkwardly hormonal teenagers themselves.

The Nice Guys (2016)
  • Film
  • Action and adventure

Director: Shane Black

Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Kim Basinger

Sadly, the pairing of Gosling and Crowe did not prove to be the next Riggs and Murtaugh, but The Nice Guys did solidify Shane Black as perhaps Hollywood’s best buddy-cop scribe. Gosling is Holland March, a private eye referred to as ‘the world’s worst detective’ by his own daughter, who forms an unlikely partnership with Crowe’s tough-guy enforcer to solve a young girl’s disappearance in 1970s Los Angeles. Honestly, it should have launched a franchise, but it’s still a tremendously successful outing for everyone, simultaneously skewering Raymond Chandler-esque noir while being a pretty dang juicy slice of pulp itself.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

Cast: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin

The Pythons stick a big fat skewer into religious intolerance in their most controversial (unless you’re a medieval French knight, in which case it’d be The Holy Grail) and arguably, funniest film. Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is the young Jewish man who lives next door to Jesus and is mistaken for the messiah by a swelling army of followers. Of course, the more he tells them he’s not, the more devoted they become. The cross and a rousing singalong of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ await.

  • Film

Director: George Roy Hill

Cast: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Lindsay Crouse

If horse racing is the sport of kings, hockey is the sport of dirtbag psychopaths, and no film has tapped its bloodthirsty, troglodyte energy like this rowdy, raunchy cult classic. Starring Paul Newman as the ageing player-coach of hapless minor-leaguers the Charlestown Chiefs, it’s tempting to make a Bad News Bears comparison, but it’s really more like ‘Animal House On Ice’ – and the unapologetic violence and profanity still pushes limits even decades later.

Dolemite is My Name (2019)
Photograph: Netflix

9. Dolemite is My Name (2019)

Director: Craig Brewer

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Keegan Mike Epps

Eddie Murphy fulfils his destiny to don the shimmering hat of Blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore in Craig Brewer’s dense, often hilarious biopic that chronicles the rise of the legendary kung-fu star, low-budget auteur and bonafide ladies’ man. Seemingly taking Moore’s signature Disco Godfather plea to ‘put your weight on it‘ fully to heart, Murphy delivers one of his most nuanced performances in the title role. Brewer smartly surrounds the comedy god with capable supporting players (Wesely Snipes damn near steals the thing) while developing a rich period tapestry that fully immerses viewers into the seedier side of ‘70s entertainment, crafting a film of a piece with Boogie Nights.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rachel House

Before he conjured a Thor film from a potion of Zeppelin album covers and LSD, Kiwi director Taiki Waititi took on this endearing tale of an orphan on the lam with a grizzled father-figure. The film expands on the indie chops presented in Boy and Eagle Vs. Shark and emerges as a twee, Wes Andersonian tale of outsiders finding solace in one another. Slight though it may be, Waititi’s film plays out like a heartwarming live-action Pixar flick, a Up-lite adventure that proves that the director doesn’t need Marvel money to craft a film full of rich characters and inventive action. 

The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)
Jeong Park/Netflix

11. The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)

Director: Radha Blank

Cast: Radha Blank, Peter Kim, Imani Lewis

If you took 8 Mile and made it about a middle-aged female playwright trying to muscle in on the rap game, it might look a little like this Sundance award winner. It’s a pitch-perfect intro to Radha Blank, writer-actor-star of an autobiographical comedy-drama that tackles creative compromise, the Black experience, hip hop and theatre culture and a fair few big laughs in its exploration of New York’s not-that-rich and not-quite-famous. TLDR? She’s great.

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: David Dobkin

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens

Eurovision gave viewers exactly what they needed in the middle of the pandemic: A shot of Will Ferrell silliness surrounded by a surprisingly earnest entry into Europe’s extremely befuddling (for Americans, at least) pop-culture Olympics. What could have been another eye-rolling exercise in questionable European accents instead unfurled as a legitimately touching underdog saga masquerading as another comedy in the Talladega Nights mold, and while it’s a bit uneven, it’s impossible not to get pulled into the siren song of ‘Jaja Ding-Dong.’ 

Hail, Caesar! (2016)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes

A ‘minor’ Coen brothers movie is better than most directors’ highlights, and this particular entry is in the upper tier of the Coens’ sillier films. When a ’50s movie idol (George Clooney) is kidnapped, a Hollywood fixer (Josh Brolin) is called in by the studio to collect the ransom money while also keeping the scandal out of the gossip pages. Tilda Swinton is a delight (as per) in two roles as Hedda Hopper-alike gossip columnists ​​Thora and Thessaly Thacker. Try saying that quickly. 

Murder Mystery (2019)
Photograph: Netflix

14. Murder Mystery (2019)

Director: Kyle Newacheck

Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans

A bit silly but still entertaining, this Netflix production was one of the first semi-successful attempts at comedy releases by the streaming giant. Adam Sandler is a New York police officer who takes his wife Audrey (Jennifer Aniston) on a European vacation that turns out to be anything but relaxing.

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