Last Updated: July 20th
Comedies can be difficult to compare. Sometimes you’re in the mood for something cerebral, and other times you just want to watch people get punched in the nuts. While there are definitely some gems in Netflix’s movie sections, you have to dig through a lot of straight-to-DVD sequels and bad indie flicks to find the best comedies to watch. While people have cracked the code for finding the best comedies on Netflix right now, we’ve put together a list of some of the funniest movies as a starting point in your quest for the perfect Friday night in.
1. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have teamed up many times (usually with director Edgar Wright) to create almost universal awesomeness, but there’s something about Hot Fuzz that stands above the rest. The film is simultaneously a hilarious parody of and passionate love letter to classic action films and Pegg has never been better than as Nicholas Angel, a London cop forced to take a position in the small village of Sanford. He soon begins to realize that the unfortunate “accidents” that keep happening in town are no accident at all, leading to a bloody standoff between Angel and those who have a truly warped way of maintaining “the greater good.” Made by people who love action films for people who love action films, it’s a comedic masterwork.
2. In Bruges (2007)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
In Bruges was the movie that revealed Colin Farrell could be funny. A character actor stuck in a leading man’s body, Farrell gives arguably the best performance of his career as Ray, a rookie Irish hitman on the run with his partner and mentor, Ken (Brendan Gleeson), after accidentally killing a kid while executing a priest. While that may not sound much like the premise of a comedy, director Martin McDonagh crafted a truly hilarious movie. Farrell and Gleeson play off each other wonderfully all the way to the film’s dark finale. But as great as they are, they’re overshadowed at times by an incredible performance from Ralph Fiennes as their boss, Harry. Fiennes is at once funny and terrifying as a man steadfast in his principles, even when that involves murder.
3. Heathers (1981)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
One for the outsiders, Heathers is the darkest of the ’80s teen comedies. While your “teen-angst bulls*t” may not have had a body count, everyone can relate to the constant pressure to be popular that plagues high school hallways. Winona Ryder proves herself to be the ultimate cool girl as Veronica, who takes matters into her own hands in order to destroy a toxic clique. Cynical and more than a little cruel, Heathers changed the game for teen films forever. While Mean Girls may be its spiritual successor, Heathers remains the one Queen Bee to rule them all.
4. The 40-Year-Old-Virgin (2005)
Run Time: 116 min, IMDb: 7.1/10
Steve Carrell plays a lovable schmuck who has yet to pop his cherry in The 40-Year-Old-Virgin. After his friends pressure him to do the deed, he meets a single mom that ticks off all the boxes. The problem: he’s got absolutely no game with the ladies. Add to that a disturbing amount of body hair and a lackluster job at an electronics store and you’ve got the recipe for a classic Judd Apatow comedy, one that made Carrell a star just as The Office was taking off.
5. Trading Places (1983)
Run Time: 116 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd were at the height of their powers when they made Trading Places, and this comedy is proof of their combined talents. When a homeless hustler and a high powered broker end up switching lives as part of an elaborate bet, hijinks ensue and justice is served. One part screwball comedy, one part social satire, Trading Places doesn’t fall into a lot of the pitfalls of ’80s comedies. On top of making great jokes, our characters actually learn how to be better people. It’s a classic for a reason.
6. Ghostbusters (1984)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
There are few comedies that have had the impact of Ghostbusters, which has left a lasting stamp on popular culture for decades. When some out-of-work scientists discover that ghosts are real, they open a business sending these pesky entities out of the land of the living. Picking a favorite Ghostbuster says a lot about a person. (I’m an Egon lady myself.) Plus, it’s easily one of the most quotable movies of all time. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, it’s safe to say that a world with the Ghostbusters in it is a better one.
7. Shrek (2001)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
We know what you’re thinking. Shrek? Really? An animated comedy about an ugly green ogre who rescues a princess, befriends a donkey, and saves a kingdom. Look, it’s a common misconception that Shrek was only for kids. Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz all voiced characters in the film, and there were plenty of mature jokes that probably flew right over the kiddos’ heads. Torturing a sweet Gingerbread Man, interspecies hookups, and a show-stopping song and dance number to wrap things up makes this a family-friendly comedy that the adults won’t snooze through.
8. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Before Black Panther became one of the highest grossing films in the Marvel Universe, Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-loving hero gave the superhero franchise a much-needed dose of humor and fun with Thor: Ragnarok. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film follows the Asgardian warrior as he tries to save his home from the brutal reign of his long-lost sister Hela (a wickedly good Cate Blanchett) and fight his way out of off-planet gladiator pits with the help of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and a Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson. Is this technically a superhero film? Sure, but with Waititi directing, it doubles as a comedy.
9. Happy Gilmore (1996)
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 7.0/10
Yes, it is possible to watch this movie outside of its endless plays on cable channels. If you didn’t grow up watching bits and pieces of this on USA, Happy Gilmore centers on failing hockey team hopeful Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) who discovers that his stick skills and anger issues make him an amazing golfer. In an attempt to earn money to save his grandmother’s house, he joins the PGA Tour, which ruffles the feathers of golf pro Shooter McGavin. While it has the trademark juvenile humor from Sandler, it remains hilarious 20+ years later with its quotability and infamous Bob Barker fistfight, probably even more so than any of Sandler’s other works.
10. The Truman Show (1998)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
The Truman Show was truly ahead of its time when it landed in theaters in 1998. Starring Jim Carrey, the comedy centered on a young man, Truman Burbank, who unknowingly spent his entire life in front of the camera. With Carrey starring, the film had some funny moments but it’s probably most memorable thanks to the subversive commentary it offers on our obsession with the intimate details of peoples lives. That and the fact that Carrey, who’s known for his over-the-top, obnoxious comedy style, kept it relatively low-key for most of the film and proved he could actually act.
11. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010)
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
This indie comedy has quickly become a cult classic, turning familiar scary movie tropes on their heads in bloody and hilarious ways. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine star as two bumbling-yet-well-meaning hillbillies who get pulled into a nightmare scenario when a group of horny coeds think they’re trying to kill them. In a series of events that escalates in violence, Tucker and Dale try to do the right thing while managing to stay alive in the process. As one of the best horror comedies, it’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by those looking for off-the-beaten-path hilarity.
12. Don’t Think Twice (2016)
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
There is a certain appeal to watching very funny people hang out. Yes, having a plot is all well and good, but if that camaraderie and chemistry is there, where the story goes can almost feel secondary. Such is the case with Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, a hilarious and insightful meditation on friendship, comedy, and success. When a member of a longstanding improv group gets a taste of SNL-esque success, the rest of the troupe is left wondering if a life chasing the next great joke is really worth it. Featuring stellar performances from Birbiglia, Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, and Chris Gethard, this is a movie for stand up nerds (and I mean that in the best way possible).
13. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Terrible breakups are a universal experience and Jason Segel manages to tap into the deep yet hilarious insecurity that plagues us all in the aftermath. When he’s dumped by his movie star girlfriend, Peter goes on a vacation (and mild stalking) to forget his sorrows (and also cry a lot). Along the way, he discovers a little self-worth, a new lease on life, and love, because even with the gross-out humor, this is still a romantic comedy. A hilarious cameo from Paul Rudd and a scene-stealing turn from Russell Brand make this a romcom that will pass even the pickiest viewer’s test for the perfect lazy Sunday movie.
14. Meet The Parents (2000)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7/10
Ben Stiller can always be counted upon for a good laugh, but his 2000 family comedy went a step further. Meet the Parents perfectly encapsulated that dreaded-of-all moments when one must inevitably ingratiate themselves to their in-laws. For Stiller’s character, an accident-prone male nurse, it meant making nice with his girlfriend’s dad (played by Robert De Niro), a macho, retired CIA officer. Lie detector tests and accidents involving the family cat urinating in the ashes of a deceased family member follow.
15. Goon (2011)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Goon proves that a movie about hockey can not only be hilariously profane, but it can also be kind of sweet. Doug Glatt (Sean Williams Scott) is so dumb, but so incredibly nice that it’s impossible to root against him. When it becomes clear that he has a real affinity for punching the hell out of people, he gets recruited onto a semi-pro hockey team as an enforcer. Tired of being labelled the family loser, Doug just wants to find his thing, and it turns out, hockey is definitely that thing. Even those rolled their eyes at Scott’s Stifler shtick in the American Pie movies will be pleasantly surprised at what he brings to the table in this film, an extremely funny twist on the traditional underdog sports tale.
16. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Wes Anderson’s style is an acquired taste, but Moonrise Kingdom is easily one of his best. In New England in the 60s, two kids, Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), decide to run away together. A hilariously inept manhunt ensues, featuring Anderson stalwarts like Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman. At once a love letter to young love and a reverie on the pain of getting older, Moonrise Kingdom has enough sense and sensibility to overcome the twee. If you’ve ever felt the need to run away from your problems and carve out a new existence using wilderness skills, this is the movie for you.
17. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
The thing about Wet Hot American Summer is that you either love it or hate it. There is no in between. It is the epitome of a cult film: a flop when it was first released, it’s since gained a large following as the impressive cast has gone on to bigger things. Wet Hot nails the flurry of hormones and reprehensible behavior that occurs at camp, while also featuring a talking can of vegetables and the threat of a piece of NASA equipment falling from the sky and obliterating the camp. Still, if you want to see Christopher Meloni do weird stuff in a kitchen and a Paul Rudd act like every girl’s worst high school boyfriend, you’ll probably enjoy a few hours at Camp Firewood. (Both of the follow-up Netflix series are also worth a look.)
18. I Love You, Man (2009)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7/10
While it’s hard to believe that the affable Paul Rudd would find himself in a friendless predicament, but as the soon-to-be-married Peter Klaven in I Love You, Man, he finds himself in that very position. Who do you ask to be your best man when you don’t have any friends? Enter Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), Peter’s total opposite who just might help him navigate the often fraught waters of adult friendships. Whether you want to laugh with your buddies or appreciate Bush’s greatest hits, I Love You, Man is a worthy option for your next movie night.
19. Burn After Reading (2008)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 7/10
Burn After Reading is for people who like their comedy unapologetically mean. Pitch black and filled with irredeemable idiots, Burn After Reading features Brad Pitt as the opportunistic himbo Chad who accidentally acquires the sensitive memoirs of a CIA agent and George Clooney as the inept and unscrupulous U.S. Marshall who is trying to retrieve it. While these two morons may be at the center of the film, scene-stealing supporting performances from Frances McDormand and John Malkovich really elevate this to one of the Coens’ funniest and best films to date.
20. The Incredible Jessica James (2017)
Run Time: 83 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
Anyone who caught Jessica Williams during her tenure on The Daily Show knows that she’s destined for greatness. Despite being so young, she had a confidence, a voice, and a commanding presence that you just can’t fake. The Incredible Jessica James is her first starring vehicle since her time as a correspondent, and it is a true testament to where she’s headed. In a clever look at the life of a struggling playwright who is getting over a breakup, The Incredible Jessica James allows Williams to unleash her fire in the most charming way possible, and she and Chris O’Dowd have an easy chemistry that makes you root for them to make it despite not having a thing in common. Having just come out last year, The Incredible Jessica James is still one of the best comedy movies Netflix has delivered.
21. The Waterboy (1998)
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 6.1/10
Remember when we used to like Adam Sandler? Sure, his comedies were never high art, but you still find yourself quoting them to this very day. The Waterboy is the classic example of this comfortable familiarity. Sandler mugs his way through his performance as a football team’s waterboy who gets a shot at playing due to his ability to channel his rage into unexpected prowess on the field, and you’ll find yourself cocooned in the welcoming embrace of ’90s nostalgia.
22. Adventureland (2009)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
A sweet take on the classic coming of age formula, Adventureland is a must watch for anyone who has ever felt a little lost. Set in the summer of 1987, the film stars Jesse Eisenberg as James Brennan, a recent college grad who has no idea what he wants to do with his life, so he takes a job at an amusement park in order to kill some time and figure out his life. Eisenberg has never been more appealing as a protagonist, and the supporting cast of Martin Starr, Kristen Stewart, Kristen Wiig, and Bill Hader are all uniformly excellent. If you’re looking for something small scale and genuine for a Sunday afternoon, Adventureland is a sure thing.
23. Magic Mike (2012)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 6.1/10
While it would be easy to play the world of male strippers for a cheap joke, but director Steven Soderbergh went for surprising nuance with Magic Mike. Yes, Matthew McConaughey bares his oiled chest and crows at a mob of horny women about whether or not they’re “lawbreakers,” but it takes a turn towards more dark comedy, balancing the gyrating thighs with the downside of easy money, adoring crowds, and a life lived fast. Not only did Magic Mike kickstart the McConaissance, it proved that Channing Tatum had acting chops beyond his dance moves. The ladies of Tampa — and everywhere else — will be eternally grateful.
24. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 6.7/10
Yes, the apocalypse can be funny. As the world crumbles around them, odd (and oddly-compelling) couple Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightly) hit the road to get her home to her family and for him to find his long-lost love. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World may have its moments of profound sadness, but a cavalcade of comedy cameos — T.J. Miller, Gillian Jacobs, Rob Corddry, Amy Schumer, and Patton Oswalt to name a few — also makes it laugh out loud funny. Knightly and Carell have a comfortable rapport, moving from strangers to friends to something akin to lovers over the course of their journey. If you’re looking for your comedy to have a heavy dollop of pathos, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is a safe bet.
25. Bachelorette (2012)
Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 5.3/10
There’s plenty of humor to be mined from that most momentous of occasions, a wedding. When two people join their lives they bring with them all kind of baggage that usually turns into comedy gold. At least, that’s what happens in Bachelorette, when a group of high school friends reunites to celebrate the impending matrimony of one of their own. Unfortunately, the bride (played by Rebel Wilson) isn’t exactly part of the group’s inner circle, and the friends (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan) aren’t the most reliable of bridesmaids. Instead, they spend the night before the wedding racing around New York City, high on drugs, trying to mend a wedding gown while visiting strip clubs and rehashing old relationship issues.
Recent Changes For July 2018:
Removed: Mascots, Masterminds
Added: In Bruges, Happy Gilmore