What pairs heart-stopping action with laugh-out-loud humor? These action comedies do.
Every film on this list — be it a comic-book-inspired rom-com or a buddy cop adventure, monks moonlighting as Luchadors or Marvel superheroes being taken down a size or two — deftly combines thrilling fight scenes, car chases, and shootouts with gut-busting humor. Look, the stakes can never be too high that we can’t have a laugh now and then.
Here are the best action comedies streaming on Netflix right now.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Edgar Wright’s proven he knows how to deftly combine action and comedy to make an iconic piece of work – just look at Baby Driver – but he’s been killing it in this genre since the beginning, and this movie is proof. Michael Cera plays the hapless hero in this rom-com adventure. He’s a young man hopelessly in love with a girl named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to be with his lady love, Scott must fight her evil exes, six guys, one girl, who challenge him to truly strange contests. The film is a cinematic mash-up of Japanese anime and gamer culture, intended for the crowd who grew up on Nintendo and comic books, but it brings plenty of laughs all the same.
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
The early aughts action-comedy borrows elements from famous Kung Fu films of the ’70s and pairs them with a completely silly plot and some impressive cartoon-style fight sequences. The film follows the exploits of two friends, Sing and Bone, who impersonate gang members in the hopes of joining a gang themselves and inadvertently strike up a gang war that nearly destroys the slums of the city. Of course, the real draw here is the absurdist, over-the-top comedy that takes place during some of the film’s biggest action sequences. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, but only if you check your brain at the door.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Lethal Weapon practically invented the buddy cop comedy movie and though it’s spawned plenty of copy cats – a few worthy ones land on this list – it’s still one of the best action comedies around. The humor comes thanks to the chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover who play mismatched partners (one’s crazy, the other’s aging out). They must learn to work together to stop a ring of drug smugglers but the endgame isn’t as important as their budding friendship – ridiculous hijinks and all.
Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Look, it’s hard to keep track of the Marvel Universe timeline so we’re not going to explain where Ant-Man and the Wasp fits into the grander scheme of this blockbuster monopoly. The only thing you really need to know about this action flick, which sees Paul Rudd returning to play the shrinking superhero and Evangeline Lily playing his partner in fighting crime, is that it’s a hell of a good watch. Rudd returns to the character more seasoned in the superhero verse and thus, more comfortable with his leading man status, but he benefits greatly from a team-up with Lily and a well-written script. Just don’t expect him to have this superhero thing down quite yet. Where would be the fun in that?
Bad Boys (1995)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in this foul-mouthed buddy comedy film as two detectives tasked with protecting a witness while investigating a case of stolen heroin from their own precinct’s evidence storage facility. Marcus (Lawrence) and Mike (Smith) have been friends since childhood and are now working the beat together in Miami. When $100 million of heroin goes missing from their unit’s storage facility, they’re sent to track down who might have taken it before Internal Affairs intercedes. Smith and Lawrence have an easy, lived-in chemistry that really sells this thing, and the action’s not too bad either.
Bad Boys II (2003)
Run Time: 147 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
We wouldn’t go so far as to say that this sequel outperforms the original Smith-Lawrence team-up, but everyone seems to forget about Bad Boys II when discussing this franchise and that’s just not cool. There’s plenty to love about this follow-up that sees Marcus and Mike investigating a Cuban drug-lord with an ecstasy empire (and a rat infestation). Gabrielle Union pops up as Marcus’ little sister who’s knee-deep in an undercover sting and hooking up with Mike on the side. It’s a situation rife with drama, which leads to some Grade-A bickering between the two bros – usually during freeway chases and gang shoot-outs.
The Hangover (2009)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Congratulations to Todd Phillips for all the Joker success but it’s this action-packed bro-comedy that really deserves our praise. The concept is simple: a group of guys heads to Vegas for a bachelor party that quickly goes off the rails. When the groom disappears, the three remaining friends must figure out what happened to him before the wedding. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis play the groomsman battling hangovers to find their boy and watching them retrace their steps — which include hasty marriages to strippers, stealing a police car, being roofied, and getting on the bad side of a local Chinese gangster – is all the fun here.
The Other Guys (2010)
Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make a surprisingly perfect comedic duo and the two draw on their Grumpy Old Men-like chemistry for this buddy cop action flick about two mismatched NYPD officers who uncover a plot by a multinational corporation to steal millions from the city’s police retirement fund. Wahlberg plays the brawns, a quick-tempered detective forced to babysit Ferrell’s mild-mannered accountant after he accidentally shot Derek Jeter during the World Series. That right there should tell you all you need to know about this film.
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 6.4/10
Man, Will Smith seems to pop up on this list a lot, doesn’t he? This is probably his weakest entry – a fantasy-tinged rom-com about a supernatural anti-hero content to drink himself into oblivion – but it still works. Smith plays the titular asshole, a failed superhero looking to rebrand himself as a good guy. That’s where Jason Bateman’s image consultant steps in but it’s his wife (played by Charlize Theron) who really holds the key to figuring out who this guy is and where he came from. Mostly though this movie is an excuse to let Smith play out his Marvel dreams, just with more drinking and cursing and sticking bad guys’ heads up other bad guys’ asses.
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 thinks they’re trying to kill them. In a series of events that escalate 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.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Another iconic, totally 90s action-comedy, this one stars Mike Meyers as the international man of mystery who’s had his mojo stolen by Dr. Evil. Heather Graham’s Agent Felicity Shagwell helps him recover it, with the two-time traveling back to the 60s to stop Dr. Evil from destroying the world. It’s everything you’d expect from this psychedelic franchise but Meyers is able to keep things fresh by playing his lothario super spy as, well, less sexy.
Mr. Right (2015)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
You’ve probably never heard of this rom-com starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell, which is a damn shame because the two have great chemistry on screen and the plot’s just quirky enough to feel refreshingly different from anything else on this list. Kendrick plays Martha, a woman reeling from a bad break-up and searching for direction in her life who meets Rockwell’s Francis, a hitman who targets his own employers and is on the run from a nasty government agent (and excellent Tim Roth). It’s weird, but in a fun way, ya know?
War on Everyone (2016)
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 5.6/10
Truth? The plot of this star-studded action-comedy flick is ridiculously convoluted. But it’s easy to overlook the weird twists and turns when you’ve got Michael Pena and Alexander Skarsgard riffing off each other for 90+ minutes. The two play corrupt detectives Terry Monroe and Bob Bolano who begin investigating a planned heist hoping to nab the payday for themselves. Tessa Thompson pops up as a former exotic dancer who helps in their scheme while Theo James plays a British businessman who may be too bad for even these terrible human beings to handle. It’s a fun caper that’s content to rest on the chemistry of its leads.
Nacho Libre (2006)
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 5.7/10
Jack Black carries this action-comedy based on a true story about a monk who moonlights as a Luchador. Black plays Ignacio, a cook for the orphanage he was raised in Mexico. Ignacio dreams of becoming a professional wrestler but is forbidden by his religious superiors. Instead, he adopts an alter-ego to compete in local tag-team matches to raise money for food for the orphanage. It’s a surprisingly heartwarming story, but you’re not here for that. You’re here to watch Black get pile-drived in the ring and stuff himself into some brightly-colored spandex. We get it.
Free Fire (2016)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.4/10