Last Updated: September 3rd
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. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Even if you’ve never seen any of the Monty Python films, you most certainly know of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s been quoted, memed, gif-ed, and idolized by comedy fans for generations. At its core, it’s a parody of the legends of King Arthur and his knights. It’s stocked with an impressive cast — John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, etc — and its full of eccentric characters, bizarre adventures, and gut-bustingly funny jokes. Think failed Trojan Rabbits, modern-day murder investigations, animated monsters, and musical numbers. Intellectual midgets everywhere will love it.
2. John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch (2019)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Comedian John Mulaney delivers another brilliantly off-kilter comedy special for Netflix, this time paying tribute to children’s programming of the past with Mulaney and some friends palling around with kids for most of the 70-minute runtime. Jake Gyllenhaal gets deliciously weird as Mr. Music, and there’s a tween talk show with Richard Kind, but it’s Mulaney — who foregoes a script in favor of honest, insightful, darkly comedic convos with these kids — who really shines here.
3. Airplane! (1980)
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
This disaster parody starring Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty has become a sort of cult classic over the years, mainly thanks to its slapstick comedy and verbal puns and gags, of which there are plenty. Hays plays an ex-fighter pilot (with a serious fear of flying), who must take over when the pilot of a commercial flight he’s on becomes ill.
4. 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.
5. The Lobster (2015)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in this dark, absurdist comedy about a man searching for love under some very strange circumstances. Farrell plays David, a man whose wife recently left him. David is sent to a hotel where he’s told he must find a mate within 45 days or be turned into an animal. While there, David witnesses strange rituals and must follow strict rules in order to find love, but it’s not until he ventures into the woods, where the “loners” live, that he pairs up with a woman (Weisz) who may be his soulmate. It’s weird, eccentric, and the perfect Farrell-starring vehicle.
6. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Eddie Murphy stages a bit of a comeback in this biopic about famed comedian, actor, showman Rudy Ray Moore, better known as Dolemite to fans of his raunchy comedy albums, stand-up tours, and blaxploitation films. Murphy plays Moore at the beginning of his career when he was just a record store clerk looking to break out in the business. He’s joined by a cast that includes Keegan-Michael Key, Ron Cephas Jones, Tituss Burgess, and others, but it’s Murphy who shines here, giving possibly the best performance of his career as a man who will stop at nothing to pursue his dream.
7. Spaceballs (1987)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Mel Brooks’ hilarious space odyssey has become something of a cult classic over the decades. It’s a parody of George Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy, so it follows the same plot: a rogue pilot and his sidekick must rescue a princess and save the galaxy, but instead of Startroopers, the bad guys are known as Space Balls, and everyone is hopelessly out of their depth playing hero (and villain).
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Edgar Wright’s 2010 action comedy about a hapless boy who must defeat evil ex-boyfriends in order to win the hand of the girl he loves is a fast-paced ride that bombards the senses. Michael Cera plays a loveable goof in the titular hero, a young man enamored with a woman 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.
9. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Run Time: 122 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in this drama that’s equal parts rom-com and a harrowing look at mental illness. Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a former high school teacher who recently completed a stint at a mental institution. Things aren’t going well for Pat. He’s moved back in with his overbearing parents (a wickedly-funny Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), his now ex-wife cheated on him, he doesn’t get along with his therapist, and he’s operating under the delusion that if he gets fit and gets his sh*t together, he can get his wife back. Lawrence plays Tiffany, a young woman with problems of her own. She’s depressed after the death of her husband and prefers sex with strangers to drown the pain. The two strike up a friendship that pushes both to their mental and emotional limits. It’s a messy, complicated love story, which makes for a nice change of pace if sappy-sweet rom-coms just aren’t doing it for you.
10. 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?
11. 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 ridiculous plot and some impressive cartoon-style fight sequences to produce a wholly original flick that we guarantee will make you marvel. The film follows the exploits of two friends, Sing and Bone, who impersonate gang members in the hopes of joining a gang themselves, but they 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.
12. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2009)
Run Time: 133 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
The Coen brothers are back with a slick new Western romp, one that serves as an ode to all of the tropes present in Hollywood’s best Wild West adaptations. Split into six parts, each story is loosely connected although thematically and tonally different. Tim Blake Nelson stars as the titular hero, a sharpshooting songster who takes part in the film’s opening musical portion. From there, we get stories of outlaws getting their due, prospectors mining for gold, ghostly hauntings, and wagon trails. Forget trying to follow the thread and simply enjoy the ride with this one.
13. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 7/10
Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, and Mark Duplass star in this quirky, soulful comedy from director Colin Trevorrow. Johnson plays a disillusioned reporter who, along with two weird interns (Plaza and Karan Soni) travel to do a story on a guy who put a time-travel ad in the local paper. Duplass plays that guy, a paranoid, genuinely kind man who forms a bond with Plaza’s offbeat Darius and invites her to be his partner on his next trip. From there, things just get even more strange.
14. 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.
15. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga (2020)
Run Time: 123 min | IMDb: 6.6/10
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams take on the planet’s most-watched singing competition with this campy comedy about an Icelandic duo named Fire Saga, who are set on achieving glory on the world’s biggest stage. Ferrell and McAdams play Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, artists chosen to represent their nation in the Eurovision Song Contest, a real competition that features musicians from all over the world, who are often performing in wild get-ups. Dan Stevens almost steals the show while Pierce Brosnan and Demi Lovato make appearances. We’re calling it now: “Volcano Man” is going to be a bop for the ages.
16. Pineapple Express (2008)
Run Time: 111 min | IMDb: 7/10
Seth Rogen and James Franco star in this comedy about a process server and his drug dealer who go on the run from a couple of hitmen. Rogen plays Dale, a 25-year-old slacker who witnesses a murder and is hunted (along with his drug dealer Saul, played by Franco) by a drug lord intent on silencing him before he can go to the police. The two get into all kinds of hijinks involving Asian mobsters, barn explosions, and nursing homes.
17. Swiss Army Man (2016)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7/10
If you like your wanderlust just a bit on the weird side, may we recommend this adventure comedy starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Dano plays Hank, a man marooned on an island, ready to commit suicide, before a corpse washes ashore. Radcliffe plays the dead man, whom Hank soon befriends and discovers he can manipulate like a Swiss Army Knife. As Hank treks through the wilderness in search of civilization, he uses the corpse, which slowly comes to life, goes by the name Manny, and, at one point, is used as a jet-ski powered by uncontrollable flatulence, to reconnect with the world around him. It’s strange, there’s lots of farting, but there’s also some great Survivor Man-type of adventuring going on.
18. Being John Malkovich (1999)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
For anyone surprised that John Malkovich was the funniest thing about Netflix’s recently released Space Force, I’d like to point you to this Spike Jonze fantasy mindf*ck. Malkovich has been a comedy giant since the ’90s, but he masks his funny in truly weird vehicles, like this movie about a puppeteer (John Cusack) who discovers a portal that leads into the mind of actor John Malkovich. It’s bizarre, but the funniest things usually are.
19. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Jim Carrey is the king of creating iconic, over-the-top comedy characters, but he really outdoes himself with this ’90s flick about a detective who specializes in cases involving animals. Ventura is hired to solve the case of the Miami Dolphin’s missing mascot after a pair of kidnappers hold the dolphin hostage. He’s pretty terrible at the job, but that’s where all the laughs come from.
20. Lady Bird (2017)
Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Greta Gerwig’s love letter to her hometown of Sacramento, California follows Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as they navigate the often-frustrating relationship between mother and daughter. Ronan plays “Ladybird,” a young woman attending Catholic school who longs for the culture and change of scenery that New York City promises. Her mother, Metcalf, is overbearing and overprotective, and the family’s lack of money and social standing contributes to a rift between the two. Some hard truths are explored in this film, but watching Ronan manage teenage angst, first love, and everything in between will give you all kinds of nostalgia.
21. The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (2019)
Run Time: 30 min | IMDb: 7/10
Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island crew have given us plenty of comedy gems over the years, but this may be one of their more inventive shorts. The group spoofs notorious baseball stars Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire in this visual rap album that imagines the brothers in their heyday. Think Beyonce’s Lemonade but, you know, sports.
22. The Money Pit (1986)
Run Time: 91 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
A timeless Tom Hanks comedy classic, The Money Pit is a cautionary tale for every couple who is considering buying a fixer-upper and turning it into the home of their dreams. It’s more likely to become a nightmare, but Hanks and Shelly Long at least make a seriously funny and occasionally sweet nightmare. It also contains the best laugh scene in the history of comedy. Ahh, home crap home!
23. Someone Great (2019)
Run Time: 92 min | IMDb: 6.2/10
Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, and DeWanda Wise team up for this romantic comedy about a young woman’s final hurrah before leaving NYC. Rodriguez plays a journalist named Jenny who must pack up her life, leave her friends, and travel to the West Coast for an exciting job opportunity. Unfortunately for her, her boyfriend of nearly 10 years decides to call it quits, which leaves Jenny on the party warpath, determined to have one final night of fun before her big trip. Lakeith Stanfield also stars in this, and with Netflix’s pretty stellar rom-com track record lately, bet on this being a fun watch.
24. Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 6.3/10
The Coen brothers give fans another ridiculous romp supported by a mind-blowing cast of A-listers — think George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton… really, we could go on. The film follows Brolin’s Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer in the 1950s trying to uncover what happened to a major star who disappeared while filming an upcoming studio blockbuster. Hijinks ensue when nosy reporters and paranoid movie execs get involved.
25. 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.
26. The Long Dumb Road (2018)
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 6.1/10
Jason Mantzoukas plays the road trip buddy from hell in this adventure comedy from Hannah Fidell. Mantzoukas is an enraged car mechanic (and probably an alcoholic) who invites himself along when college-bound teenager Nat (Tony Revolori) offers him a ride into town. That small gesture of kindness backfires in a big way when Richard (Mantzoukas) hijacks the trip, struggling to manage his past mistakes and bleak outlook while Nat pursues his dream of photographing the original Americana.
27. Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
Run Time: 89 min | IMDb: 5.7/10
Come for Chris Evans, pre-Captain America, playing a dim-witted jock with a narcissistic streak, stay for the rest of the flick which dedicates itself to poking fun at classic high school movie tropes in increasingly ridiculous ways. The basic premise is, well, basic: Chyler Leigh plays Janey Briggs, an “ugly,” unpopular reject who takes of her glasses and suddenly becomes the hottest thing in school. Evans plays Jake Wyler, the dude who falls for her after making a bet. There are a lot of other familiar clichés here, and they’re just stupid enough to be funny.
28. Frances Ha (2012)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Before Greta Gerwig was directing Oscar-nominated, coming-of-age dramas, she was writing and starring in this black-and-white dramedy about a young woman also trying to find her way in the professional dance world of New York City. Gerwig is magnetic in the titular role of Frances, a dancer dissatisfied with her career prospects and forced to contemplate a move to Tribeca on the whim of her best friend and roommate. That trek across Manhattan serves as a jumping off point for Frances, who travels home, then to France, before settling in Washington Heights on her journey to self-discovery.
29. Mirror Mirror (2012)
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 5.6/10
Tarsem Singh’s silly take on a storybook classic often gets a bad rap. Yes, it’s ridiculous and over-the-top, but it’s got a handful of great performances from Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, and Armie Hammer. And it’s gorgeous to look at. The story’s what you’d expect: Roberts’ evil queen takes over the kingdom, Collins’ Snow White fights to get it back. Hammer plays the bumbling love interest. There’s a gang of dwarves, who are equal parts badass-and-completely-incompetent. It doesn’t take much to find the funny in this retelling. Not every childhood fable adaptation has to be serious, guys.
30. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Ali Wong and Randall Park star in the latest rom-com from Netflix. This time around, the plot follows two childhood sweethearts who’ve spent the last 15 years apart and try to reconnect when one moves back home. Wong plays a successful chef opening a new restaurant in San Francisco while Park plays her former best friend still living at home and working for his dad. Both have some growing up to do, but the film eschews classic romcom tropes for bits that are funnier and more poignant than your average lighthearted fare.
Recent Changes Through September 2020:
Removed: Bad Boys, Tootsie, Clueless, Groundhog Day
Added: Safety Not Guaranteed, Not Another Teen Movie, Pineapple Express, The Long Dumb Road