Updated on September 20th, 2018
Be it slapstick, cheap jokes, or dry wit, we just wanna have fun in life. These days, it’s hard to separate great movies into specific genres, as the best of them often mix lightness and darkness, humor and pathos.
Herewith, the funniest movies on the horizon in the recent years which have been the bleakest, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood has completely given up on delivering LOLs to audiences. From the old, new, mainstream and experimental, this is the definitive list of the greatest comedies ever made.
How do you go about deciding on the list of 20 best comedy movies of all time? Well, you start by asking the experts. That’s why we approached our favourite comedians, actors, directors and writers to canvass their choices. So scroll through all 20 entries and work out how many films in our list you’ve seen.
For more of the best films, check out our companion lists for romance, horror, sci-fi and action movies. So as we gear up for some imported laughs, check out our rundown of The 20 Best Comedy Movies of All Time.
1. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
Discover Donna’s (Meryl Streep, Lily James) young life, experiencing the fun she had with the three possible dads of Sophie (Amanda Seyfriend).
Sophie is now pregnant. Like Donna, she’ll be a young mother, and she realizes that she’ll need to take risks like her mother did.
Review: Anthony Lane
If you had never heard of Alexander McQueen, and knew nothing of his trade, the opening credits of a new documentary, “McQueen,” would leave you none the wiser. We see butterflies, a cranium’s dome, and scaly skin of many dazzling hues.
Was he a lepidopterist, then, or a forensic archeologist, or an authority on chameleons? Or is this the tale of a serial killer and his dark, duplicitous art? Read Full Review…
2. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)
Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel.
The rest of Drac’s Pack cannot resist going along. But once they leave port, romance arises when Dracula meets the mysterious ship Captain, Ericka.
Now it’s Mavis’ turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his “too good to be true” love interest is actually a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, ancient nemesis to Dracula and all other monsters.
Review: Jamie Righetti
Adam Sandler and his spooky pals take a “Summer Vacation” and remind us all of the power of acceptance and understanding. Even on a good day, it’s easy to feel like America has turned into a horror movie, where the terrors of “The Purge” franchise feel all too real outside of the theater.
The need to escape to the movies looms large this summer, not just to beat the heat, but to feel good again. “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” delivers this and more, promising a great time for children, parents, and fans of the funny franchise. Read Full Review…
3. Incredibles 2 (2018)
While the Parr family has accepted its collective calling as superheroes, the fact remains that their special heroism is still illegal. After they are arrested after unsuccessfully trying to stop the Underminer, their future seems bleak.
However, the wealthy Deavor siblings of Devtech offer new hope with a bold project to rehabilitate the public image and legal status of Supers, with Elastigirl being assigned on point to be the shining example. Read Full Description…
Review: Richard Brody
The very premise of Brad Bird’s 2004 Pixar film, “The Incredibles,” pits “a world of born” against “a world of made,” and comes down strongly in favour of the former.
The villain of the story is Buddy Pine, a.k.a. Syndrome, a warped genius who creates a device that can rival the powers of superheroes, especially those of Mr Incredible, a.k.a. Bob Parr. Read Full Review…
4. Suits (2011)
While running from a drug deal gone bad, Mike Ross, a brilliant young college dropout, slips into a job interview with one of New York City’s best legal closers, Harvey Specter.
Tired of cookie-cutter law school grads, Harvey takes a gamble by hiring Mike on the spot after he recognizes his raw talent and photographic memory. Mike and Harvey are a winning team. Read Full…
Review: Terry Ramsey
Harvey Spector is a sharp-suited, suave, charismatic but essentially heartless New York lawyer who needs to take on a young trainee (or “associate”) – someone to mould into his own likeness.
“Arrogant, self-absorbed, blowhard, thinks of himself as the smartest one in the room,” as his assistant says. Mike Ross is a college drop-out genius with a photographic memory who earns a few dollars by sitting exams on behalf of failing students but has always dreamed of being a lawyer. Read Full Review…
5. Deadpool 2 (2018)
After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste.
Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavour – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.
Review: Richard Brody
In many ways, “Deadpool 2” is an improvement on its predecessor. Like the first film in the series, it’s largely a comedy, because of the torrent of snark that the protagonist (Ryan Reynolds) spouts, onscreen and in voice-over, from beginning to end—and because much of the action, even when it deals with earnest matters, is shaped to match these antic attitudes.
The drama of “Deadpool 2” is more sharply focussed than in the earlier film. The first “Deadpool” set out the protagonist’s grim origin story. Read Full Review…
6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)
Captain Ray Holt takes over Brooklyn’s 99th precinct, which includes Detective Jake Peralta, a talented but carefree detective who’s used to doing whatever he wants.
The other employees of the 99th precinct include Detective Amy Santiago, Jake’s over achieving and competitive partner; Detective Rosa Diaz, a tough and kept to herself coworker; Detective Charles Boyle, Jake’s best friend who also has crush on Rosa; Detective Sergeant Terry Jeffords, who was recently taken off the field after the birth of his twin girls; and Gina Linetti, the precinct’s sarcastic administrator.
Review: David Hinckley
Just the facts, Ma’am: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is the funniest and most satisfying new broadcast sitcom of the season.
It’s a police comedy, a concept that’s tricky to execute because you’re always bumping into subjects like rape and murder.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” dodges this, at least in the beginning, by positioning its cast as a half dozen funny people who happen to work in a cop shop. Read Full Review…
7. Ocean’s Eight (2018)
Danny Ocean’s estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
Review: Christopher Orr
“You are not doing this for me. You are not doing this for you. Somewhere out there is an 8-year-old girl dreaming of becoming a criminal. Do this for her.”
Thus does the master thief Debbie Ocean exhort her female partners in crime on the eve of their big jewellery heist in the director Gary Ross’s Ocean’s 8. Read Full Review…
8. Shameless (2011)
Watch the Irish American family the Gallagher’s deal with their alcoholic father Frank. Fiona, the eldest daughter, takes the role of the parent to her five brothers and sisters.
Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam deal with life on the South Side of Chicago. Fiona balances her sex life and raising her siblings.
Every episode is another crazy situation that one or more of the Gallagher six get into. Watch them grow and learn how to make their way in life with what little they have.
Review: Brian Tallerico
The reason that Frank’s shot at “Worst Parent of the Year” can be used as black comedy is because the kids are pretty damn self-sufficient.
They are led by Fiona (a surprisingly-effective Emmy Rossum), the tough-but-beautiful oldest daughter who works several jobs while also finding time to manage paying the bills (which most of the family contribute to paying) and handling family drama. Read Full Review…
9. Sorry to Bother You (2018)
In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.
Review: Michael Phillips
“Sorry to Bother You” is about a telemarketer who becomes a superstar, for a price. It’s a science fiction allegory, though the science fiction angle emerges late in the game.
It’s a provocative, serious, ridiculous, screwy concoction about whiteface, cultural code-switching, African-American identities and twisted new forms of wage slavery, beyond previously known ethical limits. Read Full Review…
10. Orange Is the New Black (2013)
Convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend, normally law abiding Piper Chapman is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life changing prison can really be.
Review: Candice Frederick
While actress Anna Gunn’s outspoken New York Times piece that addressed some viewers’ harsh perception of complex female characters continues to stir online debate, lets expand the discussion to a series that flashes a similarly uncompromising light on its female characters- Orange Is The New Black.
Have you heard of it? If you haven’t, you really need to get on it and quick. It’s one of the latest series in Netflix’s impressive original programming that follows the lives of federal female prisoners. Read Full Review…
11. Blockers (2018)
Three parents try to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night.This film was produced by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, the creators of “Superbad.”
“Superbad” is a film about three high-school friends who try to have sex before graduation. A very similar story to “Blockers,” except “Superbad” features male protagonists rather than female.
Review: Joshua Rothkopf
Proving once again—especially after last year’s Girls Trip and The Big Sick—that comedies are the undiscovered country for expert (if not Oscar-nominated) acting, Blockers gives the willowy, trembling Leslie Mann two bookends that are, without a doubt, her finest onscreen moments.
In the first, she’s offering tame suggestions to her prom-bound, sex-minded daughter (“Mom, are you going to be okay?” the kid asks, legit concerned). Read Full Review…
12. Super Troopers 2 (2018)
When a border dispute arises between the U.S. and Canada, the Super Troopers are tasked with establishing a Highway Patrol station in the disputed area.
Review: Chris Nashawaty
Seventeen years is an eternity in comedy. But apparently there were still enough die-hard fans of the 2001 comedy Super Troopers to bust their piggy banks and pony up for the largely crowd-funded Super Troopers 2. Unfortunately for them, it’s probably too late to get their money back.
Released somewhat fittingly on 4/20, the high holy day on the calendar for stoners, the latest slapdash effort from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Club Dread, Beer fest) isn’t aggressively terrible or outrageously offensive. Read Full Review…
13. I Feel Pretty (2018)
In I Feel Preety a woman who struggles with feelings of deep insecurity and low self-esteem, that hold her back everyday, wakes from a brutal fall in an exercise class believing she is suddenly a supermodel.
With this newfound confidence she is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly, but what will happen when she realizes her appearance never changed?
Review: Christopher Orr
The comedy I Feel Pretty seems like an Apatowian undertaking in almost every regard: modestly high-concept, gently moralistic, and starring Amy Schumer, who had her big-screen breakthrough in Apatow’s 2015 movie Trainwreck.
All that’s missing is any actual participation by Apatow himself—which is a pity, because the intelligence and nuance (not to mention humor) customary in his work are precisely what this film could have used. Read Full Review…
14. Tully (2018)
The film is about Marlo, a mother of three including a newborn, who is gifted a night nanny by her brother.
Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
Review: David Sims
Tully was scripted by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (who collaborated with Reitman on Juno and Young Adult); she’s said the film touches on her own experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her third child.
In its first act, the movie presents that situation with stark simplicity.Nothing’s outwardly wrong—Marlo’s new child is healthy, and her husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), is supportive, if a bit distant- Read Full Review…
15. NCIS (2003)
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is the leader of a team of special agents belonging to the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) Major Case Response Team.
Gibbs, a former Marine, is a tough investigator and a highly skilled interrogator who relies on his gut instinct as much as evidence. Read Full…
Review: Sierra Filucci
For many years, CBS was regarded casually as a network aimed at the elderly. With series such as Murder, She Wrote and the investigative journalism warhorse 60 Minutes, it’s easy to understand the generalization.
NCIS feels like a leftover from that era of programming; lead investigator Gibbs spends so much time glaring at his younger co-workers that you expect him to explode at any moment with a “Get off my lawn, you hippies!” Read Full Review…
16. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose.
What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves – or they’ll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.
Review: Adam Graham
“Welcome to the Jungle” concerns four high school stereotypes — a nerd, a jock, a babe, a rebel — who get sent to detention at high school. Within this “Breakfast Club” scenario, they stumble upon a video game of “Jumanji” from the mid-’90s Sega Genesis-era.
The kids get sucked into the game — hate when that happens! — where their avatars are misaligned with their personalities. Read Full Review…
17. Rick and Morty (2013)
An animated series on adult-swim about the infinite adventures of Rick, a genius alcoholic and careless scientist, with his grandson Morty, a 14 year-old anxious boy who is not so smart.
Together, they explore the infinite universes; causing mayhem and running into trouble.
Review: Sabienna Bowman
Rick and Morty takes what would be in any other creator’s hands a wacky sitcom plot and turns it into a demented, wickedly funny half-hour of animated child endangerment and inappropriate sex jokes.
The general premise is Grandpa Rick, a truly mad scientist, moves into the home of his daughter, her husband and two children. He takes her son, Morty, a not-so-bright kid, under his wing. Read Full Review…
18. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)
After Portland slacker John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) nearly loses his life in a car accident, the last thing he intends to do is give up drinking.
But when he reluctantly enters treatment – with encouragement from his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and a charismatic sponsor (Jonah Hill) – Callahan discovers a gift for drawing edgy, irreverent newspaper cartoons that develop a national following and grant him a new lease on life. Read Full…
Review: Barry Hertz
The actor – never a simple chameleon, but someone who disappears into a role entirely with a frightening conviction – continues to display new and tremendous range here with his latest drama, a biopic of paraplegic cartoonist John Callahan. And his decision to reteam with his To Die For director Gus Van Sant must have seemed wise on paper.
Phoenix is left to burden the entirety of the production, with Van Sant constructing an aggressively conventional character study that attempts to constrain and diminish Phoenix’s efforts at every turn. Read Full Review…
19. Jane the Virgin (2014)
Jane is a religious young Latina who is a waitress in a hotel in Miami. Her life takes a big turn for the unexpected when her doctor (Dr. Luisa Alver) mistakenly artificially inseminates her during her checkup.
Jane’s mother Xiomara, who became pregnant with Jane at a very young age, is scared that Jane will be destroying her life by deciding to bring the baby to full term, while Jane’s traditional religious Latina grandmother, Alba, encourages Jane to do what she chooses.
Review: Tom Conroy
When foreign TV shows are adapted for the American market, the creators usually do their best to hide anything that would suggest provenance. But sometimes the premise simply doesn’t work out of its original context.
The CW’s new comedy “Jane the Virgin” has such an absurd and implausible setup that the creators must have decided they need to flag its origins as a Spanish-language telenovela, thus signalling that we should expect melodrama full of improbable turns and coincidences. Read Full Review…
20. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
The Drac pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2! Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania.
Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. Read Full….
Review: Christy Lemire
“Hotel Transylvania 2” is the greatest movie Adam Sandler and Kevin James have ever made together. I believe this is called “damning with faint praise,” given their dubious track record (“I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry,” various “Grown Ups” movies, “Pixels”) but it also happens to be true, and relevant.
The sequel to the 2012 animated hit “Hotel Transylvania” falls squarely within the segment of Sandler’s oeuvre in which middle-aged dudes lament feeling out of touch with the young people today and their rock and roll music and what not. Read Full Review…
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