The Absolute Funniest Comedies on Netflix
Unwind with these hilarious films.
If you're looking for a funny movie to give you a few laughs when you're spending a night in, Netflix is an oasis, offering a wide range of comedy classics and new releases. Whether you're a rom-com fan or tend toward frat-house humor, these are the best comedies on Netflix to put a smile on your face.
Can't get into college? Make your own! That's the premise behind Steve Pink's Justin Long-starring comedy, and it's just as difficult as it sounds. Blake Lively, Lewis Black, and a very young, very funny Jonah Hill round out the cast for a whole course load full of shenanigans. The comedy has its fair share of partying and crude jokes—it is a slacker's dream to get a degree in skateboarding or psychokinesis—but somewhat surprisingly, this one's really one for the stick it to the system underdogs out there.
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
One of the best entries in Netflix's ongoing attempt to dominate the romantic comedy genre, Always Be My Maybe pairs friends Ali Wong and Randall Park as Sasha and Marcus, pals from childhood who drifted apart after an awkward moment in their teens. (It involves the loss of virginity, a terrible car, and repressed emotions.) Sasha went on to be a successful chef, while Marcus was content living with his dad, playing in a band, and being a chill stoner. They're reunited when she moves back to the Bay Area, and their chemistry flares back up. Of course, it's not an easy path to romance, and one detour involves Keanu Reeves playing a keyed-up, obnoxious version of himself. It's worth watching just for the Keanu of it all, but Wong and Randall's ability to bounce off one another is just as charming.
Bad Trip (2021)
There are hidden camera pranks meant to embarrass or provoke the prankee to the point that they're practically forced to react out of an animalistic type of anger, and then there are the others that are simply there to capture everyday human behavior in the face of absolute absurdity. Bad Trip, the logical extension of the unpredictable gags featured on The Eric Andre Show, is the latter, even in its most egregiously ridiculous stunts. With the narrative backbone of Chris Carey (Eric Andre) and Bud Malone (Lil Rel Howery) road tripping from Florida to New York to pursue Chris's unrequited love (Michaela Conlin) in Bud's sister Trina's (Tiffany Haddish) hot pink car, the cast ingeniously use the film's interpersonal conflicts to engage the people they encounter along the way, soliciting advice, asking for help, and bonding with generally receptive locals from the Deep South up to New Jersey. The result is a hilarious and lighthearted take on the genre from Jackass producer Jeff Tremaine, The Eric Andre Show's director Kitao Sakurai, some very funny comedians, and the demented meme king of goofing around.
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Eddie Murphy waited for years to get this movie about comedian and blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore made, and you can feel his joy in finally getting to play this role every second he's on screen. The film, directed by Hustle & Flow's Craig Brewer, charts how Moore rose from record store employee, to successful underground comedian, to making his now-cult classic feature Dolemite by sheer force of passion. It's thrilling (and hilarious) to watch Murphy adopt Moore's Dolemite persona, a swaggering pimp, but it's just as satisfying to see the former SNL star capture his character at his lowest points. He's surrounded by an ensemble that matches his infectious energy.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
As romanticized as adolescence is in TV and movies, it’s hard being young. Following the high school experience of troubled, overdramatic Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), The Edge of Seventeen portrays the woes of adolescence with a tender, yet appropriately cheeky tone. As if junior year isn’t hellish enough, the universe essentially bursts into flames when Nadine finds out her best friend is dating her brother; their friendship begins to dissolve, and she finds the only return on young love is embarrassment and pain. That may all sound like a miserable premise for a young-adult movie, except it’s all painfully accurate, making it endearingly hilarious—and there’s so much to love about Steinfeld’s self-aware performance.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Even if you aren't already invested in the cult of Eurovision, the singing competition that keeps a huge swath of the world rapt every year, you'll probably be charmed by Eurovision, Will Ferrell's ode to the bizarre annual event. Ferrell stars alongside Rachel McAdams as Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, an Icelandic duo that make up the band Fire Saga. These goofy musicians land a spot in Eurovision (with the help of some elves) and go on a wild and sweet adventure. Playing like Talladega Nights meets Billy Elliot, it's an absolute joy, and the music is great. (Play Jaja Ding Dong!)
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
The Coen brothers' 1950s Hollywood period piece might sounds too good to be true, as it has Tilda Swinton pulling double duty as identical twins and rivaling gossip columnists; George Clooney getting kidnapped in ancient Roman garb; Scarlett Johansson enjoying a Busby Berkeley moment; Jonah Hill flexing his very strong forearms; Channing Tatum singing and dancing; and Alden Ehrenreich stealing the spotlight in goofy fashion. But it really offers a delicious swirl of genres and stories, with a little something for every kind of viewer to enjoy.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
This New Zealand backwoods adventure roughs up every single coming-of-age cliché. Julian Dennison's Ricky is an absent-minded, hip-hop-obsessed, rebellious orphan. His grizzled foster father Hec (Sam Neill) would like nothing more than to ship the little [expletive] back to government care. When the two find themselves stranded in the woods, mistaken for on-the-lam criminals, they decide to own it. Wilderpeople is a generous genre blend, with director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows) finding cheeky jokes in the duo's perilous journey. Backed by a synthy, horror-esque score and lush backdrops in the Kiwi bush, Wilderpeople is a wonderful, transportive comedy with a tenderness for its main characters.
Lady Bird (2017)
The dizzying, frustrating, exhilarating rite of passage that is senior year of high school is the focus of actress Greta Gerwig's first directorial effort, the story of girl named Lady Bird (her given name, in that "it’s given to me, by me") who rebels against everyday Sacramento, California life to obtain whatever it is "freedom" turns out to be. Laurie Metcalf is an understated powerhouse as Lady Bird's mother, a constant source of contention who doggedly pushes her daughter to be successful in the face of the family's dwindling economic resources. It's a tragic note in total complement to Gerwig's hysterical love letter to home, high school, and the history of ourselves.
Legally Blonde (2001)
This sweet, effervescent rom-com about a Malibu sorority girl transplanted to Harvard Law School was the role that made Reese Witherspoon a star. Her Elle Woods could have been a ditzy caricature, but instead, Witherspoon exudes intellect and charm, whether she's bending-and-snapping at the salon or solving a murder trial with her knowledge of perm maintenance. It's also the rare rom-com that's actually funny; laugh-out-loud performances and ridiculously quotable lines ("You got into Harvard Law?" "What? Like it's hard?") turn Legally Blonde into an endlessly rewatchable cult classic.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
This alien-invasion comedy, inspired by the trading-card series from the 1960s, is the rare studio comedy bent on sadistic fun. While Mars Attacks! didn't demand director Tim Burton's usual design work, his morbid, cartoonish sense of humor spawned unforgettable images: the stampede of burning cattle, Sarah Jessica Parker's head sewed onto the body of a Chihuahua, and the coup de grâce, alien heads exploding to the wailing beat of Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call." It's the filmmaker's silliest blockbuster, and continues to be the antidote to 20 years of Roland Emmerich's self-serious sci-fi movie carnage.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
The legendary British comedy troupe took the legend of King Arthur and offered a characteristically irreverent take on it in their second feature film. It's rare for comedy to hold up this well, but the timelessness of lines like, "I fart in your general direction!" "It's just a flesh wound," and "Run away!" makes this a movie worth watching again and again.
Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
Your parents may have tried to anoint you into watching good comedy by showing you Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a kid, but the much more adult Life of Brian might be even funnier. The British group made a divine, (un)holy movie with this one, following Brian of Nazareth, some guy who was also born on Christmas night, just next door to Jesus, and has to spend his life being mistaken for the messiah. From these masters of satire, it's equal parts slapstick and intelligent, presenting a silly set up ripe for jokes, as well as criticism of the church.
Our Idiot Brother (2011)
Who doesn't love Paul Rudd? Nobody! It's impossible not to love the hilarious, endearing everyman who's been making us laugh in small and big roles alike in comedies since the '90s. He's at the heart of this offbeat movie, playing the titular idiotic brother, Ned. This one might not be as much of a lovable surprise if Rudd didn't lead the cast as his hippie dippy character who's out on his luck after being arrested for selling weed, but he does and he brings a certain charm as he couch surfs and shakes up the lives of his sisters (Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, and Emily Mortimer). Seriously, Ned and this movie aren't so idiotic after all: You'll find yourself welcoming his enlightened teachings and sense of humor.
School of Rock (2003)
"God of Rock, thank you for this chance to kick ass", and also for this lovable GOAT of a comedy written by Mike White and directed by Richard Linklater. The movie remains one of Jack Black's most iconic performances, as he balances his Tenacious D persona with being a kid's movie star in order to play failed-guitarist-turned-fake-substitute-teacher Dewey Finn. When he's strapped for cash and takes on a teaching gig, he develops his most punk scheme yet: turning a class of prep school musical prodigies into a rock group primed for Battle of the Bands.
Step Brothers (2008)
Adam McKay's movie about two oversized, curly haired weirdos whose parents get married is the ultimate portrait of the Large Adult Son. What's so wonderful about Step Brothers is how the truly bizarre behavior of Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly), thrown together thanks to the shotgun nuptials of their respective mother and father, goes largely unexplained. They just are their Powerade-drinking, drum-loving selves, kings of chaos whose arrested development infects everyone else around them. Their performances made for dozens of quotable jokes that had people in a chokehold for years after its release, and will still have you cracking up, all the way to the Catalina Wine Mixer.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Anchorman gets most of the credit and praise as the pinnacle of Will Ferrell's blockbuster movie career, but Talladega Nights is worthy of comparison. As Ricky Bobby, the loud-mouthed, Coke-swigging, Southern-fried NASCAR driver, Ferrell critiques and celebrates a certain sector of American life. You might not want the world to be like Talladega Nights, but given where things currently stand, the Ricky Bobby version of America might be a (slight) improvement.
The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (2019)
This really is the unauthorized Bash Brothers experience. Famed home-run hitters Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, who buddied up on the Oakland Athletics in the '80s, never released a rap album together—and it's totally nonsensical to imagine they might've. So The Lonely Island turned that fantasy into a short film that's everything fans of the group could want and more. Andy Samberg is Canseco, Akiva Schaffer is McGwire, and for 30 minutes they deliver a bitchin', extremely '80s visual album with songs that are actually kind of a grand slam. Just watch it: It's a home run.
Yes, God, Yes (2020)
Yes, God, Yes is a hysterical, humble indie of divine intervention. The film from Karen Maine is a teen raunch comedy that's totally unlike other teen raunch comedies, following a high school girl (Stranger Things' Natalia Dyer) as she wrestles with newfound sexual urges while on a repressive, conservative church retreat. Dyer is utterly charming in the role as a naive but defiant young woman turned off by her peers' holier than thou attitudes, and the film's setting in the early '00s featuring flip phones and scandalous AIM chat rooms makes it all the more laughable. It's a rare sex comedy that has as much to say about the embarrassments of coming-of-age as it does about self-righteousness, and for that it feels like a teen movie sent down from the heavens.