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The 25 funniest comedies on Netflix UK

From rom-coms to dramedies, these films bring the laughs.

Written by
Andy Kryza
Written by
Tom Huddleston
,
Ellie Walker-Arnott
&
Matthew Singer
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In need of a laugh? Who doesn't in this day and age? Thankfully, Netflix has plenty. Over the years, the platform has grown into a comedy goldmine, particularly when it comes to exclusive stand-up specials. But the streaming giant’s collection of classic comedy films is impressive, too. Whether you’re looking to settle into a cozy romcom, a teary dramedy or a straight-up turn-off-your-brain guffaw-fest, it’s streamable right now.

On the other hand, as with every other genre, there's also a lot of numbers-juicing garbage to sift through as well. And nothing can make a bad mood worse than when you're hoping to laugh your cares away and just end up staring stone-faced at a glowing screen for 90 minutes. To help find the right chuckle for you, here are the 25 best comedies streaming on Netflix in the UK right now we guarantee will put a smile on your face - and maybe even that odd grimace you make when you find something really hilarious.

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💻 The 30 best movies on Netflix UK right now

The funniest films on Netflix UK

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Directors: Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam

Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin

It may lack the authority-baiting, satire-with-a-purpose edge of Life of Brian, but Holy Grail is the looser, sillier, ultimately funnier film, packed with goofy laughs rather than hey-I-get-that cleverness. It’s aged better too, less beholden to outdated notions of race and revolutionary politics and more reliant on slapstick violence, sudden explosions, surrealist wordplay and scatological asides. Ni!

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Greg Mottola

Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone

On paper, Superbad sounds a lot like a throwback to ‘80s sex romps, featuring, as it does, a trio of awkward teens on a quest to score booze and lose their V-cards. What a joy, then, when what emerges is a gross-out cousin to Dazed and Confused – a John Hughes-indebted hangout comedy examining friendship at the cusp of adulthood through a series of hysterically cringey set pieces. This is the film that made Jonah Hill and Emma Stone household names, but it’s the genuine pathos lurking beneath all the vomit and f-bombs that make it a classic. 

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  • Film

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy

Ten years on, Bridesmaids' enduring legacy goes beyond its extremely funny success in ushering its all-star ensemble into the boys' club of raunch comedy, though that's no small feat. It also unleashed upon the world the untapped comic potential of Rose Byrne, scored then up-and-comer Melissa McCarthy a career-transforming Oscar nom and proved to the world that Maya Rudolph is a global treasure… all while doling out some enduringly nasty poop jokes. 

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Todd Phillips

Cast: Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell

As often happens with movies sending up frat culture, Todd Phillips’s modern Animal House riff about middle-aged bros reliving their college days was embraced largely by the same crowd it was making fun of. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Old School remains a comedy classic, in large part thanks to Will Ferrell, who confirmed his movie star credentials as Frank ‘the Tank’ Ricard, a family man who can’t stop partying.   

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: John Hughes

Cast: Steve Martin, John Candy

For travel-phobes, John Hughes’s classic road movie is basically a 90-minute panic attack, but three decades on, it’s the only Thanksgiving movie anyone actually wants to watch around Thanksgiving. Of course, in the UK, the holiday means nothing, but that scarcely matters: Steve Martin, John Candy and John Hughes are such an unassailable ’80s comedy superteam it’s almost unfair.

The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)
Photograph: Netflix

6. The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)

Director: Radha Blank

Cast: Radha Blank, Peter Kim, Imani Lewis

If you took 8 Mile and made it about a middle-aged female playwright trying to muscle in on the rap game, it might look a little like this Sundance award winner. It’s a pitch-perfect intro to Radha Blank, writer-actor-star of an autobiographical comedy-drama that tackles creative compromise, the Black experience, hip hop and theatre culture and a fair few big laughs in its exploration of New York’s not-that-rich and not-quite-famous. TLDR? She’s great. 

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Funny Girl (1968)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: William Wyler

Cast: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif

The fictionalised biography of Fanny Brice made its silver screen debut to critical acclaim a couple of years after making a name for itself as a popular stage musical. Fanny, the star-struck teenager who makes it big in Hollywood, is played by Streisand, who bagged the Best Actress gong at the Oscars for her performance.

Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Photograph: Netflix

8. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito

The Keanu Reeves cameo is a showstopper, but Always Be My Maybe is so much more than its biggest viral moment. At its heart, this tale of two childhood pals trapped in the friend zone is a classic rom-com in the mold of The Philadelphia Story and Nora Ephron’s best movies, with Randall Park and Ali Wong shining bright as they navigate dating in San Francisco and the relentless pull of their feelings. John Wick may steal the show, but it’s Park and Wong who elevate what could be a pat meet-cute into the stuff of rom-com legend.

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Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon

Fanboys clutched their Funko Pops in horror when Paul Feig decided to reboot the paranormal comedy franchise with an all-female cast, as if the presence of ovaries could do more damage to the property than Vigo the Carpathian. But Feig assembled a comic dream-team only the staunchest incels could deny: Melissa McCarthy! Kristen Wiig! Kate McKinnon! Leslie Jones! Chris Hemsworth as their himbo receptionist! Of course, as often happens these days, the franchise ‘course corrected’ with a fan-servicing re-reboot that effectively un-canonised this version, but history is likely to show that this is the superior entry in the series. 

Private Life (2018)
  • Film
  • Drama

Director: Tamara Jenkins

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn, Gabrielle Reid

Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn are a middle-aged New York couple who desperately want a kid, but fate seems to want them to remain childless - until their niece agrees to act as a surrogate. But that, of course, brings its own set of complications. While it scans as a downcast drama, Giamatti and Hahn bring lived-in humour to the couple’s plight, while writer-director Tamara Jenkins balances the tone with a deft hand and deep relatability. 

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  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Dennis Dugan

Cast: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen

Pretty much every Adam Sandler performance is just a variant on the man-child persona he established in the ’90s - even Uncut Gems has traces of it. It always worked a lot better back when Sandler was closer to being an actual child, and the act reached its apex with this classic sophomoric sports comedy about a failed hockey player who brings his athletic goonery to the mannered world of golf. Say the phrase: ‘The price is wrong, bitch’ to any ’90s kid and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.  

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director Terry Jones

Cast Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle

The Pythons stick a big fat skewer into religious intolerance in their most controversial (unless you’re a medieval French knight, in which case it’d be ‘The Holy Grail’) and arguably, funniest film. Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is the young Jewish man who lives next door to Jesus and is mistaken for the messiah by a swelling army of followers. Of course, the more he tells them he’s not, the more devoted they become. The cross and a rousing singalong of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ await.

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The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021)
Photo: Netflix

13. The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021)

Directors: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe

Cast: Danny McBride, Maya Rudoplh, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Coleman

An instant road-trip classic upon its release, the team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse beat Pixar at its own game with a hilarious family comedy smashed together with a vividly colorful robot-invasion action extravaganza. Seldom has a film so fully realized the push and pull of the online generation and its elders, and seldom has a film so overflowing with visual and verbal gags hit its marks with such precision. You'll never look at a Furby or an iPhone the same way again.

Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Photograph: Netflix

14. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Director: Craig Brewer

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Keegan Michael Key, Mike Epps

Every few years, Eddie Murphy decides to remind everyone - and himself, probably - that his prodigious talents as both an actor and comedian have not been completely suffocated under the weight of so many Nutty Professor movies. Most recently, he stepped into the platforms of comedy and Blaxploitation icon Rudy Ray Moore, whose rise to legend status is a true Hollywood story that justifies the biopic treatment. He earned a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination for it.

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Bad Trip (2021)
Photo: Netflix

15. Bad Trip (2021)

Director: Kitao Sakurai

Cast: Eric André, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery

On paper, Bad Trip sounds a lot like a tired mix of Borat and Bad Grandpa, featuring a lovesick André on a road trip interacting with real people via elaborate pranks involving crashed cars, projectile vomit and plenty of nudity. What a surprise, then, when the film reveals itself not as a ‘gotcha’ flick seeking to show the dark underbelly of the American south, but rather one in which its marks prove to be kind, helpful and empathetic. The movie is uneven, but when the laughs hit, they hit hard, all while positioning Bad Trip as the unexpected feel-good comedy of the year.

  • Film
  • Comedy

Not to be confused with the 1998 romcom of the same name - although who would do that? - this likeable dramedy stars Hailee Steinfeld as a teenager thrust into serious self-reflection when her best friend begins dating her brother. Steinfeld earned critical raves for her performance, as did first-time director Kelly Fremon Craig for her heartfelt, insightful screenplay.

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Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  • Film
  • Animation

Director: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson

Cast: Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie

It would seem nearly impossible to capture Jack Black’s manic energy in computer animation, but the first entry in the Kung Fu Panda series succeeds in doing just that. He leads an A-list voice cast that also includes Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen in telling the story of Po, a bumbling panda bear who dreams of becoming an expert martial artist. 

Love & Friendship (2016)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Whit Stillman does Jane Austen and everyone wins. Adapted from Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan, the film stars Kate Beckinsale as an 18th century widow looking to bag herself a rich new husband, only to wind up intertwined in her teenage daughter’s attempts to woo her own breadwinner. Tom Bennett steals the show as a wealthy bachelor confused by peas.

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Hail, Caesar! (2016)
  • Film
  • Comedy

When Golden Age movie star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped and held for ransom, exhausted Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is called in to collect the money to free him and keep the scandal out of the press. Falling toward the sillier end of the Coen Brothers’ output - it exists in the subcategory of their filmography with Burn After Reading and Raising Arizona - it gets a good jolt of energy from its A-list performances and the Coens’ peculiar comedic sensibilities. 

  • Film

Director: Chuck Russell

Cast: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert

When The Mask came out in 1994, reviewers raved about the ultra-modern special effects used to turn Jim Carrey into a living cartoon. While the CGI might not have stood the test of time, Carrey’s elastic performance as shy nice guy Stanley and his alter ego The Mask is just as enthralling. Jim’s Mask is a grotesque, green-faced schmooze-ball with a passion for farting, cheesy chat-up lines and Cameron Diaz. And, most importantly, he’s sssssmokin’! 

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  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Armando Iannucci

Cast: Jason Isaacs, Paddy Consadine, Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin

Director Iannucci has established himself as the reigning king of acid-tongued politicians and elaborately sweary put-downs thanks to his work on The Thick of It, In the Loop and Veep. The hallmarks are all here as a stellar cast of Brit and American character actors trade barbs as Russian diplomats (none of whom, hilariously, speak in Russian accents) scrambling in a power vacuum upon the death of the eponymous dictator. The insults fly with vigor, meriting a rewatch just to see which verbal howitzers you missed while howling with laughter the first time.

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth

Jane Austen’s 1815 novel of manners has been adapted for screen numerous times over the last century or so. But this suitably witty version, from photographer and freshman director Autumn de Wilde, stands out for its wondrous costuming and Anya Taylor-Joy’s turn as the titular meddlesome matchmaker. 

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Paddington (2014)
  • Film
  • Family and kids

Director: Paul King

Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Ben Whishaw (voice)

One of the best family films of the last decade, this adaptation of the beloved children’s book character is sweeter than it is side-splitting, but you have to admit that the idea of an anthropomorphic bear in a raincoat and bucket hat being chased by Nicole Kidman’s taxidermist eager to stuff and mount him is a pretty hilarious premise for a 21st century Paddington movie.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Noah Baumbach

Cast: Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel

Netflix is a rich repository for Adam Sandler’s very binary-looking back catalogue. There’s the grim-faced slapstick comedies like The Do-Over and The Ridiculous 6, and the Genuinely Good ones, including Uncut Gems and this winning comedy-drama of New York family dysfunction. Sandler is the troubled offspring of Dustin Hoffman’s grumpy, self-absorbed artist. The spiky dialogue and hil-awk-rious domestic moments come thick and fast.

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  • Film

Director: Guy Ritchie

Cast: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones

It's hard to remember a time when Guy Richie's ultra-polished aesthetic still had its rugged edges and Jason Statham cracked wise without cracking heads. Two decades on, though, Snatch still registers with its grimy visual humor, kinetic camera tricks and a ensemble of perfectly honest sleazeballs engaging in all manner of comic mayhem across the London underground. It's become fashionable to bag on Richie in a post-Aladdin landscape. Snatch will make you long for a return to the quippy world of criminals he only seldom visits these days.

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