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Shaun of the Dead
Photograph: StudioCanal

The 25 funniest comedies on Netflix UK

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

Written by
Andy Kryza
Written by
Tom Huddleston
&
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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A sweeping romance or nail-biting thriller requires a certain mood, but queuing up a great comedy is never a bad idea. And while humour is a matter of taste, the 25 films below are all but guaranteed to make you chuckle... or at least bring a huge grin to your face. From cult favorites to new additions, rom-coms to zom-coms, these are the best comedies to stream in the UK right now.

RECOMMENDED: Time Out’s 100 best comedy movies.

The funniest films on Netflix UK

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Edgar Wright

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Nighy, Kate Ashfield

Edgar Wright announced himself to the world – and introduced Spaced stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to the global comedy canon – with this wry, gore-soaked love letter to slackers and shamblers. The gags land with headshot precision, but what really sets Shaun apart from other horror hybrids is its deft balance between homage and parody: Cut the zombie action and it’s still a whipsmart character comedy. But cut the jokes and it still functions as a horror-siege flick that would make George A Romero proud. 

Zombieland (2009)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Reuben Fleischer

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

Like a drunk, heavily armed and Twinkie-brandishing cousin to Shaun of the Dead, Ruben Fleischer’s hyperkinetic zom-com is a fleet-footed, joke-a-minute romp that takes its undead seriously enough to generate actual tension, which makes the punchlines extra impactful. In positioning its quartet of hardscrabble survivors as a makeshift family, the film functions as a cross-country road trip romp punctuated with ample stylised splatter and one of the all-time best celebrity cameos. 

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  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: John Landis

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall

The long-delayed sequel released earlier this year, but it barely holds a flame to the original classic. Eddie Murphy, at the height of his comedic powers, shines as a sweet-natured African prince, who descends upon (where else) Queens, New York to find a bride. Murphy and Hall's bickering is a highlight (both play multiple characters that ping-pong off one another), while the fish-out-of-water comedy that puts the indefatiguably cheery Murphy against New Yorkers at their gruffest is timeless.

  • Film
  • Drama

Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, John Turturro, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Buscemi

The movie that launched a religion – Dudeism – and a bazillion fancy-dress ideas has the Coens asking ‘what if film noir got stoned?’ The answer is an endlessly quotable shuffle through bowling alleys, mansions, police stations and madcap dream sequences... all in pursuit of a missing rug. Pour yourself a beverage and queue it up, man. 

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Step Brothers
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Adam McKay

Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott

Maligned upon its release by an audience that just didn't know what to think of Ferrell and Reilly taking their petulant manchildren — complete with bunk beds and Chewbacca masks — to the heights of tantrum-throwing absurdity. Today, Step Brothers has been reappraised as a certified classic, a shout-y deep-dive into the immature male ego and suspended adolescence featuring an all-star ensemble and one very, very memorable wine mixer.

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.

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

7. 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. 

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!

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  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Olivia Wilde

Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Billie Lourd

A decade on from Superbad, Olivia Wilde's directorial debut gender-swaps its kids-gone-wild in a tale of two nerdy girls who decide to cram four years of debauchery into one night before they graduate. But beyond the superficial setup, Booksmart shares a similar big-hearted energy mixed in with its barrage of laughs before spinning off to become its own thing: A painfully awkward, highly energetic look at enduring friendship in the face of encroaching adulthood.

Superbad
  • 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
  • Comedy

Director: Ben Stiller

Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Christine Taylor

The world of fashion is ripe for lampooning but it can be a slippery target, as Robert Altman’s cosy Prêt-à-Porter proves. But Ben Stiller hits the target – and then some – with this hilarious spoof of runway culture in which he plays professional male model Derek Zoolander. Owen Wilson is a blast as his vapid rival Hansel ‘so hot right now’ McDonald and Will Ferrell’s fashion-diva-as-Bond-villain Mugatu is a magnificent creation. The cameos come thick and fast, too.

  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Ivan Reitman

Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis

The '80s absolute best special-effects comedy — and arguably the best, period — remains dazzling thanks to its advanced creature design, but it's the cast that makes this one truly sing, with Murray providing the patter, Aykroyd and Ramis nerding it up to the Nth degree and ringer William Atherton playing an all-timer scuzzbag.

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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. 

Clueless (1995)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Amy Heckerling

Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

Clueless is a teen classic. It’s based on Jane Austen’s Emma, but you won’t see a corset or a crinoline in sight. As if. Instead, protagonist Cher picks perfect outfits from a high-tech digital wardrobe, before heading off to high school to battle with the politics of popularity, virginity, friendship, driving licences and what to do when you fancy your step-brother.

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Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Photograph: Netflix

15. 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.

  • 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

17. 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.

  • Film
  • Horror

Director: Drew Goddard

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Bradley Whitford

Drew Goddard's surreal, creepy cult film walks the thin line between horror film and horror satire, completely dissecting cliches of the genre while gleefully leaning into them. The results are one of the best dark comedies of the century, one that doesn't skimp on the scares even when it's laughing at them… all the way up to an explosive orgy of violence that caps the story off with an absurdist flair unseen before or since.

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Bad Trip (2021)
Photo: Netflix

19. 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.

Bad Neighbours (2014)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star in this crude comedy as a happy thirtysomething couple with a new baby. They move house only to have their lives turned upside down when a raucous college fraternity arrive next door. First they attempt to be down with the kids, but, when the antics of frat president (Efron) prove too much to bear, full on war is declared…

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  • 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’! 

  • 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.

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  • Film
  • Comedy

Director: Judd Apatow

Cast: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Catherine Keener

The comedy that launched Steve Carell is big on laughs and bigger on heart. It never digs out Carell’s toy-collecting shop clerk, Andy, or sets him up as some kind of sad loser man-child, in a way loads of frattish Hollywood comedies might have. Instead, it makes his shyness a virtue in a world of fast love, porn and throwaway sex. Catherine Keener also provides a ton of good vibes. Look out for a topical cameo from Stormy Daniels too. 

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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