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The 25 best comedy movies on Netflix

It’s time to get your funny on – these are the best comedy films available on Netflix UK right now

By Ellie Walker-Arnott and Tom Huddleston
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Summer may be over, but that’s no reason to embrace the doom and gloom. Stay sunny with these comedy classics. Several of the funniest movies currently available to stream on Netflix also feature in Time Out’s list of the 100 best comedy movies of all time – and all of them are stone-cold guaranteed to have you rolling on the floor (or at least grinning from ear to ear).

RECOMMENDED: Time Out’s 100 best comedy movies.

The funniest films on Netflix UK

25. 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…

24. 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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23. The Other Guys (2010)

Film Comedy

Director Adam McKay

Cast Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton

One of the silliest, most enjoyable blockbuster comedies of recent years, this pastiche of grandstanding cop movies features Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as the second-string detectives who must step up to the plate when the top guns go out the window (literally). A pre-renaissance Michael Keaton is great value as the TLC-quoting police chief.

22. 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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21. 21 Jump Street (2012)

Film Action and adventure

Directors Phil Lord, Chris Miller

Cast Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Brie Larson, Dave Franco

Before they moved on to making ‘The Lego Movie’ franchise an unlikely smash hit, Phil Lord and Chris Miller broke through with this knowing reboot of the old ’80s undercover cop TV series. This time it’s Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill going deep cover to bust a high-school drugs ring. The jokes come from all angles and varying degrees of sophistication: some genuinely smart; most very silly indeed. 

Dumb and Dumber
Dumb and Dumber
Photograph: New Line Cinema

20. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Film Comedy

Director Peter Farrelly

Cast Jeff Daniels, Jim Carrey, Lauren Holly

Rumour has it that Nicolas Cage and Gary Oldman were first pick to play dimwit pals Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne in the Farrelly brothers’ comedy. Much as we’d love to see that duo in a dog-shaped Mutt Cutts Van, the right call was probably made going with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels instead. The plot, involving a road trip and some ransom money, is purely ornamental, and the relentless stupidity won’t be for everyone, but the undynamic duo commit wholeheartedly to the cause of making us laugh – and we all need that right now.

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Zoolander
Zoolander
Photograph: Paramount

19. Zoolander (2001)

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.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz
Photograph: Universal

18. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Film Action and adventure

Director Edgar Wright

Cast Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton

The second part in the Cornetto trilogy is an inspired homage to gonzo ’80s action movies in which Simon Pegg and Nick Frost form a kind of good cop/slightly peckish cop pairing and have it out with the local Neighbourhood Watch Alliance (NWA) in a West Country town. Or ‘‘‘Lethal Weapon set in Somerset’ as director Edgar Wright puts it. It’s a bonnet-rolling, shotgun-pumping, Cornetto-munching joyride.

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The 40 Year Old Version
The 40 Year Old Version
Photograph: Netflix

17. 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. 

16. The Blues Brothers (1980)

Film Drama

Director John Landis

Cast Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, James Brown

It started as a throwaway ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch and ended in a budget-splurging zillion-vehicle car chase, packing great songs, awesome cameos and Carrie Fisher with a bazooka between the two. There was a sequel but we don’t talk about that. Instead, enjoy the maverick chemistry of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as Jake and Elwood Blues, two men on a mission from God to bring a daft smile to your face.

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Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
Photograph: Sony

15. Groundhog Day (1993)

Film

Director Harold Ramis

Cast Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Stephen Tobolowsky, Chris Elliott

The most entertaining film ever made about a man trying to kill himself, ‘Groundhog Day’ could be the most deeply revisit-able pick on this list. Stuck in a temporal loop in small-town America, Bill Murray’s grouchy newsman toys with death before embracing life afresh in a spectrum of cynical, LOL-worthy, exploitative, rude, desperate, generous, kind-hearted, and finally, loving ways. All of life’s rich tapestry laid out... with a little help from a gopher.  

The 40 Year-Old Virgin
The 40 Year-Old Virgin
Photograph: Universal

14. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

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. 

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The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski
Photograph: Universal

13. The Big Lebowski (1998)

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 cue it up, man. 

12. Sausage Party (2016)

Film Animation

Directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

Voice cast Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Alistair Abel

This R-rated animation is definitely not for kids – in fact, it’s not for sensitive adults either. But it’s rude, raucous and very, very funny. A sausage (the talking kind, voiced by Seth Rogen) goes on a journey of discovery around a supermarket where he discovers his belief in a great hereafter is only a myth and that the chopping board awaits. He makes friends with a lesbian taco. The villain is a douche. There’s a lot of sex. Trust us, it’s a blast.

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The Addams Family
The Addams Family
Photograph: Courtesy Melinda Sue Gordon/Orion Picture

11. The Addams Family (1991)

Film Comedy

Director Barry Sonnenfeld

Cast Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Raul Julia, Christina Ricci

American cartoonist Charles Addams’s gothic clan feature in a family-friendly masterclass of the comically macabre. The perfect cast – Anjelica Huston! Christopher Lloyd! Raul Julia! Christina Ricci! Christopher Hart’s hand! – are all on top form in an infectiously buoyant, darkly funny movie that’s never not a finger-snapping good time.

Life of Brian
Life of Brian
Photograph: Sony

10. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

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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9. Being John Malkovich (1999)

Film Fantasy

Director Spike Jonze

Cast John Cusack, Catherine Keener, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich

If it’s serious-minded, harrowing Charlie Kaufman you’re after then head straight over to ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ in the ‘Heavy Shit’ corner of Netflix. In this goofy, high-concept sci-fi the screenwriter’s instinctual angst is cut with director Spike Jonze’s playfulness to create a bonkers deep dive into the human subconscious.

Wedding Crashers
Wedding Crashers
Photograph: Richard Cartwright/New Line Cinema

8. Wedding Crashers (2005)

Film Comedy

Director David Dobkin

Cast Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Bradley Cooper

It’s beginning to feel a little pre-MeToo, sure, but this romcom shows up toxic men and their lothario ways with enough self-awareness and charm to temper the bits where Isla Fisher is obliged to play a nymphomaniac for cheap laughs. Plus, Christopher Walken is in it.

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The Mask
The Mask
Photograph: Warner Bros.

7. The Mask (1994)

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’! 

6. 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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5. Role Models (2008)

Film Comedy

Director David Wain

Cast Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Raucous, funny and quite sweet beneath it all, this slacker-com could just coast on the charm of Paul Rudd and the anarchic bravado of Seann William Scott as a pair of energy-drink salesmen doing community service. It’s loads better than that, though, thanks to its heartfelt portrayal of surrogate families, some nicely drawn characters (props to Bobb’e J Thompson as a foul-mouthed kid with a thing for Beyoncé) and a mad depiction of Larping.

4. Ted (2012)

Film Drama

Director Seth MacFarlane

Cast Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane (voice), Sam Jones, Giovanni Ribisi, Mila Kunis

Basically a NSFW ‘Paddington’, 
Seth MacFarlane’s consistently chucklesome comedy is the polar opposite of family-friendly. It comes with a bit of a frat boy edge, and if you’re not a fan of ‘Family Guy’ you’re likely to struggle here, but there are many, many unwholesome LOLs to be garnered watching an on-form Mark Wahlberg riffing with a CG bear over a bong. Sam Jones’s cameo as a coked-up version of himself is the jabbering icing on the cake.

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3. 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!

Photo: Hector Alvarez

2. Long Shot (2019)

Film Comedy

Director Jonathan Levine

Cast Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Andy Serkis, Alexander Skarsgård

Charlize Theron is really good at everything, so it stands to reason that she’s going to be really good at comedy. So it proves in this raucously enjoyable odd-couple romcom that has her tight-wound secretary of state and Seth Rogen’s struggling journo hit it off in unlikely ways – belly laughs ensue. The MDMA scene, in particular, is comedy gold.

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Romantic film: When Harry Met Sally
Romantic film: When Harry Met Sally
Photograph: Columbia Pictures

1. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Film

Director: Rob Reiner

Cast: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Pure movie gold, Nora Ephron’s romantic comedy asks us: can men and women really be friends? Well, obviously yes, but in this case do we really want them to? Nah. Happily, with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan sparking off each other and Ephron at her most cynical yet sincere, there’s no chance its two BFFs don’t end up as much, much more.

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