15 Best Comedy Movies
Comedy films have long been a staple of American cinema. Though they were relevant throughout the early 1900s, they’ve become even more popular today. Because of this, we thought it was time to look at the greatest comedy films to date. To do this, we’ll be turning to the ranking system on Rotten Tomatoes.
The review aggregation website considers multiple factors when stacking up the best comedies: the year in which a film is released, the number of reviews it has, and the Tomatometer Score. The last of these — the Tomatometer Score — is most important; combing all the ratings from a wide range of reviews and criticism into one numeric tally. Combining all these factors earns a film the Adjusted Tomatometer Score, which is what we’ll be using to line up the best.
Now that we’ve discussed the logistics, it’s time to laugh at some of the best films around. Here are the greatest comedies of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Updated on April 30, 2020, by Richard Keller: Comedy is timeless when it comes to film. People can find humor in silent films, romantic comedies, farces, and coming-of-age pieces. To prove this point, here five more of the best comedy movies of all time according to Rotten Tomatoes.
15 The Big Sick (2017): 98%
The Big Sick is a different type of romantic comedy. First, it was based on a true story. It’s focus is on the courtship between Pakistani comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Second, in the middle of the story, Emily ends up in the hospital with a mystery illness.
From there, things get hectic. Kumail has to help Emily’s parents determine what is causing her problems. In the meantime, he tries to handle his parents and their problems with him dating a non-Pakistani. In the end, The Big Sick catered to movie-goers who wanted laughs and an emotional catharsis.
14 Paddington 2 (2018): 100%
This one is a bit mystifying. Yes, Paddington 2 did well in the theaters when released. Viewership also increased when it came out on DVD and streaming services. But 100% on the Tomatometer? Those numbers are normally reserved for classic comedies, like Porky’s.
The main reason Paddington 2 is on the list is due to its sweet comedy and the classic bear. Plus, it’s a film that’s truly made for the entire family. Oh, it also stars Hugh Grant. Maybe that’s why it has a 100% rating.
13 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019): 85%
It’s impressive to be in the Top 20 of all-time comedies when the release date is so recent. Particularly when Once Upon A Time In Hollywood received mixed reviews. Either people truly loved it or they berated it for its length. However, since it won a number of Golden Globes and Oscars, the reviews don’t matter.
What does matter is how well Quentin Tarantino simulated Hollywood of the 1960s. From a soundtrack stemming from classic Top 40 station KHJ to the way the city looked, Tarantino put together a beautiful film. In addition, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio were a great comedy team.
15 Best Comedy Movies
12 A Hard Day’s Night (1964): 98%
Those Beatles could act, and they did it with the fine style of dry British humor. With frenetic scenes sprinkled with fantastic songs, A Hard Day’s Night helped spawn several more British Invasion movies. It also influenced a certain Prefab Four TV show called The Monkees.
There’s only one problem with this Richard Lester-directed film. Sometimes it’s hard to understand those boys from Liverpool. Not only do they talk fast, but they also speak over each other. The good news is A Hard Day’s Night can be watched several times. It’s best to pair it up with their 1965 color film, Help!
11 Zootopia (2016): 98%
There are several levels to this Disney film. First and foremost, it’s a comedy. If there are any doubts, viewers simply have to view the scene where the main characters are at the DMV. On top of those scenes, Zootopia is also about prejudice, racial diversity, and police chases.
This is the reason why the movie did well in theaters and homes. In fact, compared to their other fare, Zootopia felt more like a Pixar offering with layers of meaning.
10 BlacKkKlansman (2018): 96%
Though BlacKkKlansman is more regularly classified as a biographical crime film, Rotten Tomatoes has it falling into comedy territory, hence the reason it’s showing up here.
The 2018 film tells of the first-ever black detective to work for the police department in 1970s Colorado Springs. Through his work, he hopes to take down the local Ku Klux Klan group.
BlacKkKlansman was relevant, thrilling, and interesting. The cast’s performances were also highly regarded.
15 Best Comedy Movies
9 Coco (2017): 97%
The comedy genre stretches far beyond live-action films. In fact, many animated movies are loaded with humor and life; Coco is no exception.
This 2o17 Pixar movie, inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, follows a boy named Miguel, who hopes to one day become a famous performer. Because his family has a strict ban on music, however, achieving his dream will be no easy task. After falling into the Land of the Dead, Miguel might get the chance to prove himself — especially after learning of his song-filled heritage. However, he must first find a way to escape the colorful underworld.
With charm, heart, and cultural significance, Coco has earned its place as an animated hit.
8 Booksmart (2019): 97%
Though Booksmart‘s Amy and Molly have spent their entire high school career studying hard in order to get into good colleges, they start to reconsider their life decisions after learning that even the slackers have bright futures ahead of them. The pair decides to live up their final moments of high school by heading to an epic graduation party. The problem? Neither of them knows where the event is taking place.
The film’s quick-witted humor and lively performances left viewers laughing.
7 Toy Story 4 (2019): 97%
The final installment in the Toy Story series saw Bonnie’s family and her toys embarking on a road trip. Though the vacation could be fun, it proves to be a challenge for Woody who is tasked with keeping Bonnie’s newest toy — a spork with googly eyes she named “Sporky” — from escaping to the trash. While Sporky is at first the one who struggles to accept his place as a toy, Woody starts to reconsider his own purpose after reuniting with Bo Peep.
The high-quality animations and overall warmth of Toy Story 4 made for one epic (and sweet) conclusion.
15 Best Comedy Movies
6 It Happened One Night (1934): 98%
If you rewind the time to 1934, you’ll stumble upon this iconic romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It Happened One Night tells of a wealthy socialite who escapes her father’s strict rule and falls for a recently-fired newspaper reporter.
Though Columbia didn’t expect the classic rom-com to fair well in theaters, its acting, dialog, and direction were praised by many. This had it becoming the first film to win the “Big Five” Oscars at the Academy Awards, including that of Best Picture.
5 The Farewell (2019): 98%
The Farewell sees a family discovering that their grandmother will die soon. This has them throwing a wedding in order to reunite with her in China one final time.
The 2019 comedy-drama was praised for layering family dynamics and featuring themes that were easy to resonate with. The strong acting was additionally praised, as was the poignant conclusion.
4 Eighth Grade (2018): 99%
A coming-of-age tale, Eighth Grade is about a girl who struggles with social anxiety. Though she’s hopeful for high school, the end of middle school proves to be a challenge as she struggles to relate to her father, practice the confidence she preaches about online, and fit in.
The films’ genuine and intimate look at adolescence had it gaining much critical acclaim. Leading actress Elsie Fisher seamlessly faded into her role, giving Eighth Grade an even more authentic vibe.
15 Best Comedy Movies
3 Lady Bird (2017): 99%
Lady Bird has a Sacramento teenager attempting to get through her senior year at a Catholic high school. Though exploring romance, joining the theater group, and planning out her future is exciting, these experiences are dulled by the complicated relationship the titular character holds with her mother.
The spirited film was well-written and nicely cast, with Saorise Ronan holding the leading role. Additionally, the early 2000s aesthetic and layered themes impressed critics.
2 Modern Times (1936): 100%
The iconic Charlie Chaplin stars as Little Tramp in this 1936 slapstick comedy about a man who attempts to work through a modernized, industrial society.
Though Modern Times was stocked with laugh-worthy scenarios, it also represented the deeper struggle to get through life during the Great Depression. This, in combination with Chaplin’s with and charm, made Modern Times difficult to ignore.
1 Singin’ In The Rain (1952): 100%
Singing in the Rain focuses on the transition between Hollywood’s silent film era and that of “talkies” in the 1920s. To do so, the film centers in on an aspiring actress who is set to complete the voice-over of a woman in a romantic musical.
The 1952 comedy was loaded with spirited songs, iconic scenes, and memorable characters. This has helped cement it as a classic.
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