For many of us, there’s nothing more relaxing and enjoyable than settling down on the couch and watching a good comedy. Dramas can drag, action movies can be over the top, and horror films are designed to be stressful. Comedies are fun and, more often than not, predictable — but that’s not a bad thing. Not every cinematic experience needs to be an adventure, and sometimes you just want a good laugh.
Luckily, Netflix’s repository of movies has grown quite large, though we can’t blame you if you don’t want to spend hours searching for the right film. The streaming service offers dozens of American Pie-style teen comedies, not to mention a slew of B-movies you’ll never want to sit through, and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look. To make your choice a bit easier, we’ve done all the legwork on your behalf. These are the best comedies on Netflix.
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Released in 2014, The Interview is the only movie on this list that could have conceivably launched World War III. The premise — an American talk show host going to North Korea to interview the nation’s dictator and infiltrate the government for the CIA — drew the ire of the despotic nation and its thin-skinned ruler, Kim Jong-un. North Korean hackers coordinated a massive attack against Sony Studios, leaking personal emails that so humiliated studio president Amy Pascal, she was forced to resign.
However, when the movie was released after short delays to consider national security, all the fuss seemed to be about nothing. The Interview is just plain silly. If anything, Kim Jong-un comes off looking good. The joke is probably on all of us for thinking Seth Rogen and James Franco would make a movie provocative enough to start a war. The context of The Interview is probably funnier than the movie itself, but it is still a pretty entertaining ride.
Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Stars: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Runtime: 112 minutes
Detective shows and movies aren’t all serious — as Brooklyn Nine-Nine illustrates. In 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jim Carrey plays an eccentric detective who captures and tames some of the wildest animals east of Wynnewood, Oklahoma. When the Miami Dolphins’ mascot — appropriately, a dolphin — goes missing, Ventura is called in to crack the case and save the team ahead of the Super Bowl. Dolphins legend Dan Marino stars in the film as himself and a kidnap victim, likely to the delight of Buffalo Bills fans. Some of the scenes are somewhat dated by modern standards — there are moments that come off as transphobic, at best — but the film still features a ton of hilarious bits that come a mile a minute, as this comedy movie clocks in at just an hour and 25 minutes.
Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Stars: Jim Carrey, Courtney Cox
Runtime: 86 minutes
Living the same day over and over again — can you imagine? Phil Connors (Bill Murray), a weatherman who cares about nobody but Phil, found himself in this predicament in Groundhog Day, a 1993 classic. After covering the ritual revolving around Punxsutawney Phil, the weatherman wakes up from his nightmarish assignment only to discover it starting all over again. With the help of Rita (Andie MacDowell), Connors conspires to break free from his temporal prison and escape back into his real life in a comedy so legendary, it inspired the Broadway musical of the same name.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie McDowell, Chris Elliott
Director: Harold Ramis
Runtime: 102 minutes
All hail the return of Eddie Murphy! Murphy plays Rudy Ray Moore in this Netflix original. Moore was a washed-up musician who transformed himself into the 1970’s blaxploitation character named Dolemite, becoming a cult star in the process. An ode to extremely independent filmmaking with a subtler touch than Bowfinger, this film features additional, outstanding performances from Wesley Snipes and Keegan-Michael Key.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Director: Craig Brewer
Runtime: 118 minutes
Like the great, fake Dewey Cox himself, Walk Hard was not properly appreciated in its time. Starring John C. Reilly as the titular rocker, Walk Hard directly parodies Walk the Line, a Johnny Cash biopic released a couple of years before this blistering satire of Walk the Line and biopics, in general, arrived in theaters. What makes this film stand out from similar parodies is the genuine heart Reilly pumps into his character, creating a sentiment the movie could’ve surpassed for an extra few laughs. Rather than toe the line between hilarious and heartfelt, Walk Hard tries to do both, making sure Reilly comes off as nothing less than a “Starman.”
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Stars: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer
Director: Jake Kasdan
Runtime: 96 minutes
Imagine a world where if you didn’t fall in love and get married, you were turned into an animal and treated as livestock. Dark, right? Well, and funny. Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster hits all the grimmest notes while still, inexplicably, bringing a smile to your face. The story centers on a place where single people go to meet other singles looking for love. If they don’t find love in 45 days, they’re turned into animals. Taking a deep, dry look at the desperation inherent in human connection, The Lobster features great performances from Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly and comes equipped with a jaw-dropping twist that will make you wonder what you just watched.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Runtime: 118 minutes
A person doesn’t truly love Monty Python unless they love Life of Brian. Well, and Flying Circus. There’s much more to Monty Python than Holy Grail. While Grail is the better-known film, Life of Brian is more ambitious, cynical, and downright crazier for a very simple reason: It parodies Jesus Christ rather than King Arthur. Well, Christ’s neighbor, Brian Cohen, played by Graham Chapman. The film follows a case of mistaken identity as Brian is treated as prophet, blasphemer, and enemy of the state in a series of events meant to skewer the Bible. It was, needless to say, not popular with the Church upon its release, but it’s still darn funny and encourages everyone to “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life.”
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Director: Terry Jones
Runtime: 92 minutes
A strange spinoff and somewhat spiritual sequel, Get Him to the Greek gives Russell Brand’s British rock legend Aldous Snow, who stole a few scenes in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, his own movie. After Sarah Marshall dumps him and he loses his sobriety, Snow is even more out of control than usual. Of course, ambitious record executive Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) doesn’t know the context when he accepts what should be an easy assignment: Escorting Snow to L.A.’s Greek Theatre for the first stop in a comeback concert tour. Unfortunately, the rocker has also deduced that his one true love, Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), is in California, too, and he’s determined to win her back before starting the tour. For Aaron, it’s like herding cats to get Aldous Snow to the show on time.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Elisabeth Moss
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Runtime: 109 minutes
Amy Heckerling’s reimagining of Jane Austen’s 1816 novel Emma is one of the most beloved comedies of the ’90s. Transported to an ultra-rich high school in Beverly Hills, Clueless follows friends Cher and Dionne, pampered upper-class girls who care less about getting good grades than they do about wearing the right clothes and being popular. Cher, however, also has an innate urge to help the less fortunate and has a far more sensitive side than she’s fully willing to admit. As she stumbles into this newfound identity, Cher may also just find love in the place she least expected.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd
Director: Amy Heckerling
Runtime: 97 minutes
The movie that introduced the world to the Oscar-nominated writer and director of Lady Bird and Little Women, Frances Ha is Greta Gerwig’s semiautobiographical look at a quarter-life crisis in New York City. Gerwig co-wrote Frances Ha with director (and partner) Noah Baumbach and stars as 27-year-old Frances Halladay, a woman who kind of does a lot of things but isn’t really any of them. Frances Ha is an empathetic, genuine look at being young and not really passionate about anything specific besides, you know, life itself. Gerwig is a delight as the titular character, coming across as both the most unique and most relatable person you’ve ever met.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver
Director: Noah Baumbach
Runtime: 86 minutes
There are elements of drama and romance, but at its core, The Artist is a comedy. Once you move through the black-and-white barrier, you enter a world of cinematic nostalgia unparalleled in film today. While old, silent films can be difficult on modern sensibilities, The Artist never stops trying to surprise with visual and audio tricks, along with humorous title cards and visceral acting. The 2011 film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and closes with a rollicking dance scene that rivals anything Fred Astaire created during his heyday.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Runtime: 100 minutes
Teen coming-of-age tales are a dime a dozen on Netflix. What separates The Edge of Seventeen from the crowd is Hailee Steinfeld, who plays cynical Nadine Franklin in a star-making performance. The relationships Franklin shares with her family are chaotic, at best, as she looks to her high school teacher (Woody Harrelson) for guidance. Over the course of the movie, she learns to be more vulnerable and open with others. While the subject matter of the movie can be serious at times, there are still a lot of relatable laughs to be had about the struggles of simply growing up.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Runtime: 94 minutes
One of the oddest Netflix originals, not least of all because it hit the platform seemingly out of nowhere, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is the most fun you can have reliving the glory days of the 1990’s Oakland A’s. But you don’t have to be an A’s fan or even a baseball fan to enjoy. Created by The Lonely Island, this musical short stars Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, singing about hitting dingers, doing steroids, and being on top of the world. It’s as silly as it sounds but so strangely satisfying.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer
Director: Akiva Schaffer, Mike Diva
Runtime: 30 minutes
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