×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

40 Best Comedy Movies On HBO Max [July 2021]

With the full HBO library at its disposal, as well as corporate ties to the Warner Bros. filmmaking juggernaut, the relatively new HBO Max streaming service has hundreds of movies on offer at any given time, with new selections past and present added to its digital archives every month. What could possibly be the downside to affordable access to more movies than a person could possibly watch in a lifetime? Too much choice. How many nights in how many homes have been hobbled by a viewer faced with so many options that they don't know what to watch, especially when it comes to comedies?

HBO Max has a particularly impressive array of hilarious films, including major hits and cult classics alike from the 1960s up to the present day. So as to not endlessly scroll through the comedy section the next time you're in the mood for something funny, consult this guide to the 40 most worthwhile and most hilarious comedies currently available on HBO Max.

Updated on July 15, 2021As HBO Max changes its selection, we'll keep this list updated to reflect the changes in its streaming catalog. Be sure to check back each month for films that will leave you howling with laughter, as we'll be keeping this list current with the latest and greatest comedy films to hit the site.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

It's the movie that turned the voice of writer-director Judd Apatow into the voice of mainstream comedy in the 21st century, one that combines over-the-top raunchiness with lovable characters and genuine emotion. It also made Steve Carell of "The Office" into a bona fide movie star with his role as Andy, a shy and nerdy guy who made it to middle age without ever knowing the intimate touch of another. His cynical, dude-bro coworkers who fancy themselves ladies men make it their mission to get Andy into bed with a woman, although he falls into a more traditional, slow romance with a single mother (Catherine Keener). There might be a happily ever after for Andy but not without a painful chest-waxing scene and depictions of some of the most hilariously horrific dates in movie history.

Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen

Director: Judd Apatow

Year: 2005

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Adventureland

"Adventureland" is about as low-key a movie can get and still be called a comedy. A coming-of-age story rife with nostalgia and little moments of human connection, the humor comes more from recognizing yourself in the situations playing out on-screen and relating to the characters than straight-up jokes. Set in the summer of 1987, newly graduated James wants to strike out and explore Europe, only to discover that his parents won't give him a dime, forcing him to take a summer job for which he's too old and too educated — grunt work at Adventureland, a past-its-prime small-town amusement park. But it's not so bad, especially once he starts making friends with the staff of ne'er-do-wells and strikes up a romantic connection with colleague Em.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds

Director: Greg Mottola

Year: 2009

Runtime: 106 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

An American Pickle

One actor playing two roles can be a cheap trick, but in "An American Pickle," Seth Rogen isn't exactly playing twins in a remake of "The Parent Trap." In this film, based on a story by humorist and "Saturday Night Live" writer Simon Rich, Rogen plays Ben, a listless Brooklyn trust fund millennial who acquires a new roommate. Also played by Rogen, he's Herschel Greenbaum, Ben's distant relative and a Russian refugee waking up from a century-long sleep in a vat of pickle brine. What could easily fall into the usual fish-out-of-water and one-guy-playing-two-roles cliches instead becomes a war of ethics, values, ambition, and good old-fashioned revenge as Ben and Herschel endeavor to ruin one another.

Starring: Seth Rogen, Sarah Snook, Eliot Glazer

Director: Brandon Trost

Year: 2020

Runtime: 88 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

American Splendor

Most biographical films contend that life is a drama, one serious thing after another. "American Splendor" is the rare biopic that argues that life is a comedy, full of endless absurdities, coincidences, quirky moments, and ridiculous indignities. This movie is the comic story of an underground comics icon, Harvey Pekar, author of the biographical and deeply self-deprecating series that shares a name with this very film. In focusing on the highlights of the improbably successful life of possibly the most hilariously grumpy man who ever lived, "American Splendor" blurs the lines between fiction and reality, with Pekar and other actual people who are part of the story mixing in amongst the actors who portray them.

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Judah Friedlander

Directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

Year: 2003

Runtime: 101 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Mike Myers writes and stars in this homage to 1960s British spy movie franchises, when actors with terrible teeth and a shockingly frank, sexual, and objectifying attitudes toward women could be heroes. But that doesn't hold true for the late '90s, when "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" is set, and the comedy derives from noting just how quickly and greatly the world has changed over three decades.

Back in 1967, supervillain Dr. Evil and super spy Austin Powers — both played by Myers — were cryonically frozen. When Dr. Evil re-emerges in 1997 with a nuclear weapon to hold the world hostage (for a comically low $1 million, later updated to $100 billion to account for inflation), Austin is thawed too, waking up to a world that thinks he's woefully passé and completely ridiculous.

Starring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Robert Wagner

Director: Jay Roach

Year: 1997

Runtime: 89 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

The original "Austin Powers" was such a sleeper hit that it spawned a blockbuster sequel, "The Spy Who Shagged Me," which doubles down on both the '60s stuff and over-the-top nonsense. In the first film, Austin was a '60s guy unfrozen in the '90s, but in the second one, he travels back to his own decade to stop Dr. Evil, making for a very groovy, shagadelic time. Once more, Myers plays Dr. Evil and Austin, as well as a new character, the delightfully repulsive Fat Bastard. New characters including swinging '60s spy Felicity Shagwell and Dr. Evil's beloved companion, Mini-Me — a small clone version of himself.

Starring: Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Rob Lowe

Director: Jay Roach

Year: 1999

Runtime: 95 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

Beverly Hills Cop

Eddie Murphy jumped onto the A-list with his role in "Beverly Hills Cop," the biggest box office hit of 1984. Here, he plays wisecracking, unconventional Detroit police officer Axel Foley, who, in search of a murderer, finds himself way out of his jurisdiction and his element in Beverly Hills, California. He clashes with and unnerves his straight-laced, by-the-book colleagues in the Beverly Hills Police Department and also experiences some West Coast culture to which he is not accustomed. At the end of the day, Murphy is the audience's guide through the materialistic world of the '80s as he plays up the laughs in this classic action comedy.

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Ronny Cox

Director: Martin Brest

Year: 1984

Runtime: 105 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Bill and Ted, very supportive best friends and complete dimwits, are a couple of Southern California high school kids who just know their heavy metal band, Wyld Stallyns, will make it ... if only they could actually play their instruments. But that dream could fade into the past if they don't get a passing grade on their history project because if Ted fails one more class, his mean father will send him to military school. Luckily for them, a time-traveling agent tracks them down and lets them know that in the future, they're worshipped as cultural gods for their music. In the meantime, they can use their newly acquired gift of time travel to bring actual historical figures back to the present day in hopes of passing that history class.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Director: Stephen Herek

Year: 1989

Runtime: 89 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

In their "Excellent Adventure," Bill and Ted fought time, space, and parents. In "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey," the stakes are raised as they contend with evil robot clones of themselves sent by a villain from the future to murder them. However, the bad Bill and terrible Ted actually succeed in killing off the protagonists, sending the duo into a thoroughly creepy afterlife, presided over by a very needy and very competitive personification of Death who's willing to let Bill and Ted play for their freedom and rebirth — and we mean "play" literally, in the form of several board games.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, William Sadler

Director: Peter Hewitt

Year: 1991

Runtime: 93 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Billy Madison

Jumping from "Saturday Night Live," where he often played man-children, Adam Sandler takes the character archetype to absurd new heights in "Billy Madison" as the title screw-up, a guy in his 20s who — in order to inherit his wealthy father's company (and thwart a sniveling, calculating executive) — goes back to school. This means he goes all the way back to the beginning, starting with kindergarten and whipping through each grade every two weeks. Somehow, despite being around children who are smarter and wiser than he is, Billy finds maturity and the ability to believe in himself while also romancing one of his teachers and befriending an unstable school bus driver played by his "SNL" cohort Chris Farley.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Bradley Whitford

Director: Tamra Davis

Year: 1995

Runtime: 89 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%

Black Dynamite

Blaxploitation was one of the definitive genres of the 1970s. Here, ultra-tough Black heroes took on evil white authority figures, all while dashing off catchphrases, leading high-speed car chases, and violently dispatching anyone who got in their way, pausing only to romance women, utter a cool catchphrase, or let the funk soundtrack breathe. And "Black Dynamite" is both a celebration and send-up of eye-popping, unbelievable, and audacious movies like "Shaft" and "Superfly." The comic action centers on Vietnam veteran and ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite who aims to rid the streets of criminals and drug dealers, in part because they killed his brother, in part because they're getting Black orphans hooked on heroin and secretly aiming to chemically shrink the genitals of Black men with an evil malt liquor brand.

Starring: Michael Jai White, Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson

Director: Scott Sanders

Year: 2009

Runtime: 84 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Bowfinger

Probably the funniest movie ever made about how to make a movie, "Bowfinger" is both a high-concept farce and an endearing look at how true artists will do whatever it takes to follow their passion. Steve Martin (who also wrote the script) plays ultra-indie ultra-untalented filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger, who leads a troupe of starry-eyed actors as he tells them he's cast Hollywood star Kit Ramsey in their micro-budgeted action movie "Chubby Rain." He hasn't, of course — he secretly stalks and films Ramsey's reactions to his actors, guerilla-style, all while the big-shot star is in the middle of a mental break and thinks he's being watched and followed.

Starring: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham

Director: Frank Oz

Year: 1999

Runtime: 96 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

The Cable Guy

In 1996, Jim Carrey became the first actor in history to earn $20 million for a single movie, and it was for "The Cable Guy," a pitch-black comedy about toxic friendships and mental illness. Newly single architect Steven gets a lisping cable installer (Carrey) — who calls himself Chip Douglas (the name of a "My Three Sons" character) — to hook him up with the premium channels for free. Steven thus becomes deeply indebted to the overbearing and delusional Chip, who insinuates himself into Steven's life, more or less taking it over and steering it into all the wrong directions. It turns out this isn't the first or last time that "Chip" has used the alias of a TV character (he's a cable guy, he loves TV) to enable himself to stalk a customer.

Starring: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann

Director: Ben Stiller

Year: 1996

Runtime: 95 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

City Slickers

"City Slickers" is a film made by and for middle-aged dads, but there's comedy to be mined from its universal themes, such as the goofy and childlike camaraderie between adult friends, the awkwardness of emerging from one's comfort zones, and the sight of underqualified individuals faking it until they make it. Mitch, a New York City ad man, takes an annual vacation with his equally soft, spoiled, and unfulfilled friends. But seeing as how he's in the midst of a midlife crisis, they enroll in a cattle drive where they can do the manly things they've always dreamed of before they get too old. Well, that's if they can survive the drive, led by grizzled and authentic cowboy Curly (played by an Oscar-winning Jack Palance).

Starring: Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby

Director: Ron Underwood

Year: 1991

Runtime: 113 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Clerks

This black-and-white, minuscule budgeted comedy made Kevin Smith into a major voice in film and helped launch the '90s indie movie revolution. It also created a template for chatty, hangout movies of the era — the difference is that every character in "Clerks" seems to have a dirty mouth. (Well, all except for Silent Bob, who, while hanging out with his drug-dealing associate Jay, decidedly does not talk.) "Clerks" spans a day in the life of a New Jersey convenience store and the people who have no choice but to work there, particularly Dante, who wasn't even supposed to work that day — he often whines — as he copes with low-wage indignities like a security gate that won't open, a customer who rearranges milk, and an oddly aggressive gum company rep.

Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes

Director: Kevin Smith

Year: 1994

Runtime: 91 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Clueless

At first glance, viewers might be inclined to think that "Clueless" is yet another late 20th-century movie about rich and vapid Los Angeles teens. However, the film is a goofy love story about how things aren't always what they seem on the surface, and it's also a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen's 19th-century novel, "Emma." As for the plot, Cher Horowitz just wants to learn to drive (or drive correctly) and take on new kid, bumbling nerd Tai, as a personal makeover project. All the while, she's looking for romance and possibly finding one in the most unlikely of places — with her brainy, much older former stepbrother.

Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

Director: Amy Heckerling

Year: 1995

Runtime: 97 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Dave

Political comedy doesn't always have to be hard-hitting — it can be silly, wry, and even romantic, as it is with "Dave." When President Bill Mitchell suffers a debilitating stroke during an affair with a member of his staff and then falls into a coma, his administration seeks to cover up the entire ordeal by making it appear that it's business as usual at the White House. They recruit Dave Kovic, an employment agency operator who has a side gig impersonating President Mitchell due to their uncanny resemblance. Dave jumps into the role with vigor, makes a lot of popular political decisions, and even fools the first lady, who doesn't much care for the president anymore.

Starring: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella

Director: Ivan Reitman

Year: 1993

Runtime: 109 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Dumb and Dumber

On the surface, "Dumb and Dumber" is a road trip movie as well as a hot pursuit movie. Harry and Lloyd are in possession of a bag full of money belonging to some unsavory and violent criminals. But these guys are so amazingly dumb they have no idea that they're being chased — they're just trying to get it from Rhode Island to Colorado to reunite it with who they think is its rightful owner ... a woman who Harry has fallen deeply in love after one minor and extraordinarily awkward encounter. But that's the plot — stay for Jim Carrey doing ridiculously things like demonstrating the most annoying sound in the world and Jeff Daniels literally destroying a toilet.

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly

Director: Peter Farrelly

Year: 1994

Runtime: 106 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

Earth Girls Are Easy

When "Earth Girls are Easy" begins, Los Angeles manicurist Valerie can't get her uptight and awful yuppie boyfriend to commit. That means there's an opening in her life for a new guy, and he comes straight from outer space. Three furry aliens crash their spaceship in her pool, and the two host unhinged and immature, Wiploc and Zeebo, quickly absorb American culture by watching trashy TV, while their leader, Mac, is Valerie's dream guy — charming, eccentric, and played by Jeff Goldblum. Chaos ensues, of course, and there are also beach-set musical numbers for no other reason than that those would be funny to include.

Starring: Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey

Director: Julien Temple

Year: 1988

Runtime: 100 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Elf

Buddy is a bit different from all the other elves who live at the North Pole and work for Santa Claus — like how's he's over 6 feet tall and can't make a toy to save his life. As it's clear to everyone but Buddy, he's a human, not an elf. But he grew up surrounded by elf culture — including a diet consisting entirely of sugar, an indefatigable optimism, and sense of childish, wondrous glee — and puts it to good use when he ventures all the way to New York City to reconnect with his long-lost, money-obsessed, book publisher father and helps to get him off of Santa's infamous "Naughty List." "Elf" is probably the funniest holiday movie ever made, as well as one of the sweetest, most feel-good entries in any genre.

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan

Director: Jon Favreau

Year: 2003

Runtime: 96 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Happy Gilmore

"Happy Gilmore" has a big heart, as it's about a man who wants to earn enough money to buy his beloved grandmother's way out of a horrible nursing home. But it's also a sports movie, and it follows the usual sports movie story: Underdog tries to make it in the world where he can't possibly win. What makes "Happy Gilmore" a classic comedy is that it's a movie co-written by and starring Adam Sandler in his '90s heyday, and he doesn't hold anything back in his portrayal of the title character, a young man with anger management issues who's frustrated that his dream of playing professional hockey didn't work out. And so, he applies his hockey skills to golf, where he turns out to be quite successful, notwithstanding the likes of mean pro Scooter McGavin who's willing to do whatever it takes to stop him.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Carl Weathers

Director: Dennis Dugan

Year: 1996

Runtime: 91 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Hairspray

Up until the 1980s, writer-director John Waters made the most audacious, transgressive, squares-upsetting films in American history, self-labeled "filth" like "Pink Flamingos" and "Female Trouble." In 1988, he seemingly went legit with "Hairspray," a movie that looks like a nostalgic trip into the world of 1960s local TV dance shows. However, it's actually an insightful satire and a powerful championing of integration and acceptance. "Pleasantly plump" teen Tracy Turnblad fights rich, blonde, and uptight roadblocks to make her way onto Baltimore's "The Corny Collins Show," and she also takes a stand against the all-white program in hopes they'll admit Black dancers too. The old Waters touches are also there, like the presence of washed-up celebrities, as well collaborator and drag performer Divine playing Tracy's mother.

Starring: Ricki Lake, Divine, Sonny Bono

Director: John Waters

Year: 1988

Runtime: 91 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

A Hard Day's Night

"A Hard Day's Night" didn't need to be as clever or as funny as it is, and it's a miracle it wasn't just some quickly churned out thing to capitalize on a musical phenomenon, like some kind of Elvis movie but with four fab stars instead of one. Set in and produced in 1964, at the peak of early Beatlemania, "A Hard Day's Night" is only a slightly exaggerated look at what it was like to be in the most popular rock band of the era, while also showing off each band member's unique personality. John Lennon is sharp and funny, Paul McCartney is charming and funny, George Harrison is dry and funny, and Ringo Starr is flat-out hilarious. ((He gets the movie's best line. When a reporter asks him if he's a "mod" or a "rocker," Ringo quips that he's a "mocker.")

Starring: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison

Director: Richard Lester

Year: 1964

Runtime: 87 minutes

Rating: G

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Honeymoon in Vegas

As part of his evolution into becoming one the most idiosyncratic actors in Hollywood, Nicolas Cage used to make slightly edgy mainstream comedies, like the wacky Sin City-based con artist caper "Honeymoon in Vegas." Cage plays a destitute private investigator out of options when his debt to a big-time gambler/criminal comes due, so he reluctantly agrees to let the gangster spend a weekend in Hawaii with his fiancée to clear his debts. She happens to look like the guy's deceased wife, and the attraction is mutual, meaning the P.I. now has to use his skills to get her back and gamble on himself. This also somehow involves a troupe of skydiving Elvis Presley impersonators because that's just how things go in Las Vegas.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Jessica Parker, James Caan

Director: Andrew Bergman

Year: 1992

Runtime: 96 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

In & Out

People get mentioned in awards show acceptance speeches all the time, but "In and Out" looks at the effect that such a thing can have on a person's life. They might, for example, wind up questioning everything and flipping their entire life around. With everyone in his hometown watching the Academy Awards broadcast, a pretentious Hollywood actor wins his Oscar for portraying a gay man. In his speech, he calls out his high school drama teacher as his inspiration, as he's a member of the LGBTQ+ community. That news shocks the entire town who didn't know Mr. Brackett identified as gay — not even Mr. Brackett. Then Mr. Brackett comes to realize that maybe he does, in fact, prefer the company of men.

Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck

Director: Frank Oz

Year: 1997

Runtime: 90 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

The Interview

HBO Max is the place to see a movie that led to an international political standoff between the United States and North Korea. Co-directed by Seth Rogen, "The Interview" never even hit theaters because its subject matter prompted terrorists to threaten to bomb any theater showing it. The reason? It's about unctuous TV interviewer Dave Skylark and his reserved producer, Aaron Rapaport, who travel to the secretive, totalitarian nation of North Korea ostensibly to interview dictator Kim Jong-un ... but they've really been recruited by the U.S. government to get close enough to the brutal leader to graphically assassinate him. Dave comes to like the guy and gets cold feet and kind of feels sorry for the seemingly sad and dejected Kim Jong-un, but that might just all be for show.

Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park

Director: Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Year: 2014

Runtime: 112 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Joe vs. the Volcano

In what's still the oddest movie of his career, Tom Hanks teams up with frequent rom-com partner Meg Ryan for the first time in this quirky lark from the writer of "Moonstruck," playing in a film about love, death, and dissatisfaction with modern society — heady stuff for what's already a high-concept premise. Hanks plays Joe, a hypochondriac who's despondent even before he learns he has a terminal disease. He decides to live out his days on a tropical island (occupied by a chief played by droll "Taxi" and "Godfather" star Abe Vigoda), agreeing to be a human sacrifice who'll willingly be tossed into a volcano as part of a ritual. Joe may not go through with it, however, after he falls in love with a woman and island life in general. And yeah, the woman is played by Meg Ryan ... and so are two other characters in this crazy film.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges

Director: John Patrick Shanley

Year: 1990

Runtime: 102 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

The King of Staten Island

"The King of Staten Island" is a bittersweet, sentimental, and often heartbreaking coming-of-age story about a guy who probably should've come of age already. "Saturday Night Live" standout and comedian Pete Davidson stars as going-nowhere Scott, a 20-something who lives in his mother's basement and doesn't do much besides smoke a lot of marijuana, maintain a physical relationship with a woman he keeps at emotional distance, and test out his terrible tattooing skills on his friends. Scott is clearly stunted from losing his firefighter father at a young age, and all those self-destructive tendencies and father issues boil over when his mother starts dating a firefighter who shows Scott some pushback and tough love.

Starring: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr

Director: Judd Apatow

Year: 2020

Runtime: 137 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

The Lego Batman Movie

Batman is so dark, so brooding, so tortured, so mysterious — and there's just a little bit too much of that, Hollywood, said the filmmakers behind "The Lego Batman Movie." A spinoff of the deliriously funny "The Lego Movie," raspy-voiced Will Arnett reprises his role of the Caped Crusader-as-misunderstood-goth-teen in his solo adventure as he tries to shake off an overenthusiastic Robin and defeat a silly take on the Joker (along with other rogues' gallery obscurities like Condiment King). The whole thing is a much-needed send-up of the sacred cow that is the Batman universe.

Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis

Director: Chris McKay

Year: 2017

Runtime: 104 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Little Shop of Horrors

Of all the old-fashioned, stagey, romantic horror musical comedies about man-eating plants, nerdy florists, and sadistic dentists, "Little Shop of Horrors" is easily the best. Based on the campy Broadway show which in turn was based on a 1960s B-movie, "Little Shop of Horrors" concerns lonely, geeky Seymour Krelborn, in love with his sweet and intimidating flower shop coworker Audrey, and he laments how she's dating a dentist who gets off on causing his patients as much pain as possible. He finds the solution to his problems — and a problem for everyone else down on Skid Row — when he nurses a tiny, mysterious plant to life, a plant which turns into a soul-singing monster hungry for human flesh and blood.

Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin

Director: Frank Oz

Year: 1986

Runtime: 93 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

National Lampoon's Vacation

It's the movie that made Chevy Chase, or at least Clark Griswold, the archetypal TV dad. He just wants to take his wife and two teen children on a road trip across the country to the beatific Wally World theme park in California, but the universe thwarts him at every turn. Delaying the Griswolds' arrival at Wally World are car accidents, a relative who dies on the trip, a doomed dog, and Clark's fantasy woman. And that's not even mentioning what happens once they arrive at the fabled theme park. It's no wonder Clark's nerves are so frayed by the end of what's supposed to be a relaxing family trip.

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid

Director: Harold Ramis

Year: 1983

Runtime: 98 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

In the early 1980s, Paul Reubens was the toast of the Los Angeles comedy scene for "The Pee-wee Show," a stage play where he portrayed high-voiced man-child Pee-wee Herman. In 1986, he brought Pee-wee to the big screen via a road trip comedy that also introduced the mainstream to the inventive and surreal stylings of director Tim Burton. Like Pee-wee, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" is familiar but wholly new — a hilarious, unpredictable adventure that's really a kids' movie for grown-ups. After his treasured bicycle is stolen, Pee-wee hits the road to get it back. He learns a lot about himself along the way, a journey in which he encounters a rebel who tears the tags off mattresses, entertains a biker bar with a dance to "Tequila," and is almost terrified to death by the ghost of a dead trucker.

Starring: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton

Director: Tim Burton

Year: 1985

Runtime: 91 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

The Producers

Years before he'd roast specific kinds of Hollywood movies, like sci-fi with "Spaceballs" and westerns with "Blazing Saddles," writer-director Mel Brooks satirized the entire notion of commercial entertainment with "The Producers." His Academy Award-winning screenplay concerns faded Broadway producer Max Bialystock, who earns his living by taking investments for plays he'll never make from old ladies in exchange for certain physical favors. When his extraordinarily nervous accountant, Leo Bloom, arrives and discovers some major errors in Max's books, they discover that, due to the vagaries of finance, they can make more money on a bomb of a play than a hit. Bloom's reservations aside, they set out to make the worst Broadway musical ever — a song-and-dance celebration of the worst man in history called "Springtime for Hitler." And then the whole scam falls apart.

Starring: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn

Director: Mel Brooks

Year: 1967

Runtime: 88 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

A Shot in the Dark

Director Blake Edwards and chameleonic comic genius actor Peter Sellers teamed up to make five movies about the bumbling, incompetent, but very confident detective Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and they're all on HBO Max. But "A Shot in the Dark," the second "Pink Panther" movie (the cartoon character appears in the animated introduction sequence), is where the duo perfected their formula. It's this movie where Clouseau becomes a bundle of silly French stereotypes and where numerous series regulars (meaning Sellers' exasperated comic foils) are introduced, as the not-so-great detective hopelessly tries to solve the murder of a driver at a grand British country estate.

Starring: Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, George Sanders

Director: Blake Edwards

Year: 1964

Runtime: 102 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Ted

The whimsical, magical story of a little boy who meets a talking toy has been told plenty of times. "Ted" wonders what happens after the kid grows up and the novelty of a sentient, talking teddy bear has worn off and both parties need to get on with their lives. John, years removed from his shooting star wish that made Ted real, wants to marry his girlfriend, Lori. But with Ted always hanging around, usually drunk and with a woman he picked up, that makes things difficult. After a falling out with John, Ted sets out to explore the world a little bit and realizes it's both great (he meets Sam J. Jones, star of "Flash Gordon") and terrible (he gets kidnapped by a stalker).

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Year: 2012

Runtime: 106 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

This Is Spinal Tap

"This Is Spinal Tap" is one of the very first mockumentaries, and it's one that rings true and painfully funny about what life must be like for a once major rock band. By the mid-'80s, Spinal Tap is reduced to playing amusement park amphitheaters and unable to get their record label to release an album with anything other than an all-black sleeve because their original design is just too profane. It's obvious to everyone but the band itself that they're careening into a split, and they suffer numerous mishaps along the way, including getting lost backstage, accidentally screwing up their Stonehenge set, and experiencing one freakish drummer death after another.

Starring: Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer

Director: Rob Reiner

Year: 1984

Runtime: 82 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Time Bandits

"Time Bandits" is what happens if you were to combine the cerebral, hard-edged silliness of the Monty Python comedy troupe with hilariously absurd elements of science fiction and fantasy. Conceived by and co-starring guys from the group behind "Life of Brian" and "Flying Circus," "Time Bandits" begins when tweenage history aficionado Kevin follows a band of time-traveling little people who appear in his home one night through a wormhole and must keep a time map out of the clutches of an evil floating head ... as well as the very concept of evil itself. All the while, they pop into various historical and mythical time periods, meeting the likes of Napoleon and Robin Hood.

Starring: Craig Warnock, Sean Connery, John Cleese

Director: Terry Gilliam

Year: 1981

Runtime: 116 minutes

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Waiting for Guffman

Small-town life is usually celebrated in movies, not thoroughly skewered as it is in "Waiting for Guffman." However, writer-director-star Christopher Guest has a real affection for the characters in this wickedly and quietly funny — and partially improvised mockumentary — about the people of Blaine, Missouri, as they stage an original and cheesy musical about the town's history on its 150th anniversary. The actors, including a moonlighting Dairy Queen cashier and a dentist, indulge their unlikely if not impossible dreams of stardom when they match the energy of their eccentric director Corky St. Clair, who spreads a rumor that a Broadway producer named Guffman might turn up to see the show.

Starring: Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Parker Posey

Director: Christopher Guest

Year: 1996

Runtime: 83 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Wedding Crashers

One part rom-com, one part raunchy comedy, "Wedding Crashers" graduates its dude-bro characters out of overgrown frat boyhood into the adult world against their will and with their own weapons. John and Jeremy work as divorce mediators and cynically capitalize on the romance in the air at weddings by sneaking into receptions and seducing women for the purpose of one-night stands. But then they crash the wedding of the daughter of the secretary of the treasury, and both guys meet their match — John with the brainy Claire and Jeremy with the sexually aggressive Gloria.

Starring: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams

Director: David Dobkin

Year: 2005

Runtime: 119 minutes

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

The Wedding Singer

After establishing himself with silly, brash comedies, Adam Sandler blasted back to the nostalgic year of 1982 with this romantic comedy set in a world of New Wave, neon, and a suburban town's thriving wedding industry. Sandler plays Robbie Hart, a lovelorn romantic content with singing party anthems at wedding receptions every weekend ... until his cruel girlfriend dumps him, sending him into a tailspin that can only be cured by falling in love with an event server named Julia. "The Wedding Singer" is sweet and lovely but also ridiculous, giving viewers odd moments like an elderly woman rapping, Billy Idol vanquishing a villain on a plane, and Sandler sadly belting out '80s hits to confused and angry wedding guests.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor

Director: Frank Coraci

Year: 1998

Runtime: 96 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%