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98 Best Comedy Movies Of All Time

It's a universal experience and one of the best and most physically and psychologically necessary things in life — to laugh, that is. And that's why comedies are so important. 

One of the core and most popular genres of film, comedy has been a consistently popular movie format since the birth of the cinema. And all kinds of comedic subgenres have developed over the years, like the road trip comedy, fish-out-of-water comedy, horror comedy, the rom-com, and more. Some of the greatest movies ever produced were seemingly designed to be great works of art second and invitations to the audience to let loose and laugh first. Here then are the 98 movies, stretching back to Hollywood's early years and all the way up to the near-present, that are not only hilarious but are also fantastic films. In no particular order, these are the best comedy movies ever made.

Updated on August 11, 2021: The world of comedy never stops, and the laughs just keep on coming. As new funny flicks hit theater screens and streaming services, we'll be keeping an eye out for any future classics and hidden gems. Check back periodically to see if any new comedies make our list of the all-time best.

Wayne's World

"Wayne's World" was such a popular sketch on "Saturday Night Live" that Hollywood wanted to expand the world of metalhead Chicago cable access hosts Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar into a film. The resulting movie isn't a rehash but an innovative, ironic, exciting, and wildly unpredictable comedy. Amidst a story about a sleazy TV producer trying to steal and ruin Wayne's show (and also lure away his rock star girlfriend), Wayne and Garth frequently break the fourth wall, talking to the audience and even giving the film a new ending because the one they're stuck with is a total bummer. "Wayne's World" is really all about those great bits, like the memorable moment where rock legend Alice Cooper delivers a lecture about the history of Milwaukee.

  • Starring: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe
  • Director: Penelope Spheeris
  • Year: 1992
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

National Lampoon's Animal House

Produced under the eye of the aggressively button-pushing and sometimes filthy humor magazine "National Lampoon," "Animal House" established some new cinematic concepts, such as a the wild, R-rated college comedy and the "snobs vs. slobs" concept that would pop up in comic films throughout the '80s. It's set in the early 1960s on the campus of Faber College, where the Delta Tau Chi fraternity house is so libidinous and booze-soaked that it will admit almost anyone willing to help them throw legendary parties and play elaborate campus pranks. This earns them the ire of the dean, Vernon Wormer, who puts the frat on "double secret probation" and enlists a snooty rich kid fraternity to help eliminate Delta House ... which won't go down without an outrageous fight.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

On its sketch show "Flying Circus," Monty Python ridiculed all aspects of English life, particularly what it meant to be English. So it's ironic that the most enduring and popular film adaptation of Arthurian legend is "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," a film that celebrates England's enduring collection of myths and legends about a brave and true medieval ruler by thoroughly and completely making fun of it. 

"Holy Grail," ostensibly about a quest to obtain Christ's Last Supper goblet, is made by a sketch troupe, and as a result, we're treated to one hilarious set piece and self-contained vignette after another, from two castle guards wondering how many swallows could carry the coconuts King Arthur's squire uses to mimic the sound of horse hooves (in lieu of an actual horse) to a duel with the indefatigable Black Knight (who won't stop fighting even after Arthur hacks off all his limbs) to killer bunnies and a group of knights who scream, "Ni!"

  • Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
  • Year: 1975
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Dumb and Dumber

Harry and Lloyd are probably the two dumbest guys in Rhode Island, and they're the last people who should come into possession of a bag of ransom money intended for some violent criminals. And so, they set out to deliver it to the woman who Lloyd thinks left it behind by accident, Mary Swanson, his dream woman. They drive their mobile dog grooming van (dressed up to look like a dog) all the way to Colorado and engage in some silly misadventures along the way, like sharing the most annoying sound in the world, destroying a toilet, and accidentally feeding rat poison to a hitman.

Fletch

When he ruled the comedy world in the 1980s, Chevy Chase was at his best when he played smarmy guys who thought they were one step ahead of everybody else. He perfected the persona with "Fletch," playing Irwin M. "Fletch" Fletcher, a versatile, quick-thinking investigative reporter who acts more like a shrewd private eye than a writer researching a story. He's offered a big sum of money to kill a man, but a little bit of digging shows that the situation is far more complicated and dangerous than Fletch thought, sending him looking for answers and into hiding. Along the way, we're treated to a series of ridiculous fake names and assumed identities that he gets away with because Fletch can talk his way into or out of anything. At one point, a friend asks Fletch if "everything is a joke to him." And yes, it kind of is.

  • Starring: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
  • Director: Michael Ritchie
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Groundhog Day

There would be no "Palm Springs," "Happy Death Day," or other caught-in-a-repeating-time-loop movies without the original stab at the idea: "Groundhog Day." Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a jaded and shallow TV weatherman who resents having to travel to the Groundhog Day capital of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover whether or not the official groundhog sees his shadow or not. He's rude to his producer, Rita, not to mention pretty much everyone else he encounters, from townsfolk to an old, long-winded acquaintance. Then something magically and utterly unexplainable happens: Phil keeps re-living Groundhog Day, in the exact same circumstances, over and over. He does it probably thousands of times, unable to break out even with death. It would seem that he's going to have to fix something about himself and his awful ways if he ever wants the date to change.

Election

Based on novelist Tom Perrotta's comic, fictionalized take on the 1992 presidential election — where one establishment guy, one likable and relatable figure, and one unpredictable outsider all ran for office — "Election" tells the story of a Midwestern high school's student body government campaign, along with providing a look at the scandalous untold lives of some unethical teachers. 

Overachieving, hard-nosed go-getter Tracy Flick works harder than anyone and probably deserves to be president, but student government advisor Mr. McAllister loathes her to the point where he encourages nice, dumb, popular jock Paul to run as a spoiler. Then Paul's sister, an anarchist malcontent, decides to enter the race too, all while Tracy is engaged in an affair with a teacher and Mr. McAllister tries to cheat on his wife.

  • Starring: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
  • Director: Alexander Payne
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

This epic frivolity from quirky filmmakers Joel and Ethan Cohen is an adaptation of Homer's Ancient Greek epic poem "The Odyssey," except it's set in the American South during the Great Depression. Plus, it's about a smooth-talking criminal instead of a mighty warrior, and it's funny. Both the poem and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" do, however, feature enemies in pursuit, seductive sirens, and a cyclops. As for the plot, after busting out of a chain gang, three convicts, led by the charming Ulysses Everett McGill, trek across the countryside and encounter danger in order to find long-hidden stolen wealth and then hoof it to freedom.

Grosse Pointe Blank

Some of the best comedies start with a familiar and relatable premise, and then, after attracting an audience, they tweak and escalate the story, thereby delighting everyone watching. For example, "Grosse Pointe Blank" sends up the awkward, almost universally American experience of the high school reunion and the anxiety over returning home to account for yourself and your actions since graduation. Martin Blank heads back to his suburban Detroit hometown for his 10-year reunion, intending to reconnect with Debbie, the extra-cool love-of-his-life he stood up on prom night. He's also now working as one of the world's top contract killers, but it's a career he feels increasingly bad about, especially as he avoids an aggressive fellow hitman who wants to unionize and won't take no for an answer.

Dazed and Confused

Set in 1976, "Dazed and Confused" takes place within 24 hours, following a group of students in Austin, Texas, as they celebrate after the last day of school. A large ensemble comedy, the film follows reluctant football star Randall "Pink" Floyd as he debates whether or not to sign an anti-drug pledge while cruising around town, drinking and smoking marijuana with his friends. There's also the plight of Mitch, a freshman who takes his hazing (in the form of paddling) like a champ and gets to hang out with the cool kids at the pool hall and the Moon Tower party. Meanwhile, there's 20-something Wooderson creeping around, hitting on high school girls, including nerdy Cynthia, who's driving around aimlessly with fellow edgy outcasts Tony and Mike. It's the greatest night of all their lives, but they don't really know that yet.

Bowfinger

"Bowfinger" is a very funny movie about how movies get made — or rather how they could get made if the dream and desire to make them is strong enough, even amongst wannabe filmmakers who lack the talent, money, and connections to do so. After guiding a troupe of hack actors through some very low-budget productions, Bobby Bowfinger falsely claims to have cast big-time movie star Kit Ramsey in his latest project, an action flick called "Chubby Rain." He's done no such thing, however. Instead, he follows and secretly films Ramsey's actions (and reactions to his actors doing line readings). For close-up shots, Bowfinger enlists a nerdy Kit Ramsey lookalike — the opposite of the brash and paranoid A-lister. And yes, Eddie Murphy plays both parts.

  • Starring: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham
  • Director: Frank Oz
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Some Like It Hot

Depression-adjacent America, two broke guys dressing as women, and a Chicago gangland murder doesn't sound like the most appealing comedy for present-day audiences, but "Some Like It Hot" remains a highly regarded classic, topping the American Film Institute's top comedies list more than 50 years after its release. 

After jazz musicians and best friends Jerry and Joe witness a Mob-affiliated bootlegger carry out a murder, they've got to get out of town and go on the lam, taking jobs with a Miami resort's in-house band. The one sticking point is that it's an all-female band, so Jerry and Joe put on wigs, makeup, and dresses and become "Daphne" and "Josephine." Once ensconced in the band, they've now got to effectively pretend to be women while Joe falls hard for the group's singer, Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, and Jerry must deal with Osgood, an amorous new suitor.

  • Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Year: 1959
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Idiocracy

"Idiocracy" is a very smart movie about very dumb people. Army librarian Joe Bauers is so average that he's declared the most average man in the military, and he's picked for a strange experiment in which he'll be cryonically frozen for a short period (alongside a sex worker named Rita). The Armed Forces forgets about the experiment, and Joe and Rita thaw out in the year 2505 to a changed world in which humanity has devolved into a shockingly stupid race where everyone's only focused on immediate pleasures. The once average Joe is by default the smartest man on Earth, and the government forces him to solve a catastrophic food shortage — it would seem farmers are giving crops not water but Brawndo, the "thirst mutilator" because it's "got electrolytes." When Joe doesn't immediately succeed, he'll have to fight for his life in a demolition derby.

  • Starring: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard
  • Director: Mike Judge
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Blazing Saddles

Mel Brooks, the king of the full-length movie spoof who filled his movies with unbridled silliness, satirized 20th-century American race relations with "Blazing Saddles," the funniest Western ever made. A greedy developer named Hedley Lamarr (quick to not let others anachronistically confuse him with movie star Hedy Lamarr) wants to build a railroad through the town of Rock Ridge, and with the help of the governor, he plans on driving everyone out. How? By appointing the Old West's first Black sheriff, the smart and clever Bart. However, the plan backfires when Bart wins over the incredibly racist town and fights back against the baddies, enlisting the help of the Waco Kid, once the fastest gun around. Of course, this is also a Mel Brooks movie so there's less cerebral stuff, such as the "cowboys eating beans by the campfire" scene — probably the longest and most famous fart scene in film history.

  • Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman
  • Director: Mel Brooks
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

In the 1970s, when media options were slim, local TV news anchors could apparently be celebrities and treated like trusted, merciful gods. At least they were according to "Anchorman," which tells the story of the undoing of Ron Burgundy, ruler of San Diego's popular Channel 4 news team, as he comes to grips with his woefully sexist and self-absorbed ways when he's forced to share the nightly news with feminist journalist Veronica Corningstone (with whom he's also desperately smitten). "Anchorman" is more than just a satire of gender politics where a buffoon is the butt of the jokes — there are many scenes of Ron and his news team goofing off, getting in violent fights with other local news personalities, and breaking out into random love songs from the 1970s.

  • Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd
  • Director: Adam McKay
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

Jackass: The Movie

This isn't a scripted comedy, and it's not really a documentary either. "Jackass: The Movie" is the big-screen version of the hit MTV stunt-and-prank series, free from the strict content restraints of cable TV. The "Jackass" crew, a close-knit bunch of guys who love to razz and physically harm themselves and each other, come across as a sweet and loving bunch as they stage set pieces that are too wild, profane, or elaborate for television. These guys suffer for their art too. The 50 or so sequences include administering electronic shocks, entering a rental car in a demolition derby, crashing golf carts, tightrope walking over an alligator pit, and using a display toilet in a hardware store.

  • Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Steve-O
  • Director: Jeff Tremaine
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

The Gold Rush

Charlie Chaplin virtually created the idea of screen comedy, writing, directing, and starring as the overwhelmed, beset-by-hard-luck "Little Tramp" character in scores of internationally popular films in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s — all in black and white and all silent. Such was ability to tell a story, hold the audience's attention, and be creatively and excruciatingly funny, all without saying a word. In "The Gold Rush," Chaplin portrays the Little Tramp as a prospector in Alaska in the Klondike Rush of the late 1890s. In due time, he gets caught in a blizzard and stuck in a rickety cabin with a wanted man. They slowly go mad from boredom and starvation, but the Little Tramp somehow survives the cabin's spectacular collapse, all while keeping us chuckling with his shoe supper and charming roll dance.

  • Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
  • Director: Charlie Chaplin
  • Year: 1925
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Ed Wood

Biopics don't always have to be serious, sedate affairs that gaze in loving awe at their subjects. They can also be very funny, should the life of the profiled figure warrant it. And Tim Burton was completely justified in presenting "Ed Wood" as a comedy — a stylish, beautifully shot film that looks like it came from the middle of the 20th century, when most of the film takes place — but a comedy nonetheless. Ed Wood was a filmmaker who didn't have a lot of skill or talent but made up for it in enthusiasm and delusion. And Burton's biopic takes a long look at Wood's production of "Plan 9 from Outer Space," widely regarded as the worst movie of all time for its bad acting and inept directing which the titular filmmaker ebulliently considered "perfect!"

A Fish Called Wanda

Comedies don't usually garner much attention from the Academy Awards, but the witty, unpredictable, classy "A Fish Called Wanda" did, winning a statuette for actor Kevin Kline and nominations for its director and screenplay, co-written by co-star John Cleese of Monty Python. The presence of that famous sketch troupe is all over the movie. For example, Monty Python member Michael Palin co-stars as a British gangster's incompetent, fish-loving, stammering assistant, who gets the farcical nonsense going when he hires American criminals Wanda and Otto to help in a big diamond heist. It all goes wrong, and then everybody attempts, poorly, to double-cross each other or eliminate witnesses.

  • Starring: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
  • Director: Charles Crichton and John Cleese
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

In this affectionate parody of brightly colored, very British spy movies from the '60s, Mike Myers stars as Austin Powers, an operative with very bad teeth and a guy who treats women like objects, calling them "baby" and asking if they want to "shag." And yet, in that era, Austin Powers could be a hero and sex symbol in spite of all that (or even because of it). He's in for a culture shock when he's unfrozen in the unfamiliar, strange, and politically correct '90s in order to defeat Dr. Evil (also played by Mike Myers), a Bond-esque villain bent on world domination (and reconnecting with his lab-created son, Scott Evil).

  • Starring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Robert Wagner
  • Director: Jay Roach
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Deadpool

"Deadpool" is a film that asks, "What if that wickedly funny friend who makes hilarious wisecracks all throughout the viewing of a movie was the main character and narrator of that very film?" Well, that film would be fantastic.

Here, Ryan Reynolds – so charmingly, self-deprecatingly funny in many other movies, as well as off-screen — plays Wade Wilson, a low-rent mercenary who can't stop saying funny stuff, even after he's diagnosed with cancer and forced into an experimental treatment that turns him into a deformed superhero with instant healing abilities. Seriously, the dude is still cracking jokes even as he goes after the bad guys who left him with Freddy Krueger skin and kidnapped the love of his life.

  • Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller
  • Director: Tim Miller
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" combines heartfelt emotion with wild and suggestive comedy, establishing writer-director Judd Apatow's approach as the definitive one of 2000s movie comedy. Steve Carell plays Andy, a painfully shy middle-aged guy who's never known the touch of a woman. When his macho co-workers find out, they set out on an '80s sex comedy-style quest to remedy the situation for Andy, giving him all kinds of crude and sexist advice that puts him in several painful and painfully funny situations. Meanwhile, he just might take care of things himself, as he's also slowly pursuing a true and delicate romance with a single mother.

  • Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd
  • Director: Judd Apatow
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Back to the Future

There's always going to be some kind of a generation gap between adults and their teenage children, but "Back to the Future" found an audacious, original, and wildly scientific way to get parents and kids to understand each other by making them all 17 at the same time. In 1985, Marty McFly spends his time avoiding his geeky and defeated parents, George and Lorraine, and hangs out with Doc Brown, a neighborhood mad scientist. One night, he shows Marty the time machine he's built in a DeLorean, and before he knows it, Marty's been sent 30 years back in time. Complicating matters even more, he's forced to play matchmaker for his future parents — lest he never exist. That's going to prove difficult, as George is a creep and Lorraine totally has the hots for Marty, who she doesn't know is actually her son from the future.

The General

Silent movies don't tend to age well, but the inventive, physical comedy-fueled films of Buster Keaton have. The actor and filmmaker — with his expressive hangdog face — played put-upon guys thrust into situations they wanted no part of, a perfect recipe for laughs and one that set the stage for the hilarious stunts that kept Keaton's characters teetering between elegance and humiliation. 

And in "The General," Keaton portrays a Civil War era railroad engineer in the South named Johnny Gray. After his fiancée is mistakenly kidnapped by Union troops who steal a train, he's off to get her back, in hot pursuit of the soldiers via many uncooperative forms of transport. If you've always wanted a funnier, quieter version of "Mad Max: Fury Road," this stunt-driven chase film might be the flick for you.

  • Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
  • Directors: Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton
  • Year: 1926
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

This comedy launched Jim Carrey to lasting big-screen stardom, and it's hard to imagine anybody else playing the crude, rubber-faced, wiggly, and generally over-the-top Ace Ventura. The grating, Hawaiian-shirt wearing Miami man loves solving crimes almost as much as he loves animals, and he works as a police consultant on creature-featured cases, such as when the Miami Dolphins' actual dolphin mascot disappears. Can Ace Ventura finger the culprit while also talking out of his rear end, screaming at most everyone he meets, and pretending to be a member of the Miami elite? Alrighty then.

  • Starring: Jim Carrey, Sean Young, Courteney Cox
  • Director: Tom Shadyac
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Released a few years after the almost catastrophic Cuban Missile Crisis, "Dr. Strangelove" didn't help to assuage mass anxiety about nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union ... but at least it was funny, treating the idea of high-stakes gamesmanship as an absurd farce. Convinced that the Russian Communists are trying to infect the "precious bodily fluids" of innocent Americans, deranged Air Force General Jack Ripper orders atomic-armed jets to bomb the Soviet Union. Back in the U.S., a war room of elite but ineffectual officials convenes, desperate to somehow stop what looks to be the end of the world. Dedicated comic actor (and "The Pink Panther" star) Peter Sellers plays three roles: a British military captain, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove, a supposedly former Nazi advising the U.S. government.

  • Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Year: 1964
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Office Space

Previously best known for "Beavis and Butt-head" and "King of the Hill," writer-director Mike Judge soon turned his attention to taking down corporate culture, cubicle life, and even the idea of work in general in "Office Space." Here, the action centers on Peter, a dissatisfied and despondent office worker who just can't focus or stifle his hatred of his passive-aggressively demanding boss, so much so that he agrees to his girlfriend's suggestion to receive therapeutic hypnosis. Tragically, the hypnotist dies mid-session, leaving Peter in a blissful state in which he doesn't care about anything but his own happiness, causing him to say and do whatever he feels at work. His newfound emotional freedom also helps him launch a digital accounting scam with co-workers Samir and the unfortunately named Michael Bolton.

  • Starring: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole
  • Director: Mike Judge
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

There aren't too many Thanksgiving movies, but even if there were, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" would stand above them all because it's about the lengths people will go to get home in time for the holiday, along with the soul-crushing frustrations they'll bear. In this road trip comedy, the brief journey from New York to Chicago will seemingly never end for uptight ad man Neal and gregarious, overbearing shower curtain salesman Del. This odd couple wind up taking the trip together, through canceled flights, car fires, intimately shared motel rooms, cramped buses, and a robbery.

  • Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
  • Director: John Hughes
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Duck Soup

The Marx Brothers had a formula, but it was a novel one for its time, and it sure did delight and entertain audiences. They were a four-man comedy team, each with a recognizable and singular persona. Zeppo plays it straight, Chico speaks in an exaggerated Italian accent, Harpo honked a horn instead of speaking, and Groucho — in his mustache and glasses — raised his eyebrows as he delivered astute and witty quips. In their films, the Marx Brothers teamed up to take down uptight institutions and stick it to the stuffed shirts, injecting madness and cleverness to create some spectacular screen comedy that's still emulated nearly a century later. In "Duck Soup," one the Marx Brothers' best, Groucho plays Rufus T. Firefly, newly appointed president of the bankrupt nation of Freedonia, who goes to war with neighbor Sylvania in order to win the favors (and fortune) of a rich woman. It's a brilliant satire of politics and war, and the film's "mirror" gag is still copied today.

  • Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
  • Director: Leo McCarey
  • Year: 1933
  • Runtime: 70 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Shaun of the Dead

Not counting their much-loved, short-lived British slacker comedy "Spaced," "Shaun of the Dead" was the first of many collaborations between filmmaker Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. In this brilliant horror comedy, Pegg portrays Shaun, a London electronics store worker going nowhere fast. In fact, he's recently been dumped by his girlfriend. He's so wrapped up in his own misery that it takes him an extremely long time to notice that his city is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. But when he finally does, Shaun quickly springs to action, wielding a cricket bat, and with the assistance of his equally underachieving roommate Ed, he sets out to protect himself, his ex, and his mother.

  • Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield
  • Director: Edgar Wright
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Step Brothers

Brennan and Dale are spoiled, petulant, deeply immature loser man-boys, still living at home with their single parents despite being near 40. When those parents get married and Brennan and Dale are forced to live under the same roof, they viciously hate each other ... until they realize they have a lot in common and instantly become best friends, a relationship that proves so toxic it splits up their parents. Once enemies, now family, Brennan and Dale have to quickly become responsible adults and try to reunite their mother and father.

  • Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen
  • Director: Adam McKay
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Monty Python's Life of Brian

The great and influential English sketch comedy troupe Monty Python went and made a grand, old-fashioned Biblical epic, but they did it their way. "Life of Brian" concerns an imagined character, Brian, who's born near Jesus Christ in another manger on the first Christmas. His life parallels and intersects with his more famous birthday buddy on many occasions, and then Brian joins an anti-Roman revolutionary group. After his attempt at some Roman-bashing graffiti goes awry, he's a wanted man, and he faces the same violent death as Christ. He may not have the Almighty on his side, but he does get a chance to sing the optimistic "Always Look on the Bride Sight of Life" while facing certain doom.

  • Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin
  • Director: Terry Jones
  • Year: 1979
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

It's a conman contest in the picturesque French Riviera. In this clever, elegant, twisty comedy, upper-crust Englishman Lawrence Jamieson makes a nice living bilking wealthy female vacationers out of huge sums of money by pretending to be a deposed prince. His path crosses with that of small-time American swindler Freddy Benson, who seemingly scores just a few bucks at a time but who Jamieson is convinced is "the Jackal," a mysterious scammer making their way through Europe. Jamieson and Freddy clash, then make a deal: Whoever can juice a shared mark out of $50,000 will get the Riviera as their territory, while the other has to leave the resort area. Their target? Newly arrived American klutz and soap company heir Janet Colgate ... who might not be as naive as she seems.

  • Starring: Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly
  • Director: Frank Oz
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Hangover

As "The Hangover" unspools, viewers might expect it to be a standard bro comedy, consisting of four young dudes engaging in a series of wild and ribald misadventures in Las Vegas — a cinematic bachelor party befitting the film's central conceit of being about three guys taking a groom-to-be to Sin City. But when the marrying man winds up missing and his pals have no idea where he is nor any recollection of the previous night, "The Hangover" becomes a comic mystery as the protagonists try to piece together their hazy memories of debauchery and questionable choices.

  • Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
  • Director: Todd Phillips
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

School of Rock

Jack Black presents himself as a swaggering rock idol, both in public and as half of the comical, acoustic-metal band Tenacious D. That makes the role of Dewey Finn — a broke, wannabe musician turned private school teacher — the one he was destined to play. Dewey totally doesn't care about his new gig (in fact, he's impersonating his best friend — an actual teacher) until he learns his students are all pretty gifted musically. He then decides to form and front an all-kid rock group and enter them in a Battle of the Bands contest in order to defeat and show up No Vacancy, his old group that threw him out. It's a journey of redemption for Dewey, one of building self-confidence for the kids, and of course, lots of pint-size rocking out and Jack Black belting out tunes like a '70s arena rocker.

Sausage Party

"Sausage Party" is like "Toy Story" but with CGI sentient food in a grocery store instead of a child's playthings. It's also extremely crude, jaw-droppingly sexually graphic, and existential. It centers on a hot dog named Frank who desperately wants to couple up with a bun named Brenda, but he also wants to leave the supermarket with a human and enter "The Great Beyond." But then a jar of honey mustard is returned to the store and exposes the truth about the assumed food heaven — it's not real because humans just eat and kill all the food they purchase. It's up to Frank and Brenda to wake up their fellow talking food to their true, dark destiny — or at least get everyone to accept their fate and engage in an end-of-the-world bacchanal of pleasure.

  • Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera
  • Directors: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Bringing Up Baby

It's perhaps the definitive screwball comedy of Hollywood's golden Age. And it stars two of the classiest and most respected actors of all time — Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn — acting silly and competing for screen time with an animal, no less. In this wacky, whip-smart black-and-white caper, nerdy paleontologist David Huxley has to impress a high-society lady so she'll give his museum a massive donation. All he has to do is endure a day with her niece, Susan, an unpredictable free spirit who complicates things with her affections and introducing rogue dinosaur bones and a hungry leopard into the mix.

  • Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Year: 1938
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

The LEGO Movie

Rarely is a movie made for children comically ambitious enough to be genuinely funny to a general audience, including adults who've seen hundreds of movies and have every comedy trope memorized. "The LEGO Movie" is that cinematic unicorn (or Unikitty, if we're going to invoke one of the film's most imaginative characters). In this CGI film that looks like stop-motion animation where everything is made out of LEGO, a regular guy named Emmet Brickowski discovers he's "special" and the one person who can save the Lego realm from Lord Business' nefarious plot. Emmet isn't quite smart or cynical enough to be up to the challenge, but he's got the help of a motley crew of allies, including the rebellious and self-named Wyldstyle, a particularly mopey Batman, and pretty much every other pop culture character ever turned into a LEGO figurine.

  • Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
  • Directors: Christopher Miller and Phil Lord
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Napoleon Dynamite

"Napoleon Dynamite" is about a high school outcast, but it's not the conventional teenage comedy. Set in a tiny, rural Idaho town, the title character lives life on his own terms, fancying himself a champion and idol, forever annoyed with classmates and family members who want him to just act normally. He's too busy developing his karate skills, learning to disco dance, dangling action figures out of bus windows, shopping in thrift stores with his almost comatose friend Pedro, and drawing ligers (that's a mix of a lion and a tiger) to care what other people think.

  • Starring: Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries
  • Director: Jared Hess
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

The big-screen version of the satirical, animated series isn't just an extra-long episode — it's an ambitious and sweeping war epic, rife with romance, the supernatural, and a great number of musical sequences. But because this is "South Park," the whole thing is unbelievably profane and provocative. After Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny go see the Canadian comedians Terrance and Phillip's movie and start swearing more than usual, Kyle's crusading mother blames Canada. Her actions lead to a bloody conflict with the nation, and meanwhile, Stan gets involved in defending Terrance and Philip because he thinks the girl he likes will like him back if he gets political, while Kenny dies, goes to Hell, and helps Satan leave his abusive partner, Saddam Hussein.

  • Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman
  • Director: Trey Parker
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 80 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

This bizarro, arch, candy-colored road trip movie served as a debut party for idiosyncratic future A-list filmmaker Tim Burton, as well as an introduction to the general public for Pee-wee Herman, the high-voiced, suit-wearing, living cartoon of an overgrown boy played in a popular Los Angeles stage show by comedian Paul Reubens. Pee-wee's big adventure begins when his whimsical life of gadgets and magic tricks is upended ater his amazing bicycle is stolen. He hits the road in search of it and learns a lot about the bewildering real world along the way, as well as befriending a criminal, searching for the basement of the Alamo, and experiencing a close encounter with a ghost trucker.

  • Starring: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Coming to America

The day-to-day quirks of American life don't seem like quirks to Americans who've lived in the U.S. their entire lives. But the ins and outs of America seem positively random, weird, and hilarious when viewed through the eyes of a curious, appreciative, and celebratory character who's never visited the country before — like Prince Akeem, the successor to the throne of Zamunda. Rather than marry the bride selected for him by his parents, he travels to New York in hopes of meeting his one true love. Keeping his identity secret, he gets a low-paying job at a McDonald's clone and falls hard for the boss's daughter. Akeem reels as he experiences America and Americans close-up — many of whom are played very broadly by Eddie Murphy and under many layers of makeup.

  • Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, John Amos
  • Director: John Landis
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Billy Madison

Setting the tone, style, and "SNL" veteran-heavy casting for the films that would come to define Adam Sandler's career, "Billy Madison" is a silly movie with an engaging if completely unrealistic premise. Sandler portrays Billy, a guy in his 20s who lazes around the pool of his family's mansion getting drunk all day with his friends. He's set to inherit his retiring father's company, but he's thwarted by a calculating executive who hates him and wants the firm for himself after the baddie discovers that Billy never finished school. In order to prove that he's a mature, educated man, Billy goes back to school — starting with kindergarten. He does every grade in two weeks, and it's actually kind of hard for Billy because he's amusingly immature and not very smart. (Plus, seeing a grown man squeeze into a child-size desk is objectively hilarious.)

  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Darren McGavin, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras
  • Director: Tamra Davis
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

The Lonely Island, the comedy team that made "Digital Shorts" on "Saturday Night Live," were responsible for this wild and silly mockumentary about a fictional pop-rap group. Years ago, the Style Boyz became huge stars on the strength of their dance-along single "Donkey Roll," but the group split up over creative disagreements, leading Conner4Real to become a massive solo act. He also became a fussy, self-absorbed celebrity jerk, and his latest album is a huge flop, in part because it automatically plays on smart appliances, a woefully ill-advised publicity stunt. On his seldom attended tour, Conner4Real is upstaged (and cruelly pranked) by opening act Hunter the Hunter, a barely civil underground rapper. It looks as if Conner4Real is going to have to get the Style Boyz back together — and get less awful as quick as possible.

Best in Show

"Best in Show" feels like one of those documentaries that are all over streaming services, depicting the lives of quirky characters who are part of a little-known subculture and whose stories converge in a big event. However, this is a comic, semi-improvised, semi-scripted mockumentary, populated by richly developed and fascinating characters preparing to compete with their pets in a national dog show. For example, Harlan Pepper loves and resembles his hound dog, and married couple Gerry and Cookie Fleck are into terriers. But Fred Willard is the real MVP here as a shockingly uninformed but curious dog show commentator who blurts out whatever pops into his head.

  • Starring: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard
  • Director: Christopher Guest
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Bridesmaids

Hailed as revolutionary upon its release, "Bridesmaids" was a bro comedy with over-the-top characters and bawdy bodily humor scenes, but unlike the usual fare of that nature, it had a cast made up almost entirely of women. Kristen Wiig (who co-wrote the script and earned an Oscar nomination for it) stars as Annie, a woman approaching 40 who feels like her life has stagnated after her business fails, her self-centered casual hookup won't commit, and her roommates kick her out. The only bright spot? Planning the wedding of her best friend, Lillian. However, she's soon feuding with Lillian's other best friend, a pretentious snob who upstages her at every turn. When Annie does get a chance to break free, it goes poorly, like when food poisoning from her bridesmaids lunch turns into the destruction of a gown shop's restroom.

  • Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne
  • Director: Paul Feig
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"Life moves pretty fast," privileged teenager Ferris Bueller directly tells the audience of his movie, imploring us to seize the day and live each moment like it were the last. And he certainly feels like the end is nigh, as adulthood and all its responsibilities loom in the near future. So, he decides to take a day away from it all, roping in his shy best friend, Cameron, and cool girlfriend, Sloane, to join him in a day of hijinks in downtown Chicago. After using his state-of-the-art computer and props to convince his parents and school he's sick, Ferris leads the gang into a meal at a fancy restaurant, a Cubs game, an art museum, and singing a Beatles song on a parade float. He's a righteous dude, as everyone at his school agrees.

  • Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
  • Director: John Hughes
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

The Muppet Movie

At the end of the 1970s, after the world had fallen in love with Jim Henson's anarchic and endearing Muppets via "The Muppet Show," the troupe of lifelike felt-and-rod characters got a big-screen origin story. "The Muppet Movie" perfectly consolidates and distills the Muppets' unique and family-friendly brand of transgressive, hippie-flavored comedy in the form of a musical spectacular that's also provocatively meta. It's the story of the Muppets (Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Animal, and all the rest), with our heroes aware that they're in a movie about themselves, frequently breaking the fourth wall and interacting with special celebrity guest stars as they meet each other and head to Hollywood.

The Producers

Spoof master Mel Brooks made his feature filmmaking debut with this sharp entertainment business satire, and it won him an Academy Award for screenwriting. Max Bialystock is a formerly successful Broadway producer who now gets by offering lovemaking services to old women in exchange for investments in future productions he'll never actually get off the ground. When his very nervous and easily panicked accountant, Leo Bloom, finds some massive flaws in his books, the duo realizes that they can actually earn way more money off of a play that bombs than one that strikes it big. And so, they set out to make a guaranteed disaster, choosing a glitzy, pro-Nazi musical called "Springtime for Hitler." Do they pull off the scam and get rich quick? Not exactly.

  • Starring: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Dick Shawn
  • Director: Mel Brooks
  • Year: 1967
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Trading Places

Coming out of the classic "mean rich guys vs. the scrappy underdog" school of comedy is "Trading Places," the story of a switcheroo gone awry that proves detrimental to its nasty instigators. Brothers and high-powered investors Randolph and Mortimer Duke engage in a cynical and friendly $1 bet — whether or not they can pick somebody off the street and turn his life around, all while ruining somebody else's. Their unwitting subjects are grifter Billy Ray Valentine and privileged inventor Louis Winthrope III — the Dukes' own nephew. Through some machinations, they instantly build up Billy Ray and destroy Louis ... until our heroes get wind of the bet and conspire to manipulate the stock market and financially ruin the Dukes.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

All Ricky Bobby ever wanted to do was go fast. Inspired by his reckless father who disappeared after telling him, "If you're not first, you're last," he grows up to be a champion NASCAR driver, alongside his best friend, Cal Naughton Jr. He's a smug, arrogant, and proudly mediocre individual ... until some racetrack mishaps leave him ruined. First, he embarrasses himself praying to every deity he can think of while running around the track, mistakenly believing he's on fire. And then he's soundly beaten by a tricky European Formula One driver, causing him to lose his status, sponsors, and wife. His long trip back will teach Ricky Bobby some much needed humility.

Galaxy Quest

"Galaxy Quest" is a science fiction comedy with an appealing and novel concept. Reduced to appearing at low-rent sci-fi conventions for shrinking crowds of hardcore fans, the cast members of an influential but canceled "Star Trek"-like series called "Galaxy Quest" feel like failures and losers, hopelessly typecast and unable to get any fulfilling acting work. They find the redemption they need — or at least something to do — when representatives of an alien race approach them and beg for their help in defeating an interstellar warlord threatening life on their planet. The reason they've been picked? "Galaxy Quest" episodes have traveled through space and reached the aliens, and they think they're real-life astronauts and planet defenders.

  • Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman
  • Director: Dean Parisot
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Raising Arizona

This hard-to-pigeonhole 1987 comedy showed that rising indie (in production and approach) filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen could make funny movies as well as they could dramas — but with their own unique spin. Nicolas Cage plays H.I., a small-time repeat offender living in Arizona who hits it off with the booking officer, Ed, so well that they marry. Unfortunately, they're unable to naturally conceive the child they so desperately want, but a solution manifests itself. A sleazy local furniture tycoon and his wife welcome quintuplets, so H.I. kidnaps one of them. It's the most serious crime he's ever committed and one he's likely to pay for too, what with the bounty-hunting "Lone Biker of the Apocalypse" hot on his tail.

  • Starring: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman
  • Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Caddyshack

"Caddyshack" is loose on plot but big on laughs. There's a through line involving a golf tournament for country club caddies to win a life-changing amount of the money, but the meandering script only occasionally pursues that. Befitting its cast of "Saturday Night Live" veterans, sitcom performers, and stand-ups, "Caddyshack" plays like a series of related sketches and character pieces that revolve around a golf course. There's Ted Knight from "The Mary Tyler Moore" show as an apoplectic judge who just wants to golf in peace, Rodney Dangerfield as an obnoxious rich guy prone to partying on the greens, Chevy Chase as a smug and womanizing golf pro, and Bill Murray as a deranged groundskeeper waging war with mischievous gopher.

  • Starring: Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield
  • Director: Harold Ramis
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Southern California teenagers Bill and Ted are as close as best friends can be, probably because they're very much alike. They're not very smart, they talk like surfers, and they're obsessed with their own theoretically heavy metal band, Wyld Stallyns. They can't actually play their instruments, but a bigger problem could affect their fated future as rock stars. If they fail history, Ted's dad will send him to military school. Fortunately, that's when future man Rufus takes a phone booth back in time to let Bill and Ted know they're worshipped as saviors and metal masters in the decades to come. Better still, they're free to use that time-travel technology to bring real historical figures — Joan of Arc, Socrates, Abraham Lincoln — back to their high school as their history project. Excellent!

  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
  • Director: Stephen Herek
  • Year: 1989
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Being John Malkovich

Only the brain of Charlie Kaufman ("Adaptation," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") could have conceived of "Being John Malkovich" — a dark, surreal, mind-bending psychological comedy that takes the ancient art of puppetry to absurd, unthought of heights while commenting about the toxicity of celebrity. In order to make some much-needed money, avant-garde street puppeteer Craig takes an office job in a New York building with curiously low ceilings, and it's here he discovers a magical portal that allows all who enter to occupy the brain of intense character actor John Malkovich for 15 minutes. It only gets weirder from there.

  • Starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich
  • Director: Spike Jonze
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Legally Blonde

Released in 2001, "Legally Blonde" pushed back on the '90s notion that cynicism equated intelligence and upbeat was synonymous with stupid. This is a feel-good, inspiring, fish-out-of-water, don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover kind of comedy. Elle Woods (in a star-making performance by Reese Witherspoon) is by all appearances a stereotypical airhead sorority girl. But when her smug boyfriend dumps her when he gets into Harvard Law School, she endeavors to go there too, quipping in confident defiance, "What, like it's hard?" She injects some happiness into the staid and stuffy law school, and in the process, she finds her calling.

  • Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair
  • Director: Robert Luketic
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Ghostbusters

There was no bigger movie in 1984 than "Ghostbusters," a high-concept supernatural action comedy with a cast full of "Saturday Night Live" and "SCTV" veterans. Kicked out of their prestigious university jobs for pursuing fringe scientific work about the paranormal, scientists Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler hear about New York City's spate of hauntings and go into business, renting out an old firehouse and calling themselves the Ghostbusters. When they discover a portal to another dimension that rains spirits, demonic possessions, and pure evil upon the city, it's up to the dismissed ghost hunters to become heroes.

  • Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis
  • Director: Ivan Reitman
  • Year: 1984
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Wet Hot American Summer

A few years after the end of their seminal MTV sketch comedy series, members of the State comedy troupe reunited (along with Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, and David Hyde Pierce) to make a 2000s entry in the long-forgotten genre of early '80s summer camp movies. Set in 1981 on the last full day of summer at Camp Firewood in Maine, the ensemble comedy with many interwoven stories didn't thrill critics upon its initial release but became a cult classic over the years because it slowly, deftly, and absolutely descends into chaos and ridiculousness. Camp love triangles don't seem so important once Skylab falls from outer space, the unhinged camp cook performs a romantic act on a refrigerator, a can of vegetables starts talking, and a tacky Borscht Belt comedian rocks the camp talent show.

  • Starring: Janeane Garofalo, Michael Showalter, Paul Rudd
  • Director: David Wain
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%

They Came Together

A decade after making the camp movie turned collection of chaotic absurdities that is "Wet Hot American Summer," the writers of that film — and a lot of its cast — reconvened to send up the strict and artificial tropes of fluffy romantic comedies. Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, as will-they-or-won't-they-of-course-they-will couple Molly and Joel hate each other at first but come to fall in love, even though she's free-spirited and whimsical and runs an adorable candy story where everything is free, and he works for Candy Systems and Research, which aims to put Molly out of business. Like "Wet Hot American Summer," the silliness is open and presented as faux-seriously as possible, like when Joel engages in a repetitive drinking game of "you can say that again" and "tell me about it" for so long that it stops being funny and then gets funny again.

Girls Trip

Four women have managed to stay friends since college despite disparate life paths. Ryan is an Oprah-esque lifestyle guru, Sasha runs a failing gossip blog, Lisa is a nurse and single mother who doesn't get out much, and Dina is hot-tempered party fiend who can't keep a job for long. Before they can drift apart any further, the "Flossy Posse" decides to embark on a mini-vacation together, or rather a "Girls Trip," attending the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, where Ryan is the keynote attraction. Some traumatic news draws the group closer together, and New Orleans' many opportunities to get wild are too good of an opportunity to pass up — and the source of a lot of comic hijinks.

  • Starring: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish
  • Director: Malcolm D. Lee
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Rushmore

Despite running dozens of disparate, successful extracurricular clubs, scholarship student Max Fisher just doesn't fit in at the prestigious Rushmore Academy. It's a respite for him, as he's embarrassed by his barber father and nurses a broken heart caused by the death of his mother. He's in danger of flunking out — too many clubs means no time to get his grades out of the gutter — but he redoubles his efforts to stay when he develops an intense crush on new teacher Rosemary, who sees a little bit of her exceptional, deceased husband in Max. She loves fish, so he builds an aquarium on school grounds with the money from depressed, divorcing industrialist Herman Blume, a kindred spirit turned mortal enemy when he makes a move on Rosemary. Somehow, the drama all leads up to an ultra-violent play about the Vietnam War staged by the Max Fisher Players.

  • Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Waiting for Guffman

The fictional, sleepy town of Blaine, Missouri, is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary, and it falls to local theatrical director Corky St. Clair to put on an original musical about the town's history. In this comic mockumentary, his delusions of grandeur are infectious to his cast of humble and goofy townspeople, including a disinterested Dairy Queen cashier, an extremely cross-eyed dentist, and married travel agents who loom large in the tiny world of local theater. Their enthusiasm for Corky's terrible production gets out of hand after the director lets loose a rumor that the titular Guffman, a Broadway producer, might turn up to see the show and whisk the actors away to New York.

  • Starring: Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Parker Posey
  • Director: Christopher Guest
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Young Frankenstein

In this unofficial comic sequel and send-up of James Whale's classic "Frankenstein" movies of the 1930s, Gene Wilder plays the fidgety Dr. Frederick Frankenstein — pronounced "FRAHNK-en-steen" — as he's trying to distance himself from his notorious grandfather, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the unsavory, grave-robbing scientist who reanimated a terrifying corpse a few years back. When he inherits the original Frankenstein's estate, he repeats the sins of the grandfather, dead-set on making life out of death himself, and winding up with a much different monster — one who's afraid of fire but who also can also perform "Puttin' on the Ritz."

  • Starring: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle
  • Director: Mel Brooks
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: PG
  • Rating: 105 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

This is Spinal Tap

What if some filmmaker made a documentary about a band well past its most successful days, when all of the embarrassments and mistakes they suffer could be caught on tape? That's the premise of "This is Spinal Tap," a comic mockumentary about a once great British heavy metal band that no longer sits atop the music world. For one, their label found the cover of their new album "Smell the Glove" so profane they released it in a plain black sleeve, and it's all downhill from there, as the band gets lost in arenas, resorts to playing amusement park amphitheaters, and deals with a succession of spontaneously dying drummers.

  • Starring: Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Year: 1984
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Beetlejuice

Everything is fine and dandy for young New England couple Adam and Barbara at the beginning of "Beetlejuice," one of the first features by innovative, horror-comedy master Tim Burton. Then one day, they crash their car into a river and walk home, except things aren't quite right. In fact, they're actually dead — ghosts haunting their own home. So when a couple of intolerable yuppies buy their stately house, the spectral couple seek out the help of the ghost realm, particularly the charismatic, menacing, shape-shifting, joke-cracking monster Beetlejuice to scare the new tenants away. But that Beetlejuice, he goes a little too far, and then Adam and Barbara have to save the buyers from his clutches because they're particularly fond of their misunderstood teenage goth daughter who just totally gets them, as they're ghosts.

  • Starring: Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

The Princess Bride

Based on William Goldman's wry fairy tale novel, this gentle, family-enticing classic purports to be just "the good parts" of a longer, epic mythology set in the ancient kingdoms of Guilder and Florin, written by the mysterious S. Morgenstern. At least, that's what the Grandfather tells the sick Grandson as he reads from the book, which comes to life for the viewer. At its heart, it's the story of the true love between Princess Buttercup and a farmhand named Westley, kept apart by strange, fairy tale-type circumstances. At various points, Westley dies, gets revived, and becomes a famous pirate while both contend with "Rodents of Unusual Size" and a trio of kidnappers turned allies in the foiling of a sinister royal plot. There's the brainy Vizzini, the super strong Fezzik, and the swordsman Inigo Montoya, breathily seeking to avenge the death of his father.

  • Starring: Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

National Lampoon's Vacation

Viewers of a certain age might see a lot of their own fathers in Clark Griswold, a busy Chicago man who works hard, is a little too sure of himself, and who just wants to road trip across the U.S. with his family and take them to the legendary Wally World amusement park in California. This vacation is anything as Clark and company suffer numerous indignities, tragedies, and disasters along the way, including a relative who dies en route, a major car accident, urine-soaked sandwiches, and police intervention.

  • Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid
  • Director: Harold Ramis
  • Year: 1983
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

What We Do in the Shadows

Before the TV show about centuries-old vampires living on Staten Island, there was the film about vampires grappling with life (and each other) in modern-day Wellington, New Zealand. In this mockumentary, three vampires of classical appearance (plus the monstrous, ancient Petyr) share an apartment filled with old objects and caked blood. Romantic Viago is still on the lookout for the true love he lost track of decades prior, former warlord Vladislav is driven mad by the thought of an ex-lover, and Deacon is young and cocky. When they're not flying through the air, hanging out at sparsely populated nightclubs, and drinking blood, these vampires are bickering with each other or avoiding a clan of annoying werewolves.

  • Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh
  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 86 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

There's Something About Mary

There is indeed something about Mary, as the title of this gross-out rom-com from the Farrelly brothers and the film's recurring troubadour imply. Mary is unpretentious, legitimately kind, and blessed with movie star-level good looks — a combination that overwhelms most every man she's met in her adult life, driving them to acts of criminality and self-destruction. But "There's Something About Mary" is really the story of Ted, Mary's ill-fated prom date from years earlier who still harbors an intense crush. Audiences will howl with laughter while simultaneously cringing as one graphically awful, painful, and embarrassing thing after another happens to Ted during his patient pursuit of Mary.

  • Starring: Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon
  • Director: Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Spaceballs

With "Spaceballs," writer-director-actor Mel Brooks took his career-long quest to satirize every popular movie genre to science fiction. There's a fairly original plot about President Skroob of planet Spaceball stealing the fresh air from the innocent planet Druidia and that world's Princess Vespa running away from her wedding to the cruel Prince Valium, but all that's little more than a vehicle with which to skewer the otherwise sacred original "Star Wars" trilogy. There are funny, withering corollaries familiar Lucasfilm icons, such as the fussy droid Dot Matrix (voiced by Joan Rivers), hairy dog creature Barf (who pilots a flying Winnebago), and the evil Dark Helmet, who can't breathe in that giant, imposing piece of headgear. Brooks himself makes a cameo as the Yoda-like Yogurt, delivering an impassioned, meta plea about the importance of branding and merchandising "Spaceballs" in the style of "Star Wars."

  • Starring: Bill Pullman, Rick Moranis, John Candy
  • Director: Mel Brooks
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Airplane!

Filmmakers David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker made a comic version of the 1957 B-movie "Zero Hour" that also served as a parody of 1970s disaster movies, particularly the "Airport" franchise. In doing so, ZAZ created a blueprint for a whole new style of film — the rapid-fire comedy, with a joke coming every few seconds or less, along with quickly passing sight gags. In "Airplane!" pilot Ted Striker can't get over a failed military mission or his old girlfriend, flight attendant Elaine, and he follows her onto a long-haul flight. But then disaster strikes — nearly everyone on board gets food poisoning, and Ted has to step in to fly the plane in place of the confusingly named Captain Oveur, all while assisted by stony Dr. Rumack who gets the punchline in the film's definitive exchange:

Ted: Surely, you can't be serious.

Dr. Rumack: I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.

  • Starring: Robert Hays, Julie Haggerty, Leslie Nielsen
  • Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

After the creative and commercial success of "Airplane!" the ZAZ team trained their parody and joke-a-second skills on the detective genre, devising the breathtakingly silly cop show spoof "Police Squad!" Quickly canceled, they revived it six years later as a movie franchise with the first of three "The Naked Gun" movies. Leslie Nielsen portrays Det. Frank Drebin, the world's worst detective who believes he's the best, as he stops (just barely, somehow) an assassination attempt on Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy
  • Director: David Zucker
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Super Troopers

Never before — and not to this degree since — had police officers been portrayed on-screen as wacky, degenerate goofballs who don't take their duties to protect and to serve remotely seriously. The Broken Lizard troupe made and starred in "Super Troopers," a comedy about Vermont state troopers who drive around all day, relentlessly messing with young miscreants, pranking each other, engaging in syrup-chugging contests, and arguing over who has the best mustache. This idyllic bubble of self-absorption is shattered when the troopers' station faces closure and they have to bust a drug smuggling operation. Ignore the bad Rotten Tomatoes Score because this cult classic is an absolute gem.

  • Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Brian Cox
  • Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

The Jerk

Navin Johnson isn't a jerk in the sense that he's mean; he's a jerk in that he's a naive rube, mystified by and uninformed as to how the world works. And that's the point of "The Jerk," one man's comical journey of self-discovery and amazing personal and professional success, most of which comes from a combination of accidents, being in the right place at the right time, and an endearing child-like enthusiasm. Navin (played by white actor and co-writer Steve Martin) leaves his rural home after learning he was adopted into his large African-American family, so as to find his "special purpose." It's a journey that will include working at a carnival, living in a gas station, and becoming a wildly wealthy inventor, only to lose it all with nothing to his name but a thermos.

  • Starring: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Mabel King
  • Director: Carl Reiner
  • Year: 1979
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

The Lobster

"The Lobster" is a romantic comedy set in a vaguely futuristic dystopia (or maybe it's a bizarre utopia) where the world looks mostly the same but where strict government directives on the love lives of its citizens and mythological phenomena are just a part of life. Authorities are so driven to pair up citizens into couples that those who remain single for too long are sent to live at a resort where they're given 45 days to find a mate with a matching physical characteristic or deformity. If they don't, they're turned into animals. Rather than submit to all that, a man named David heads into the woods and joins a militant singles group but falls in love, ironically, with a dangerous "loner."

  • Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman
  • Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Sister Act

This crowd-pleasing comedy from the early '90s has something for everyone — the Mafia, broad comedy, the woman who played Professor McGonagall in "Harry Potter" portraying a nun (that's Maggie Smith), show-stopping gospel-style musical performances, and of course, Whoopi Goldberg as a phony woman of God. Goldberg stars as Deloris, stuck in a dead-end job as a Reno nightclub singer and engaged in an affair with a local mob boss. After she witnesses a gang hit, she seeks out the police's help in hiding her, and she finds a very concealing place: a convent. Deloris fakes her nun credentials and gets a job turning around the convent's terrible choir, and she does such a good job that she gets a lot of attention from the outside world — so much that it could expose her whereabouts.

  • Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, Harvey Keitel
  • Director: Emile Ardolino
  • Year: 1992
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

UHF

The comedy stylings of "Weird Al" Yankovic were just too big and silly to be confined to song parodies. And so in 1989, after becoming a household name with Michael Jackson parodies like "Eat It" and "Fat," he co-wrote and starred in his first feature film, a rollicking and silly lark about George Newman, a guy who takes over his uncle's low-rent, little-watched UHF station. George is a daydreamer and prone to flights of fancy, both in his own head and with his media outlet, so "UHF" is pretty much an excuse for elaborate dream sequences and strange TV show parodies, including "Conan the Librarian," "Uncle Nutsy's Clubhouse," and "Wheel of Fish."

  • Starring: "Weird Al" Yankovic, Victoria Jackson, Kevin McCarthy
  • Director: Jay Levey
  • Year: 97 minutes
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Elf

It's obvious to everyone but Buddy that he's not a natural-born North Pole Christmas elf — he's 6 feet tall and is terrible at making toys, for example. Upon learning the news that he's adopted, he leaves the friendly confines of Santa's workshop to seek out the biological father he's never met, a grumpy, cynical New York book publisher named Walter Hobbes, who, shockingly, is on "the Naughty List." Rather than let the city corrupt him, however, Buddy brings wide-eyed Christmas cheer to everyone he meets, from Walter and his family to a charming department store elf named Jovie. (And yes, of course Buddy saves Christmas in the end.)

  • Starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan
  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Year: 2003
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

On his 2000s TV series "Da Ali G Show," British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen so disappeared into characters — including boorish, sexist, anti-Semitic Kazakh journalist Borat — that it disarmed his real-life interview subjects and got them to open up to a person they didn't know was fictional. In 2006, Cohen took the show on the road, literally, playing a character in what's sort of a documentary, embarking on a road trip across the United States and interacting with real people who don't always come off very well. Beyond getting individuals to say awful things because they think they're among friends, the whole trip becomes "very nice" for Borat when he becomes obsessed with Pamela Anderson and will stop at nothing to marry her.

Stripes

In "Stripes," Bill Murray hit on the persona that would propel him through many movies and make him a star — the wisecracking, mischievous, smartest guy in the room. Murray plays John Winger and Harold Ramis plays his best friend, Russell, two lazy guys whose lives are going nowhere fast who decide to enlist in the Army. At the very least, it'll be a break from the ordinary, and basic training will get them in shape. Problems first ensue when John can't stop mouthing off to his drill sergeant, and they get worse when their whole platoon gets sent on a faraway mission well before they're ready, and then their commanding officers get stuck behind enemy lines. It's up to the group of barely trained, barely competent recruits, led by John and Russell, to get their superiors to safety.

  • Starring: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy
  • Director: Ivan Reitman
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Zoolander

Born out of sketches that writer-director-star Ben Stiller made for VH1, "Zoolander" takes place in an early 21st-century world where male models are a really big deal. Professional pretty person Derek Zoolander is so famous and popular — for his "looks" that all comically appear to be exactly the same — that he's influential. And so, he's recruited to help thwart a fashion industry-backed assassination of the Malaysian prime minister, who wants to cut down on sweatshop labor practices. Unfortunately, Derek Zoolander is also the dumbest person on Earth, possibly even more stupid than his rival turned friend/cohort in action, Hansel.

  • Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor
  • Director: Ben Stiller
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

9 to 5

By the early 1980s, women had made great strides into the American corporate workforce, but they were still treated with disdain and disrespect by old-school chauvinists. In the surprisingly light-hearted working-woman revenge comedy "9 to 5," three administrative assistants can no longer take the sneering, leering, groping, and unprofessionalism from their bosses, and they conspire to make their violent fantasies come true — kidnapping him, roughing him up, and uncovering his embezzlement scheme. Things get wildly out of hand, but the ordeal ultimately becomes inspiring and somehow good for the careers of the three instigators.

  • Starring: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton
  • Director: Colin Higgins
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Arsenic and Old Lace

Cary Grant specialized in playing charming, debonair rogues, and in "Arsenic and Old Lace," he plays a character who monetized the handsome bachelor lifestyle, portraying Mortimer Brewster, an author of books urging the end of marriage altogether. He finally decides to settle down, however, after the winsome, All-American lady next door, Elaine wins his heart, and they decide to get married on Halloween. That's an omen of bad things to come, and so, the film suggests, was his idea to embrace family life. Not long after announcing their engagement, Mortimer discovers that his brother, uncle, and odd aunts are all secret, unrepentant murderers.

  • Starring: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey
  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Year: 1943
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

The Blues Brothers

"The Blues Brothers" is the first "Saturday Night Live" spinoff movie, built around characters played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd — two stone-faced white men in matching suits, hats, and sunglasses, singing faithful, respectful covers of old soul and R&B standards. That straightforward and corny routine expanded into a movie with an anti-establishment attitude and the mischievous spirit of "SNL," setting the tone for '80s mainstream comedy films. As for the plot, Jake Blues (Belushi) gets out of prison and reunites with brother, Elwood Blues (Aykroyd), and they go about reuniting their band to raise money to save the orphanage where they grew up. With many enemies in pursuit (and lots of car crashes along the way), the Blues Brothers reconnect with absolute legends, including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.

  • Starring: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy
  • Director: John Landis
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

If you thought the Griswold family had to deal with some disasters in "National Lampoon's Vacation," you ain't seen nothing until you've seen "Christmas Vacation." Few other holiday movies before or since have addressed the familiar stress, work, familial pressure, and annoyances that come with trying to get everything done and perfect by December 25th. Clark Griswold endeavors to have the perfect family Christmas — and to announce the building of a backyard swimming pool. Here's hoping his relatives don't burn the house down in a number of ways first and that he actually gets that bonus check from his cruel boss.

  • Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid
  • Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
  • Year: 1989
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Freddy Got Fingered

At the peak of his superstardom as the host of the surreal, absurd, and aggressive public prank series "The Tom Green Show," Tom Green got a movie deal, and he wrote, directed, and starred in the surreal, absurd, and aggressively strange "Freddy Got Fingered." It's not so much a typical screen comedy as it is a deconstruction of a comedy ... and then put back together by aliens. Green goes for the joke and he goes for the joke hard, daring the audience not to look away. He plays Gord, an overgrown man-child who leaves home to go to work in, of all things, a cheese sandwich factory. It doesn't work out, so soon Gord is back home, squaring off with his disapproving and traditional father, which is really just an excuse for bizarre Green bits, like wearing a suit the wrong way and calling himself "the Backwards Man." Critics couldn't handle the film, but trust us, this absolutely insane film deserves to be seen.

  • Starring: Tom Green, Rip Torn, Marisa Coughlan
  • Director: Tom Green
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%

Friday

A few years after Ice Cube wrote and recorded the rap classic "It Was a Good Day," in which everything goes right in his rough Los Angeles neighborhood for once, the musician co-wrote and starred in "Friday," an alternate take on the one-day-in-the-neighborhood formula. Only this time, a lot goes terribly wrong but in a funny way. Ice Cube plays 20-something Craig, and as his marijuana-loving best friend Smokey keeps reminding him, it's Friday and he doesn't have a lot to do on account of how he got fired from his job on Thursday. But there are a lot of fires to put out for Craig, like Smokey's angry drug dealer who wants the money he's owed or else, a fearsome neighborhood bully, and a jilted ex-girlfriend.

  • Starring: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long
  • Director: F. Gary Gray
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Harold and Maude

"Harold and Maude" is a cult classic that helped establish the language of both independent filmmaking and dark comedies. After surviving a chemical explosion, young Harold is obsessed with death, going to funerals and staging elaborate death tableaus of himself just for fun (and to annoy his wealthy mother). But then he meets Maude, a free-spirited 79-year-old who gets a kick out of doing whatever she feels like and pushing people's buttons, and her hobbies include nude modeling, stealing cars, and attending funerals. Maude helps Harold appreciate the joys of living while Harold helps Maude cope with the looming end of her life.

  • Starring: Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon, Vivian Pickles
  • Director: Hal Ashby
  • Year: 1971
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Hot Rod

What with the synth-pop soundtrack and sports underdog attitude, "Hot Rod" feels like a lost '80s movie. Rod Kimble lives in a small town and fancies himself a daredevil stuntman, even though his vehicle is a poorly powered moped and he doesn't have many fans beyond his adoring step brother, Kevin, and neighbor/crush object, Denise. His stepfather, Frank, constantly defeats him in fights, but when the old man falls ill and needs a heart transplant, Rod can't bear the thought that his father figure will die before he can successfully punch him out. He decides to attempt his biggest moped stunt yet — to jump over 15 buses and use the money he earns to pay for Frank's surgery. Hated by critics when it first hit theaters, "Hot Rod" has undergone a major reevaluation in recent years, and today, it's widely hailed as fantastic comedy that needs more love.

  • Starring: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Ian McShane
  • Director: Akiva Schaffer
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

The Big Lebowski

"The Big Lebowski" is one of the most vaunted cult classics and stoner comedies of all time, but it's also a movie about heists, rich people, bowling, and artists. Ultra-chill Jeff "the Dude" Lebowski is content to just hang around his L.A. apartment drinking White Russians and then join his friends Walter and Donnie for some bowling. Then some kidnappers get him confused with a millionaire named Jeff Lebowski, and he has to deliver a ransom to the weird criminals who kidnapped that other Lebowski's wife ... and maybe get back the area rug they stole because it "really tied the room together." The Dude's hostile and overconfident bowling pal Donnie devises a scheme by which they could keep that money, but that doesn't go right either. An artist and a bowling-themed dream sequence also impact the Dude, resulting in a truly crazy comedy, but that's just, like, our opinion, man.

  • Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
  • Directors: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Major League

At the time that "Major League" hit theaters, the Cleveland Indians were the perpetually losing laughingstock of the baseball world. It was unthinkable that they could ever be a champion, even in fiction. And so, when former Las Vegas dancer Rachel Phelps inherits the team from her wealthy, deceased husband, she zeroes in on a contract clause that says she can move the team to sunny Miami if attendance falters. To do so would mean the team would have to finish dead last, so she hires someone she thinks is a bad manager and a bunch of unruly, untalented players — a motley crew of has-beens and never-will-bes. But when the ballplayers learn of their owner's nasty plan, they're inspired to play hard and win, and they just keep winning, thanks in big part to the pitching theatrics of Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn.

  • Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen
  • Director: David S. Ward
  • Year: 1989
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Palm Springs

Sure, the idea of a character caught in a time loop, living the same day endlessly until they learn some kind of mysterious lesson, has been done before, most notably in "Groundhog Day." But "Palm Springs" turns the concept into a sci-fi rom-com and wonders if a life lived without consequences, such as it is for Nyles — stuck at a destination wedding for who knows how long — is even worth living at all. The situation improves somewhat when he meets Sarah, the sister of the bride, and he falls in love with her after engaging in hundreds of wacky and reckless adventures after he accidentally draws her into the time loop. However, Sarah isn't content to just accept the situation, and she'll be the one who dedicates herself to the risky pursuit of breaking free of their time prison.

  • Starring: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons
  • Director: Max Barbakow
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Pootie Tang

"Pootie Tang" utterly baffled critics, but it's dazzling in its high-wire walk of a commitment to its ambitious premise. Based on a character from HBO's "The Chris Rock Show," "Pootie Tang" consists mostly of a film-within-a-film called "Sine Your Pitty on the Runny Kine," reflecting the bold and unflinchingly nonsensical speech patterns of the main character. That would be Pootie Tang, the coolest man to ever walk the Earth. After his father is mortally wounded by a gorilla at the steel mill, he gives his son, Pootie, his supposedly magical belt, which he uses to defeat doers of big evil and small sins. He becomes a pop star, celebrity, and through his kid-focused public service announcements, makes the nation full of bright and healthy people. Dick Lecter, CEO of industrial giant LecterCorp, wants to put a stop to Pootie Tang's good deeds because it's losing him money. All the while, Pootie never utters a single understandable word.

  • Starring: Lance Crouther, Chris Rock, J.B. Smoove
  • Director: Louis C.K.
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 81 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%

Tootsie

"Tootsie" is held up as an example in film schools of how a comedy ought to be written. It's a classic tale of mistaken identity, one almost Shakespearean, in which the audience knows what's up and can feel superior to the characters for not knowing what's truly going on. Dustin Hoffman plays Michael, a serious New York actor so picky about his roles that he can't manage to find much work. After a disastrous audition for soap opera, Michael disguises himself as "Dorothy Michaels," a rookie Southern actress, and she gets the role on the daytime drama. Then things get out of hand when Dorothy proves popular with producers, and Michael falls in love with a female co-star.

  • Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray
  • Director: Sydney Pollack
  • Year: 1982
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

After a slew of heavy-handed musician biopics like "Ray" and "Walk the Line" grabbed a ton of Oscars in the early 2000s, the way-too-serious sub-genre needed to get taken down a peg. "Walk Hard" viciously parodies all those movies to tell the story of fictional rock star Dewey Cox. He becomes the biggest and most important musician in the world but not before ridiculously suffering the pitfalls of a rock star biopic protagonist. He's haunted by accidentally cutting his brother in half as a boy (with his father constantly telling him "the wrong son died"), he's cursed to live without a sense of smell, and he tears up a bathroom simply because he's going through an explicitly stated "dark f***ing period." All the while, through his Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Glen Campbell phases, John C. Reilly plays it straight as a naive innocent torn asunder by fame and art.

  • Starring: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig
  • Director: Jake Kasdan
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

When Harry Met Sally...

As it checks in on the evolving relationship between two New Yorkers — cocky Harry and complicated Sally — over the span of more than a decade, "When Harry Met Sally..." explores its stated thesis: Can a heterosexual man and a woman be friends without sex or romance ever rearing their heads? Because this is an archetypal romantic comedy, the answer is no because Harry and Sally go from hating each other to best friends consoling one another after breakups to not being able to live without each other.

  • Starring: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Year: 1989
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Withnail and I

This beloved, British cult classic heralded the arrival of widely hailed character actor Richard E. Grant, who plays the vivacious Withnail, alongside Paul McGann as the co-protagonist known only as "I." It's 1969, and the two share a squalid apartment in London, the perfect place to hang out, drink, smoke, and do drugs. When they need a respite from the drudgery of life, they head to the English countryside, to the cottage of Withnail's Uncle Monty, a leering creep who makes "I" very uncomfortable, almost as uncomfortable as country folk make Withnail.

  • Starring: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths
  • Director: Bruce Robinson
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%