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15 Hilarious Movies Like Spy You Need To Watch Next

There aren't many movies as clever or well-written as "Spy," the 2015 action-comedy starring Melissa McCarthy as the middle-aged CIA desk clerk, Susan Cooper, who finds herself thrust into the world of espionage after the organization's top field agents all have their identities compromised.

Featuring memorable supporting appearances from Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Allison Janney, and a scene-stealing Jason Statham in a self-parodying role, "Spy" was a critical and financial success upon its release. Grossing $235.7 million on a budget of $65 million, the film received enthusiastic reviews from critics. "Melissa McCarthy gets the funniest, most versatile and sustained comic showcase of her movie career in this deliriously entertaining action-comedy," wrote Variety's Justin Chang in his glowing review of the film.

And if you liked "Spy," there's plenty more where that came from. These movies all feature a similarly comedic interpretation of the spy genre, have the same style of humor as "Spy," or feature Melissa McCarthy in a prominent role, making them an ideal viewing choice for any fans of "Spy" out there.

Spies Like Us

The 1980s were a great decade for any "Saturday Night Live" alumni pursuing acting careers. Whether it was Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd starring in "Ghostbusters" or John Belushi and Aykroyd jazzing it up in "The Blues Brothers," odds are that you were bound to see something entertaining whenever you witnessed former "SNL" stars reunite on a project together.

Such is the case for 1985's "Spies Like Us," starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as two incompetent CIA agents sent to act as decoys to distract Soviet Union forces, allowing the agency to send in more experienced spies to do their work unimpeded.

Directed by John Landis and featuring a number of cameos from Bob Hope, Terry Gilliam, Sam Raimi, Frank Oz, and B.B. King, "Spies Like Us" faced initially poor reviews from critics, with Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader calling it "a loose progression of recycled Abbott and Costello riffs." However, "Spies Like Us" has since gone on to become something of a cult film in recent years, serving as an inspiration for NBC's "Chuck" and for the 2009 episode of "Family Guy," "Spies Reminiscent of Us," which acts as an homage to the film and contains guest-starring roles from Aykroyd and Chase.

American Ultra

Like "Spy," "American Ultra" features a protagonist who seems unlikely to be a deadly super-spy at first, but is soon revealed to be a capable, efficient field agent in possession of formidable fighting abilities and a cunning strategic mind. Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is an aimless young man who spends his time smoking marijuana and working at a local convenience store in West Virginia's suburbs. When a team of hostile covert agents arrive in town with plans to eliminate Mike, he learns that he is in fact a sleeper agent trained by the CIA, awakening his inner knowledge of espionage tactics and combat skills to survive.

Raking in just over $30.2 million on a budget of $28 million, "American Ultra" was a minor box office disappointment, earning mixed reviews from critics. "Stoners take a bloodbath in 'American Ultra,' a genre mash that's mildly amusing until it can't think of anything else to do besides flop around in the deep end of conspicuous gore," said Todd McCarthy of Variety. Other critics, like The Village Voice's Amy Nicholson, disagreed, writing, "Nima Nourizadeh's 'American Ultra' is a bloody valentine attached to a bomb. It's violent, brash, inventive, and horrific, and perhaps the most romantic film of the year."

The Interview

In "The Interview," Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) oversees the production of a popular talk show run by Dave Skylark (James Franco). When they arrange a special interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), a mega-fan of their show, Aaron and Dave are recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean dictator, in spite of their lack of experience and general ineptitude when it comes to covert operations.

A film in a very similar vein to "Spies Like Us" and "Spy," "The Interview" tells the story of two ordinary individuals thrust into the shadowy landscape of international espionage, having to beat overwhelming odds to survive their mission. The second directorial effort from Rogen and Evan Goldberg (the duo who had previously directed "This Is the End"), "The Interview" is much like Rogen's previous work, making it an ideal viewing option for fans of "Pineapple Express" or "Superbad."

Released in 2014 to some controversy, "The Interview" earned mixed reviews, with critics praising the performances of the cast, but criticizing the movie's humor, violence, and political themes. The Guardian's Jordan Hoffman called the movie a "tasteless but amusing comedy," writing, "Both Rogen and Franco, who have marvelous chemistry and exude good cheer, continue to tweak their personas in this very amusing, very imbecilic film."

Ghostbusters (2016)

The financial failure of 2016's "Ghostbusters" remake is nothing short of a tragedy. A film that faced a formidable backlash thanks to its all-female cast, "Ghostbusters" almost never stood a chance, earning low ratings on IMDb before the film was even released. In spite of its initial poor reception, though, the film itself was incredibly enjoyable upon its release, boasting some fantastic performances from Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.

Following the same basic premise as the original "Ghostbusters," McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, and Jones star in the film as four women who specialize in the occult and paranormal studies, leading them to start their own business hunting down ghosts in New York City.

A minor box office disappointment — it grossed $229.1 million against a budget of $144 million — "Ghostbusters" nevertheless earned mostly positive reviews from critics, serving as a lighthearted cross between the original "Ghostbusters" and a film like "Bridesmaids." "The mean-spirited reception to the film before anyone had seen it does not seem to have put a dampener on the movie itself: "Fun oozes from almost every frame," said The Guardian's Nigel M. Smith.

Central Intelligence

Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) is a mild-mannered accountant dissatisfied with his job. As his high school reunion approaches, Calvin is contacted by a former classmate (Dwayne Johnson), who reveals himself to be a secret agent trying to locate a mole within his agency amid a dangerous terrorist threat.

It's always entertaining to see two very different but equally talented comedic actors like Hart and Johnson working together, with "Central Intelligence" remaining a highlight of their multiple collaborations together. A box office hit — earning $217 million against a $50 million budget — "Central Intelligence" received praise for its performances (especially for Hart and Johnson's chemistry in the film), but was criticized for its lackluster script and reliance on genre conventions.

"Central Intelligence," said The Hollywood Reporter's Jon Frosch, "capitalizes on the chemistry between Hart and Johnson, who convey what seems like genuine delight in each other's company — something that gives this bromantic diversion a giddy kick." No matter what, it's worth seeing for any fans of Hart or Johnson. The film shows just how far the latter has come in perfecting his comedic sensibilities as an actor.

The Heat

Another collaboration between Melissa McCarthy and her "Spy" director, Paul Feig, "The Heat" serves as a hilarious parody of the buddy cop action genre. Sandra Bullock stars as a tightly-wound FBI agent who is partnered with a brash, foul-mouthed, unorthodox police detective (McCarthy), both of whom are tasked with finding a merciless drug dealer operating somewhere in Boston.

What "Spy" did for the spy genre, "The Heat" did for the buddy cop film, taking the traditionally male-oriented action genre and turning it on its head. The film itself may not be quite as great as McCarthy and Feig's other collaborations, but it's well worth watching for Bullock and McCarthy's chemistry alone.

"In 'The Heat,' Feig stages scenes like Richard Donner ('Lethal Weapon') with a touch of George Cukor ('The Women'). He has made a piece of smash-and-grab policier pulp that, through the interplay of Bullock and McCarthy, spins to its own snarly/confessional feminine beat," said Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly. The film was also a huge box office hit, grossing $229.9 million on a budget of $43 million.

Get Smart

A genuinely good remake of a classic TV series is a rare thing. Luckily, while "Get Smart" may not entirely measure up to its sitcom predecessor, it still manages to be an entertaining and enjoyable subversion of the spy genre, perfectly capturing the spirit of Mel Brooks' and Buck Henry's original 1960s TV series.

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carrell) is a competent, valued analyst working for the top-secret American spy organization, CONTROL. In spite of his excellent desk work, Smart longs for a career in the field, eventually finding one when he is partnered with the deadly Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Together, the wonderfully mismatched pair are tasked with stopping a terrorist plot orchestrated by their rival organization, KAOS.

Released at the height of Carrell's fame from "The Office," "Get Smart" received mixed reviews from critics. While audiences might have seen Carrell more readily as the buffoonish Michael Scott, Carrell still managed to deliver a singular performance quite different from his character on "The Office." "There have been countless comic spoofs of the genre founded by James Bond, but 'Get Smart' (both on TV and now in a movie) is one of the best. It's funny, exciting, preposterous, great to look at, and made with the same level of technical expertise we'd expect from a new Bond movie itself," said film critic Roger Ebert.


The movie that made Melissa McCarthy a star, "Bridesmaids," was her first collaboration with director Paul Feig, highlighting her comedic talents opposite notable comedians like Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Ellie Kemper. Wiig stars in the film as Annie, a woman whose personal life is in shambles. When her best friend Lillian (Rudolph) reveals that she's getting married, Annie insists that she serve as the maid of honor, putting her into direct competition with Lillian's new, seemingly perfect best friend (Rose Byrne).

Produced by Judd Apatow, "Bridesmaids" has all the strongest characteristics of his comedy films. It's funny, chaotic, and makes brilliant use of its immensely gifted cast, headlined by a scene-stealing McCarthy. A massive commercial and critical hit, it was the first Apatow-produced film to earn an Academy Award nomination (for best original screenplay and best supporting actress for McCarthy), as well as the highest-grossing Apatow film to date, earning $288 million.

"Bridesmaids" has also been celebrated for shining light on the comedic talents of female performers, something that, in 2011, few movies fully explored. "[Apatow]'s consistently involved with movies that connect with audiences, and 'Bridesmaids' seems to be a more or less deliberate attempt to cross the Chick Flick with the Raunch Comedy. It definitively proves that women are the equal of men in vulgarity, sexual frankness, lust, vulnerability, overdrinking and insecurity," said Roger Ebert.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Another film adaptation of a beloved '60s TV series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." is a decidedly more straightforward spy thriller than something like "Get Smart." However, it also weaves in plenty of comedy and a notably lighter tone than the more gloomy James Bond films that came out around the same time, blending laughs with plenty of thrilling action sequences.

Set in the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and his archrival, KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), must work together to stop a nuclear weapon's construction by a shadowy criminal organization.

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E." was not successful enough to merit a sequel, earning $107 million and earning mostly mixed reviews from critics. However, like "Get Smart," the film does a great job recapturing the spirit of its 1960s television counterpart, updating elements of the story just enough to make it engaging for contemporary audiences, with plenty of nods made to the original show along the way. "'U.N.C.L.E.' has enough style and smarts to make it an amusingly louche summer movie: a cultivated mix of action and wit, suits and cities, that feels refreshingly analogue in a digital world," said Time Out London's Dave Calhoun.

Team America: World Police

A satirical action-comedy made by the creators of "South Park" performed entirely with puppets: What more could you want? "Team America: World Police" follows its titular police force on their globetrotting adventures, as they eventually stumble upon a major conspiracy involving North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il and dozens of famous Hollywood celebrities.

Raunchy, sidesplittingly funny, and unforgiving when it comes to the dozens of well-known individuals it openly mocks, "Team America: World Police" is a movie that could've only been dreamed up by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. As you might expect, the "South Park" duo hold nothing back, lampooning everything from big-budget action franchises to politics of the day.

The resulting film, while somewhat controversial, was met very enthusiastically by critics and moviegoers. "'Team America' is gleefully profane, excessively violent, and refreshingly lewd. I doubt you'll see a funnier movie this year," said Film Threat. Its reputation has only grown more favorable in recent years, with noteworthy fans including Conan O'Brien and Quentin Tarantino, both of whom named "Team America" one of their favorite movies. "A lot of people in comedy pretend to take a risk, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone really swung for the fences and made one of the most relentlessly funny movies ever," wrote O'Brien.

Burn After Reading

A spy film by the Coen brothers was bound to be something different: Full of unexpected plot twists, shocking deaths, well-written dialogue, and an overall comedic tone that borders on parody. Such is the description for the Coens' 2008 dark comedy, "Burn After Reading." The plot of the film is set in motion when a hot-headed CIA analyst (John Malkovich) finds himself abruptly fired, his memoirs somehow ending up in the hands of two gym employees (Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt) who mistake the manuscript for classified government secrets.

Complemented by a cast of talented actors like McDormand, Pitt, Malkovich, George Clooney, and Tilda Swinton, "Burn After Reading" feels like a spoof of the traditional spy film, one where the characters (and the audience, by extension) struggle to make any sense of what's going on. It's a brilliant film, and no doubt one of the Coens' most underrated efforts. "The Coens return to familiar territory with the parody thriller 'Burn After Reading,' a characteristically supercilious and crisply shot clown show filled with cartoon perfs and predicated on extravagant stupidity," said The Village Voice's J. Hoberman.

Top Secret!

Everyone is sure to know the disaster parody "Airplane!", the most famous film by directors David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams. Decidedly less known, however, is their 1984 action-comedy, "Top Secret!", a satirical take on '80s action films, '50s Elvis musicals, and classic World War II thriller films. Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) is a popular rock and roll singer performing for a festival in East Germany. After he falls in love with a member of the local resistance, Nick must avoid capture by East German forces and prevent his new love's father from building a weapon of mass destruction.

"Top Secret!" is the ultimate spy parody, channeling dozens of genre conventions and cliches for comedic effect. It's silly, zany, and comes across as a live-action "Looney Tunes" film, featuring Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker's trademark wit and cartoonish style of filmmaking.

"Top Secret!" performed decently well at the box office, grossing $20 million on an estimated $9 million budget, and earned predominantly positive reviews. "This movie will cheerfully go for a laugh wherever one is even remotely likely to be found," said Roger Ebert, who praised the film's humor. It's now often considered one of the most underrated comedies of the 1980s, with famous fans including "Weird Al" Yankovic, who called "Top Secret!" one of the funniest films ever made.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

"Kingsman" has fast become one of the biggest names dominating the cinematic spy genre, having churned out two movies, a prequel film, and a planned third entry in the trilogy, "Kingsman: The Blue Blood." Still, the best entry in the "Kingsman" franchise remains the series' first installment, "Kingsman: The Secret Service."

Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a street-savvy young man lacking direction in life. Coming into contact with one of his deceased father's colleagues (Colin Firth), Eggsy finds himself recruited into an elite British intelligence agency, tasked with stopping an eccentric eco-terrorist (Samuel L. Jackson) who wants to wipe out most of the world's population.

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is a spy film that harks back to a simpler, campier style of action thriller, one that is as deliberately over-the-top as the classic 007 movies of the '60s and '70s. Featuring a cast of veteran actors like Firth, Jackson, Mark Strong, and Michael Caine, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" was a box office smash hit, earning $414.4 million. "Perhaps the riskiest mainstream movie in years, Vaughn's love letter to spy movies may be uneven in places, but it's ultra-violent, envelope-pushing, and fun enough to overcome the flaws," wrote Empire's Chris Hewitt.

Spies in Disguise

It's difficult to make a spy film entertaining for audiences of all ages: The genre is usually geared towards a more adult viewership. Every once in a while, though, a truly exceptional spy film perfect for the whole family will come along, delivering a ceaseless blend of laughs and action that will leave both adults and children equally entertained and engrossed. "Spies in Disguise" is one such film.

Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a capable albeit slightly arrogant super-spy who is accidentally transformed into a talking pigeon by a bookish, socially awkward scientist (Tom Holland) employed at the same intelligence agency. The two race against time trying to return Sterling to his human form in order to stop a dangerous terrorist (Ben Mendelsohn).

The camaraderie between Smith and Holland's characters in the film is very similar to that of McCarthy and Jude Law's suave super-spy character in "Spy," making this an ideal viewing option for those looking for a more family-friendly version of McCarthy's action film. It has humor, action, an impressive soundtrack, and an animation style that is about as fun to watch and meticulously designed as "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Entertainment Weekly's Christian Holub wrote, "It's a proud piece of family entertainment with a good heart, an eye for inventive action, and a delightfully wacky sense of humor."

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

One of the greatest spy films to ever come out of France, 2006's "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies" follows the titular secret agent, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath (Jean Dujardin) as he journeys to Cairo, uncovering a sinister plot orchestrated by a Nazi splinter group in the mid-1950s.

The first installment of the rebooted "OSS" trilogy, "Cairo, Nest of Spies" serves as a loose adaptation of a gritty French spy novel series, leaving behind the novel's hard-edged tone and instead presenting it more as a parody of the James Bond franchise. In particular, the movie takes some of the most dated and problematic qualities found in the original version of 007 and exaggerates them for comedic effect, presenting OSS 117 as an unlikable, sexist jerk rather than as an aspirational hero.

Though the film isn't very well-known outside of France, "Cairo, Nest of Spies" was very positively received by critics in 2006. "'OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies' is a loving spoof of Cold War espionage thrillers, done with a spot-on re-creation of the look, sound and feel of a genuine 1950s Technicolor production," said the Los Angeles Times.

The Austin Powers trilogy

Few action-comedy films can surpass the quality and nonstop laughs provided in all three "Austin Powers" movies. Each movie possesses its own strengths, boasts very few weaknesses, and comes across as a Mel Brooks-level parody of the over-stylized, flashy '70s James Bond films of the Sean Connery and Roger Moore eras.

Each entry in the "Austin Powers" series focuses on the exploits of world-renowned super-spy, Austin Powers (Mike Myers), a suave, sex-addicted British secret agent who regularly foils the outlandish plans of his arch-enemy Dr. Evil (also Myers). Flashy, charming, and filled with double entendres, "Austin Powers" is one of the most enjoyable movies ever made by a "Saturday Night Live" alumni, giving rise to a character that will forever remain synonymous with Myers' name.

All three films in the "Austin Powers" have been box office successes, with the trilogy grossing a total of $473.2 million worldwide. "It would take a stone face not to crumple at Austin's dodgy catchphrases and irrepressible sexual desperation," said Time Out. Even if you don't find yourself chuckling at Austin Powers, you'll almost certainly fall in love with some of the other characters, including the fiendish Dr. Evil and his son Scott (Seth Green), charmingly referred to as the "Diet Coke of evil — just one calorie, not evil enough."