Note: This Collider original feature was initially published on a prior date, but has been moved to the front page to further highlight our original content.
Making a good comedy film is hard. You not only have to make them laugh, you have to make them care enough about the characters they’re watching to stick with it for 90-120 minutes. Veer too far into the jokes and you’re left with paper-thin characters. Forget the jokes, and you’ve got yourself a melodrama. But comedy is always evolving, and throughout the 21st century thus far we’ve seen numerous different phases for the genre. No doubt Judd Apatow had a tremendous impact on not only what kinds of comedies audiences respond to, but how comedy films are made—allowing lots of improvisation led to a looseness in a lot of feature films that, frankly, wasn’t there that much before.
But we’ve also seen plenty of other comedic voices arise or return, offering refreshing, unique stories that elevate what could simply be an enjoyable-enough joke-fest to a genuinely great cinematic experience. Folks like Edgar Wright, Shane Black, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, and plenty others carved out very specific voices that spoke to vast audiences, proving you don’t always have to play to the lowest common denominator.
As a result, the past 18 years have been a gold mine for terrific, lasting, and yes hilarious comedy feature films. So we here at Collider wanted to look back and single out the best of the best. Below, our list of the best comedies of the 21st century. So far…