The Best Comedies on Netflix Right Now

[Last Updated: November 8th]

So you’re browsing through Netflix, looking for something to watch, but you’re in the mood for something light. Netflix’s massive library can be intimidating, especially when you’re looking for a good comedy amidst a sea of subpar entries in the genre. Not to fear, though, because we here at Collider have you covered. Below, we’ve curated a list of the very best comedies on Netflix right now. We’ve got everything from silly buddy comedies, big splashy commercial comedies, more esoteric indies, and even a couple of films that toe the line between comedy and drama. Surely you’ll find something to your liking, so scroll through our list below and find that perfect pick.

And if you’re looking for a broader list of recommendations, check out our list of the best movies on Netflix right now.

While We're Young

Directed and Written by: Noah Baumbach

Cast: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Grodin, Adam Yauch

Starting with Frances Ha, filmmaker Noah Baumbach hit a much more joyous, optimistic stride with his films, and that’s certainly the case of his 2015 movie While We’re Young. This is almost in the vein of a traditional studio comedy for the Squid and the Whale filmmaker, but it’s a very, very good one. Ben Still and Naomi Watts star as a middle-aged couple living in New York City who are having trouble coming to terms with the fact that they’re no longer young. Stiller plays a documentary filmmaker who strikes up a friendship with an aspiring documentary filmmaker played by Adam Driver, who with his very hipster girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) befriend Stiller and Watts’ characters. A culture clash of sorts ensues, as Stiller and Watts struggle to prove they’re still hip while Driver and Seyfried struggle to prove they’re cool. The film has a lot to say about image and the passage of time, but it’s also just incredibly funny. – Adam Chitwood

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Adam McKay and Will Ferrell

Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amy Adams, Gary Cole, Leslie Bibb, Jane Lynch, and Michael Clarke Duncan

It’s tickling to no end that a Best Director Oscar nominee is the same mastermind behind such silliness as Anchorman and Step Brothers. But writer/director Adam McKay’s masterful hold over tone and subject matter in The Big Short is simply an extension of something he’d been doing for years, with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby acting as one of the biggest dupings of general audiences in recent memory. On the surface, it’s a silly comedy starring Will Ferrell as a goofy race car driver. But at its heart, Talladega Nights is a searing takedown of corporate culture and “Southern pride.” It’s darn effective, with hilarious supporting turns by John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon upping the goof factor exponentially and the late Michael Clarke Duncan showing a side of himself audiences had never seen before. This is Adam McKay doing what he does best, only on a broader canvas and with considerably more Mountain Dew. – Adam Chitwood

 

Punch-Drunk Love

Director/Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman

If you’re a cinephile looking for a different kind of romcom fix, check out Punch-Drunk Love. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson‘s 2002 film served as the follow-up to his ambitious drama Magnolia, and it’s refreshingly intimate. Adam Sandler gives a terrific performance as a lonely, soft-spoken novelty supplier who is nudged into striking up a romance with a woman played by Emily Watson. That’s the basic setup, but Punch-Drunk Love is not your typical romcom as it also involves a phone-sex scam and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a pushy mattress salesman, and it’s that uniqueness that really makes it special. – Adam Chitwood

Mean Girls

Director: Mark Waters

Writer: Tina Fey

Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Caplan, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Franzese, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Neil Flynn, and Tina Fey

Thus far, Tina Fey only has one feature film credit as a screenwriter, but boy is it a good one. 2004’s Mean Girls is a hilarious take on high school life from the point of view of one very specific teenager. The title says it all, as the film tackles the world of teenage female politics by taking aim at so-called “mean girls”, but it does so in a tremendously funny manner. The film is constantly surprising, never taking the traditional, clichéd high school coming-of-age route and instead finding much more interesting ways to get its point across (with memorable quotes galore). There’s a warmth to the story that telegraphs well, but Fey’s signature sense of humor is effervescent throughout, buoyed by swell direction from Mark Waters and a fantastic ensemble cast. – Adam Chitwood

Barton Fink

Directors/Writers: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis

Before The Dude and Llewyn Davis, there was Barton Fink. The Coen Brothers are known for crafting colorful characters, and one of their most memorable is still John Turturro’s title character in their 1991 comedy Barton Fink. This movie finds the Coen Brothers tackling the Hollywood Studio System of the 1940s, as Turturro plays a neurotic, successful playwright who gets offered the big bucks to write film scripts. He moves to California and is assigned a “wrestling picture,” but soon finds himself running into problem after problem, struggling to get past crippling writer’s block and dealing with a mysterious neighbor played by John Goodman. This has all the hallmarks of a great Coen Brothers movie—dry wit, incredible performances, and strange happenings, and of course there’s plenty to unpack in terms of metaphors and symbolism, so have at it!

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Director: Tim Burton

Writers: Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens, and Michael Varhol

Cast: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger, Judd Omen

Filmmaker Tim Burton‘s feature directorial debut Pee-wee’s Big Adventure would serve as a fitting announcement of Burton as a series filmmaking talent, but also still stands today as a tremendously inventive comedy. Paul Reubens‘ Pee-wee gets the big screen treatment as he sets out on a “big adventure” to find and return his stolen bike. Shenanigans ensue, but the combination of Reubens’ silly comedy and Burton’s whimsy makes for a wholly unique and somewhat trippy experience unlike anything else. — Adam Chitwood

Burn After Reading

Directors/Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Cast: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and J.K. Simmons

How did the Coen Brothers cash in on their clout from winning Best Director and Best Picture with No Country for Old Men? With an absurdist comedy that adds up to a punchline, of course. Burn After Reading is a hilarious romp of sorts played very, very straight, as the Coens pack this espionage story to the brim with idiots, but shoot, edit, and score it as if it’s a Michael Clayton-esque thriller. It’s a brilliant subversion of expectations, and while some certainly felt slighted by the ending, the way the story abruptly deflates is precisely the point. This is a movie that gets better and better with each watch, and though it may feel slight in the shadow of something as rich and complex as No Country, the range it displays from the Coen Brothers only solidifies them as two of America’s greatest directors of all time. – Adam Chitwood

Frances Ha

Director: Noah Baumbach

Writers: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig

Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Summer, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Adam Driver

Before 2012’s Frances Ha, filmmaker Noah Baumbach was the king of melancholy. With this breezy black-and-white indie, however, Baumbach changed course dramatically, churning out something that is much more optimistic and downright playful. In a star-making turn, Greta Gerwig plays a 27-year-old dancer living in Brooklyn who is forced to find a new place to live when her best friend opts to move out, thus meaning Frances is unable to afford rent. Frances subsequently bums around with her friends, returns to her home for Christmas, and even jets off the Paris, all the while trying stave off adulthood for as long as possible. Narratively there’s little to Frances Ha, but thematically and character-wise, this thing is rich beyond belief. It’s also just an absolute delight to watch, with a stellar soundtrack and a camera that adores Greta Gerwig. – Adam Chitwood

Hot Fuzz

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Olivia Colman, Timothy Dalton, and Paul Freeman

Edgar Wright is one of the best filmmakers working today, and his 2007 take on the action genre Hot Fuzz remains one of the best films of the past decade. Simon Pegg stars as an obsessive British cop who is assigned to work in a small village when the big city department becomes tired of his unending drive for perfection. What is meant as a means of getting him away from the action soon turns out to be a blessing, as Pegg’s character soon uncovers strange goings-on in the seemingly perfect village of Sandford. The ensemble here is stacked, led by a hilarious (and heartbreaking) co-starring turn from Nick Frost as well as icons of cinema past like Timothy Dalton and Paul Freeman. The film goes places you’d never expect, all while tipping its hat to the action greats like Michael Bay. Hot Fuzz is a comedy, but it’s a comedy that takes its action, characters, and story very seriously, which makes all the difference. – Adam Chitwood

In the Loop

Director: Armando Iannucci

Writers: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, and Armando Iannucci

Cast: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, Chris Addison, David Rasche, and James Gandolfini

If you’re a fan of HBO’s Veep and haven’t seen In the Loop, the satirical political comedy is a must-watch. Co-written and directed by Veep creator Armando Iannucci, the film is a spinoff of the BBC series The Thick of It and follows a series of governmental officials as the U.S. and U.K. are on the verge of launching a war in the Middle East. Just as Veep offers a behind-the-scenes look at the expletive-laden world of politics that goes on behind closed doors, In the Loop follows the governmental officials who work to get everyone on the same page when a major effort is underway. Like Veep, the F-bombs fly, but it is a bitingly sharp and extremely well acted comedy that strikes at the heart of political cynicism. – Adam Chitwood

The Ref

Director: Ted Demme

Writers: Richard LaGravenese and Marie Weiss

Cast: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr., Glynis Johns, Christine Baranski, Raymond J. Barry, and J.K. Simmons

Watching The Ref is a Christmas tradition for me. I’m not Christian. I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas. But watching The Ref at least once in the month of December is a requirement. Denis Leary plays a cat burglar who kidnaps a couple on the edge of divorce (played by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis), and then must engage in the charade of being their marriage counselor when the couple’s family comes over for Christmas dinner. It sounds like kind of a sitcom-y premise, but Ted Demme was the perfect choice to direct this. He gives the film the edge it sorely needs, and isn’t afraid to go to some dark emotional places when the story requires it. He doesn’t paper over the emotional disintegration between the couple, and instead makes it the focal point of the picture. Even though Leary is ostensibly the star of the film, the story relegates him more to a comic relief position, which is where he works best and it lets Spacey and Davis shine. – Matt Goldberg

The Big Short

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, John Magaro, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Marisa Tomei, and Finn Wittrock

The Big Short is proof that you can both be amused and infuriated at the same time. The genius of Adam McKay’s dark comedy is that he knows the secret weapon the financial industry has against the American public is ignorance. If you don’t know a credit default swap from a collateralized debt obligation, you may feel that the particulars of the financial market are too complex, and you may just have to walk away in frustration. The Big Short won’t get rid of your frustration, but it will effectively target it. Make no mistake, McKay is making an active attempt to educate his audience, but he cleverly does it within humor. It’s a bagful of sugar to help the harsh medicine go down. – Matt Goldberg

Zootopia

Directors: Byron Howard and Rich Moore

Writers: Jared Bush and Phil Johnston

Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Jenny Slate, Idris Elba, Nate Torrence, J.K. Simmons, Bonnie Hunt, and Octavia Spencer

Walt Disney Animation Studios found itself lagging behind when Pixar’s track record was pristine, but look no further than Zootopia for evidence that the tables have turned. While Pixar is more hit-or-miss nowadays, Disney Animation is on a roll with 2016’s Zootopia proving to be a pleasantly surprising hit both commercially and critically. While talking animal stories have been done to death, Disney dared to use the colorful, vibrant, and diverse world of Zootopia to tackle issues of inherent bias and racial prejudice head on, resulting in a viewing experience that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking. The movie is funny and gorgeous, with top-notch world building, but it also has something to say, which ensures that it’s much more than a lazy cash grab. With any luck, this one’s gonna have a lengthy shelf life. – Adam Chitwood

Moonrise Kingdom

Director: Wes Anderson

Writers: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Jason Schwarztman, Bob Balaban, and Tilda Swinton

Wes Anderson’s ode to summer lovin’ is quite possibly his most romantic film yet, as the filmmaker perfectly encapsulates what it feels like to be young and head-over-heels in love. It’s a delightful picture with an undercurrent of sadness running throughout, and it features some of the most stunning production design of Anderson’s oeuvre—and that’s saying something. Moonrise Kingdom also features the anachronistic casting of Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, who turn out to be absolute perfect fits for Anderson’s brand of auteurism. This is one melancholic treat worth savoring. – Adam Chitwood

The Trip

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon

The 2011Trip movie is basically an edit of The Trip TV series that aired in the UK, with its best parts distilled for quicker viewing — even though The Trip is a film to be savored. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves touring around the north of England, as Coogan reviews local restaurants. It sounds pretentious, and some of it is, although it’s mostly uproariously funny. The two actors, improvising their lines, play off one another brilliantly as foils, with Coogan as the miserable star / lothario, and Brydon as the happy-go-lucky married man struggling with his career. The two constantly attempt to one-up each other with their impressions, jokes, and successes large and small, and it creates a biting undercurrent that ultimately ends with a soberingly dark finale. But before that, the moors of the English countryside lend exceptional beauty and drama to this engrossing and funny travelogue. The Trip also has a sequel, to Italy, which is much lighter and brighter in tone and scenery. While it has its moments, it doesn’t quite capture as aptly the uncomfortable (and occasionally wonderful) realities of fame, friendship, love, and aging portrayed in the first film. — Allison Keene

The Overnight

Director/Writer: Patrick Brice

Cast: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche

If you’re in the mood for a raunchy comedy that really goes there, then The Overnight might be right up your alley. The film stars Adam Scott and Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling as a somewhat conservative couple who, while at the park with their son, meet a nice and somewhat mysterious parent named Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), who invites them and their son over to his family’s house for a playdate. All is going somewhat normal until the kids are put to bed, at which point Kurt and his wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) pull Scott and Schilling’s characters out of their shells, taking them to sexually adventurous places with plenty of humor to boot. For anyone who’s been itching to see Scott and Schwartzman don some hilariously exaggerated prosthetic genitals, The Overnight is for you. – Adam Chitwood

Force Majeure

Director/Writer: Ruben Ostlund

Cast: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Kristofer Hivju

If it’s an offbeat comedy you’re looking for, Force Majeure is your movie. This 2014 Swedish film has a great premise that gets the ball rolling: A businessman is on vacation with his wife and two children in the French Alps. One day, while eating lunch outside, a sudden avalanche heads their way. As it moves right over everybody, the husband gets up and runs for his life, neglecting his entire family. The kicker is, nobody was hurt, everybody’s fine, and now he has to deal with the fallout of bailing on his family in a life-or-death situation. This movie swings wildly in tone from hilarious farce to moving relationship drama, and it’s got a couple of actors you might recognize from Game of Thrones and Wonder Woman. And yes, we’re still annoyed by its Best Foreign Language Oscar snub. – Adam Chitwood

Frank

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Writers: Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy

Filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson is now an Oscar-nominated director for his work onRoom, but his previous film, Frank, proves the director’s range as he stretches into truly strange territory. Based on true events, the film follows a young aspiring musician played by Domhnall Gleeson who joins an eccentric pop band fronted by the mysterious Frank, a character played by Michael Fassbender who wears a giant mask over his head for almost the entire film. It’s a truly spectacular performance from Fassbender, who must use only his voice and body to convey the character’s complex emotions, and Gleeson is terrific as a naïve musician who, at heart, is just not very talented. This is an incredibly weird movie about art, music, and trauma, but it’s also delightful and wickedly funny. So for something off the beaten path, check out Frank. – Adam Chitwood

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Director: Eli Craig

Writer: Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson

A comedic spin on the “party-going youths meet backwoods sociopaths” subgenre of horror, a la Texas Chainsaw MassacreTucker and Dale vs. Evil is a straight up comedy of errors in horror movie clothing. The film follows the titular Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), two country bumpkins best friends renovating their dilapidated remote vacation home where they encounter a group of preppy, wildly biased college kids. When Dale’s attempt at friendly conversation is perceived as a threat, it sets off a series of ever-escalating confrontations that are only as hilarious as they are deadly. As far as I’m concerned, every Alan Tudyk performance is a gift, but it’s Tyler Labine’s soft-hearted Dale who steals the show as he tries to comprehend the fresh hell he somehow wandered into. Thanks to their on-point performances and some gore gags that are equal parts gruesome and guffaw-inducing, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is one of the most delightful horror comedies in recent memory.  – Haleigh Foutch

Tangerine

Director: Sean Baker

Writers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch

Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, and James Ransone

If you’re in the mood for a comedy of a different sort, or maybe just something energetic and colorful, Tangerine is a must-watch. Shot entirely on an iPhone to tremendous results, the film follows a day in the life of two transgender prostitutes on the streets of Los Angeles, as fresh-from-jail Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) goes on the hunt to find the woman her boyfriend (James Ransone) has been shacking up with in her absence, all the while her quiet, aspirational friend and co-worker Alexandra (Mya Taylor) tries her best to put out the fires. It’s a hilarious, heartfelt, and surprisingly emotional little film that’s a breath of fresh air from the cliché-ridden comedies that Hollywood tends to churn out year after year. – Adam Chitwood

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Be sure to keep checking back as we’ll be continuing to update our recommendations for the must-see titles currently playing on Netflix. Can’t get enough recommendations? Check out our partners at Complex’s 100 Best Movies On Netflix list. Happy viewing!

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