The 30 Best Comedies on Netflix Right Now (August 2020)

Last Updated: August 11, 2020

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 of the best comedies on Netflix 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.

The Addams Family

Image via Paramount Pictures

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writers: Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson

Cast: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, and Elizabeth Wilson

While filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld is best known as the director of Men in Black and the Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events, his signature style was on full display in his directorial debut: the 1991 adaptation The Addams Family. While this movie may not be suitable for all kids, it’s got a spooky, creepy sensibility that will appeal strongly to certain folks without crossing the line into inappropriate territory. The production design is gorgeous, the performances are delightfully kooky, but above all the throughline of humor makes The Addams Family a supremely entertaining watch. – Adam Chitwood

Groundhog Day

Image via Columbia Pictures

Director: Harold Ramis

Writers: Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin

Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Brian Doyle-Murray, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Chris Elliott

The creative push and pull between director Harold Ramis’ comedic bent and star Bill Murray’s desire to tackle more lofty philosophical issues is what transcends Groundhog Day from a simple 80s comedy to a tried and true classic. It’s hilarious to be sure, but it’s also a film about fate, life, and of course death as a self-absorbed weatherman finds himself forced to relive the same day over and over again. Andie MacDowell proves to be the perfect romantic and comedic foil for Murray’s pomposity, and Murray himself nails the heart and humor of this wholly unique and resonant story. Groundhog Day is delightful, hilarious, and somewhat heartbreaking, making it truly a solid watch for any time of year. – Adam Chitwood

Ocean's Twelve

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: George Nolfi

Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Bernie Mac, Scott Caan, Vincent Cassel, Eddie Jemison, Carl Reiner, and Elliott Gould

Ocean’s Twelve is a blast and a half, and it’s high time it was recognized as such. When it was released, Ocean’s Twelve was not nearly as warmly received as its predecessor, but that’s because director Steven Soderbergh opted to try something entirely different. The plot is purposefully convoluted, and if you read Ocean’s Twelve’s story as a metaphor for how hard it is to make a good sequel, it is immensely more satisfying. The story mirrors Soderbergh’s task of following up a huge hit film with a movie that’s the same but different: Benedict (the studio) demands Ocean’s Eleven (Soderbergh and his cast) form once again to pay him back his money. Hilarity ensues, and the film never takes itself too seriously as the cast is all in on the joke. It’s divisive to be sure, but give the film another shot. It may surprise you. – Adam Chitwood

Baby Mama

Image via Universal Studios

Director/Writer: Michael McCullers

Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Romany Malco, Maura Tierney, Holland Taylor, Sigourney Weaver and Steve Martin

While the 2008 comedy Baby Mama doesn’t entirely deliver on everything you’d hope from a Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy (and the actresses have admitted the film is a tad mean-spirited when it pits their characters against one another), it’s still good for a number of laughs and is largely a joyful affair. Fey plays a single woman who decides to have a child via surrogate, with Poehler playing her irresponsible and obnoxious surrogate. As it turns out, however, Poehler’s character isn’t actually pregnant and has to keep the rouse going. – Adam Chitwood

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Image via Netflix

Director: David Dobkin

Writers: Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato

If you think Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is just another “dumb Will Ferrell comedy,” think again. One of 2020’s most pleasant surprises, this musical comedy is surprisingly sweet and genuinely emotional – don’t be surprised if you find yourself welling up with tears by the end. The story follows a pair of lifelong friends and musicians from Iceland who are unexpectedly thrust into the Eurovision Song Contest, which tests their talents and their relationship to one another. Ferrell is hilarious as always, but it’s Rachel McAdams who steals the show here and proves yet again she’s one of the best comedic talents working right now. Oh and the songs? They’re spectacular. – Adam Chitwood

Airplane!

Image via Paramount

Directors/Writers: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker

Cast: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, and Peter Graves

The 1980 comedy Airplane! is a very specific parody of a film genre that’s near-extinct nowadays, and yet it still holds up tremendously well. Taking aim at the “disaster movie” boom of the 1970s, Airplane! follows the exploits aboard an airplane after the pilots and some of the crew get sick from food poisoning. Goofy flashbacks and cutaways to Lloyd Bridges huffing glue in the control tower keep the setting fresh, but the slapstick antics of those aboard the plane are the engine that propels this joke machine. Some of the jokes have aged poorly, as is true of almost every comedy film, but on the whole this one will have you in stitches. – Adam Chitwood

The Death of Stalin

Image via IFC Films

Director: Armando Iannucci

Writers: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Simon Russell Beale, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko, Paddy Considine

If you like your comedy as dark as human history, you’re in for a real treat with The Death of Stalin. A horrifying, hilarious, existentially terrifying treat. Veep and The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci is Hollywood’s best working political satirist and with his 2017 feature, he hones in on the absurdity of totalitarianism with a razor-sharp comedic bent on the death of the Soviet Union’s infamous fascist leader, Joseph Stalin. And believe me when I say this movie is razor-sharp. Carried out in the fashion of Iannucci’s signature acerbic stylings, The Death of Stalin is the kind of movie you have to laugh at to keep from crying out in horror, because every absurd beat and bit is laced with terrible truth, laying bare the fragility of human life, nations, and ideas alike. There have been many attempts to capture the helpless, surreal experience of watching authoritarian, nationalist leaders around the world over the last 5 years, but The Death of Stalin might be the most cutting yet. Fortunately, Iannucci twists the knife right into your funny bone. – Haleigh Foutch

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Image via Columbia Pictures

Director: Jake Kasdan

Writers: Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan

Cast: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Tim Meadows, Kristen Wiig, and Jonah Hill

Much like Hot Rod or Step Brothers, the 2007 comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a film that didn’t hit big when it hit theaters, but grew a passionate cult following in the ensuing years. And for good reason, because it’s one of the funniest movies of the 21st century so far. The movie is ostensibly a send-up of cradle-to-grave music biopics like Walk the Line and Ray as it follows the trajectory of Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) from an aspiring musician in Alabama to a worldwide superstar. But the film goes beyond parody to really delve into the history of music, as Dewey’s story incorporates real-life stories from legends like The Beach Boys and The Beatles and descends into absolute chaos. What’s more, the songs are genuinely catchy and funny as hell. If you missed this one in theaters, now’s your chance to catch up with this deliriously funny comedy. – Adam Chitwood

Lady Bird

Image via A24 and Merie Wallace

Director/Writer: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, and Stephen Henderson

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird rules so incredibly hard, and is so tremendously funny. This is a coming-of-age story with soul, as Saoirse Ronan plays a young girl named Christine who struggles through her senior year at a Catholic high school—struggles with boys, struggles with friendships, struggles with money, and struggles with her parents. At heart this is a mother-daugther story, and while it gets intensely emotional, it’s also incredibly funny. Ronan is tremendous in the Oscar-worthy lead role, Beanie Feldstein is a hoot as her BFF, Timothee Chalamet nails the “pretentious cool guy” role, and Gerwig’s writing and direction are downright masterful. This is one of the best comedies of the last decade. – Adam Chitwood

Clueless

Image via Paramount

Director/Writer: Amy Heckerling

Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Stacey Dash, and Dan Hedaya

It’s a testament to the strength of Clueless’ story and characters that it remains as funny, compelling, and relevant today as it was in 1995, especially given how steeped in 90s culture it is. Filmmaker Amy Heckerling’s film is a riff on the Jane Austen novel Emma but with a modern teen sensibility, as Alicia Silverstone plays a beautiful and privileged girl named Cher who decides to give new student Tai (Brittany Murphy) a makeover. The film speaks directly to teens in an almost otherworldly way, gets surprisingly deep in its themes and emotional arcs, and the cast is absolutely perfect. Trust me, this one holds up. – Adam Chitwood

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Image via Sony Pictures Animation

Directors/Writers: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris

Before filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller upended convention with wildly entertaining films like The LEGO Movie and the Jump Street films, they wrote and directed the 2009 animated feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—and it is delightful. The film is absolutely in the same vein of Lord and Miller’s other films; a mix of goofy humor, gloriously intricate jokes, inventive visuals, and most importantly genuine compassion. Bill Hader voices a wannabe scientist named Flint who lives in a tiny town called Swallow Falls, which is thrown into peril when one of Flint’s wild inventions starts turning water into food, at which point it literally starts raining all sorts of delicious—and gigantic—treats. It’s a great film for all ages really, and a terrifically science-positive story. – Adam Chitwood

The Disaster Artist

Image via A24

Director: James Franco

Writers: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, and Jackie Weaver

A film about the making of the infamously terrible movie The Room should not be this good nor this emotional, but here we are. The Disaster Artist is technically a chronicle of how Tommy Wiseau defied pretty much every cinematic convention (for the worst) to make his film The Room, and how the movie became a cult favorite for its absolutely bonkers construction and execution. James Franco is legitimately great both in front of and behind the camera here, as the film hones in on the friendship between Tommy and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) serves as a surprisingly emotional foundation for this stranger-than-fiction story that is also very, very, very funny. – Adam Chitwood

Hail, Caesar!

Image via Universal Pictures

Directors/Writers: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Cast: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Alden Ehrenreich, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, and Frances McDormand

This 2016 comedy from the Coen Brothers was a long time in the making, and while it earned solid reviews, it’s still somewhat underrated. Hail, Caesar! takes place in 1951 follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a “fixer” for a movie studio called Capital Pictures who spends the day trying to stave off various scandals, put out fires, and track down a missing movie star. Chaos and shenanigans ensue, and George Clooney delivers one of his best comedic performance. This movie will also remind you that, whatever you think of Solo: A Star War Story, that Alden Ehrenreich can sure act. – Adam Chitwood

Just Friends

Image via New Line Cinema

Director: Roger Kumble

Writer: Adam Davis

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, and Chris Klein

Now that Ryan Reynolds is a bona fide action hero, let’s not forget the guy is also an incredibly talented comedic actor. Roger Kumble’s underrated romantic comedy Just Friends is a terrific showcase for Reynolds’ skills, as the dichotomy between his impossibly good looks and goofy comedic sensibility is put to good use as he plays a formerly chubby, sensitive-type who is now a trim, successful music producer. Anna Faris also turns in phenomenal work here as a play on a Britney Spears-esque pop star, and she and Reynolds have fantastic chemistry. The story is a pretty standard “home for the holidays” type deal—Reynolds’ character gets unexpectedly stranded in his hometown with Faris in tow, and is forced to confront his former BFF who is also the girl he was in love with in high school. But the whole thing is really just elevated to another comedic level courtesy of its A+ performances. Sneakily great? Chris Klein as a stereotypical “nice guy.” – Adam Chitwood

The Other Guys

Image via Columbia Pictures

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Adam McKay and Chris Hency

Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Dwayne Johnson

The 2010 comedy The Other Guys may not be on the level of pitch-perfect hilarity of Adam McKay’s other films like Step Brothers or Anchorman, but it’s still good for a number of laughs and fascinating when viewed as a step-ladder to McKay’s more dramatic films like The Big Short and Vice. This movie is ostensibly an action movie in which “the other guys” are the stars—in this case a mild-mannered forensic accountant (Will Ferrell) and a hot-tempered detective who mistakenly shot Derek Jeter (Mark Wahlberg). The two become embroiled in a case involving corporate maleficence, with McKay blending his passion for politics with an incredibly silly comedy. There are a number of insane gags here that are great, like Ferrell’s character’s past as a pimp for McKay’s own cameo as Dirty Mike of Dirty Mike and the Boys. And again while not as satisfying as some of McKay’s other films, this one certainly isn’t bad. – Adam Chitwood

Tootsie

Image for Columbia Pictures

Director: Sydney Pollack

Writers: Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, and Charles Durning

There’s a reason Tootsie is often taught in screenwriting classics as one of the best examples of a great feature film screenplay. This 1982 comedy is a pitch-perfect movie from beginning to end. Dustin Hoffman stars as a talented actor who can’t get a job because he’s too difficult. He then decides to impersonate a woman to get a role, and his alter ego “Dorothy Michaels” lands a role on a popular daytime soap. Navigating the world as a woman leads Hoffman’s character on a journey of self-discovery, and a perfect tonal balance of comedy and drama ensues. The film earned Jessica Lange an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. – Adam Chitwood

Get Him to the Greek

Image via Universal Pictures

Director/Writer: Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Elisabeth Moss, Rose Byrne, Colm Meaney, and Sean Combs

In the wake of the insane success of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Universal tasked writer/director Nicholas Stoller with creating a spinoff revolving around Russell Brand’s character Aldous Snow. The resulting film, Get Him to the Greek, is far better than expected and packed with hilariously catchy songs written by Jason Segel himself. The conceit of this comedy finds Jonah Hill playing a record label talent scout who’s tasked with making sure the notoriously unreliable Snow gets from London to L.A. in time for a concert. Chaos ensues in a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles-esque adventure, and as ever Stoller finds time to inject some genuine heart into the film as well. – Adam Chitwood

Frances Ha

Image via IFC Films

Director: Noah Baumbach

Writers: Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach

Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Josh Hamilton, and Grace Gummer

While Noah Baumbach broke out on the indie scene with films like Kicking and Screaming and The Squid and the Whale, his career entered a new, more joyful phase with the 2012 film Frances Ha. This 86-minute black-and-white delight is basically a star vehicle for Greta Gerwig, who also co-wrote the script and plays a 27-year-old dancer living in Brooklyn who is forced to find a new place to live, and thus is forced to try and get her life together. This isn’t a particular plot-driven film, and instead succeeds more on Gerwig’s unending charm and Baumbach’s flighty, intimate style. It’s a delightful comedy gem of the indie variety. – Adam Chitwood

Dolemite Is My Name

Image via Netflix

Director: Craig Brewer

Writers: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, and Titus Burgess

Not only does the Netflix original comedy film Dolemite Is My Name give us the best Eddie Murphy performance in years, it’s also just a tremendously entertaining movie about creative expression. The movie is based on the true story of Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian who aimed to bring his hit standup character “Dolemite” to the masses by writing, producing, and starring in an extremely low-budget film. Not unlike Bowfinger, this movie is a hilarious behind-the-scenes story of one man’s creative passion coming to life against all odds. Murphy is explosive, Da’Vine Joy Randolph gives the definition of a breakthrough performance, and Wesley Snipes goes full To Wong Fu in an outrageous turn as the director of the Dolemite movie. This is an extremely entertaining comedy that is also incredibly inspiring. – Adam Chitwood

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Image via Universal Pictures

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright

Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alison Pill, Mark Webber, Johnny Simmons, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Jason Schwartzman.

Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s outstanding comic didn’t find much of an audience upon its release, but over the years it has grown into a cult classic. The movie follows Scott Pilgrim (Cera), a sweet if slightly selfish and misguided young man who falls for delivery girl Ramona Flowers (Winstead). He can only continue to date her if he defeats her seven evil exes. Scott’s comfortable with the video game framework, but the film is really about two people discovering they have to get over their own baggage if they’re going to find new love. Wright decorates the whole picture with video game tropes and fun little nods, but never loses sight of the core romantic story. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is funny, effervescent, and only gets better on repeat viewings. – Matt Goldberg

Always Be My Maybe

Image via Netflix

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Writers: Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco

Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Michelle Buteau, James Saito, Daniel Dae Kim, Karan Soni, and Keanu Reeves

Netflix brought the romcom back in a big way with 2018’s Set It Up, and the streaming service’s 2019 effort Always Be My Maybe is similarly charming and delightful. Co-written by and starring Randall Park and Ali Wong, the film follows a pair of teenaged best friends who have since drifted apart and are pushed together once more in adulthood, even though their lives have followed very different paths. Park and Wong are dynamite together, and the film takes time to breathe with some well-paced dramatic sequences. It’s also not lacking in scene-stealers, as Michelle Buteau is a hoot and Keanu Reeves once again proves his talent knows no bounds. – Adam Chitwood

Wine Country

Image via Netflix

Director: Amy Poehler

Writers: Emily Spivey and Liz Cackowski

Cast: Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, and Jason Schwartzman

If you’re looking for a breezy, easy watch, check out Wine Country. While Amy Poehler’s directorial debut may not be the most thematically satisfying or airtight comedy, it’s a solid effort packed with sufficient laughs and a solid dose of heart. The film is inspired by a real-life trip the cast members and real-life friends took to celebrate Dratch’s 50th birthday, during which their friendship was laid bare. The actors play only slightly exaggerated versions of themselves, so part of the fun is seeing what the dynamic between these SNL alums is really like. This is a really easy watch, especially if you’re looking for something to enjoy with friends (and wine) on a Friday or Saturday night in. – Adam Chitwood

Swiss Army Man

Image via A24

Directors/Writers: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan

Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Swiss Army Man is undoubtedly one of the weirdest movies you’ll ever see, but there’s a charm to it that’s positively unmistakable. Paul Dano stars as a man marooned on an island who is just about to hang himself when he notices a body (Daniel Radcliffe) wash up on shore. When he approaches the body, it begins farting uncontrollably, the force of which propels it forward. Dano’s character then rides the body through the waves, using the farts as a motor to propel himself off this island once and for all. This is the opening scene of the movie. And yet an endearing (and hilarious) relationship blossoms between Dano and Radcliffe as the body begins to awaken, and Dano’s character teaches it how to be human. Backed by a killer soundtrack and brought to life with impressive (and ambitious) visuals, Swiss Army Movie is guaranteed to be a viewing experience you’ll never forget. – Adam Chitwood

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Image via EMI

Directed by: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

Written by: Monty Python

Cast: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam

The 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail is not just one of the best comedies ever made, it’s one of the best films ever made full-stop. British comedy troupe Monty Python chronicle King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail in hilariously silly fashion, throwing in some creatively inspired imagery and swell production value for good measure. This was Monty Python’s second feature ever after gaining popularity for their TV show, but unlike their first film And Now for Something Completely Different, Holy Grail is one continuous narrative, not a string of sketches. While senses of humor and certainly the comedy genre as a whole have changed in the ensuing four decades, Holy Grail remains a landmark achievement and, above all, an incredibly funny movie all these years later. – Adam Chitwood

The Lobster

Image via A24

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou

Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux, and Ben Whishaw

If you’re in the mood for an extremely dark comedy—like almost sadistically dark—you have to see The Lobster. The 2015 film takes place in a dystopian future in which people are turned into animals if they don’t find a romantic partner. Colin Farrell plays a man whose wife leaves him for someone else, and now has 45 days to find a partner at a special facility or else he’ll be turned into an animal. It’s absurd, ridiculous, pitch black, and hilarious, and Farrell delivers a truly stellar performance. Filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos hit the masses recently with The Favourite, but if you liked that film and want more, check out The Lobster. – Adam Chitwood

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

Image via Netflix

Directed by: Akiva Schaffer and Mike Diva

Cast: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Sterling K. Brown, and Maya Rudolph

If you’re looking for a lot of laughs in a short amount of time, may I humbly suggest The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience. Essentially a short film that accompanies a new Lonely Island album, the special is presented as a rap album that baseball legends Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire created in the 1980s, during their time as the “Bash Brothers.” Andy Samberg plays Conseco and Akiva Schaffer plays McGwire, and the whole thing is delightfully silly and extremely funny—like pretty much everything The Lonely Island does. If a parking lot standoff between a bashful Samberg and Schaffer with an extremely aggressive Maya Rudolph alongside the band Haim sounds like it’s up your alley, hit play on this 30-minute experience ASAP. – Adam Chitwood

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Image via Netflix

Directors/Writers: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: Tim Blake Nelson, Tyne Daly, James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Heck, Grainger Hines, Zoe Kazan, Harry Melling, Liam Neeson, Jonjo O’Neill, Chelcie Ross, Saul Rubinek, Tom Waits, Clancy Brown, Jefferson Mays, Stephen Root, and Willie Watson

Almost every Coen Brothers movie could be classified as a comedy in some way, and even their few straight dramas are rich with dark humor. That’s certainly the case with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a six-part Western anthology that tells six disparate stories, ranging in tone but all hitting upon the same theme: death. It qualifies as a comedy because at least three of the segments are explicitly such, including the rollicking opening segment starring Tim Blake Nelson and the second installment “Near Algones”, which stars James Franco and is basically one long joke with a perfect punchline. If you consume the whole you’ll get a heavy dose of melancholy and thoughtfulness to accompany the belly laughs, but given that the Coen Brothers are two of our greatest living filmmakers, it all fits together like a perfect meal. – Adam Chitwood

Set It Up

Image via Netflix

Director: Claire Scanlon

Writer: Katie Silberman

Cast: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, and Taye Diggs

If you’re looking for a charming romantic comedy, but don’t want to rewatch something from a previous decade for the umpteenth time, you should definitely give Claire Scanlon’s charming Set It Up a look. The plot follows two beleaguered assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) who decided to set up their bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs, respectively) in order to just get some precious free time away from their demanding jobs. However, with all their scheming, they start to fall for each other. You can see the romcom beats coming from a mile away, but they’re done so well and so effectively that you won’t mind. Plus, the film sizzles thanks to the outstanding performances from the dazzling Deutch and Powell, who should be the streaming generation’s Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. – Matt Goldberg

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Image via Netflix

Directed by: David Wain

Written by: John Aboud and Michael Colton

Cast: Will Forte, Domhnall Gleeson, Martin Mull, Emmy Rossum, Joel McHale, Thomas Lennon, Matt Walsh, Neil Casey, Matt Lucas, Natasha Lyonne, Ed Helms, Max Greenfield, Paul Scheer, and Jon Daly

If you’re a comedy nerd, A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a must-watch. The Netflix original film chronicles the origins of National Lampoon magazine through the eyes of co-founder Doug Kenney (Will Forte), a hilarious free spirit who would go on to co-write Animal House and Caddyshack before meeting an untimely end. Forte is the driving force of the film as it tracks the irreverent beginnings of National Lampoon, and the actor delivers a dynamic turn that is equal parts funny and sad. But Domhnall Gleeson nearly steals the show as his more dry partner Henry Beard, with cameos galore of folks playing famous actors from the time like Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner. Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models filmmaker David Wain directs with a knowing eye, but takes the drama inherent in Kenney’s tragedy seriously. – Adam Chitwood

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Image via Netflix

Director: Susan Johnson

Writer: Sofia Alvarez

Cast: Lana Condor, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Noah Centineo, Israel Broussard, and John Corbett 

If you’re looking for a fun, sweet, YA romantic comedy to brighten your day, you won’t do much better on Netflix than To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Based off the novel by Jenny Han, the story follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a teenager whose worst nightmares are realized when five letters she wrote to her secret crushes are sent out without her knowledge. When she’s confronted by her old crush Peter (Noah Centineo), she’s afraid it could get in the way of her current crush Josh (Israel Broussard), so Lara Jean and Peter resolve to fake a relationship so they can get with who they really want to be with. Naturally, pretending to be together starts to create real feelings between the two. The film is a joy from start to finish, letting you relive a time when who “liked” you was the most important thing in the world, but without any of the trauma high school entails. – Matt Goldberg

A Serious Man

Image via Focus Features

Writers/Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard King, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, and Jessica McManus

Joel and Ethan Coen have rarely been as strange or as autobiographical as they were with their brilliant 2009 film, A Serious Man. The story takes place in the Midwest in 1967 and follows Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), who’s facing a serious crisis of faith when his wife abruptly decides to divorce him and a student tries to blackmail him into getting a better grade. Larry’s constant refrain of “I didn’t do anything!” is his fragile shield in a world where he thinks simply being a passive person is the same as being a good person. It’s a profound, thoughtful, and yet still funny look at the trials of being Jewish provides through a lens that only the Coens could craft. – Matt Goldberg

Sleeping with Other People

Image via IFC Films

Writer/Director: Leslye Headland

Cast: Allison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Scott, Jason Mantzoukas, Natasha Lyonne, Adam Brody, and Amanda Peet

Filmmaker Leslye Headland broke out in a big way with the raunchy comedy Bachelorette, and her follow-up feature is a straight up romantic comedy—with a bit of an edge of course. Lovably described as “When Harry Met Sally with assholes,” Sleeping with Other People stars Jason Sudeikis and Allison Brie as a pair of acquaintances who lost their virginity to each other in high school, and reconnect years later in New York City. They quickly become platonic best friends, airing romantic grievances with one another while they both have trouble commiting to their respective relationships. It’s a hilarious, sweet, and at times very dirty spin on the romcom formula that’s a pure delight to watch. – Adam Chitwood

While We're Young

Image via A24

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

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

Image via Netflix

Director: Jody Hill

Writers: Jody Hill, John Carcieri, and Danny McBride

Cast: Josh Brolin, Danny McBride, Montana Jordan, Carrie Coon, and Scoot McNairy

Filmmaker Jody Hill burst onto the scene with his indie comedy The Foot Fist Way, which was followed up by the supremely dark Observe & Report, but then he and Danny McBride spent nearly a decade in the world of TV, creating, writing, and directing Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals. Now The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter marks Hill’s return to features, and while it has the edge that fans of his are familiar with, it’s also far sweeter and more heartwarming. Josh Brolin stars as a reality TV hunter who takes his son on a hunting trip along with his friend/cameraman, played by McBride. Tension ensues, owing mostly to Brolin’s estranged relationship with the boy’s mother, as Hill crafts a story that’s funny and endearing in equal measure. – Adam Chitwood

The Incredible Jessica James

Image via Netflix

Writer/Director: Jim Strouse

Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Down, Lakeith Stanfield, Noel Wells

Jessica Williams still hasn’t got the breakout she deserves since her tenure on The Daily Show, but the indie romcom The Incredible Jessica James is the first time since then we’ve got to see her step into a lead role and she just lights up the screen. Now, the character of Jessica James may not be quite as incredible as the title leads you to believe — she’s actually pretty selfish and naive — but she’s passionate, raw and ambitious, and Williams makes you love her in spite of her faults. A supporting performance from the constantly charming Chris O’Dowdcertainly doesn’t hurt, and the two have electric chemistry as they try to navigate the waters of heartbreak together toward something healthy and new. Sexy, funny and decidedly modern, The Incredible Jessica James is a refreshing spin on the romcom that doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator. — Haleigh Foutch

Sleepless in Seattle

Image via TriStar Pictures

Director: Nora Ephron

Writers: Nora Ephron, David S. Ward, and Jeff Arch

Cast: Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Bill Pullman, Gaby Hoffman, Ross Malinger, and Rob Reiner

A classic romantic comedy if there ever was one, Sleepless in Seattle holds up tremendously well. The film stars Tom Hanks as a widower living in Seattle whose son calls into a radio show to detail his father’s romantic struggles. Meg Ryan plays a Baltimore reporter who is moved to tears by the radio show, and sets about seeking out this mystery man. Nora Ephron directs this story perfectly, with its romantic center, whip-smart sense of humor, and feel-good ending. Grab a cozy blanket and cuddle up with this one. – Adam Chitwood

Latest Feed

Follow Us