100 best comedy films of all time, according to critics
Laughter not only makes people feel good, it helps them bond with others and some say watching comedies can even make you a better person. Whether it’s a funny flick full of sap, satire, or slapstick, picking a comedy over a drama might also improve health.
In 2018, critics have loved all types of the genre. Romantic comedies like “Crazy Rich Asians,” have dominated at the box office. “Sorry to Bother You,” a dystopian satire about a telemarketer, is another critic favorite. “American Vandal,” the fictional documentary-style investigative series about high school pranks gone too far, won a Peabody award.
To help pick a film that will inspire plenty of laughs, Stacker used data from Metacritic to compile a list of the 100 best comedies, according to critics. Audiences don’t always love the films that reviewers praise, but click through to see which of your favorite films were critic favorites as well.
RELATED: Best comedy movies of all time, according to IMDb data.
#100. About Schmidt
Release date: Dec. 13, 2002
This 2002 comedy-drama stars Jack Nicholson as an actuary who battles loneliness after he decides to retire, embarking on a cross-country trip to convince his only daughter not to go through with her wedding. The film was a critical and commercial success, more than doubling its production budget of $30 million. The Guardian described the film as a “tender, acrid, comedy masterpiece.”
#99. April and the Extraordinary World
Release date: March 25, 2016
Marion Cotillard lent her voice to this animated science fiction film that was first released in 2015 as “Avril et le Monde Truqué” in France and Belgium. Cotillard voices a character who lives in an alternate version of 1941, where scientists like her parents—along with Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi—have mysteriously disappeared, leaving a modern day that’s stuck in the 19th century. The animation style was based on the work of French cartoonist Jacques Tardi. The New York Times described the film as a “beautiful, inventive, and uncannily satisfying new example of animated sci-fi.”
#98. Knocked Up
Release date: June 1, 2007
Seth Rogen stars alongside Katherine Heigl as two strangers who decide to become parents after a one-night stand results in a pregnancy. Judd Apatow of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Freaks and Geeks,” directed this film that Rolling Stone said had “unexpected gravity.”
Release date: March 23, 2007
Inspired by his daughter, Jafar Panahi directs this film about six Iranian young women who dress up like boys so they can watch the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain. Female fans are forbidden from entering football stadiums for fear they will be cursed at, or worse. Critics dubbed it thought-provoking and funny.
#96. Exit Through the Gift Shop
Release date: April 16, 2010
This 2010 documentary was directed by British street artist Banksy. It follows Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles who loves street art. Guetta meets artists like Shepard Fairey along the way. Though some speculated the film might be more of a mockumentary, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Release date: July 10, 2015
An American comedy-drama, this film follows a transgender sex worker who finds out that her boyfriend—and pimp—has been cheating on her. One of the most remarkable things about this film, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, is that it was shot on iPhone 5s smartphones.
#94. The Treasure
Release date: Jan. 8, 2016
Director Cornelius Porumboiu tells the story of two men in post-Communist Romania as they search for lost treasure. The New York Times lauded Porumboiu's ability to not force the movie forward, instead letting events emerge from “the quirks and puzzles of human behavior.”
#93. The Savages
Release date: Nov. 28, 2007
In “The Savages,” Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play siblings who revisit their dysfunctional family history when their aging father has to be moved into a nursing home. The film was written and directed by Tamara Jenkins (“The Slums of Beverly Hills”) and released right before Christmas. Critics agreed the film wasn’t the season’s normal cheery holiday fare, but was still uplifting and funny.
#92. Support the Girls
Release date: Aug. 24, 2018
A female cast portrays what it’s like to support each other while working at Double Whammies, the kind of Hooters-style eatery colloquially referred to as a “breastaurant.” Rolling Stone applauded the movie’s stealthy feminism, and hailed it as one of the best films of 2018.
#91. Say Anything...
Release date: April 4, 1989
Cameron Crowe made his directorial debut with “Say Anything.” John Cusack also made the boombox serenade famous in this '80s film. The Hollywood Reporter described the comedy as “somewhere between John Hughes’ adolescent fantasies, and the corrosive satire in ‘Heathers.’”