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The 50 Best Comedy Movies of the Decade

Reality didn’t always give us that much to laugh about in the past decade, but these movies sure did.
Decade Best Comedy Cover
By  · Published on November 16th, 2019

20. The Brand New Testament


God is alive, lives in Brussels, and an unrepentant jackass. He also has a rebellious 10-year-old daughter named Ea who decides enough is enough and starts fucking with His plans in some pretty major ways. The Brand New Testament wholeheartedly embraces the idea that God is basically you playing the Sims at your most sadistic, when you reach that point where you get a little bored and figure, you know, why not delete the pool ladder? It’s the sort of film that will leave you wondering “what the fuck did I just watch?” in all the best ways. In case you’re still not convinced this is a movie you need to watch, let me add that it features Catherine Deneuve and she falls in love with a gorilla. If your interest is still not piqued, what the fresh hell is wrong with you? Seriously, you should get that looked at.

19. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Popstar Never Stop
Universal Pictures

Free of hyperbole, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, from the comedy team The Lonely Island, is the natural successor to This Is Spinal Tap. Directed by Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, and anchored by Andy Samberg, the film takes a mockumentary approach to lampooning our modern megastars, namely Justin Bieber, the title being a riff off of his 3-D concert film Never Say Never. But replacing his tween pop anthems are some of the dirtiest, funniest songs The Lonely Island has produced, from ‘Legalize It’ about the thunderous highs of smoking crack to ‘Mona Lisa’ with lyrics like “you’re worse than the pyramids / Can someone explain why the whole wide world / Is obsessed with a Garbage Pail Kid”. But to look behind the songs and the doe-eyed empty-headedness of Samberg’s Conner4Real, Popstar is a slight critique on the artifice of white privilege and how certain men seem to always fall upwards in life, even when failing miserably. But any serious critique is usurped by Popstar’s world of incorrigible characters, featuring a laundry list of cameos and co-stars from the always hilarious Tim Meadows to a faux TMZ team made up of Eric Andre and Chelsea Peretti, among others. Popstar didn’t find its audience on release, but luckily with time, the film is having a second life as a side-splitting modern cult classic. (Jacob Trussell)

18. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


If there is one film from the past decade that is truly, unreservedly Net Positive, it has got to be Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It’s visually stunning, superbly executed on all fronts, and unfailingly wholesome. It also has a very healthy sense of humor, from Nic Cage’s delightfully melodramatic Spider-Man Noir to a simultaneously laugh-out-loud and cringe-inducing first day of school drop-off scene.

17. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil


How fun is it to watch teens accidentally launch themselves into wood chippers? Very. But nothing tickles more than a good, crunchy misunderstanding. In the comedy of terrors Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, adorable best bros Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are misread by a gang of city slickers as backcountry horror bumpkins: the kind of redneck roadside menaces The Hills Have Eyes warned us about. Of course, our two heroes are country bumpkins, but they wouldn’t hurt a fly. Not on purpose anyway. Unfortunately for these prejudiced, paranoid youngins, the gods of comedy have other plans. Plans that involve wood chippers. Heartwarming and hilarious, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is full of pleasant surprises, satirical spoofs, and enough goodwill goof-em-ups to warm the heart of the coldest co-ed. (Meg Shields)

16. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Quentin Tarantino’s films are known for possessing hefty doses of quippy, irreverent humor, and in this regard, his latest is a particular delight. While Leonardo DiCaprio has some great comedic moments as has-been television star Rick Dalton, it’s Brad Pitt as his friend and stunt double Cliff Booth who really steals the show—particularly the laugh-riot of a finale, with some help from an acid-dipped cigarette. That said, the controversial Bruce Lee gag is a definite misfire, and the film’s placement in this list was pushed back a few slots from how it might have ranked otherwise in light of that.

15. Parasite


No one’s laughing at the end of Parasite, but the gut-punch of a finale is preceded by some bona fide comedic delights. After the Kims take up residence in their employer’s home expecting the Parks to be gone camping all weekend, inclement weather sends their employers returning early and the Kims racing against the clock. The Kims’ scramble to hide any signs of their presence as the Parks naively settle back in is nail-biting physical comedy at its finest, and more reminiscent of the genius of Charlie Chaplin than anything else we’ve seen in a long while. 

14. The Guard


Brendan Gleeson and writer-director Martin McDonagh teamed up in 2007 for In Bruges, which is one of the finest comedies of the 21st century. In that movie, Gleeson is the straight man performer, which is funny in its own right, but most of the comic relief comes courtesy of Colin Farrell. In 2011, however, Gleeson paired up with Martin’s brother John Michael McDonaugh and proved that he was a capable comedic leading man. In this movie, he plays a bored police officer who loves getting a rise out of his colleagues by making politically incorrect remarks, but a murder mystery resorts to him revealing just how great of a cop he really is. The Guard is the best kind of offensive comedy because there’s more to the film’s story than trying to incite outrage. (Kieran Fisher)

13. Bridesmaids


Buddy comedies are often an excuse to let a group of whites men be raunchy and sexist with little consequence. So when Paul Feig’s comedy Bridesmaids was released in 2011, it felt like a breath of fresh air. It let women be gross, raunchy, messy, and funny without turning them into two-dimensional stereotypes. Kristen Wiig stars as Annie, a woman whose best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and living her best adult life while Annie can barely pay rent after her bakery went out of business. Weddings are notoriously stressful so of course all of Annie’s insecurities come bubbling to the surface as she tries to compete with Lillian’s wealthy, more successful friends. Feig uses comedy to address how feelings of inadequacy will never go away no matter how old you are. Rudolph shits herself in a wedding stress, Melissa McCarthy steals absolutely every scene she’s in, and Wiig gets wasted and sings on a plane (which has been my mom’s ringtone for years). Bridesmaids lets women be total messes without shaming them or making them a punchline. Instead, it showcases the comedy behind struggling through your best friend’s wedding when you’re barely hanging on yourself. (Mary Beth McAndrews)

12. Hunt for the Wilderpeople


Hunt for the Wilderpeople is one of those everything movies that packs basically every human emotion into less than two hours. It’s undeniably sweet, at times sad enough to give your heartstrings a good twang, and its robust sense of humor has something for everyone. There are jokes about Lord of the Rings and The Terminator, a delightfully hokey birthday song, and a  manic conspiracy theorist who calls himself Psycho Sam and likes to pretend he’s a tree. If you are not charmed by this film then your heart is made of ice-cold stone.

11. The Nice Guys


“Sweetheart, how many times have I told you?  Don’t say ‘and stuff.’ Just say, ‘Dad, there are whores here.'” With zingers like this one, The Nice Guys is hands down the best, funniest film Shane Black has made (and yes, before you ask, I have seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and the fact that it did not do better at the box office breaks my heart. Neither Ryan Gosling nor Russell Crowe is particularly known as a comic actor, but they play off each other masterfully here. Gosling’s performance as a nihilistic PI still reeling from the death of his wife is particularly glorious.

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Ciara Wardlow is a human being who writes about movies and other things. Sometimes she tries to be funny on Twitter.