50 Greatest Comedies of the 21st Century
What’s so funny? If you’re talking about screen comedy in the 21st century, the answer is easy: bumbling manchildren, the more boorish and clueless and stuck in their stunted adolescence, the better. Talking foxes, Huey Lewis-loving serial killers, world-saving marionettes, foul-mouthed political fixers and boisterous bridesmaids – all great as well. German father-daughter duos and goofy stoners? Bring ’em on! Headbanging teachers and backstabbing bureaucrats? Yes, we’ll take them too.
Since the turn of the century, we’ve giggled at the poignant and the perverse, rom-coms and raunch-coms, new-and-improved takes on singular comic types and loose, highly improvised ensemble pieces that spread the spotlight around. Some of these movies have been gently witty, while others have displayed all of the subtlety of a dose of Sex Panther cologne. But they’ve all consistently cracked us up, in a near–two-decade span in which – let’s be honest – we’ve need a laugh or two. Or three. Or a dozen.
After a number of heated arguments and lots of name-calling and the occasional chaotic pie fight, we’ve narrowed down our choices for the greatest comedies of the 21st century. Culling this down to a mere 50 entries was a tough call – humor is a seriously subjective topic, and every one of our 19 writers weighing in had their own idea of what constitutes “hilarious.” But this list represents the best cross-section of screen comedy of our still young millennium, a collection that runs the gamut from droll to bladder-loosening. Given the high possibility of sidesplitting, you may wanna have a medical professional on hand. And don’t forget to stay classy, San Diego.
The 50 Best Action-Comedy Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer
(Photo by Warner Bros/ Everett Collection)
The action-comedy is one of the of the more playful, exciting genre hybrids out there, though it didn’t really come into shape until the 1980s, when buddy-cop films like Lethal Weapon and 48 Hrs. exploded onto the scene, along with Midnight Run, The Blues Brothers, and the rise of Jackie Chan. In Police Story, Drunken Master, and rest of his peak output, Chan is essentially a living, breathing homage to Buster Keaton, whose absurdly dangerous slapstick prowess powered the original action-comedy: 1926’s The General.
Chan and Chris Tucker revitalized the action-comedy formula for the ’90s with the Rush Hour movies. Though they’re fan favorites, the Rush Hour trio were not heavy hitters with critics, so they’ll be absent from this guide to the best-reviewed action-comedies ever, where we’re collecting the top 50 Certified Fresh movies of the genre. What that means is that you will see Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels represented. Lock, Stock was released the same year as Rush Hour and impressed critics and audiences alike by infusing the action-comedy with post-Tarantino grit and swagger.
Hot Fuzz, Tropic Thunder, Kung Fu Hustle, 21 Jump Street, and Bad Boys For Life are among many that have kept the genre going during the past 20 years. And though most superhero movies these days are humorous on some level, we’ll be highlighting the ones that really flex their comedic muscles, like The Suicide Squad and Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds seems molded for this wisecracking genre, wherein he has played the Merc With a Mouth and starred in Free Guy.
Now, see the 50 best-reviewed Certified Fresh action-comedies!
Adjusted Score: 78468%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
Synopsis: After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Starring:Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren
Directed By:Robert Schwentke
Adjusted Score: 83614%
Critics Consensus: Too over the top for its own good, but ultimately rescued by the cast's charm, director John Landis' grace, and several soul-stirring musical numbers.
Synopsis: After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) -- collectively known as the... [More]
Starring:John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Cab Calloway
Directed By:John Landis
Adjusted Score: 80748%
Critics Consensus: Brimming with energy and packed with humor, Big Trouble in Little China distills kung fu B-movies as affectionately as it subverts them.
Synopsis: Kurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco's... [More]
Starring:Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong
Directed By:John Carpenter
Adjusted Score: 93065%
Critics Consensus: It may not win writer-director Guy Ritchie many new converts, but for those already attuned to the filmmaker's brash wavelength, The Gentlemen stands tall.
Synopsis: Mickey Pearson is an American expatriate who became rich by building a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word... [More]
Starring:Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong
Directed By:Guy Ritchie
Adjusted Score: 87868%
Critics Consensus:Keanu's absurd premise and compulsively watchable starring duo add up to an agreeably fast-paced comedy that hits more than enough targets to make up for the misses.
Synopsis: Recently dumped by his girlfriend, slacker Rell (Jordan Peele) finds some happiness when a cute kitten winds up on his... [More]
Starring:Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man
Directed By:Peter Atencio
Adjusted Score: 85348%
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Starring:Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton
Directed By:Adam McKay
Adjusted Score: 84683%
Critics Consensus: Although the plot is really nothing to brag about, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson work well together. The cinematography looks great, and Jackie delivers a hilarious performance. This is an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser.
Synopsis: Bumbling Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) works as an Imperial guard in the Forbidden City of China. When Princess Pei Pei... [More]
Starring:Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Lucy Liu, Roger Yuan
Directed By:Tom Dey
Adjusted Score: 83774%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining Jackie Chan stunt-fest in which the impressive action sequences overcome the low production value and by-the-numbers plot.
Synopsis: Hong Kong policeman Keung (Jackie Chan) arrives in New York for the wedding of his uncle Bill (Bill Tung), a... [More]
Starring:Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Bill Tung, FranÃ§oise Yip
Directed By:Stanley Tong
Adjusted Score: 84377%
Critics Consensus: The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s.
Synopsis: Following the death of his wife, Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) becomes reckless and suicidal. When he... [More]
Starring:Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan
Directed By:Richard Donner
Adjusted Score: 85852%
Critics Consensus:Lethal Weapon 2 may sport a thin plot typical of action fare, but its combination of humor and adrenaline, along with the chemistry between its leads, make this a playful, entertaining sequel.
Synopsis: South African smugglers find themselves being hounded and harassed by Riggs and Murtaugh, two mismatched Los Angeles police officers. However,... [More]
Starring:Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland
Directed By:Richard Donner
Adjusted Score: 92122%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Synopsis: Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), pampered action superstar, sets out for Southeast Asia to take part in the biggest, most-expensive war... [More]
Starring:Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte
Directed By:Ben Stiller
Adjusted Score: 87900%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
Synopsis: After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) follows the leads to Beverly... [More]
Starring:Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher
Directed By:Martin Brest
Adjusted Score: 83618%
Critics Consensus: A loving and meticulous send-up of 1970s blaxsploitation movies, Black Dynamite is funny enough for the frat house and clever enough for film buffs.
Synopsis: After "The Man" kills his brother and poisons the neighborhood with tainted liquor, a kung fu fighter (Michael Jai White)... [More]
Starring:Michael Jai White, Kym Whitley, Tommy Davidson, Kevin Chapman
Directed By:Scott Sanders
Adjusted Score: 98020%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protÃ©gÃ© Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Starring:Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll
Directed By:Peyton Reed
Adjusted Score: 85551%
Critics Consensus: Jackie Chan sends up some amazing and entertaining fight sequences in The Legend of Drunken Master.
Synopsis: From a land where honor and tradition reign, comes the legend of a martial-arts hero unlike any other -- the... [More]
Starring:Jackie Chan, Ti Lung, Anita Mui, Kar-leung Lau
Directed By:Chia-Liang Liu
Adjusted Score: 93406%
Critics Consensus: Boasting even more of the bromantic chemistry between its stars -- and even more of the goofy, good-natured humor that made its predecessor so much fun -- 22 Jump Street is the rare sequel that improves upon the original.
Synopsis: Although they made their way through high school successfully, an investigation at a local college brings big changes for undercover... [More]
Starring:Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Wyatt Russell
Directed By:Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Adjusted Score: 108614%
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.
Synopsis: Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of... [More]
Starring:Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz
Directed By:David Leitch
Adjusted Score: 115672%
Critics Consensus:Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Starring:Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista
Directed By:James Gunn
Adjusted Score: 88068%
Critics Consensus:Romancing the Stone reaches back to the classic Saturday morning serials of old with an action-filled adventure enlivened by the sparkling chemistry between its well-matched leads.
Synopsis: A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister,... [More]
Starring:Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman
Directed By:Robert Zemeckis
Adjusted Score: 94321%
Critics Consensus: A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite.
Synopsis: When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances... [More]
Starring:Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco
Directed By:Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Adjusted Score: 105884%
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.
Synopsis: Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing... [More]
Starring:Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller
Directed By:Tim Miller
Adjusted Score: 96458%
Critics Consensus: Combining a clever concept, sweet, self-aware humor, and a charming cast, Free Guy is frivolous fun.
Synopsis: In "Free Guy," a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides... [More]
Starring:Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery
Directed By:Shawn Levy
Adjusted Score: 104981%
Critics Consensus:American Made's fast-and-loose attitude with its real-life story mirrors the cavalier -- and delightfully watchable -- energy Tom Cruise gives off in the leading role.
Synopsis: Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central... [More]
Starring:Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright Olsen, Jesse Plemons
Directed By:Doug Liman
Adjusted Score: 105462%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Starring:Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael PeÃ±a
Directed By:Peyton Reed
Adjusted Score: 92415%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
Synopsis: All his life, an ordinary young man (Stephen Chow) has been treated like dirt. Still, he's never given up believing... [More]
Starring:Stephen Chow, Zhao Wei, Patrick Tse, Cecilia Cheung
Directed By:Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee
Adjusted Score: 114703%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Starring:Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
Directed By:David F. Sandberg
Adjusted Score: 95712%
Critics Consensus: Boasting loads of quirky charm, a pair of likable leads, and confident direction from Jonathan Demme, Something Wild navigates its unpredictable tonal twists with room to spare.
Synopsis: Free-spirited Lulu (Melanie Griffith) sets her sights on uptight banker Charles (Jeff Daniels) for a little bit of fun. Their... [More]
Starring:Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, Margaret Colin
Directed By:Jonathan Demme
Adjusted Score: 97013%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Hustle blends special effects, martial arts, and the Looney Toons to hilarious effect.
Synopsis: When the hapless Sing (Stephen Chow) and his dim-witted pal, Bone (Feng Xiaogang), try to scam the residents of Pig... [More]
Starring:Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Siu-Lung Leung
Directed By:Stephen Chow
Adjusted Score: 98727%
Critics Consensus: The brilliant minds behind Shaun of the Dead successfully take a shot at the buddy cop genre with Hot Fuzz. The result is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.
Synopsis: As a former London constable, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) finds if difficult to adapt to his new assignment in the... [More]
Starring:Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine
Directed By:Edgar Wright
Adjusted Score: 111355%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Starring:Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Viola Davis
Directed By:James Gunn
Adjusted Score: 109982%
Critics Consensus:The Nice Guys hearkens back to the buddy comedies of a bygone era while adding something extra courtesy of a knowing script and the irresistible chemistry of its leads.
Synopsis: Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a down-on-his-luck private eye in 1977 Los Angeles. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hired... [More]
Starring:Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer
Directed By:Shane Black
Adjusted Score: 98284%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script, spectacular set pieces, and charismatic performances from its leads, Men in Black is an entirely satisfying summer blockbuster hit.
Synopsis: They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, Kay (Tommy Lee... [More]
Starring:Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio
Directed By:Barry Sonnenfeld
Adjusted Score: 105586%
Critics Consensus:Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Starring:Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel
Directed By:James Gunn
Adjusted Score: 97682%
Critics Consensus: Marking an auspicious feature film debut for Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs. is a briskly paced action comedy that succeeds largely due to the outstanding chemistry between its two leads.
Synopsis: Renegade cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) pulls bank robber Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from a federal prison on a 48-hour... [More]
Starring:Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O'Toole, Frank McRae
Directed By:Walter Hill
Adjusted Score: 125756%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Starring:Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba
Directed By:Taika Waititi
Adjusted Score: 98669%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by the antagonistic chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Midnight Run is an uncommonly entertaining odd couple comedy.
Synopsis: When Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) hires tight-lipped bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) to locate a mob accountant named... [More]
Starring:Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton
Directed By:Martin Brest
Adjusted Score: 98656%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Starring:George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze
Directed By:David O. Russell
Adjusted Score: 104508%
Critics Consensus: Simultaneously broad and progressive, Spy offers further proof that Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig bring out the best in one another -- and delivers scores of belly laughs along the way.
Synopsis: Despite having solid field training, CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has spent her entire career as a desk jockey,... [More]
Starring:Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart
Directed By:Paul Feig
Adjusted Score: 97889%
Critics Consensus: Blending hand-to-hand combat with breathtaking stunts and slapstick comedy, Supercop reminds us why Jackie Chan is one of the world's great entertainers.
Synopsis: To infiltrate a drug cartel, police Inspector Chan Ka Kui (Jackie Chan) goes undercover in a Chinese prison. There, he... [More]
Starring:Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeaoh, Maggie Cheung, Ken Tsang
Directed By:Stanley Tong
Adjusted Score: 100824%
Critics Consensus:The Paper Tigers blends action, comedy, and heart to produce a fresh martial arts movie with plenty of throwback charm.
Synopsis: Three martial artists--notorious in their prime as "the three tigers"--have grown into middle-aged men one kick from a pulled muscle.... [More]
Starring:Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Jae Suh Park
Directed By:Quoc Bao Tran
List of comedy films of the 2000s
50 must-see comedies from the 2000s, according to critics
- The 2000s saw the release of an eclectic mix of romantic comedies, action parodies, and animated family films.
- Memorable comedies like "I Love You, Man" (2009), "Superbad" (2007), and "Shrek" (2001) are still referenced years later.
- Films like "Mean Girls" (2004), "Shaun of the Dead" (2004), and "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006) became cult classics.
- Critics also loved hidden gems like "Ghost World" (2001), "Sideways" (2004), and "Murder Party" (2007).
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
From animated adventures and satires to rom-coms and dramedies, the 2000s offered a wide variety of unique and memorable comedic films.
Here are 50 must-see comedies from the 2000s that have a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 80% or higher:
A groom-to-be searches for his best man in "I Love You, Man" (2009).
Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
Summary: After proposing to the woman of his dreams (Rashida Jones), Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) quickly realizes that he doesn't have any male friends in his life to step in as his best man.
But after Peter meets Sydney (Jason Segel), he feels like he's finally found the one.
"Adventureland" (2009) captures life at an amusement park in 1987.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Summary: Set in the summer of 1987, recent college graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) reluctantly takes a job working as an underpaid theme park employee and finds an unexpected camaraderie with his new coworker Em (Kristen Stewart).
"A Serious Man" (2009) centers on an unlucky professor.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Summary: In the dark comedy, Midwest-based physics professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) seeks advice from three different rabbis as he struggles with a strained marriage and a flurry of bad luck in the late 1960s.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009) is a stop-motion animation about a family of foxes.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Summary: In Wes Anderson's animated comedy, a community of animals must band together when smooth-talking Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) angers three local farmers.
"Up" (2009) is an adventure comedy about holding onto your dreams.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
Summary: Following through on a promise he made to his late wife, Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner) attaches balloons to his house to accomplish a seemingly impossible flight to South America.
But Carl soon realizes that he has a stowaway on board in the form of a young wilderness explorer named Russell (voiced by Jordan Nagai).
The dramatic comedy "Up in the Air" (2009) is about finding a work-life balance.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Summary: In the dramatic comedy, frequent flier businessman Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) reevaluates his workaholic tendencies, and the toll they take on his personal life, after his company downsizes its travel budget.
"The Princess and the Frog" (2009) is a magical, animated comedy.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%
Summary: In the animated tale, hard-working New Orleans waitress Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) gets more than she bargained for when she kisses a frog (voiced by Bruno Campos) and is transformed into a frog herself.
A teen falls in love with roller derby in "Whip It" (2009).
Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%
Summary: In the comedy, Bliss Cavendar (Elliot Page) leaves the beauty-pageant circuit in her small Texas town to pursue a newfound love for roller derby with the help of locals Maggie "Mayhem" (Kristen Wiig) and "Smashley" Simpson (Drew Barrymore).
"500 Days of Summer" (2009) looks back on a complicated relationship.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%
Summary: In the dramatic comedy, greeting-card writer Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls for his new coworker Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), only for her to reveal that she doesn't believe in love.
"World's Greatest Dad" (2009) highlights what it means to be a father.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Summary: In the dramatic comedy, high-school poetry teacher Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) struggles to raise his obstinate teenage son Kyle (Daryl Sabara).
2000 to 2020 comedy movies
The Best Comedies of the 21st Century So Far
By Collider StaffUpdated
From Joe Bang to Ron Burgundy and beyond.
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 20 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…
Best in Show (2000)
This was a tough one because A Mighty Wind is also pretty great, but in terms of which is funnier, the award goes to Best in Show. It has the excellent cast of characters with every single actor knocking it out of the park combined with the high-stakes/low-stakes platform of a dog show where the stars may be the pets, but it’s the owners who are the colorful misfits. It’s a movie that’s endearing, heartwarming, biting when need be (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchock are wonderfully loathsome as a bickering couple), and the joke with the “two left feet” is an all-timer. – Matt Goldberg
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Wet Hot American Summer is an insane movie. Absurdist comedy is certainly not for everyone, and the film was a box office bomb upon release, but those that were able to find Wet Hot and get on its level discovered a treasure trove of comedy gold. The brainchild of The State alums David Wain and Michael Showalter, the film takes place over a single day at a summer camp in the 1980s, chronicling relatable issues like long-held crushes, pranks, and the impending crash of a massive space satellite that could end life on Earth as we know it. The whole thing is ridiculous, and yet thanks to brilliant casting and a deft approach to navigating the tone, Wet Hot American Summer stands as one of the funniest films ever made. – Adam Chitwood
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Don Coscarelli’s movies always have some offbeat humor packed in, but Bubba Ho-Tep is without a doubt his most outright hilarious movie yet. Based on a short story from prolific genre author Joe Lansdale, Bubba Ho-Tep stars Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis as two men trapped in a retirement home with a soul-sucking mummy walking the halls and stealing the last days from the elderly. The twist? These old fellas believe they are Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy, respectively, which gives their undignified battle against the ravishes of old age an absurdist slant — not to mention their fantastical fight against an undead assailant. Bubba Ho-Tep is fearlessly ridiculous, silly, and sometimes breathlessly funny, but it’s also a damn fine horror adventure that’s got heart and guts where it counts. — Haleigh Foutch
School of Rock (2003)
Jack Black had been making his way as a solid comic relief character actor to this point, but Richard Linklater’s script for School of Rock really gave Black a chance to make full use of all of his talents, weaving together his schlubby underdog with his inherently lovable demeanor. And yet it’s Black’s musical ability that’s the film’s ace in the hole since we always buy his character’s musical knowledge and passion. Other films have tried to recapture the special alchemy of Black’s performance to various degrees of success, but he’s at the top of his game in this funny, heartwarming movie. – Matt Goldberg
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
There may not be a more quotable comedy so far this century. I still can’t look at milk without thinking, “Milk was a bad choice.” Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is delightfully madcap, and yet it still holds together, which is remarkable when you consider that they basically reshot the entire thing and gave it a different plot (the original story, which you can see on the DVD, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy!, involved a group of bank robbers). Will Ferrell has done his fair share of great characters, but the arrogant, stupid, misogynistic, yet oddly lovable Ron Burgundy will probably be remembered as his best. It’s a film packed with so many great jokes and it only gets better on repeat viewings. – Matt Goldberg
Mean Girls (2004)
Plenty of Saturday Night Live alums try their hands at the feature film world, but successfully navigating that crossover is oftentimes hard. Tina Fey, however, had no problems whatsoever when she decided to write Mean Girls, based on the self-help book Queen Bees & Wannabes. Fey approaches the material with tact, humor, and insight, crafting a now-classic comedy about what it’s like to navigate the social hellscape known as high school. It’s wildly memorable and hilarious, but also surprising. The film doesn’t take a traditional narrative track, offering twists and turns that put a fresh spin on well-worn territory. Nabbing Freaky Friday filmmaker Mark Waters to direct was a stroke of genius, as the material is treated seriously but not too seriously, and Fey’s dialogue cracks with wit to spare as the talented ensemble fills their roles perfectly. While details may have evolved in the near-decade-and-a-half since the movie was released (!), its truths still sting—and leave you in stiches. – Adam Chitwood
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
While funny is funny, there’s a pretty diverse set of subgeneres within comedy. Edgar Wright’s breakout film Shaun of the Dead, however, is in a class of its own. The “zomromcom” combines elements of horror, comedy, romance, and bromance to result in a perfect cocktail of a movie. I wouldn’t even necessary classify it in one genre—it’s just a great film, full-stop. But it is incredibly funny thanks to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s brilliant performances, an airtight script by Pegg and Wright, and last but definitely not least, Wright’s cinematic style. While a lot of comedy filmmakers simply point the camera at funny people and let them do the work, Wright takes advantage of finding a joke anywhere he can, be it in a transition, a hard cut, or the way in which a scene is framed. It elevates the material to a true piece of classic cinema, and if you take the same script and cast but remove Wright as the filmmaker, you lose a tremendous amount of what makes Shaun of the Dead so special in the first place. – Adam Chitwood
Team America: World Police (2004)
Writers/directors Trey Parker and Matt Stone say they instantly regretted their decision to make Team America: World Police once they saw the puppets in motion, but thank God they finished it out. While the South Park creators haven’t dabbled too much in things outside the realm of their Comedy Central series, when they do they tend to strike gold. Team America hilariously skewers post-9/11 panic and The Bush Doctrine, as well as liberal response to the George W. Bush presidency. It does all of this without coming off as (too) preachy, and first and foremost, is downright hilarious. The deadly serious tone of the action heroes makes their buffoonery that much funnier, and the decision to model the film’s structure off Michael Bay action movies was ::chef’s kiss::. – Adam Chitwood
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)
It’s almost like someone said, “You can’t have comedy in a noir,” and Shane Black said, “Challenge accepted.” The plot of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang has all the trappings of a hard-boiled noir, but Black imbues everything with razor-sharp comedy expertly delivered by Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer giving a couple of the best performances of their careers. It’s the kind of film that could be only be made by someone who knows the rules of screenwriting so well that he perfectly knows how to break them. The narration and structure are playful, knowing, but never self-satisfied or smug. Black wasn’t a newcomer to Hollywood when he made this film, but it’s still a shockingly self-assured directorial debut that feels like it only could have come from his mind. – Matt Goldberg
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Judd Apatow single-handedly changed the face of comedy for a few years there in the mid-2000s. In the place of high-concept gags or romcoms, The 40-Year-Old Virgin brought a looseness to the genre thanks to Apatow’s willingness to let his cast improvise, but he also aimed to thread James L. Brooks-esque drama into his films. The 40-Year-Old Virgin kicked off this whole trend (which, it should be noted, was also very male-heavy) and it still stands today as an incredibly funny story of a, well, 40-year-old virgin. The casting of Catherine Keener as the love interest was a stroke of genius, and the film also did a great job of reminding the world that Paul Rudd is a hilarious delight. While Apatow’s subsequent features would be commercially successful if a bit of a mixed bag quality-wise, the legacy and impact of The 40-Year-Old Virgin looms large. – Adam Chitwood
The “Borat” voice and Sacha Baron Cohen’s shtick have become so familiar at this point that it’s hard to remember that this film hit like a bolt from the blue when it was released. Some people were familiar with the Borat character from TheAli G Show, but no one saw Borat coming and how far Cohen was willing to go for a joke. It’s a movie that’s truly getting away with something in just about every scene, and it’s a comedic marvel not just for the set-ups of the scenes, but also for how Cohen is able to think on his feet without ever breaking character. While we may all have a Borat impression in our back pocket, this film has never been truly replicated, even by Cohen himself. – Matt Goldberg
Filmmaker Mike Judge’s Idiocracy was intended to be a satire, crafted in the midst of the Bush Administration as a hilarious, far-fetched sci-fi tale about where humanity could be going. As it turns out, Judge was depressingly way too on the mark. Watching Idiocracy now is like going through the looking glass, peering into an all-too-familiar future that seems far closer than it’s supposed to be. From President Camacho to the public’s eagerness to be as dumb as possible, Idiocracy is a biting satire about the American citizenry at its worst, and, possibly, at its most candid. It’s still funny, but hoo-boy this is a tough one to watch these days. – Adam Chitwood
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
Walk Hard is an all-time great spoof that savages the music biopic genre so badly that it basically killed anyone trying to play by those rules in the future. While its clear inspirations are contemporaries Walk the Line and Ray, Walk Hard goes beyond by expanding its parody to a history of American music in general. John C. Reilly is amazing (as always) and the songs are as catchy as they are witty parodies of various artists. It’s a film that pokes fun at music and biopics in equal measure and succeeds wildly at both. – Matt Goldberg
Superbad was a stone-cold classic from the first time it hit theaters. Immediately, the film had a timeless quality that was reminiscent of coming-of-age comedies like Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, and a large part of that is due to the care and personal nature of the screenplay by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Inspired by their own experiences, Superbad is essentially the story of two high school best friends coming to terms with the fact that once they go to college, they may not be best friends anymore. It’s a realization that many face, but in Superbad it’s captured with heart, humor, and lots of dick jokes. Superbad is basically a love story between Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, and that heart that permeates all Judd Apatow productions elevates the material to something truly special. Not to mention the fact that Superbad first introduced audiences to the incomparable Emma Stone. – Adam Chitwood
Hot Fuzz (2007)
While there certainly could have been the temptation to do “Shaun of the Dead with cops” for Hot Fuzz, the trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost reunited for something completely different but equally ambitious. The film doesn’t rely on the same tricks that made Shaun of the Dead so great in the first place, and instead allows Wright to show off different skills as a filmmaker as he crafts a bona fide action movie about British cops in a sleepy countryside town. Like Shaun it’s still hilarious, and Wright continues to mine jokes out of cinematic techniques, but the story’s twist adds yet another layer of humor and intrigue, culminating in an action finale the likes of which you’ve never really seen before. – Adam Chitwood
Step Brothers (2008)
Step Brothers is Adam McKay’s masterpiece. While films like Anchorman and Talladega Nights are great, Step Brothers on a whole other level—and I’ll be honest it took a couple viewings for me to come around to this. The commitment to the gag—that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play adult men who literally behave like children when their parents get married—is intense, and while there was no doubt plenty of improvisation in the filming of Step Brothers, the final product runs like a swiss watch. The cast is tremendous, the story takes delightfully wild turns, and yet somehow the film is able to hone in on some really relatable aspects of family despite also having a sequence in which Reilly dresses up as a Klansman and Ferrell dresses up as a Nazi in order to deter new home buyers. – Adam Chitwood
In Bruges (2008)
Celebrated playwright Martin McDonagh made his filmmaking debut in 2008 with In Bruges; a prickly, venomous spin on the crime comedy that starts out as pure quick-witted banter between a pair of Irish assassins, played by the always wonderful Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in a career-redefining turn, but the film quickly transforms into something closer to tragedy. Or perhaps more accurately, and fitting for a debut film from a man of the theater, In Bruges is like watching the tragedy and comedy masks merge into a heart-breaking, hilarious, and unusual tale about grief, guilt and redemption, set in the cinematic fairy tale streets of Bruges. As the bullets fly and the bloodshed mounts, McDonagh keeps the zingers coming and even when In Bruges breaks your heart, it somehow leaves you with a crooked smile on your face. — Haleigh Foutch
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Romantic comedies count too, obviously, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall stands as one of the best of that subgenre. As Judd Apatow's cohorts started to branch out and write their own material, Jason Segel birthed us this delightful, sincere breakup romp. It's hilarious and heartfelt in equal measure, which makes it special. But it's also wickedly raunchy, as evidenced by Segel's now-famous full frontal breakup scene at the beginning of the movie. It takes a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and while Segel and Nicholas Stoller would further blur the lines between comedy and drama in films like The Five-Year Engagement, this one still stands a cut above thanks to its fairly tight narrative and huge heart. Oh, and Kristen Bell is lowkey the film's MVP. — Adam Chitwood
RELATED: Why 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' Is One of the Most Essential Comedies of the 21st Century
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
How do you take a thin children’s book and turn it into an inspired disaster comedy? Look no further than Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which is far better than it has any right to be. It’s unabashedly weird and sometimes downright disturbing (I have no idea how they got away with the snowball scene), but it’s always wonderful with so much heart at the center of its unrelentingly goofy comedy. This film makes the list for a variety of reasons, but we’d probably have to include it because it’s the only movie in history with a Welcome to Mooseport joke, and that includes Welcome to Mooseport. – Matt Goldberg
The Informant! (2009)
Steven Soderbergh has lowkey been making great comedies for well over a decade now, but The Informant! is one that can 100% be classified as such. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns took what other filmmakers might turn into an Erin Brockovich-esque drama and made a true story farce. Matt Damon is next-level as Mark Whitacre, a whistle-blower who is far more stupid than he thinks he is. The film features quite possibly the best narration in cinema history, as Whitacre’s actions are juxtaposed with his odd, meandering, hilarious thoughts that oftentimes directly contradict what he’s doing. It’s gorgeously shot, impeccably crafted, and a blast from start to finish. The Informant! is proof positive that Steven Soderbergh is one of the funniest filmmakers working today. – Adam Chitwood
Gonna start calling Hopkins "T-Hops," and Sudeikis "Suds."
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Well, why so, - said my mother, there are good guys. Lyuba could not calm down for a long time after this adventure, and she began to go to the park by a different road and tried to return. Home early. A year has passed.
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It was then that Vitala got involved. Sitting behind him, he thrust his penis into Sveta's anus with one push, not showing such tenderness as Mikhail. -Ah-ah-ah, - in a thin voice, the girl squealed, being thrust onto two dicks at the same time.