This post is updated frequently as movies leave and enter Netflix. *New additions are indicated with an asterisk.
We could all use a laugh these days. As the world continues to depress people, turn to Netflix and find something to escape the news in their ever-rotating comedy section. There are a few originals that won’t be going anywhere, but what about the studio comedies that come and go from the streaming giant? How can you keep track of where to find laughter these days? We’re here to help with this always-updated list of the best comedies on Netflix right now.
The Addams Family
Runtime: 1h 40m
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Netflix is ramping up the publicity for Wednesday, Tim Burton’s return to the world of the Addams Family that debuts later in November. Why not check out the best version of this to date, the Sonnenfeld film that introduced the world to Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston’s take on the legendary patriarch and matriarch of the quirkiest clan in pop culture? The sequel is arguably even better but this is probably the movie that most people think of first when they hear that timeless theme song.
Runtime: 1hr 37m
Director: Amy Heckerling
You can keep all those stuffy Jane Austen adaptations — one of the best remains Amy Heckerling’s updating of the 1815 classic Emma to mid-‘90s L.A. Is this the most ‘90s movie ever? From its fashion to its references to its beloved characters, it’s certainly one of the most iconic, a movie that made a small impact when it was released but feels like it grows even more popular with each generation that discovers it.
Runtime: 1h 42m
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
The writer/director of The Wood has a gift with location and how it influences young lives. Just look at this 2015 Sundance hit starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, and Kiersey Clemons as three average Ingelwood teens who get caught up in a dangerous situation with a drug dealer. It’s a vibrant, smart comedy that captures a modern coming-of-age narrative in a manner that feels genuine and true.
Runtime: 1h 44m
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
The wonderful Hailee Steinfeld stars in this excellent coming-of-age dramedy about a high school junior in the Portland suburbs who learns some tough lessons about relationships and the general idiocy of adults. Going through a crisis since the death of her father, Steinfeld’s Nadine struggles through her daily life in a way that’s genuine and hysterical. This one also features fun supporting turns from Woody Harrelson and Haley Lu Richardson.
Runtime: 2h 3m
Director: David Dobkin
Why did it take so long to satirize the wonderful, unapologetic excess of the Eurovision Song Contest? It was worth the wait because one of the funniest movies of 2020 starred Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as a pair of hapless Icelandic singers who turn the international singing contest upside down. Unapologetically goofy, this movie is a great escape for viewers from any country.
Runtime: 1h 38m
Director: Michael Ritchie
One of Chevy Chase’s best screen performances came in the 1985 comedy based on the hit novels by Gregory McDonald. The character of a reporter nicknamed Fletch who gets drawn into an investigation after being asked to kill a millionaire is perfect for Chase, blending his physical comedy ability with that oversized ego.
Runtime: 2h 19m
Director: Rian Johnson
The writer/director of Knives Out returned in late 2022 with a sequel to that smash hit, exclusively on Netflix. Daniel Craig returns as Benoit Blanc, the casual crime solver who finds himself on a billionaire’s island in this latest comedy/mystery. Once again, Johnson assembles a murderer’s row of talent, including Kate Hudson, Janelle Monae, Ed Norton, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., and more. It’s smart, funny, and thoroughly entertaining.
Runtime: 2h 18m
Director: Cameron Crowe
One of Cameron Crowe’s best films became something of a punchline with its heavily quoted lines (“Show me the money,” “You had me at hello,” everything that cute kid says), but it’s actually a character-driven romantic comedy that has held up incredibly well in the quarter-century since its release. Tom Cruise plays the title character, a sports agent who is pushed into starting his own agency while he falls in love with a single mother, played by Renee Zellweger. It’s sweet, smart, and funny.
Runtime: 1h 49m
Director: Donald Petrie
When Sandra Bullock finally won her Oscar, there was a theory that it was kind of a thank you for all the successful, lovable movies she had made in Hollywood for a generation. This was definitely part of that run, making over $200 million worldwide in the story of an FBI agent who has to go undercover in a beauty pageant. The blah sequel is also on Netflix.
Runtime: 1h 53m
Directors: Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe
Originally planned for a theatrical release by Sony (with the much-worse title Connected), the studio sold this off to Netflix during the pandemic…and probably regretted that decision. One of the most critically and commercially beloved animated films of 2021, this is an incredibly smart and sweet family vacation movie, a comedy that’s as much about a tender relationship between a father and daughter as it is the fact that they end up having to save the world together.
Runtime: 1h 29m
Directors: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
During a hiatus between the third and fourth seasons of Monty Python’s Family Circus, the gang of mega-talented comedians decided to make movie history. Inspired by the King Arthur legend, Holy Grail is a timeless comedy, the rare kind of film that will still be making people laugh hundreds of years from now. And while the Monty Python boys were already famous, this film took them to another level, cementing their place in movie history.
The Nice Guys
Runtime: 1h 55m
Director: Shane Black
A bomb at the box office, this buddy comedy grows a more vocal fan base every time it drops on Netflix. It’s easy to see why — it’s a smart, funny, incredibly rewatchable comedy. The flick stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as a pair of awkward allies who get caught up in the case of a missing girl (Margaret Qualley). The real star here — other than the excellent chemistry of the leads — is Shane Black’s razor-sharp dialogue. Watch this one so maybe they can get the budget together for a sequel before it’s too late.
Runtime: 2h 4m
Director: Roger Michell
Remember when rom-coms could take pop culture by storm? That was still the case in 1999 when this actually became not just a hit but the highest grossing British film of all time. Why? Perfect star chemistry between ordinary guy Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, playing one of the most famous actresses in the world. It was such a hit that it even earned its stars Golden Globe nominations for their performances.
* The Nutty Professor
Runtime: 1h 35m
Director: Tom Shadyac
Eddie Murphy gives one of his best comedy performances in this update of the 1963 Jerry Lewis classic that’s notorious for the veteran actor playing multiple roles in the same family. The SNL vet plays a scientist who discovers a potion that completely changes the way he looks. And a few other characters too. The sequel is also on Netflix – double feature!
The Ocean’s Trilogy
Runtime: 1h 56m
Director: Steven Soderbergh
All three films in the ‘00s reboot of Ocean’s Eleven are on Netflix right now, and all worth your time. They’re three very different films with the first feeling the most like the super-cool source material, the second playing with its own existence in a meta way, and the third being just pure fun. George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt headline all three movies. Marathon!
Runtime: 2h 3m
Director: Ron Howard
Long before the NBC series of the same name (not currently on Netflix), Ron Howard directed a family comedy inspired by the massive families of the producers, director, and writers. There’s really not much more to it than that simple premise, but it gets by on the likability of its large ensemble, which includes Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix, Jason Robards, and a young Keanu Reeves.
Runtime: 1h 52m
Director: David Gordon Green
Seth Rogen gives one of his best performances as Dale Denton, an average guy who just wants to get high. He visits his dealer (played perfectly by James Franco) on the wrong night as the pair cross paths with hitmen and a police officer on the wrong side of the law. This is an incredibly funny movie, and you don’t need to be high to love it.
Runtime: 1h 52m
Director: Edgar Wright
Michael Cera stars in Edgar Wright’s vibrant adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel, a movie that feels like it could come out exactly the same way today, almost a decade after its release. Wright’s style is perfect for this material, capturing the tone and structure of the source material with his razor-sharp editing and wit.
Runtime: 1h 52m
Director: Boots Riley
Lakeith Stanfield stars in the directorial debut of the leader of hip-hop group The Coup — a film that shook audiences at Sundance but still feels a bit underrated. With a style that blends hip-hop culture with the surrealism of satirists like Terry Gilliam and Michel Gondry, this comedy takes no prisoners. Stanfield plays a telemarketer who works his way up a corporate ladder to discover the truly dark secrets that live on the higher rungs. It feels like a movie that more people will find on services like Netflix and could shape future comedies to come.
Up in the Air
Runtime: 1h 50m
Director: Jason Reitman
One of the best midlife crisis comedies of the modern era, this Oscar winner stars George Clooney as a man who has spent more time on airplanes than he has with his family. Clooney’s Ryan Bingham is a full-time “downsizer,” someone who essentially ruins lives everywhere he goes. Clooney does some of his best work here, matched by Vera Farmiga and a breakthrough performance from Anna Kendrick — all three were nominated for Oscars.
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