The Best Comedies on Netflix Right Now (October 2019)

The Best Comedies on Netflix Right Now (October 2019)

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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 Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

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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

Ocean’s Twelve

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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

When it was released, Ocean’s Twelve was not nearly as warmly received as its predecessor, but that’s because 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, Soderbergh completely changes up his visual style to better fit the international setting, 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

Four Weddings and a Funeral

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Image via MGM

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: Richard Curtis

Cast: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, James Fleet, Charlotte Coleman, and Rowan Atkinson

1994’s Four Weddings and a Funeral not only made a movie star out of Hugh Grant, it influenced decades of romantic comedies. Before he wrote Love, Actually or About TimeRichard Curtis penned this unique romcom that chronicles the relationship of a group of friends as framed against the five titular events. We only see them at or around these events, and time passes between each so that every encounter offers up something new to be discovered. The romantic relationship between Grant and Andie MacDowell is at the center of the film, but the story is refreshingly full-bodied and is as much an ode to friendship as it is to romantic love. It’s also a film that was ahead of its time, with a gay couple serving as an integral relationship in the movie. Funny and heartfelt, but also achingly tender, Four Weddings and a Funeral is one of the best romantic comedies ever made. – Adam Chitwood

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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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

Groundhog Day

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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

Superbad

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Image via Sony Pictures

Director: Greg Mottola

Writers: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg

Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, and Bill Hader

Superbad was pretty much a coming-of-age classic as soon as it hit theaters in 2007, as writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, director Greg Mottola, and producer Judd Apatow crafted a high school comedy that was equal parts heart and humor. While the comedy is indeed R-rated, there’s a sweetness to the friendship between Michael Cera and Jonah Hill’s characters that elevates this above your average raunchy comedy. It’s as much a story about a kid being afraid he’s gonna lose his friend at college as it is a story about trying to score alcohol for a high school party, and the surprising twists and turns make it all that much more memorable. – Adam Chitwood

Always Be My Maybe

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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

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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

As Good As It Gets

Image via Tri-Star Pictures

Director: James L. Brooks

Writers: James L. Brooks and Mark Andrus

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Skeet Ulrich

As Good As It Gets is one of few films to win both the Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars, but then again filmmaker James L. Brooks is a singular talent. With 1997’s As Good As It Gets, the writer and director behind Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News crafts a story about a selfish, infuriating, and OCD novelist (played by Jack Nicholson) who learns how not to be a narcissistic jerk. The film is a romantic comedy at heart, and Helen Hunt imbues the character of a waitress and single mother with a refreshing confidence and warmth that butts up against Nicholson’s prickliness. Like most Brooks movies this one is shaggy and doesn’t follow a traditional structure, but it’s sure to put a smile on your face from start to finish. – Adam Chitwood

Wet Hot American Summer

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Image via USA Films

Director: David Wain

Writers: David Wain and Michael Showalter

Cast: Michael Showalter, Janeane Garafalo, Molly Shannon, Marguerite Moreau, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Joe Lo Trulgio, Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, and David Hyde Pierce

Wet Hot American Summer is one of the most absurd and hilarious comedies ever made. It hails from the same folks behind The StateRole Models, and Wanderlust, but when it was released in 2001 it was a flat-out bomb. In hindsight, the cast is now insanely impressive, but at the time it was full of fresh faces who were really putting themselves out there. The story takes place over the course of a single day and follows the counselors at a summer camp on their final day. Crushes have yet to be admitted, a stage show has yet to be presented, and a can of mixed vegetables has yet to start talking. The film lampoons the “last day of camp” tropes with a loving spirit, but also just goes to some tremendously weird and insane places that make it all the more memorable. – Adam Chitwood

Swiss Army Man

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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

Stripes

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Image via Columbia Pictures

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writers: Len Blum, Harold Ramis, and Daniel Goldberg

Cast: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, Sean Young, and John Candy

If you’re looking for a comedy classic, it’s hard to go wrong with Stripes. The 1981 Bill Murray comedy revolves around a guy who decides to join the Army after losing his job, apartment, car, and girlfriend within the span of a few hours. The story then follows Murray’s character through training with fellow recruits, with an impressive ensemble that includes John CandyHarold RamisJohn Larroquette, and Timothy Busfield. While the film goes off the rails a bit in its third act, it’s pretty darn funny throughout, and Murray’s chemistry with Ramis is palpable.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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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 DifferentHoly 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 Edge of Seventeen

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Image via STX Entertainment

Director/Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, and Hayden Szeto

When it comes to the coming-of-age genre, traditionally it’s told from a male perspective. Which is what makes The Edge of Seventeen so refreshing. This hilarious and heartfelt R-rated comedy stars Hailee Steinfeld as a high school junior who experiences the ups and downs of teen life in brutally honest fashion. She strikes up a close friendship with a teacher, played by Woody Harrelson, who counsels her through friend, boy, and family troubles. It’s as sweet as it is filthy, but what makes Edge of Seventeen so striking—beyond Steinfeld’s stellar performance—is how true to life it all feels. The anxiety. The self-consciousness. The importance of it all. The Edge of Seventeen is a gem of a coming-of-age comedy. – Adam Chitwood

The Lobster

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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 Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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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

Thor: Ragnarok

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Image via Marvel Studios

Director: Taika Waititi

Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, and Taika Waititi

Just as Guardians of the Galaxy is a space opera or Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a thriller, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok has its own genre, and that is comedy. It’s not just one of the best Marvel Studios movies so far, it’s indicative of how the MCU is beginning to evolve a decade into its run. For the third standalone Thor film, director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) essentially breaks the character down and builds him back up again, anew. Gone are Thor’s long locks, self-seriousness, and pomposity. Instead we get a rockin’ haircut and terrific sense of humor, and at last Chris Hemsworth’s magnetic charisma shines through. Ragnarok is an absolute blast of a film, a movie that never takes itself seriously and is basically a belly laugh-inducing buddy comedy with space shenanigans. – Adam Chitwood

Set It Up

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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

The Informant!

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Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Z. Burns

Cast: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Melanie Lynskey, Joel McHale, and Ann Dowd

Whether it’s Ocean’s ElevenMagic Mike, or Logan Lucky, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has a very specific, very hilarious, very dry sense of humor that’s like a breath of fresh air to the comedy genre. This is certainly true of Soderbergh’s 2009 film The Informant!, which stars a beefed-up Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, a rising star at a food processing corporation in the 1990s who decided to turn whistleblower—except he’s very, very bad at it. The Informant! is based on true events and at moments feels like an Erin Brockovich or Michael Clayton-esque thriller, but Mark is played as such a buffoon, and his increasingly strange behavior is chronicled in hilarious fashion by Soderbergh. Damon gives one of his most exciting performances, and the film also offers up one of the best-written and best-read pieces of movie narration in history. – Adam Chitwood

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

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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

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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

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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

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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

Burn After Reading

Directors/Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Cast: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and J.K. Simmons

How did the Coen Brothers cash in on their clout from winning Best Director and Best Picture with No Country for Old Men? With an absurdist comedy that adds up to a punchline, of course. Burn After Reading is a hilarious romp of sorts played very, very straight, as the Coens pack this espionage story to the brim with idiots, but shoot, edit, and score it as if it’s a Michael Clayton-esque thriller. It’s a brilliant subversion of expectations, and while some certainly felt slighted by the ending, the way the story abruptly deflates is precisely the point. This is a movie that gets better and better with each watch, and though it may feel slight in the shadow of something as rich and complex as No Country, the range it displays from the Coen Brothers only solidifies them as two of America’s greatest directors of all time. – Adam Chitwood

While We’re Young

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

Don’t Think Twice

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Image via The Film Arcade

Writer/Director: Mike Birbiglia

Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Katge Micucci, Tami Sagher, Keegan-Michael Key, Emily Skeggs, and Chris Gethard

Improv is supposed to be a collaborative act. Unlike standup, you need other people to make comedy happen, and yet in the New York scene depicted in Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, it’s oddly competitive. The film follows an improv comedy troupe that starts to fracture when one of its members, Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), lands a coveted role on a Saturday Night Live-type sketch comedy show. As the group is strained to face their various shortcomings, they discover what’s really kept them bonded and how they might inevitably drift apart regardless. It’s equally funny and oddly melancholy, and yet another lovely movie from Birbiglia. – Matt Goldberg

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

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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

Obvious Child

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Image via A24

Director/Writer: Gillian Robespierre

Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffman, Polly Draper, Richard Kind, and David Cross

Crudely dubbed an “abortion comedy,” Obvious Child is far more thoughtful and nuanced than its basic logline would have you believe. Jenny Slate stars as a young, struggling comedian who becomes pregnant after a drunken one-night stand, which she had following a bad breakup with her boyfriend. She makes plans to have an abortion, but as the date looms closer, she begins spending more and more time with the would-be father, developing a genuine relationship. This is a film with a lot of heart and humor, but it’s most memorable for affirming that Jenny Slate should be a bona fide star. – Adam Chitwood

The Incredible Jessica James

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

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