Great comedy movies come along once every few years, so it’s not easy coming up with ten great comedy movies any year. The blurring of genres makes it even harder, but we tried to stick to actual comedy movies, so we didn’t include dramatic movies with comedy moments like Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” This year was particularly thin but we’ve got a list of ten for you to choose from.
In 2014, Wes Anderson’s gorgeous Grand Budapest Hotel took the honors in this category. In 2015, it was Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck that got your vote. In 2016, Deadpool was your favorite movie. And in 2017 you loved Gilbert: A Gilbert Gottfried Story as much as we did. Last year the best comedy movie of the year came from the Coen Brother’s with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. You’ve voted for a documentary, a blockbuster, a romcom or an indie film. This year you have two coming of age movies to choose from, one coming of middle age movie, two political comedies,, a couple of rom coms, and two movies that don’t really fit any categories.
Now it’s your turn to vote for the #1 comedy movie of 2019. Scroll down to read our top 10 picks, and check back January 7th for results!
BOOKSMART. It’s another home run coming of age movie this year. One of the best movies of the year, Booksmart follows two straight laced, smart high school girls as they decide to break the rules and party on their last day of class before graduation. Or at least they’re going to try to party and be wild. Turns out that’s not as easy as they thought it would be. The film is smart, it’s relatable, it’s funny and it’s adorable. The performances are great; Beanie has already been nominated for a Golden Globe award for her starring role– she’s up for Best Actress in a musical or comedy. In a thin (very thin) year of comedy movies. If you sat this one out when it was released, this will make perfect on demand watching over the holidays.
Director: Olivia Wilde Starring: Beanie Feldstein, Kaityln Denver with Lisa Kudrow, Wil Forte, Jason Sudeikis
GOOD BOYS. The first R rated movie to go way back in time in the coming of age category. Remember what it was like to be a middle school boy, interested in girls but also terrified? Remember when you just hit that age that it wasn’t cool any more to call your buddies the beanbag gang or whatever weirdo name you had for yourselves? If you don’t, Good Boys will remind you. This movie stars kids, and is about kids, but its not for kids. It’s got all the great childhood interactions of the hit series Stranger Things, but instead of monsters and a supernatural underworld, these kids are navigating the strange new world of adolesence- a world that includes girls, cool kids, nerds, sex toys, beer, porn and molly. Of all the movies on this list, this one probably has the most laughs, and it also has heart. It’s produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who love to find new niches for adult comedies. Slam dunk.
Director:Gene Stupinsky Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Keith Williams and Brady Noon along with Will Forte, Lil Rel, Retta and Stephen Merchant.
MISTER AMERICA. This almost-a-one-man mockumentary movie stars Tim Heidecker . He’s a man who beats a mass murder charge after a bunch of festival attendees died at a fest he hosted, and now that he’s in the clear, he wants to take on and beat the D.A. who tried to nail him. In an election. He’s running for District Attorney for all the wrong reasons and that becomes apparent as the movie, and the election, go on. The movie is set during the last month of his campaign as things start to go sideways. It’s an extension of the “On Cinema at the Cinema” web series universe Heidecker created with fellow comedian Gregg Turkington. Turkington and Heidecker wrote the movie as well and Turkington co-stars. It’s timely, and of course reflects a time where political motivations are murky and personal. This political satire won’t be for everyone, you’ve got to be willing to go on Heidecker’s ride. But fans will appreciate what he’s doing here.
Director: Eric Notarnicola Starring: Tim Heidecker
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME. Dolemite is fun all the way through, and not just because we’ve all been hungry for Eddie Murphy to show up in something watchable, or even just show up at all in film. Murphy plays filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore, who became famous for his character Dolemite in the 70’s. The character began as a stage role before reaching real fame in a series of blaxploitation films. One of two Netflix original films this year that proved that Netflix originals can be great. Dolemite is my Name was chosen by Time Magazine, and the National Board of Review as one of the ten best pictures of the year. The Golden Gloves nominated the film for Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy and Murphy reeled in a GG nom for Best Actor as well.
Director: Craig Brewer Starring: Eddie Murphy with Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Wes Snipes, Chris Rock, Luenell, Snoop Dog and Bob Odenkirk.
LONG SHOT. Seth Rogen’s second film making our list this year follows a Rogen’s character Fred Flarksy, an unemployed journalist who reunites with his former babysitter Charlotte (Charlize Theron) who grew up to be one of the most powerful people in the country, and the United States Secretary of State. When she decides to run for President, she hires Flarsky as her speechwriter- a questionable choice at best. It’s part fish out of water story, part rom com and part adventure with some political elements thrown in the mix. Reviews are uneven, and with good reason. The movie is as well, but there’s memorable elements here, and a fun story with the primary draw being Theron.
Director: Jonathan Levine Starring: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron
JOJO RABBIT. Jo Jo Rabbit was one of the most controversial and nuanced comedy films this year. Taking home People’s choice at the Toronto International Film festival this and is now nominated for 2 golden globes. Director Taika Waititi best known for his work with long time collaborator Jemaine Clement from The Flight of the Conchords tells the story of the final weeks of World War II from the perspective of an idealistic 10 year old Hitler Youth Jo-Jo who receives the nickname Jo-Jo Rabbit after refusing to kill a rabbit at training camp. Waititi plays the imaginary friend/hero of Jo-Jo, Adolf Hilter, who appears to Jo-Jo as a representation of his changing ideology throughout the film. The movie is a necessary satire in these divisive times and serves as a simultaneously heart breaking and warming warning: No matter what we fight about or who wins we all lose something. (Marty Younge)
Director: Taika Waititi Starring:
LATE NIGHT. Late Night got raves from indie darlings and we wanted to swoon for it too. While we couldn’t quite get to swoon-territory, There’s something intangible and irresistible about Kaling’s projects that somehow make critics willing to gloss over the flaws. Kaling didn’t direct but she did write the screenplay for the movie about an aging and out of touch Queen of Late Night television who desperately needs to make herself over or she’ll lose her gig. Her writers room is stale and lazy, and (no big surprise here) all white and all male. In an attempt to overhaul her image, she hires a fresh face to join the squad, a move that proves to be career changing. There’s a real sincerity here even if the message gets a bit jumbled in the details. If you can let go of the implausible components, you’ll enjoy the laughs. If not, you’ll just laugh at the misfire moments when the movie crosses over into the world of stand up. Ridiculously. Thompson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
Directed by: Nisha Ganatra Starring: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson with Hugh Dancy, John Lithgow
ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE: One word, Ali Wong. This movie is as formulaic as they come. Childhood friends Marcus and Sasha went their separate ways after an attempt to take a romantic turn in their late teens went south. Fast forward sixteen years, and the two old friends meet again. There’s clearly still a spark there even if they can’t see it themselves. #canttheyseetheyreinlove. Sasha is in the fast lane, with a fast boyfriend and a successful high profile job, while Marcus is talented but stalled as a small time musician with a day job. Funny situations ensue, including a particularly a silly scene involving Keanu Reeves but Wong barely gets the chance to show off her brilliant skills in this mainstream-geared comedy. Still, we’d rather watch this than Shazam. And at least its a real comedy with real comedy stars.
Director: Nahnatchka Khan Starring: Randall Park and Ali Wong with Michelle Buteau.
WINE COUNTRY. This comedy star saturated ensemble movie follows a group of middle aged women who go on a California wine tasting tour to celebrate a 50th birthday. It’s basically an Adam Sandler movie for middle aged women- a group of insanely talented funny women go to cool places together. That’s it. But pound for pound, there’s more comedy muscle in this movie than any other on the list. And SNL fans will be happy enough. Poehler makes her feature film directorial debut.
Director: Amy Poehler Starring . Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Jason Schwarzman.
WHERE DID YOU GO BERNADETTE. Richard Linklater directs this film about an architect turned recluse who hates everyone. Cate Blanchett stars as the titular recluse and matriarch who disappears before a scheduled family trip. The movie follows the attempt to locate her. It’s a tremendous cast helmed by a first rate director based on a bestselling novel by Maria Semple. It’s not the smash hit that the names involved would lead you to expect. In fact, critics were let down by the movie but don’t let that scare you away. They’re judging by the high bar set by the names involved. Its still light years ahead of many of the year’s other comedic offerings.
Director: Richard Linklater Starring: Cate Blanchette, Billy Crudup, Kristin Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburn, Steve Zahn, Megan Mullaly.