The best comedy movies: Top 20 funny flicks you can stream in Australia
Got an ailment? Feeling down? They say laughter is the best medicine. These shows prove it.
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Laughter is awesome. It decreases stress hormones, gives your abs a mini-workout and increases immune cells. Also, if you're especially good at it, laughter can be an effective means to unexpectedly empty one's own bladder. Fair warning: you'll be doing a fair amount of this as this list is the absolute crème de la crème of comedy. So go and get... uh, streaming...
1. Love and Monsters
- Year: 2020
- Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Ariana Greenblatt
What do you get when you cross the end of the world with humour, witty dialogue and a dog that will steal your heart from the first moment it graces the screen? Love and Monsters, a post-apocalyptic flick that will make you laugh out loud.
Set about seven years into the Monsterpocalypse, the movie centres on Joel, a young man who lives in a bunker where everyone is coupled up. Suffering from loneliness and longing to see his ex-girlfriend, he embarks on a dangerous journey in the outside world to reach his ex's colony and reunite with her. With danger lurking around every corner, Joel meets some friendly faces along the way who give him an advantage as he's confronting giant monsters.
With a charming human performance from Dylan O'Brien and a memorable dog performance from Hero, an Australian Kelpie, Love and Monsters is a funny action-adventure with an unexpected dose of emotional depth. You'll be raving about it for months to come.
Stream Love and Monsters on Netflix
2. I Care a Lot
- Year: 2020
- Cast: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Chris Messina, Macon Blair, Dianne Wiest
Do you like your comedies extremely dark and incredibly violent? Then you're in luck, because I Care a Lot fits that description to a T.
The movie stars Rosamund Pike as a shady legal guardian who takes advantage of the elderly for her own gain. When she attempts to con a woman with ties to a dangerous gangster, however, she finds herself in deep trouble. Will the tables finally turn or will she be able to once again swindle her way to safety?
A comedy thriller about greed and exploitation, I Care a Lot has a top-notch cast and enough disturbing content to keep you glued to the screen. You'll laugh, sure, but you might also hold your breath in horror. Consider yourself warned.
3. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
- Year: 2020
- Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Mikael Persbrandt, Pierce Brosnan
As far as silly musical comedies go, this is one of the good ones.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga follows two aspiring small-town musicians who get a chance to represent their country at an international contest and are eager to give it their all. Unfortunately, scheming rivals and all sorts of mishaps seem to stand in their way, testing their bond in the process.
The movie is just as goofy and outlandish as you'd expect. Furthermore, the lavish production numbers make for amusing interludes, keeping viewers entertained throughout.
4. Palm Springs
- Year: 2020
- Cast: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons
A rom-com with a sci-fi twist? Yes, please! When two wedding guests get stuck in a time loop, they are forced to relive the same day over and over again. They eventually develop something resembling a romance, but escaping their weird circumstances will test their connection and force them to confront their feelings once and for all.
Is this a serious movie? No, but it’s so entertaining that it hardly matters if the time loop stuff makes sense. The joy of Palm Springs is seeing Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti wreak havoc on the wedding festivities once they figure out that nothing really matters in their limited universe. These two have amazing chemistry, which only works in the movie’s favour. If you’re looking for something nice to watch on date night, you’re in the right place.
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Jason Sudeikis
On the eve of graduating from high school, two best friends and overachievers finally understand that they should have focused less on getting into college and more on acting their age and having fun. They figure out they can rectify the past if they engage in one crazy night of debauchery to make up for lost time.
Booksmart is a coming-of-age buddy comedy, one that manages to breathe fresh life into the genre. Fast-paced and clever, the movie is both raunchy and heartfelt, which makes it appealing for a wide range of viewers. If you want to be nostalgic about your own high school years, add this to your watchlist ASAP.
- Year: 2016
- Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand
Violence and humour go hand in hand in Deadpool, a superhero movie that is less about responsibility and more about absurdity.
Ryan Reynolds plays Wade, a handsome guy who gets sick and then gets experimented on in typical superhero origin fashion. The experiment leaves him disfigured but with enhanced healing abilities, so he decides to exact revenge.
Deadpool is rude, profane and graphic, especially as far as the fight scenes are concerned. If that's your thing, the movie is also an incredibly good time, amusing and deliciously meta. Just make sure not to choke on your popcorn – you'll pretty much burst out laughing at regular intervals.
7. Girls Trip
- Year: 2017
- Cast: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith
You've already seen the cast, do you really need more reason to give this a try? Fine, we'll elaborate.
Girls Trip is about four lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans to attend a festival. As they rekindle their connection, they engage in enough dancing, drinking and romancing to make some of the more goody-goody members of the audience blush.
With terrific performances from everyone involved, Girls Trip is pure (R-rated) joy from start to finish. It helps that all the characters are so compelling that cheering them on is piece of cake.
8. Knives Out
- Year: 2019
- Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer
When the patriarch of a dysfunctional family dies, it's up to an eccentric detective to figure out who is responsible. That's the simple premise behind this old-school but delightful mystery comedy, one that will undoubtedly put a big smile on your face.
The action kicks off as the family of a mystery novelist attends his 85th birthday party in his huge mansion. When the novelist is found dead the next morning, the police believe that he killed himself. However, private detective Benoit Blanc is anonymously paid to find out who would have had reason to see the patriarch dead.
Everyone is a suspect and red herrings abound as the plot thickens. At the same time, the witty dialogue and stellar ensemble cast make time fly by. You won't even feel the need to scroll on your phone while you stream Knives Out.
9. Thor: Ragnarok
- Year: 2017
- Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo
As far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is concerned, Thor movies were never among the most praised ones. Until Ragnarok came long.
Directed by Taika Waititi, this superhero extravaganza has all the ingredients of a crowd-pleaser – including spectacular action sequences, comical one-liners and exciting character arcs.
After failing to confront his murderous sister Hela, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe, with Hela free to rule over the Asgardian civilisation and wreak havoc in his absence. To make it back home, Thor has to survive a deadly gladiator-type contest that pits him against no other than Hulk, his former fellow Avenger.
Thor: Ragnarok is vibrant and wonderfully weird. While previous knowledge of the MCU is recommended in order to properly enjoy all the Easter eggs, this is the kind of movie that successfully stands on its own. Even non-superhero fans will find plenty here to obsess over.
Sorry, we've found no streaming options for this title.
10. Legally Blonde
- Year: 2001
- Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Jennifer Coolidge
In this engrossing modern classic, Reese Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a seemingly superficial young woman who is head over heels in love with her boyfriend.
When he dumps her because he's looking for someone more "serious", she decides to enrol into Harvard Law School to win him back. While there, however, Elle realises that she has the brains to actually make a difference.
Legally Blonde is a hilarious movie with an important message about staying true to who you are, which makes it a fitting watch at the end of a crappy day. Moreover, Witherspoon gives a performance for the history books.
Catch up on the best comedy flicks with these free trials
- Year: 2007
- Cast: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen
Another coming-of-age comedy, this time all about boys, Superbad follows two high school best friends who want to make the most of their time together before heading off to different colleges. If they could get some girls to pay attention to them, even better. Unfortunately, their plan to stage a booze-soaked party lands them in deep trouble.
Superbad is a riot, but it also offers an insightful look at what goes on in any adolescent's head. The movie is as much about friendship as it is about getting the girl, which gives it more depth than your average foul-mouthed high school comedy. It also features plenty of memorable moments that stay with you for long after the end credits roll.
12. Shaun of the Dead
- Year: 2004
- Cast: Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis
Dear squeamish lovers of comedy, you're about to get red on you. One part obvious piss-take of George A. Romero's horror classic and another part unromantic comedy on the run, Shaun of the Dead is the film that put Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the map. The former is the titular Shaun, a stuck-in-a-rut loser who's recently been given the shaft by his long-suffering girlfriend. The latter is Ed, a loveable, weed-dealing moocher who's anchoring him down. Despite his on-point orangutan impressions, he's not the companion you'd want around when the zombie apocalypse arrives.
It does, of course, and what follows is a mum and ex-girlfriend rescue mission (step-dad: optional) that's extremely tightly written. Case in point: the foreshadowing in Ed's pub crawl line of "we'll have a Bloody Mary first thing, have a bite at the King's Head, have a couple at The Little Princess, stagger back here and BANG! Back at the bar for shots." Brilliant and hilarious, Shaun of the Dead only gets better with multiple watches.
13. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
- Year: 2004
- Cast: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell
The life of a 1970s newsman was characterised by swanky bell bottomed suits, pungent Sex Panther cologne, named testicles and power-moustaches. These great men told whole cities what they needed to know and were kind of a big deal. However, nobody was more important than Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), a filter-less, scotch-swilling chauvinist who found himself on a collision course with equal opportunity and aspiring newswoman Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). Despite Ron's best efforts to stay classy, progress triggers an inter-office battle of the sexes that gets out of hand quicker than a boisterous jazz flute performance.
Honestly, this directorial debut of Adam McKay, former head writer for Saturday Night Live and founder of the Upright Citizen's Brigade, is one hell of a first effort. Ferrell improvs incredibly with a supporting cast most notably made up of Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd. Better yet, it's cameos aplenty when a who's who of comedians suit up as rival newsreaders . It's the best no-holds-barred, bring-a-trident street rumble ever committed to film.
- Year: 1980
- Cast: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Julie Hagerty
We know what you're saying. "A spoof disaster movie that was made in 1980 is still worthy of a best comedy list? Surely you can't be serious!" Yes I am. And don't call me Shirley. The nonsensical madness of Airplane! endures as one of the funniest films ever made. You don't have to take my word for it, either – scienticians have done the research and discovered that this movie delivers roughly three laughs a minute. Yep, it out-chuckles every other comedy film on this list.
And how could it not with the deadpan deliveries of Dr Rumack (Leslie Neilson) and the amphetamines-driven advice from ground controller Lloyd Bridges? Not to mention the hilarious misunderstandings of a cockpit crew made up of Roger, Victor and Oveur, plus an inflatable auto-pilot with a manual inflation nozzle on his belt line. Don't delay. Buy a ticket and hop aboard an uproarious laugh-fest filled with quotable lines and bizarre slapstick comedy. The only downside: this isn't a movie about gladiators.
15. Coming to America
- Year: 1988
- Cast: Paul Bates, Eddie Murphy, Garcelle Beauvais, Feather
You know what? There was a time when an Eddie Murphy billing meant wall-to-wall laughs, guaranteed. At the height of his powers, he made Coming to America by reuniting with John Landis, director of the hilarious Trading Places. This time around Murphy slides into the polo boots of African prince Akeem, a monarch who's never tied his shoes (nor wiped his backside) but is rebelling against his arranged marriage. Akeem's father, Mufas -er... James Earl Jones orders his son and his faithful retainer Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to travel to the US to sow some royal oats. Secretly, Akeem decides to go undercover as an average joe in order to meet his own bride. His destination: Queens. Natch.
Murphy playing it straight as an excitable and overly friendly Prince who's navigating the worst part of New York is a comedy goldmine. Highlights include Akeem and Semmi having rude awakenings with the American dating scene and gainful employment. This was also the first movie where Murphy leveraged his talent for disguises and caricature. The end result is pure Sexual Chocolate. Once you're done, make sure to check out the sequel, Coming 2 America, available on Prime Video.
16. Monty Python's Life of Brian
- Year: 1979
- Cast: Terry Jones, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam
Skewering both the good book and Hollywood's Cecil B. DeMille's obsession with epic religious films, Monty Python's Life of Brian is still an all-time classic. Our tale begins in Judea during the year 33 AD and focuses on Roman attempts to bring law and order to a populace obsessed with messiahs, cross-dressing and stoning one another for blasphemy. Amid all of this chaos, Brian Cohen, an unassuming nobody, is swept up into the new-religion madness around him. Before you can say Biggus Dickus (or possibly Incontinentia Buttocks), he's gone from innocent stable boy to suspected agitator on the fast track to Golgotha.
As always, the absurd scripting and impeccable comedic timings of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin carry this whole thing. Key moments include an optimistic crucifixion sing-song, a speech-impaired Pontius Pilate, and a straightforward stoning gone wrong (thanks to a bunch of overzealous men pretending to be women pretending to men).
17. Monty Python's The Holy Grail
- Year: 1975
- Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam
Those nutcase Pythons waste no time in setting the scene for something that's equal parts absurd and amusing – The Holy Grail has, without a doubt, the most side-splitting (and possibly Swedish) opening credits of any film ever. From there you'll get a positively surreal retelling of the legend of King Arthur, filled with violent slapstick moments, anachronistic weirdness and stunt horses made from coconut halves.
Even to this day, The Holy Grail is an incredibly quotable affair. You really need to watch this to understand the cultural touchstones that are the Knights Who Say Ni!, using aimless flatulence or the parentage of hamsters to taunt people, and why multi-limb dismemberment is merely a scratch. By the end you'll also learn to fear rabbits and shall bear witness to the best cop-out plot resolution of all time.
18. National Lampoon's Animal House
- Year: 1978
- Cast: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon
Behold, the movie that both catapulted director John Landis to the big time and was the catalyst for a hundred other frat comedy movies. Our scene is the 1962 campus of Faber College, PA, and our incredibly unlikely heroes are incoming freshmen Larry "Pinto" Kroger (Tom Hulce) and Kent "Flounder" Dorfman (Stephen Furst). After finding themselves rejected by the WASP elite Omega fraternity, their Plan B – which is more of a Plan Z – is pledging to Delta. Basically, this fraternity is a wretched hive of nerds and villainy who are out to party hard and repay their so-called betters in the crudest ways possible.
Forget his work on Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, this is the career high for late-great writer/director Harold Ramis. Likewise, John Belushi delivers one of his funniest performances ever as Bluto, a slobbish cross between Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster. The success rate on gags remains incredibly high in Animal House and there's a reason why it's one of the top grossing comedies of all time and the precursor to romps like Police Academy, Porky's and Revenge of the Nerds. Enrol with confidence today.
19. Old School
- Year: 2003
- Cast: Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Piven
Director Todd Phillips successfully revived the Animal House formula here with a tale of three 20-somethings trying to recapture their drunkest, stupidest times. Mitch (Luke Wilson), Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn) decide to trade in responsible adult life for a just-off-campus house that can be converted into a fraternity. Cue: a bunch of potential-pledge kidnappings, parties involving Snoop Dogg and the rediscovering of a party-pig alter-ego called "Frank the Tank".
Much like its National Lampoon inspiration, the gags here are rooted in the misfit nature of a hodge-podge frat that's comprised of losers, middle-aged burnouts and elderly retirees who shouldn't be KY wrestling with naked girls. True to formula, all the fun draws the attention of an evil Dean of Students who's in need of a merciless pranking. Possibly by calling him a stupid-head from a nearby payphone. Or they could roll him up in carpet and push him off a bridge.
20. Hot Fuzz
- Year: 2007
- Cast: Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Robert Popper
Here's the 411, folks: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the ultimate duo, both on screen as buddy cops and as a pair of incredibly talented co-writers. This time around they mercilessly take the piss out of big budget Hollywood action films by setting one in the leafy, boring village of Sandford. Newly assigned Constable Nicholas Angel (Pegg) can't shake off his workaholic Londoner ways and sees criminal conspiracies at every turn. Hoping to get to the bottom of... probably nothing at all, he enlists the "help" of bumbling local cop Danny Butterman (Frost).
Like in their last film, Shaun of the Dead, Pegg and Frost waste no scene or line in this tightly crafted murder mystery (trust me, the amount of foreshadowing here is insane). Likewise, the interplay between the tightly wound Angel and his Bad Boys-obsessed sidekick is incredibly one-liner rich. Hot Fuzz is basically a Where's Wally of top Brit comedians, too, which makes this film extra arresting.
What changed on our list?
- Love and Monsters
- I Care a Lot
- Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
- Palm Springs
- Girls Trip
- Knives Out
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Legally Blonde
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