The best comedies on Netflix right now, featuring (clockwise from top left): 'Dope,' 'Mean Girls,' 'Bridesmaids,' 'The Breakfast Club,' and 'The Mitchells vs. the Machines'

The Best Comedies on Netflix Right Now

We could all really use a laugh right now. Social media is on fire, and so is Canada. Republican politicians are at it again, and just won’t stop saying horrible things. The world can be a grim place sometimes, but you know what? It can also be beautiful.

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Forget the glass half-full/half-empty metaphor. The world is either a Barbie or an Oppenheimer, depending on the way you look at it. And while it seems like there’s no end to the Oppenheimer moments in life, sometimes the Barbie shines through if you know where to look.

And in this case, the “where” might be on Netflix. If you find yourself there and in need of a laugh, these are the best comedy movies you can stream on Netflix right now.

American Graffiti

Harrison Ford in American Graffiti
(Lucasfilm)

Before there was Star Wars, ol’ Georgie Lucas served as the director and co-writer for one of the most popular comedy films of its era. American Graffiti takes place one night in Modesto, California on the main drag of town. Four high school graduates cruise around on their last night before going off to college and stir the pot as teens are wont to do. The film actually has multiple storylines that intersect throughout the night, making the loose plot more reminiscent of Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels than any contemporary American film. One of them even ends up drag-racing with a young Harrison Ford.

The Breakfast Club

Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in the Breakfast Club
(Universal Pictures)

The 1980s was the decade of the rom-com, and no one had quite mastered the rom-com like the legendary director John Hughes. Arguably Hughes’ best work, The Breakfast Club is about a group of juvenile delinquents from different walks of life (one of whom is John Hughes’ favorite Best Girl, Molly Ringwald) who are forced to spend detention together. Throughout the film, the students bond over their unlikely similarities and end up learning from one another about how to handle the problems in their own lives. Like the best comedies, it’s grounded in a deep emotional reality that will sneak into your heart and throttle it when you’re not looking.

Bridesmaids

The cast of Bridesmaids
(Universal Pictures)

Perhaps the greatest comedy of the 2010s, the masterpiece that is Bridesmaids was written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo and directed by Paul Feig. The film centers around Annie (played by Wiig), a single woman in her dirty 30s who is asked to be the Maid of Honor at her best friend Lilian (Maya Rudolph)’s wedding. The problem is that she has no idea what she’s doing. Tensions flare when Annie begins to feel threatened by the perfect-in-every-way bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne), who seems better at the job than Annie ever could be. Throw some Rebel Wilson and Melissa McCarthy chaos into the mix and you’ve got yourself a comedy.

Dope

Zoë Kravitz and Shameik Moore in Dope (2015)
(Open Road Films)

Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, Dope tells the story of three young Inglewood teens who find themselves in over their heads when they end up in possession of a dangerous drug dealer’s backpack full of merchandise. In order to keep the dealer off their collective tail, the kids go on an adventure to attempt to pawn off the drugs to buyers. Along the way, the teens reconcile with their own personal struggles and come to terms with their own identities. Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, and Kiersey Clemons shine as the main trio.

Easy A

Olive Penderghast flaunts through the halls
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

Directed by Will Gluck, Easy A tells the story of Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), a high school student who tells a white lie that she took her friend’s virginity so he can avoid bullying. The high school rumor mill twists the story, and Olive gains the unfortunate reputation of being the “school slut.” Rather than shy away from her identity, Olive embraces her perceived “easy-ness” and prints out a giant red letter “A,” à la The Scarlet Letter, and wears it proudly for all to see.

Groundhog Day

Bill Murray Groundhog Day
(Columbia Pictures)

The timelessly classic Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray as a mean-spirited reporter who finds himself living the same day over and over again. What results is a hilarious and heartbreaking existential crisis. He spends his repeated days robbing banks, learning piano, and killing himself—only to wake up in his bed the next morning. But perhaps the spell will be broken if he is able to woo his coworker (Andie MacDowell) and convince her that he has had a change of heart.

Mean Girls

Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Rachel McAdams in 'Mean Girls'
(Paramount Pictures)

The finest comedy of the ’00s, Mean Girls tells the story of a sheltered transfer student named Cady (Lindsay Lohan) who is thrown headfirst into the cut-throat halls of her new suburban high school. After befriending two of the school’s outcast students (Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese), Cady and her new friends hatch a plan to infiltrate the ranks of a group of mean and popular girls known as The Plastics, led by queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams). As Cady spends more time with The Plastics, her loyalty to the outcasts—and herself—is tested.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

King Arthur and his knights look up in fear in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
(EMI Films)

Every dad’s favorite movie, The Holy Grail is the Monty Python group’s magnum opus of silliness. It was directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, and stars Monty Python favorites like John Cleese and Graham Chapman. While the film has been quoted to death by every man over 40, the original remains a timeless gem. King Arthur and his merry band of knights ride across the countryside (clacking coconuts together to emulate horse hooves) in a quest for The Holy Grail. They meet killer rabbits, politically intelligent peasants, and some very rude French people.

Rush Hour

rush hour jackie chan and chris tucker
(New Line Cinema / Warner Bros.)

The action comedy Rush Hour contains some of Jackie Chan’s finest stunts, and solidifies him as one of the greatest stuntmen of all time. The film is about a skilled Chinese cop and a loose-cannon LAPD officer who must join forces to rescue a diplomat’s daughter from the hands of a criminal terrorist organization. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have more onscreen chemistry in this film than half of the romantic leads in Hollywood.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES  (L-R) Abbi Jacobson as “Katie Mitchell", Maya Rudolph as “Linda Mitchell", Danny McBride as “Rick Mitchell”, Doug the Pug as “Monchi” and Mike Rianda as “Aaron Mitchell”.
(Netflix)

Like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, the animated sci-fi comedy The Mitchells vs. the Machines is criminally underrated and deserves far more love and hype than it received when it was first released. Produced by Cloudy duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the film centers around the Mitchell family, whose tech-savvy eldest daughter Katie (Abbi Jacobson) often finds herself frustrated by her luddite dad (Danny McBride). When a tech company invents a robot helper called the PAL MAX, these robots go haywire and end up capturing humans across the planet. The Mitchells are able to escape the robots’ mechanical clutches and embark on a quest to save the world from the machine menace.

I Care A Lot

Three women walk down a hallway and talk in "I Care A Lot"
(Netflix)

On the surface, there’s nothing funny about J. Blakeson’s I Care A Lot. But if you have a twisted soul like I do, you’ll find it it hilarious. Marla Grayson is a legal guardian of elderly people who don’t have anyone else left to take care of them. Sounds kind, right? She would be if she wasn’t also fleecing these old farts for all of their money. Eventually, she rips off the wrong old lady, one with ties to a powerful gangster. On the whole, the film is a darkly comic send-up of the American Dream and the criminal lengths that people will go to in order to obtain it.

Don’t Look Up

Two scientists trail after the president and her assistant in "Don't Look Up"
(Netflix)

What do you do when you know that the world is careening towards impending disaster and no one in power is willing or able to divert the tragedy? Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up has the answer: you laugh. After a pair of astronomers discover that a massive comet is hurtling towards Earth, the two set out on a media tour to warn the world of impending doom. It doesn’t go as planned. The politicians don’t care, and the public doesn’t believe them anyway. I guess humanity will have to learn about heeding scientific warnings the hard way.

Superbad

Three teenage boys talk to each other after school in "Superbad"
(Columbia Pictures)

Greg Mottola’s Superbad is a male/male romance story couched in an early 2000s sex comedy. And not just any 00s sex comedy, the greatest 00s sex comedy. High school friends Seth and Evan are determined to lose their virginity before graduation. Their plan? Hook up with girls at the end-of-the-year blowout party. The problem? They need to get their hands on some alcohol and they aren’t 21. The solution? They’ll make it up as they go along, and maybe get the help of their friend McLovin and his fake ID.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

The main cast of Netflix's 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' pose in a promotional image
(Netflix)

Rian Johnson struck cinema gold with his original Knives Out film, which introduced Daniel Craig as the queer, country-fried mystery solver we didn’t know we needed. Benoit Blanc returns in Glass Onion to solve a murder on the private island of a billionaire douchebag. After a group of successful entrepreneurs, scientists, and social media personalities are invited to the island for a murder mystery party, one of them ends up dead for real. Benoit must use all of his generous mental faculties to peel back the layers of the conundrum, like the onion for which it is named.

The Hunt For The Wilderpeople

A young boy with faceprint on his cheeks frowns in the woods in "The Hunt For The Wilderpeople"
(The Orchard/Madman Entertainment)

Taika Waititi’s The Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a crime caper, buddy comedy, adventure flick, and coming-of-age story all rolled into one. A young foster child with a history of petty crime is sent to live with a kindly family in New Zealand. After an unexpected tragedy, the boy is forced to live with his less-than-kindly uncle. And by “live” I don’t mean in a house, I mean on the lam. Through a series of misunderstandings, the pair become involved in a nationwide manhunt and will have to learn to bond with each other if they’re going to escape the law’s long and hairy arm.

(featured image: Open Road Films / Paramount Pictures / Universal Pictures / Netflix)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.