(Photo by Warner Bros/ Everett Collection)
The 50 Best Action-Comedy Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer
The action-comedy is one of the of the more playful, exciting genre hybrids out there, though it didn’t really come into shape until the 1980s, when buddy-cop films like Lethal Weapon and 48 Hrs. exploded onto the scene, along with Midnight Run, The Blues Brothers, and the rise of Jackie Chan. In Police Story, Drunken Master, and rest of his peak output, Chan is essentially a living, breathing homage to Buster Keaton, whose absurdly dangerous slapstick prowess powered the original action-comedy: 1926’s The General.
Chan and Chris Tucker revitalized the action-comedy formula for the ’90s with the Rush Hour movies. Though they’re fan favorites, the Rush Hour trio were not heavy hitters with critics, so they’ll be absent from this guide to the best-reviewed action-comedies ever, where we’re collecting the top 50 Certified Fresh movies of the genre. What that means is that you will see Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels represented. Lock, Stock was released the same year as Rush Hour and impressed critics and audiences alike by infusing the action-comedy with post-Tarantino grit and swagger.
Hot Fuzz, Tropic Thunder, Kung Fu Hustle, 21 Jump Street, and Bad Boys For Life are among many that have kept the genre going during the past 20 years. And though most superhero movies these days are humorous on some level, we’ll be highlighting the ones that really flex their comedic muscles, like The Suicide Squad and Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds seems molded for this wisecracking genre, wherein he has played the Merc With a Mouth and starred in Free Guy.
Now, see the 50 best-reviewed Certified Fresh action-comedies!
Adjusted Score: 78468%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83614%
Critics Consensus: Too over the top for its own good, but ultimately rescued by the cast's charm, director John Landis' grace, and several soul-stirring musical numbers.
After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) -- collectively known as the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80748%
Critics Consensus: Brimming with energy and packed with humor, Big Trouble in Little China distills kung fu B-movies as affectionately as it subverts them.
Kurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77740%
Critics Consensus: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a grimy, twisted, and funny twist on the Tarantino hip gangster formula.
Eddy (Nick Moran) convinces three friends to pool funds for a high-stakes poker game against local crime boss Hatchet Harry... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84712%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, subversive, and above all fun, Kingsman: The Secret Service finds director Matthew Vaughn sending up the spy genre with gleeful abandon.
Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), whose late father secretly worked for a spy organization, lives in a South London housing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93065%
Critics Consensus: It may not win writer-director Guy Ritchie many new converts, but for those already attuned to the filmmaker's brash wavelength, The Gentlemen stands tall.
Mickey Pearson is an American expatriate who became rich by building a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89684%
Critics Consensus: Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths.
The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord embark on a vengeful quest to kill all those involved in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85704%
Critics Consensus: Not for the faint of heart, Kick-Ass takes the comic adaptation genre to new levels of visual style, bloody violence, and gleeful profanity.
Using his love for comics as inspiration, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides to reinvent himself as a superhero --... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82261%
Critics Consensus: Team America will either offend you or leave you in stitches. It'll probably do both.
When North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il (Trey Parker) orchestrates a global terrorist plot, it's up to the heavily armed marionettes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87868%
Critics Consensus: Keanu's absurd premise and compulsively watchable starring duo add up to an agreeably fast-paced comedy that hits more than enough targets to make up for the misses.
Recently dumped by his girlfriend, slacker Rell (Jordan Peele) finds some happiness when a cute kitten winds up on his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85348%
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84683%
Critics Consensus: Although the plot is really nothing to brag about, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson work well together. The cinematography looks great, and Jackie delivers a hilarious performance. This is an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser.
Bumbling Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) works as an Imperial guard in the Forbidden City of China. When Princess Pei Pei... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108394%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83774%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining Jackie Chan stunt-fest in which the impressive action sequences overcome the low production value and by-the-numbers plot.
Hong Kong policeman Keung (Jackie Chan) arrives in New York for the wedding of his uncle Bill (Bill Tung), a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84377%
Critics Consensus: The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s.
Following the death of his wife, Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) becomes reckless and suicidal. When he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85852%
Critics Consensus: Lethal Weapon 2 may sport a thin plot typical of action fare, but its combination of humor and adrenaline, along with the chemistry between its leads, make this a playful, entertaining sequel.
South African smugglers find themselves being hounded and harassed by Riggs and Murtaugh, two mismatched Los Angeles police officers. However,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92122%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), pampered action superstar, sets out for Southeast Asia to take part in the biggest, most-expensive war... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91904%
Critics Consensus: Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.
As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting a girlfriend; usually, the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87900%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) follows the leads to Beverly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83618%
Critics Consensus: A loving and meticulous send-up of 1970s blaxsploitation movies, Black Dynamite is funny enough for the frat house and clever enough for film buffs.
After "The Man" kills his brother and poisons the neighborhood with tainted liquor, a kung fu fighter (Michael Jai White)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98020%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Forced out of his own company by former protÃ©gÃ© Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85551%
Critics Consensus: Jackie Chan sends up some amazing and entertaining fight sequences in The Legend of Drunken Master.
From a land where honor and tradition reign, comes the legend of a martial-arts hero unlike any other -- the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93406%
Critics Consensus: Boasting even more of the bromantic chemistry between its stars -- and even more of the goofy, good-natured humor that made its predecessor so much fun -- 22 Jump Street is the rare sequel that improves upon the original.
Although they made their way through high school successfully, an investigation at a local college brings big changes for undercover... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108614%
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.
Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 115672%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88068%
Critics Consensus: Romancing the Stone reaches back to the classic Saturday morning serials of old with an action-filled adventure enlivened by the sparkling chemistry between its well-matched leads.
A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94321%
Critics Consensus: A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite.
When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99279%
Critics Consensus: With a talented cast turned loose on a loaded premise -- and a sharp script loaded with dark comedy and unexpected twists -- Game Night might be more fun than the real thing.
Max and Annie's weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105884%
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96503%
Critics Consensus: Combining a clever concept, sweet, self-aware humor, and a charming cast, Free Guy is frivolous fun.
In "Free Guy," a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91711%
Critics Consensus: Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage.
Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104981%
Critics Consensus: American Made's fast-and-loose attitude with its real-life story mirrors the cavalier -- and delightfully watchable -- energy Tom Cruise gives off in the leading role.
Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105462%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92415%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
All his life, an ordinary young man (Stephen Chow) has been treated like dirt. Still, he's never given up believing... [More]
Adjusted Score: 114703%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95712%
Critics Consensus: Boasting loads of quirky charm, a pair of likable leads, and confident direction from Jonathan Demme, Something Wild navigates its unpredictable tonal twists with room to spare.
Free-spirited Lulu (Melanie Griffith) sets her sights on uptight banker Charles (Jeff Daniels) for a little bit of fun. Their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97013%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Hustle blends special effects, martial arts, and the Looney Toons to hilarious effect.
When the hapless Sing (Stephen Chow) and his dim-witted pal, Bone (Feng Xiaogang), try to scam the residents of Pig... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98727%
Critics Consensus: The brilliant minds behind Shaun of the Dead successfully take a shot at the buddy cop genre with Hot Fuzz. The result is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.
As a former London constable, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) finds if difficult to adapt to his new assignment in the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110394%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109982%
Critics Consensus: The Nice Guys hearkens back to the buddy comedies of a bygone era while adding something extra courtesy of a knowing script and the irresistible chemistry of its leads.
Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a down-on-his-luck private eye in 1977 Los Angeles. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hired... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98284%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script, spectacular set pieces, and charismatic performances from its leads, Men in Black is an entirely satisfying summer blockbuster hit.
They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, Kay (Tommy Lee... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105586%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97682%
Critics Consensus: Marking an auspicious feature film debut for Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs. is a briskly paced action comedy that succeeds largely due to the outstanding chemistry between its two leads.
Renegade cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) pulls bank robber Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from a federal prison on a 48-hour... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97313%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.
One of the most revered comedies of the silent era, this film finds hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Buster... [More]
Adjusted Score: 125756%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98669%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by the antagonistic chemistry between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Midnight Run is an uncommonly entertaining odd couple comedy.
When Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) hires tight-lipped bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) to locate a mob accountant named... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98656%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104508%
Critics Consensus: Simultaneously broad and progressive, Spy offers further proof that Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig bring out the best in one another -- and delivers scores of belly laughs along the way.
Despite having solid field training, CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has spent her entire career as a desk jockey,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97889%
Critics Consensus: Blending hand-to-hand combat with breathtaking stunts and slapstick comedy, Supercop reminds us why Jackie Chan is one of the world's great entertainers.
To infiltrate a drug cartel, police Inspector Chan Ka Kui (Jackie Chan) goes undercover in a Chinese prison. There, he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100824%
Critics Consensus: The Paper Tigers blends action, comedy, and heart to produce a fresh martial arts movie with plenty of throwback charm.
Three martial artists--notorious in their prime as "the three tigers"--have grown into middle-aged men one kick from a pulled muscle.... [More]