150 Essential Comedy Movies To Watch Now

What makes a comedy a classic? Something that floats on the changing tides of time and taste, remaining relevant – and hilarious? It probably takes more than a football to the groin or a juiced-up fart on the audio track. (Though we’re not not saying those can sometimes be the pinnacle of professional-grade jokes.) We don’t have the answer, but with our Essential list assembling 150 of the best comedies ever made, we’re getting closer to laugh-out-loud enlightenment than humanly thought possible. We’re melting minds, splitting sides, and slapping knees here.

To that end, we’ve included all forms of the comedy movie. From slapstick (Dumb & Dumber, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World) to silent (The General, Modern Times). Rom-coms (Moonstruck, Annie Hall) to screwball (It Happened One Night, Bringing Up Baby). Parody (Airplane!, Scary Movie) to postmodern (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Galaxy Quest). These 150 movies will take you to college (Animal House), past some fan favorites (Step Brothers, Super Troopers), and all around the globe (Kung Fu Hustle, Amelie).

There’s no minimum review count for this list. We opened it up to movies of yesteryear, which typically don’t get as many reviews as their modern comedy rivals. Many of these inducted films have high Tomatometer scores and are Certified Fresh, but the Tomatometer was not our only guide. Some comedies that stand the test of time did not necessarily pass the critical test on release, and we’re honoring those here. These are not the best-reviewed comedy films ever released, but they are the essential comedies, movies that broke the Laugh-O-Meter – we’ll totally trademark that soon, so dibs – shaped the genre, molded generations, and which audiences return to time and again, to lift the spirits.

And with our most recent updates, we’ve added the latest and greatest in new funny movies (Booksmart, Blockers, Game Night), and some more comedy classics that have definitely earned their place in the pantheon of guffaws (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harold & Maude).

Ready to whip out your funny bone and bash it violently on the nearest flat surface? Then you’re ready for our list of the best comedy movies ever: Rotten Tomatoes’ 150 Essential Comedies!

#150

Hot Rod (2007)
39%

#150
Adjusted Score: 42697%
Critics Consensus: Hot Rod has brazen silliness and a few humorous set pieces on its side, but it's far too inconsistent to satisfy all but the least demanding slapstick lovers.
Synopsis: For Rod Kimball (Andy Samberg), performing stunts is a way of life, even though he is rather accident-prone. Poor Rod... [More]
Directed By: Akiva Schaffer

#149

Game Night (2018)
85%

#149
Adjusted Score: 99575%
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.
Synopsis: Max and Annie's weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party... [More]

#148
#148
Adjusted Score: 53225%
Critics Consensus: First Wives Club is headlined by a trio of comedic dynamos, but the script lets them down with tepid plotting and a fatal lack of satirical bite.
Synopsis: Despondent over the marriage of her ex-husband to a younger woman, a middle-aged divorcée plunges to her death from her... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Wilson

#147

Scary Movie (2000)
52%

#147
Adjusted Score: 56184%
Critics Consensus: Critics say Scary Movie overloads on crudity and grossness to get its laughs.
Synopsis: Defying the very notion of good taste, Scary Movie out-parodies the pop culture parodies with a no-holds barred assault on... [More]
Directed By: Keenen Ivory Wayans

#146

Blockers (2018)
84%

#146
Adjusted Score: 96713%
Critics Consensus: Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy -- one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective.
Synopsis: Julie, Kayla and Sam are three high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... [More]
Directed By: Kay Cannon

#145

The Bank Dick (1940)
100%

#145
Adjusted Score: 102075%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Egbert Sousé (W.C. Fields) becomes an unexpected hero when a bank robber falls over a bench he's occupying. Now considered... [More]
Directed By: Edward F. Cline

#144

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
72%

#144
Adjusted Score: 75136%
Critics Consensus: On paper, Mrs. Doubtfire might seem excessively broad or sentimental, but Robin Williams shines so brightly in the title role that the end result is difficult to resist.
Synopsis: Troubled that he has little access to his children, divorced Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) hatches an elaborate plan. With help... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#143

Pitch Perfect (2012)
81%

#143
Adjusted Score: 86241%
Critics Consensus: Pitch Perfect's plot is formulaic, but the performances are excellent and the musical numbers are toe-tapping as well.
Synopsis: College student Beca (Anna Kendrick) knows she does not want to be part of a clique, but that's exactly where... [More]
Directed By: Jason Moore

#142

Four Lions (2009)
83%

#142
Adjusted Score: 86988%
Critics Consensus: Its premise suggests brazenly tasteless humor, but Four Lions is actually a smart, pitch-black comedy that carries the unmistakable ring of truth.
Synopsis: A group of young Muslim men living in Sheffield decide to wage jihad, and they hatch an inept plan to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Morris

#141

Safety Last (1923)
97%

#141
Adjusted Score: 102844%
Critics Consensus: Persuasive enough to give audiences acrophobia when they aren't laughing at Harold Lloyd's antics, Safety Last! is a marvel of visual effects and slapstick comedy.
Synopsis: A boy (Harold Lloyd) moves to New York City to make enough money to support his loving girlfriend (Mildred Davis),... [More]

#140

Big (1988)
97%

#140
Adjusted Score: 102803%
Critics Consensus: Refreshingly sweet and undeniably funny, Big is a showcase for Tom Hanks, who dives into his role and infuses it with charm and surprising poignancy.
Synopsis: After a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), he heads to New York... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#139
#139
Adjusted Score: 40409%
Critics Consensus: Wet Hot American Summer's incredibly talented cast is too often outmatched by a deeply silly script that misses its targets at least as often as it skewers them.
Synopsis: Set on the last day of camp, in the hot summer of 1981, "Wet Hot American Summer" follows a group... [More]
Directed By: David Wain

#138

Barbershop (2002)
83%

#138
Adjusted Score: 85777%
Critics Consensus: Besides bringing on the laughs, Barbershop displays a big heart and demonstrates the value of community.
Synopsis: A smart comedy about a day in the life of a barbershop on the south side of Chicago. Calvin (Ice... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#137
#137
Adjusted Score: 96009%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#136
#136
Adjusted Score: 52830%
Critics Consensus: Jim Carrey's twitchy antics and gross-out humor are on full, bombastic display in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which is great news for fans of his particular brand of comedy but likely unsatisfying for anyone else.
Synopsis: When the dolphin mascot of Miami's NFL team is abducted, Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey), a zany private investigator who specializes... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

#135

Idiocracy (2006)
73%

#135
Adjusted Score: 73429%
Critics Consensus: Frustratingly uneven yet enjoyable overall, Idiocracy skewers society's devolution with an amiably goofy yet deceptively barbed wit.
Synopsis: In 2005, average in every way private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is selected to take part in a secret military... [More]
Directed By: Mike Judge

#134
#134
Adjusted Score: 83185%
Critics Consensus: Team America will either offend you or leave you in stitches. It'll probably do both.
Synopsis: When North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il (Trey Parker) orchestrates a global terrorist plot, it's up to the heavily armed marionettes... [More]
Directed By: Trey Parker, Matt Stone

#133
#133
Adjusted Score: 86591%
Critics Consensus: A trite but refreshing and comical spin on nature of love.
Synopsis: Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) is at the end of her emotional rope. She happens upon an intriguing personal ad, whose only... [More]

#132

Trainwreck (2015)
84%

#132
Adjusted Score: 95000%
Critics Consensus: Trainwreck drags commitment out of all but the most rom-com-phobic filmgoers with sharp humor, relatable characters, and hilarious work from Amy Schumer.
Synopsis: Ever since her father drilled into her head that monogamy isn't realistic, magazine writer Amy (Amy Schumer) has made promiscuity... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#131
#131
Adjusted Score: 89484%
Critics Consensus: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages.
Synopsis: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#130

Tommy Boy (1995)
42%

#130
Adjusted Score: 43340%
Critics Consensus: Though it benefits from the comic charms of its two leads, Tommy Boy too often feels like a familiar sketch stretched thin.
Synopsis: After his beloved father (Brian Dennehy) dies, dimwitted Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) inherits a near-bankrupt automobile parts factory in Sandusky,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal

#129

Life (1999)
51%

#129
Adjusted Score: 51828%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not over-the-top humor from a solid comic duo provides plenty of laughs.
Synopsis: During Prohibition, loudmouth Harlem grifter Ray (Eddie Murphy) and the no-nonsense Claude (Martin Lawrence) team up on a bootlegging mission... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#128

Zoolander (2001)
64%

#128
Adjusted Score: 68325%
Critics Consensus: A wacky satire on the fashion industry, Zoolander is one of those deliberately dumb comedies that can deliver genuine laughs.
Synopsis: Propelled to the top of the fashion world by a photogenic gaze he calls "Blue Steel," dimwitted male model Derek... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#127

Super Troopers (2001)
35%

#127
Adjusted Score: 36375%
Critics Consensus: A more-miss -than-hit affair, Super Troopers will most likely appeal to those looking for something silly.
Synopsis: Always looking for action, five over-enthusiastic but under-stimulated Vermont State Troopers raise hell on the highway, keeping motorists anxiously looking... [More]
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar

#126

Happy Gilmore (1996)
61%

#126
Adjusted Score: 63865%
Critics Consensus: Those who enjoy Adam Sandler's schtick will find plenty to love in this gleefully juvenile take on professional golf; those who don't, however, will find it unfunny and forgettable.
Synopsis: All Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) has ever wanted is to be a professional hockey player. But he soon discovers he... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#125

21 Jump Street (2012)
85%

#125
Adjusted Score: 93633%
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.
Synopsis: When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances... [More]

#124
Adjusted Score: 85239%
Critics Consensus: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are just charming, goofy, and silly enough to make this fluffy time-travel Adventure work.
Synopsis: Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are high school buddies starting a band. However, they are about to fail... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#123

Broadcast News (1987)
98%

#123
Adjusted Score: 102089%
Critics Consensus: Blockbuster dramatist James L. Brooks delivers with Broadcast News, fully entertaining with deft, deep characterization.
Synopsis: Intelligent satire of American television news. A highly strung news producer finds herself strangely attracted to a vapid anchorman even... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#122

Lost in America (1985)
97%

#122
Adjusted Score: 99606%
Critics Consensus: A satire of the American fantasy of leaving it all behind, Lost in America features some of Albert Brooks' best, most consistent writing and cultural jabs.
Synopsis: After being snubbed at his advertising job, Los Angeles yuppie David Howard (Albert Brooks) convinces his wife, Linda (Julie Hagerty),... [More]
Directed By: Albert Brooks

#121

In the Loop (2009)
94%

#121
Adjusted Score: 99598%
Critics Consensus: In the Loop is an uncommonly funny political satire that blends Dr. Strangelove with Spinal Tap for the Iraq war era.
Synopsis: During an interview, British Cabinet Minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) delivers an off-the-cuff remark that war in the Middle East... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

#120
#120
Adjusted Score: 112581%
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Synopsis: Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised... [More]
Directed By: Jon M. Chu

#119

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
90%

#119
Adjusted Score: 93172%
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.
Synopsis: All his life, an ordinary young man (Stephen Chow) has been treated like dirt. Still, he's never given up believing... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

#118

Top Five (2014)
86%

#118
Adjusted Score: 92785%
Critics Consensus: As smart, funny, and trenchant as writer-director-star Chris Rock's best standup work, Top Five is a career highlight for its creator -- and one of the comedy standouts of 2014.
Synopsis: Though he began in stand-up comedy, Andre Allen (Chris Rock) hit the big-time as the star of a trilogy of... [More]
Directed By: Chris Rock

#117

Road to Morocco (1942)
86%

#117
Adjusted Score: 85879%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Starving vagabond Jeff (Bing Crosby) sells best friend Orville (Bob Hope) into slavery in a Moroccan marketplace to buy food.... [More]
Directed By: David Butler

#116

Up in Smoke (1978)
47%

#116
Adjusted Score: 48204%
Critics Consensus: Oft-quoted but undeniably flawed, Up In Smoke is a seminal piece of stoner cinema thanks to the likability of its two counterculture icons.
Synopsis: An unemployed pot-smoking slacker and amateur drummer, Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) ditches his strict parents and hits the road, eventually... [More]
Directed By: Lou Adler

#115
#115
Adjusted Score: 92444%
Critics Consensus: Steve Carell's first star turn scores big with a tender treatment of its titular underdog, using raunchy but realistically funny comedy to connect with adult audiences.
Synopsis: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is an amiable single guy who works at a big-box store. Living alone, 40-year-old Andy spends... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#114
#114
Adjusted Score: 104614%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
Synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#113

In Bruges (2008)
84%

#113
Adjusted Score: 91012%
Critics Consensus: Featuring witty dialogue and deft performances, In Bruges is an effective mix of dark comedy and crime thriller elements.
Synopsis: After a particularly difficult job, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) head to Belgium to hide out... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#112

American Pie (1999)
61%

#112
Adjusted Score: 66639%
Critics Consensus: So embarrassing it's believable, American Pie succeeds in bringing back the teen movie genre.
Synopsis: A riotous and raunchy exploration of the most eagerly anticipated -- and most humiliating -- rite of adulthood, known as... [More]
Directed By: Paul Weitz

#111
#111
Adjusted Score: 100679%
Critics Consensus: Almodovar weaves together a magnificent tapestry of femininity with an affectionate wink to classics of theater and cinema in this poignant story of love, loss and compassion.
Synopsis: A Greek saying states that only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly. This saying does... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#110
#110
Adjusted Score: 88209%
Critics Consensus: With Burn After Reading, the Coen Brothers have crafted another clever comedy/thriller with an outlandish plot and memorable characters.
Synopsis: When a disc containing memoirs of a former CIA analyst (John Malkovich) falls into the hands of Linda Litzke (Frances... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#109

Legally Blonde (2001)
70%

#109
Adjusted Score: 75639%
Critics Consensus: Though the material is predictable and formulaic, Reese Witherspoon's funny, nuanced performance makes this movie better than it would have been otherwise.
Synopsis: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has it all. She wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. But there... [More]
Directed By: Robert Luketic

#108

Pride (2014)
92%

#108
Adjusted Score: 98190%
Critics Consensus: Earnest without being didactic and uplifting without stooping to sentimentality, Pride is a joyous crowd-pleaser that genuinely works.
Synopsis: Realizing that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gays and lesbians lend... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Warchus

#107
Adjusted Score: 73376%
Critics Consensus: It's long, frantic, and stuffed to the gills with comic actors and set pieces -- and that's exactly its charm.
Synopsis: The story begins during a massive traffic jam, caused by reckless driver Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante), who, before kicking the... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kramer

#106

Beetlejuice (1988)
85%

#106
Adjusted Score: 89469%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#105

House Party (1990)
93%

#105
Adjusted Score: 94522%
Critics Consensus: House Party is a light, entertaining teen comedy with an infectious energy.
Synopsis: Play's parents are out of town, and he's planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend,... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#104

The Birdcage (1996)
81%

#104
Adjusted Score: 83794%
Critics Consensus: Mike Nichols wrangles agreeably amusing performances from Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in this fun, if not quite essential, remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles.
Synopsis: In this remake of the classic French farce "La Cage aux Folles," engaged couple Val Goldman (Dan Futterman) and Barbara... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#103

City Slickers (1991)
91%

#103
Adjusted Score: 92853%
Critics Consensus: With a supremely talented cast and just enough midlife drama to add weight to its wildly silly overtones, City Slickers uses universal themes to earn big laughs.
Synopsis: Every year, three friends take a vacation away from their wives. This year, henpecked Phil (Daniel Stern), newly married Ed... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#102

Stripes (1981)
88%

#102
Adjusted Score: 89921%
Critics Consensus: A raucous military comedy that features Bill Murray and his merry cohorts approaching the peak of their talents.
Synopsis: Hard-luck cabbie John Winger (Bill Murray) -- directionless after being fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend --... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#101
Adjusted Score: 92019%
Critics Consensus: A zany horror spoof that plays up and then plays into the best of Universal horror cliches.
Synopsis: In the first of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's horror vehicles for Universal Pictures, the inimitable comic duo star as... [More]
Directed By: Charles Barton

#100

Clue (1985)
68%

#100
Adjusted Score: 69314%
Critics Consensus: A robust ensemble of game actors elevate Clue above its schematic source material, but this farce's reliance on novelty over organic wit makes its entertainment value a roll of the dice.
Synopsis: Based on the popular board game, this comedy begins at a dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy, where he admits... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#99

Spy (2015)
95%

#99
Adjusted Score: 104610%
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.
Synopsis: Despite having solid field training, CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has spent her entire career as a desk jockey,... [More]
Directed By: Paul Feig

#98
#98
Adjusted Score: 70553%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Chino (Jon Seda) isn't the best husband to Lisette (Lauren Vélez). His job as a bicycle messenger can barely support... [More]
Directed By: Darnell Martin

#97
#97
Adjusted Score: 85312%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
Synopsis: At the start of the New Year, 32-year-old Bridget (Renée Zellweger) decides it's time to take control of her life... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 97892%
Critics Consensus: Black's exuberant, gleeful performance turns School of Rock into a hilarious, rocking good time.
Synopsis: Overly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#95

Moonstruck (1987)
94%

#95
Adjusted Score: 98242%
Critics Consensus: Led by energetic performances from Nicolas Cage and Cher, Moonstruck is an exuberantly funny tribute to love and one of the decade's most appealing comedies.
Synopsis: No sooner does Italian-American widow Loretta (Cher) accept a marriage proposal from her doltish boyfriend, Johnny (Danny Aiello), than she... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#94

The In-Laws (1979)
88%

#94
Adjusted Score: 88443%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered dentist Sheldon Kornpett (Alan Arkin) is uncomfortable with his daughter's marriage after meeting her future father-in-law, Vincent Ricardo (Peter... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Hiller

#93

The Ladykillers (1955)
100%

#93
Adjusted Score: 102466%
Critics Consensus: The Ladykillers is a macabre slow-burn with quirky performances of even quirkier characters.
Synopsis: Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) likes to report suspicious behavior to the police. Unaware of her reputation, the dapper thief Professor... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 85168%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#91
#91
Adjusted Score: 90854%
Critics Consensus: A buoyant, clever update of the conman flick Bedtime Story, with plenty of comedic jousting resulting from a winning chemistry between Michael Caine and Steve Martin.
Synopsis: Con artist Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) is a longtime resident of a luxurious coastal resort, where he enjoys the fruits... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 93129%
Critics Consensus: A well-calibrated blend of manic comedy and poignant drama, Good Morning, Vietnam offers a captivating look at a wide range of Robin Williams' cinematic gifts.
Synopsis: Radio funny man Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) is sent to Vietnam to bring a little comedy back into the lives... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#89

M*A*S*H (1970)
84%

#89
Adjusted Score: 88751%
Critics Consensus: Bold, timely, subversive, and above all funny, M*A*S*H remains a high point in Robert Altman's distinguished filmography.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Richard Hooker, "M*A*S*H" follows a group of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital officers at they perform... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 96276%
Critics Consensus: Rob Reiner's touching, funny film set a new standard for romantic comedies, and he was ably abetted by the sharp interplay between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.
Synopsis: In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a contentious car ride from Chicago... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#87
Adjusted Score: 78160%
Critics Consensus: The likable leads and subversion of racial stereotypes elevate Harold and Kumar above the typical stoner comedy.
Synopsis: Nerdy accountant Harold (John Cho) and his irrepressible friend, Kumar (Kal Penn), get stoned watching television and find themselves utterly... [More]
Directed By: Danny Leiner

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 78235%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Synopsis: In small-town Preston, Idaho, awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) has trouble fitting in. After his grandmother is injured in... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#85

Arthur (1981)
88%

#85
Adjusted Score: 90250%
Critics Consensus: Dudley Moore brings a boozy charm to Arthur, a coming of age tale for a wayward millionaire that deploys energetic cast chemistry and spiffy humor to jovial effect.
Synopsis: Wealthy New York City playboy Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) is perpetually drunk and completely rudderless. Dutifully supported by his sharp-tongued... [More]
Directed By: Steve Gordon

#84

Tootsie (1982)
90%

#84
Adjusted Score: 94182%
Critics Consensus: Tootsie doesn't squander its high-concept comedy premise with fine dialogue and sympathetic treatment of the characters.
Synopsis: New York actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a talented perfectionist who is so hard on himself and others that... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#83

Best in Show (2000)
93%

#83
Adjusted Score: 97140%
Critics Consensus: A fine example of writer-director-star Christopher Guest's gift for improv comedy, Best in Show boasts an appealingly quirky premise and a brilliantly talented cast.
Synopsis: The tension is palpable, the excitement is mounting and the heady scent of competition is in the air as hundreds... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Guest

#82
Adjusted Score: 97562%
Critics Consensus: While its premise is ripe for comedy -- and it certainly delivers its fair share of laughs -- Priscilla is also a surprisingly tender and thoughtful road movie with some outstanding performances.
Synopsis: When drag queen Anthony (Hugo Weaving) agrees to take his act on the road, he invites fellow cross-dresser Adam (Guy... [More]
Directed By: Stephan Elliott

#81

Mean Girls (2004)
84%

#81
Adjusted Score: 90855%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by a brilliant screenplay and outstanding ensemble cast, Mean Girls finds fresh, female-fronted humor in the high school experience.
Synopsis: Teenage Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) was educated in Africa by her scientist parents. When her family moves to the suburbs... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#80

Spaceballs (1987)
56%

#80
Adjusted Score: 58129%
Critics Consensus: There's fine spoofery and amusing characters in Spaceballs, though it's a far cry from Mel Brooks' peak era.
Synopsis: In a distant galaxy, planet Spaceball has depleted its air supply, leaving its citizens reliant on a product called "Perri-Air."... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#79

Sister Act (1992)
74%

#79
Adjusted Score: 75616%
Critics Consensus: Looking for a sweet musical comedy about a witness to a crime hiding out from killers in a convent? There's nun better than Sister Act.
Synopsis: When lively lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg) sees her mobster beau, Vince LaRocca (Harvey Keitel), commit murder, she... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#78

Step Brothers (2008)
55%

#78
Adjusted Score: 63169%
Critics Consensus: Step Brothers indulges in a cheerfully relentless immaturity that will quickly turn off viewers unamused by Ferrell and Reilly -- and delight those who find their antics hilarious.
Synopsis: Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) have one thing in common: they are both lazy, unemployed... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#77

UHF (1989)
61%

#77
Adjusted Score: 61231%
Critics Consensus: UHF is bizarre, freewheeling, and spotty, though its anarchic spirit cannot be denied.
Synopsis: After losing yet another job, George (Weird Al Yankovic) wonders if there is any career that can handle his outrageous... [More]
Directed By: Jay Levey

#76
Adjusted Score: 96766%
Critics Consensus: Blessed by a brilliantly befuddled star turn from Chevy Chase, National Lampoon's Vacation is one of the more consistent -- and thoroughly quotable -- screwball comedies of the 1980s.
Synopsis: Accompanied by their children (Dana Barron, Anthony Michael Hall), Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his wife, Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), are... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#75

Galaxy Quest (1999)
90%

#75
Adjusted Score: 94479%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and humorous satire with an excellent cast -- no previous Trekkie knowledge needed to enjoy this one.
Synopsis: The stars of a 1970s sci-fi show - now scraping a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions - are beamed... [More]
Directed By: Dean Parisot

#74

Harold and Maude (1971)
85%

#74
Adjusted Score: 89691%
Critics Consensus: Hal Ashby's comedy is too dark and twisted for some, and occasionally oversteps its bounds, but there's no denying the film's warm humor and big heart.
Synopsis: Cult classic pairs Cort as a dead-pan disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and a loveable Gordon as a fun-loving 80-year-old... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#73

Meet the Parents (2000)
84%

#73
Adjusted Score: 88602%
Critics Consensus: Despite sometimes sitcom-like execution, Meet the Parents is a hilarious look at familial relationships that works mostly because the chemistry between its two leads is so effective.
Synopsis: Everything that can possibly go wrong for groom-to-be Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) does. The problems begin with Greg's disastrous first... [More]
Directed By: Jay Roach

#72

Girls Trip (2017)
92%

#72
Adjusted Score: 103896%
Critics Consensus: Girls Trip is the rare R-rated comedy that pushes boundaries to truly comedic effect -- and anchors its laughs in compelling characters brought to life by a brilliantly assembled cast.
Synopsis: Best friends Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they travel to New... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#71

Being There (1979)
95%

#71
Adjusted Score: 98802%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sophisticated, and refreshingly subtle, Being There soars behind sensitive direction from Hal Ashby and a stellar Peter Sellers performance.
Synopsis: Simple-minded Chance (Peter Sellers), a gardener who has resided in the Washington, D.C., townhouse of his wealthy employer for his... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#70

Wayne's World (1992)
79%

#70
Adjusted Score: 85623%
Critics Consensus: An oddball comedy that revels in its silliness and memorable catch phrases, Wayne's World is also fondly regarded because of its endearing characters.
Synopsis: A big screen spin-off of the "Saturday Night Live" skit. Rob Lowe plays a producer that wants to take the... [More]
Directed By: Penelope Spheeris

#69
Adjusted Score: 82581%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Synopsis: Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend,... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 85400%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Writer and notorious marriage detractor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) falls for girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and they tie the... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#67

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
91%

#67
Adjusted Score: 97488%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Hustle blends special effects, martial arts, and the Looney Toons to hilarious effect.
Synopsis: When the hapless Sing (Stephen Chow) and his dim-witted pal, Bone (Feng Xiaogang), try to scam the residents of Pig... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow

#66

Booksmart (2019)
96%

#66
Adjusted Score: 119752%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
Synopsis: Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high... [More]
Directed By: Olivia Wilde

#65

Heathers (1989)
93%

#65
Adjusted Score: 96433%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Synopsis: Veronica (Winona Ryder) is part of the most popular clique at her high school, but she disapproves of the other... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#64

Playtime (1967)
98%

#64
Adjusted Score: 103726%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable achievement, Playtime's packs every scene with sight gags and characters that both celebrates and satirizes the urbanization of modern life.
Synopsis: Clumsy Monsieur Hulot (Jacques Tati) finds himself perplexed by the intimidating complexity of a gadget-filled Paris. He attempts to meet... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Tati

#63
#63
Adjusted Score: 87038%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
Synopsis: After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) follows the leads to Beverly... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#62

Office Space (1999)
80%

#62
Adjusted Score: 84246%
Critics Consensus: Mike Judge lampoons the office grind with its inspired mix of sharp dialogue and witty one-liners.
Synopsis: Corporate drone Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) hates his soul-killing job at software company Initech. While undergoing hypnotherapy, Peter is left... [More]
Directed By: Mike Judge

#61
Adjusted Score: 99542%
Critics Consensus: While frothy to a fault, Four Weddings and a Funeral features irresistibly breezy humor, and winsome performances from Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell.
Synopsis: Lovable Englishman Charles (Hugh Grant) and his group of friends seem to be unlucky in love. When Charles meets a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#60

The Graduate (1967)
87%

#60
Adjusted Score: 94127%
Critics Consensus: The music, the performances, the precision in capturing the post-college malaise -- The Graduate's coming-of-age story is indeed one for the ages.
Synopsis: Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has just finished college and, back at his parents' house, he's trying to avoid the one... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 86807%
Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.
Synopsis: Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) has an uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#58
Adjusted Score: 87433%
Critics Consensus: There's Something About Mary proves that unrelentingly, unabashedly peurile humor doesn't necessarily come at the expense of a film's heart.
Synopsis: Ted's (Ben Stiller) dream prom date with Mary (Cameron Diaz) never happens due to an embarrassing injury at her home.... [More]

#57
Adjusted Score: 99576%
Critics Consensus: Part satire, part shockumentary,Borat gets high-fives almost all-around for being offensive in the funniest possible way. Jagshemash!
Synopsis: Outrageous situations occur when Borat, a popular reporter (Sacha Baron Cohen) from Kazakhstan, comes to the United States to film... [More]
Directed By: Larry Charles

#56

Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
92%

#56
Adjusted Score: 95361%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A kindly movie projectionist (Buster Keaton) longs to be a detective. When his fiancée (Kathryn McGuire) is robbed by a... [More]
Directed By: Buster Keaton

#55

Friday (1995)
78%

#55
Adjusted Score: 78098%
Critics Consensus: What Friday might lack in taut construction or directorial flair, it more than makes up with its vibrant (albeit consistently crass) humor and the charming, energetic performances of its leads.
Synopsis: It's Friday and Craig Jones (Ice Cube) has just gotten fired for stealing cardboard boxes. To make matters worse, rent... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#54

Superbad (2007)
88%

#54
Adjusted Score: 96006%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: High-school seniors Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) have high hopes for a graduation party: The co-dependent teens plan... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#53

Hot Fuzz (2007)
91%

#53
Adjusted Score: 99767%
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.
Synopsis: As a former London constable, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) finds if difficult to adapt to his new assignment in the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#52

The Hangover (2009)
78%

#52
Adjusted Score: 87951%
Critics Consensus: With a clever script and hilarious interplay among the cast, The Hangover nails just the right tone of raunchy humor, and the non-stop laughs overshadow any flaw.
Synopsis: Two days before his wedding, Doug (Justin Bartha) and three friends (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) drive to Las... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#51

Elf (2003)
85%

#51
Adjusted Score: 90696%
Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.
Synopsis: Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#50
Adjusted Score: 95954%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the impeccable chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy, as well as a deft mix of humor and heart, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a hilarious, heartfelt holiday classic.
Synopsis: Easily excitable Neal Page (Steve Martin) is somewhat of a control freak. Trying to get home to Chicago to spend... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 100087%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written, smoothly directed, and solidly cast, A Fish Called Wanda offers a classic example of a brainy comedy with widespread appeal.
Synopsis: British gangster George Thomason (Tom Georgeson) and his hapless aide, Ken Pile (Michael Palin), draft a pair of arrogant Americans,... [More]

#48
Adjusted Score: 73351%
Critics Consensus: Filled with inspired silliness and quotable lines, Anchorman isn't the most consistent comedy in the world, but Will Ferrell's buffoonish central performance helps keep this portrait of a clueless newsman from going off the rails.
Synopsis: Hotshot television anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) welcomes upstart reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) into the male-dominated world of 1970s... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#47

Ghostbusters (1984)
97%

#47
Adjusted Score: 103035%
Critics Consensus: An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.
Synopsis: After the members of a team of scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#46
Adjusted Score: 75935%
Critics Consensus: A light and goofy comedy which provides laughs, largely due to performances and screenwriting by Myers.
Synopsis: A world-class playboy and part-time special agent, Powers is defrosted after 30 years in a cryogenic freeze to match wits... [More]
Directed By: Jay Roach

#45

Dumb & Dumber (1994)
68%

#45
Adjusted Score: 70196%
Critics Consensus: A relentlessly stupid comedy elevated by its main actors: Jim Carrey goes bonkers and Jeff Daniels carries himself admirably in an against-type performance.
Synopsis: Imbecilic best friends Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) stumble across a suitcase full of money left... [More]

#44

The Odd Couple (1968)
97%

#44
Adjusted Score: 101012%
Critics Consensus: Enlivening Neil Simon's crackerjack script with their harmonious rapport, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are a perfect pairing as The Odd Couple.
Synopsis: When fussy Felix (Jack Lemmon) becomes suicidal over his impending divorce, he accepts an offer to move in with his... [More]
Directed By: Gene Saks

#43

The Producers (1968)
90%

#43
Adjusted Score: 98628%
Critics Consensus: A hilarious satire of the business side of Hollywood, The Producers is one of Mel Brooks' finest, as well as funniest films, featuring standout performances by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel.
Synopsis: Down and out producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel), who was once the toast of Broadway, trades sexual favors with old... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#42

Clerks (1994)
89%

#42
Adjusted Score: 92513%
Critics Consensus: With its quirky characters and clever, quotable dialogue, Clerks is the ultimate clarion call for slackers everywhere to unite and, uh, do something we guess?
Synopsis: Dante (Brian O'Halloran) is called in to cover a shift at his New Jersey convenience store on his day off.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 103461%
Critics Consensus: Smarter, fresher, and funnier than a modern vampire movie has any right to be, What We Do in the Shadows is bloody good fun.
Synopsis: Vampire housemates (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh) try to cope with the complexities of modern life and show a... [More]

#40

The Lady Eve (1941)
100%

#40
Adjusted Score: 106003%
Critics Consensus: A career highlight for Preston Sturges, The Lady Eve benefits from Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda's sparkling chemistry -- and a script that inspired countless battle-of-the-sexes comedies.
Synopsis: It's no accident when wealthy Charles (Henry Fonda) falls for Jean (Barbara Stanwyck). Jean is a con artist with her... [More]
Directed By: Preston Sturges

#39

What's Up, Doc? (1972)
89%

#39
Adjusted Score: 92466%
Critics Consensus: Barbra Streisand was never more likable than in this energetic, often hilarious screwball farce from director Peter Bogdanovich.
Synopsis: Two researchers have come to San Francisco to compete for a research grant in music. The man seems a bit... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 109261%
Critics Consensus: Watermelons may go out of season, but in A Night at the Opera, the Marx Brothers' daffy laughs are never anything less than uproariously fresh.
Synopsis: The Marx Brothers run amuck in the world of opera when Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) meets aspiring singer Ricardo... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#37

Adam's Rib (1949)
96%

#37
Adjusted Score: 99919%
Critics Consensus: Matched by Garson Kanin's witty, sophisticated screenplay, George Cukor, Spencer Tracy, and Katherine Hepburn are all in top form in the classic comedy Adam's Rib.
Synopsis: A courtroom rivalry finds its way into the household when prosecuting lawyer Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) faces off against his... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#36

Sullivan's Travels (1941)
100%

#36
Adjusted Score: 103833%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Successful movie director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), convinced he won't be able to film his ambitious masterpiece until he... [More]
Directed By: Preston Sturges

#35

Caddyshack (1980)
73%

#35
Adjusted Score: 77298%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue.
Synopsis: Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 97766%
Critics Consensus: Charlie Chaplin demonstrates that his comedic voice is undiminished by dialogue in this rousing satire of tyranny, which may be more distinguished by its uplifting humanism than its gags.
Synopsis: After dedicated service in the Great War, a Jewish barber (Charles Chaplin) spends years in an army hospital recovering from... [More]
Directed By: Charles Chaplin

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 112061%
Critics Consensus: Offering a wonderfully witty script, spotless direction from George Cukor, and typically excellent lead performances, The Philadelphia Story is an unqualified classic.
Synopsis: This classic romantic comedy focuses on Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn), a Philadelphia socialite who has split from her husband, C.K.... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#32

Raising Arizona (1987)
91%

#32
Adjusted Score: 95570%
Critics Consensus: A terrifically original, eccentric screwball comedy, Raising Arizona may not be the Coens' most disciplined movie, but it's one of their most purely entertaining.
Synopsis: An ex-con and an ex-cop meet, marry and long for a child of their own. When it is discovered that... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#31

Clueless (1995)
81%

#31
Adjusted Score: 89088%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#30

Annie Hall (1977)
96%

#30
Adjusted Score: 104369%
Critics Consensus: Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic.
Synopsis: Comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) examines the rise and fall of his relationship with struggling nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#29

His Girl Friday (1940)
99%

#29
Adjusted Score: 110805%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by stellar performances from Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday is possibly the definitive screwball romantic comedy.
Synopsis: When hard-charging New York newspaper editor Walter Burns discovers that his ex-wife, investigative reporter Hildy Johnson, has gotten engaged to... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#28

Withnail and I (1987)
94%

#28
Adjusted Score: 94615%
Critics Consensus: Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann prove irresistibly hilarious as two misanthropic slackers in Withnail and I, a biting examination of artists living on the fringes of prosperity and good taste.
Synopsis: Two out-of-work actors -- the anxious, luckless Marwood (Paul McGann) and his acerbic, alcoholic friend, Withnail (Richard E. Grant) --... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Robinson

#27

Trading Places (1983)
88%

#27
Adjusted Score: 88934%
Critics Consensus: Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.
Synopsis: Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#26

Bridesmaids (2011)
90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 100623%
Critics Consensus: A marriage of genuine characters, gross out gags, and pathos, Bridesmaids is a female-driven comedy that refuses to be boxed in as Kristen Wiig emerges as a real star.
Synopsis: Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a single woman whose own life is a mess, but when she learns that her lifelong... [More]
Directed By: Paul Feig

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 101045%
Critics Consensus: Made with obvious affection for the original, Young Frankenstein is a riotously silly spoof featuring a fantastic performance by Gene Wilder.
Synopsis: Respected medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) learns that he has inherited his infamous grandfather's estate in Transylvania. Arriving... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 98888%
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.
Synopsis: Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he's not working at the electronics store,... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#23

The Naked Gun (1988)
88%

#23
Adjusted Score: 91019%
Critics Consensus: The Naked Gun is loaded chock full of gags that are goofy, unapologetically crass, and ultimately hilarious.
Synopsis: Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), a rather clueless police detective, tries to foil a plot to turn innocent people into assassins... [More]
Directed By: David Zucker

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 81628%
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.
Synopsis: After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) -- collectively known as the... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 75834%
Critics Consensus: Eddie Murphy was in full control at this point, starkly evident in Coming to America's John Landis' coasting direction.
Synopsis: Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the prince of a wealthy African country and wants for nothing, except a wife who... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#20

Life of Brian (1979)
95%

#20
Adjusted Score: 100718%
Critics Consensus: One of the more cutting-edge films of the 1970s, this religious farce from the classic comedy troupe is as poignant as it is funny and satirical.
Synopsis: Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is an average young Jewish man, but through a series of ridiculous events, he gains a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Jones

#19

The Jerk (1979)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85173%
Critics Consensus: Crude, crass, and oh so quotable, The Jerk is nothing short of an all-out comedic showcase for Steve Martin.
Synopsis: Navin (Steve Martin) believes he was born a poor black child in Mississippi. He is, however, actually white. Upon figuring... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#18

The General (1926)
92%

#18
Adjusted Score: 96429%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.
Synopsis: One of the most revered comedies of the silent era, this film finds hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Buster... [More]

#17

The Thin Man (1934)
98%

#17
Adjusted Score: 104467%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an involving mystery and sparkling repartee between William Powell and Myrna Loy, The Thin Man is an endlessly charming romp.
Synopsis: The recently divorced Clyde Wynant discovers that his new girlfriend has stolen $50,000 and is carrying on with other men.... [More]
Directed By: W. S. Van Dyke

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 100275%
Critics Consensus: Smartly directed, brilliantly acted, and packed with endlessly quotable moments, This Is Spinal Tap is an all-time comedy classic.
Synopsis: "This Is Spinal Tap" shines a light on the self-contained universe of a metal band struggling to get back on... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#15
Adjusted Score: 95016%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Synopsis: When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#14

Blazing Saddles (1974)
88%

#14
Adjusted Score: 93998%
Critics Consensus: Daring, provocative, and laugh-out-loud funny, Blazing Saddles is a gleefully vulgar spoof of Westerns that marks a high point in Mel Brooks' storied career.
Synopsis: In this satirical take on Westerns, crafty railroad worker Bart (Cleavon Little) becomes the first black sheriff of Rock Ridge,... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#13

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 103633%
Critics Consensus: With Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant at their effervescent best, Bringing Up Baby is a seamlessly assembled comedy with enduring appeal.
Synopsis: Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#12

Modern Times (1936)
98%

#12
Adjusted Score: 116439%
Critics Consensus: A slapstick skewering of industrialized America, Modern Times is as politically incisive as it is laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Synopsis: This comedic masterpiece finds the iconic Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) employed at a state-of-the-art factory where the inescapable machinery completely... [More]
Directed By: Charlie Chaplin

#11

The Apartment (1960)
93%

#11
Adjusted Score: 100882%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#10

Groundhog Day (1993)
97%

#10
Adjusted Score: 103334%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Synopsis: Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 103679%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#8
Adjusted Score: 106035%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
Synopsis: A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#7

Duck Soup (1933)
91%

#7
Adjusted Score: 97982%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by inspired silliness and blessed with some of the Marx brothers' most brilliant work, Duck Soup is one of its -- or any -- era's finest comedies.
Synopsis: When the tiny nation of Freedonia goes bankrupt, its wealthy benefactor, Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), insists that the wacky Rufus... [More]
Directed By: Leo McCarey

#6

The Big Lebowski (1998)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89049%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
Synopsis: Jeff Bridges plays Jeff Lebowski who insists on being called "the Dude," a laid-back, easygoing burnout who happens to have... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 116297%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
Synopsis: In Frank Capra's acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#4

Some Like It Hot (1959)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 99216%
Critics Consensus: Some Like It Hot: A spry, quick-witted farce that never drags.
Synopsis: After witnessing a Mafia murder, slick saxophone player Joe (Tony Curtis) and his long-suffering buddy, Jerry (Jack Lemmon), improvise a... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#3
Adjusted Score: 104450%
Critics Consensus: A cult classic as gut-bustingly hilarious as it is blithely ridiculous, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has lost none of its exceedingly silly charm.
Synopsis: A comedic send-up of the grim circumstances of the Middle Ages as told through the story of King Arthur and... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

#2

Airplane! (1980)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103491%
Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.
Synopsis: This spoof comedy takes shots at the slew of disaster movies that were released in the 70s. When the passengers... [More]

#1

City Lights (1931)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103109%
Critics Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.
Synopsis: A hapless but resilient tramp (Charlie Chaplin) falls in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) on the tough... [More]
Directed By: Charles Chaplin

In Bruges

(Photo by Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail image: New World/courtesy Everett Collection; Neon / courtesy Everett Collection.)

The 60 Best Black Comedies, Ranked By Tomatometer

Let’s say you’re the type to laugh while handling the darkest subject matters: Murder, doomsday, blackmail, and maybe even a lil’ tasty cannibalism. If so, twisted friend, you sure have arrived at the right spot to get your gallows guffaws: The 60 Best Dark Comedies, Ranked by Tomatometer!

All this dark material ranges in variation of glib macabre glee, different styles that we’ll touch upon in our selection of the best-reviewed funny black comedies. Most common are movies about murder and the subsequent covering-up, especially when the corpses have a habit of popping up at the most inconvenient times. Think Best Picture-winning Parasite, Fargo, Burn After Reading, and Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry.

Another style of the black comedy movie: Mining jokes out of political fallout when millions of lives are at stake, as seen in Dr. Strangelove, In the Loop, and The Producers. Or how about movies that get you on the serial killer’s side, like being on the ride for The Voices or Monsieur Verdoux. They twist you around enough to make you feel amusingly guilty hoping they’ll get away with it all.

The emergence of the black comedy movie seemed to come around in the 1940s, when filmmaking had evolved enough to artistically interpret real-world horrors (e.g. World War II) with mordant humor, as seen in To Be or Not to Be and Arsenic and Old Lace. Of course, how would they have known their groundbreaking path through the dark side would eventually come to the taboo of cannibalism, as seen in appetizing films like Delicatessen and Eating Raoul? And lest you assume we’re not in touch with our more subtle side when it comes to comedy of the damned, we’ve included philosophical destroyers Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?, Carnage, and the brilliant Withnail and I.

Major players in the realm of dark comedies include status quo-defecating John Waters (Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos), Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Todd Solondz (Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse), and the devilish Danny DeVito (The War of the Roses, Ruthless People). Our final stipulation for their movies and everything else on the list is that each had to be rated Fresh, and have at least 20 reviews, to ensure enough critics have shared in the gleeful discomfort.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad (feel free to keep adding more) world out there these days: Grab life by the ruffled lapel and throw it into the wood chipper with The 60 Best Black Comedies, Ranked!

#60

Adam's Apples (2005)
70%

#60
Adjusted Score: 70571%
Critics Consensus: Good and evil collide with interesting results in Adam's Apples, a dark Biblical allegory that's alternatively funny and shocking.
Synopsis: Following a stint in jail, Adam (Ulrich Thomsen), a former neo-Nazi, is temporarily assigned to live in a religious enclave.... [More]
Directed By: Anders Thomas Jensen

#59

Carnage (2011)
70%

#59
Adjusted Score: 77315%
Critics Consensus: It isn't as compelling on the screen as it was on the stage, but Carnage makes up for its flaws with Polanski's smooth direction and assured performances from Winslet and Foster.
Synopsis: When some roughhousing between two 11-year-old boys named Zachary and Ethan erupts into real violence, Ethan loses two teeth. Zachary's... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#58

The Ref (1994)
72%

#58
Adjusted Score: 75276%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably uneven and too dark for some, The Ref nonetheless boasts strong turns from Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey, as well as a sharply funny script.
Synopsis: Bickering spouses (Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey) annoy the cat burglar (Denis Leary) who takes them hostage in their Connecticut home.... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#57

The Voices (2014)
74%

#57
Adjusted Score: 77393%
Critics Consensus: The Voices gives Ryan Reynolds an opportunity to deliver a highlight-reel performance -- and offers an off-kilter treat for fans of black comedies.
Synopsis: A mentally unhinged factory worker (Ryan Reynolds) must decide whether to listen to his talking cat and become a killer,... [More]
Directed By: Marjane Satrapi

#56

Better Off Dead (1985)
76%

#56
Adjusted Score: 77438%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.
Synopsis: Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#55

Used Cars (1980)
77%

#55
Adjusted Score: 78210%
Critics Consensus: Robert Zemeckis' pitch-black satire of American culture doesn't always hit the mark, but it's got enough manic comic energy to warrant a spin.
Synopsis: Rudy Russo (Kurt Russell) is an unscrupulous car salesman who aspires to become a politician. In the meantime, however, Rudy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#54

Freeway (1996)
77%

#54
Adjusted Score: 78079%
Critics Consensus: A modern update on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Freeway is an audacious black comedy with a star-making performance from the young Reese Witherspoon.
Synopsis: Following the arrest of her mother, Ramona (Amanda Plummer), young Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) decides to go in search of... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Bright

#53

Bad Santa (2003)
78%

#53
Adjusted Score: 85678%
Critics Consensus: A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn't for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
Synopsis: In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner (Tony Cox) reunite once a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 88209%
Critics Consensus: With Burn After Reading, the Coen Brothers have crafted another clever comedy/thriller with an outlandish plot and memorable characters.
Synopsis: When a disc containing memoirs of a former CIA analyst (John Malkovich) falls into the hands of Linda Litzke (Frances... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#51

Catch-22 (1970)
79%

#51
Adjusted Score: 81496%
Critics Consensus: Catch-22 takes entertainingly chaotic aim at the insanity of armed conflict, supported by a terrific cast and smart, funny work from Buck Henry and Mike Nichols.
Synopsis: This scathing war satire follows Capt. John Yossarian (Alan Arkin), a pilot stationed in the Mediterranean who flies bombing missions... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#50

Killer Joe (2011)
80%

#50
Adjusted Score: 86092%
Critics Consensus: Violent, darkly comic, and full of strong performances, Killer Joe proves William Friedkin hasn't lost his touch, even if the plot may be too lurid for some.
Synopsis: A cop (Matthew McConaughey) who moonlights as a hit man agrees to kill the hated mother of a desperate drug... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#49

Pink Flamingos (1972)
81%

#49
Adjusted Score: 85347%
Critics Consensus: Uproarious and appalling, Pink Flamingos is transgressive camp that proves as entertaining as it does shocking.
Synopsis: A bizarre fat woman (Divine) and her misfit family compete with a Baltimore couple (David Lochary, Mink Stole) to be... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 84383%
Critics Consensus: A high-concept high school reunion movie with an adroitly cast John Cusack and armed with a script of incisive wit.
Synopsis: After assassin Martin Blank (John Cusack) has trouble focusing on his work, resulting in a failed assignment, he returns to... [More]
Directed By: George Armitage

#47

Happiness (1998)
82%

#47
Adjusted Score: 83169%
Critics Consensus: Happiness is far from a cheerful viewing experience, but its grimly humorous script and fearless performances produce a perversely moving search for humanity within everyday depravity.
Synopsis: This dark ensemble-comedy is centered on the three Jordan sisters. Joy (Jane Adams) moves through lackluster jobs with no sense... [More]
Directed By: Todd Solondz

#46

T2 Trainspotting (2017)
81%

#46
Adjusted Score: 99788%
Critics Consensus: T2 Trainspotting adds an intoxicating, emotionally resonant postscript to its classic predecessor, even without fully recapturing the original's fresh, subversive thrill.
Synopsis: First there was an opportunity, then there was a betrayal. Twenty years later, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 91298%
Critics Consensus: Seven Psychopaths delivers sly cinematic commentary while serving up a heaping helping of sharp dialogue and gleeful violence.
Synopsis: Boozy writer Marty (Colin Farrell) is a man in search of a screenplay. He has a catchy title but no... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 85121%
Critics Consensus: The Brand New Testament takes a surreal, subversive, and funny look at Biblical themes through a modern -- and refreshingly original -- lens.
Synopsis: God is discovered living in Brussels with his daughter.... [More]
Directed By: Jaco Van Dormael

#43

Men & Chicken (2015)
84%

#43
Adjusted Score: 86857%
Critics Consensus: Men & Chicken's bizarre setup only skims the surface of a challenging, well-acted comedy with a warm heart to match its grotesque visuals and dark themes.
Synopsis: Two outcast brothers get to know their biological family and discover the horrible truth about themselves and their relatives.... [More]
Directed By: Anders Thomas Jensen

#42

Four Lions (2009)
83%

#42
Adjusted Score: 86988%
Critics Consensus: Its premise suggests brazenly tasteless humor, but Four Lions is actually a smart, pitch-black comedy that carries the unmistakable ring of truth.
Synopsis: A group of young Muslim men living in Sheffield decide to wage jihad, and they hatch an inept plan to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Morris

#41

Harold and Maude (1971)
85%

#41
Adjusted Score: 89691%
Critics Consensus: Hal Ashby's comedy is too dark and twisted for some, and occasionally oversteps its bounds, but there's no denying the film's warm humor and big heart.
Synopsis: Cult classic pairs Cort as a dead-pan disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and a loveable Gordon as a fun-loving 80-year-old... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 92897%
Critics Consensus: The Art of Self-Defense grapples compellingly with modern American masculinity -- and serves as an outstanding calling card for writer-director Riley Stearns.
Synopsis: After getting attacked on the street, Casey enlists in a local dojo that's led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei.... [More]
Directed By: Riley Stearns

#39

In Bruges (2008)
84%

#39
Adjusted Score: 91012%
Critics Consensus: Featuring witty dialogue and deft performances, In Bruges is an effective mix of dark comedy and crime thriller elements.
Synopsis: After a particularly difficult job, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) head to Belgium to hide out... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 87883%
Critics Consensus: The War of the Roses is a black comedy made even funnier by hanging onto its caustic convictions -- and further distinguished by Danny DeVito's stylish direction.
Synopsis: After 17 years of marriage, Barbara (Kathleen Turner) and Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) want out. The trouble is, neither one... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 92176%
Critics Consensus: Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage.
Synopsis: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#36

Game Night (2018)
85%

#36
Adjusted Score: 99575%
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.
Synopsis: Max and Annie's weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party... [More]

#35

Eating Raoul (1982)
86%

#35
Adjusted Score: 86133%
Critics Consensus: Eating Raoul serves up its spectacularly lurid tale with a healthy heaping of pitch-black humor and anarchic vigor.
Synopsis: The absurd Blands (Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov) lure swingers home to be conked by a skillet, robbed and removed by... [More]
Directed By: Paul Bartel

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 89320%
Critics Consensus: In Order of Disappearance's black comedy doesn't always hit its targets, but on the whole, it still adds up to a sly, entertaining revenge thriller.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Hans Petter Moland

#33

Ingrid Goes West (2017)
86%

#33
Adjusted Score: 99466%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, Ingrid Goes West delivers smart, topical humor underlined by timely social observations.
Synopsis: Following the death of her mother and a series of self-inflicted setbacks, young Ingrid Thorburn escapes a humdrum existence by... [More]
Directed By: Matt Spicer

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 85400%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Writer and notorious marriage detractor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) falls for girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and they tie the... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#31

Female Trouble (1975)
88%

#31
Adjusted Score: 89817%
Critics Consensus: Director John Waters' affection for camp brings texture to societal transgression in Female Trouble, a brazenly subversive dive into celebrity and mayhem.
Synopsis: An obese woman (Divine) gives birth to an obnoxious child and embarks upon a bizarre and violent life of crime.... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#30

Cheap Thrills (2013)
88%

#30
Adjusted Score: 91698%
Critics Consensus: Gleefully nasty and darkly hilarious, Cheap Thrills lives down to its title in the best possible way.
Synopsis: A series of escalating bets pits recently reunited friends against each other.... [More]
Directed By: E.L. Katz

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 92407%
Critics Consensus: World's Greatest Dad is a risky, deadpan, dark comedy that effectively explores the nature of posthumous cults of celebrity.
Synopsis: When the son of high school English teacher Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) accidentally kills himself, Clayton writes a fake suicide... [More]
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

#28

The Lobster (2015)
87%

#28
Adjusted Score: 102624%
Critics Consensus: As strange as it is thrillingly ambitious, The Lobster is definitely an acquired taste -- but for viewers with the fortitude to crack through Yorgos Lanthimos' offbeat sensibilities, it should prove a savory cinematic treat.
Synopsis: In a dystopian society, single people must find a mate within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of... [More]
Directed By: Yorgos Lanthimos

#27

After Hours (1985)
89%

#27
Adjusted Score: 93557%
Critics Consensus: Bursting with frantic energy and tinged with black humor, After Hours is a masterful -- and often overlooked -- detour in Martin Scorsese's filmography.
Synopsis: In a Manhattan cafe, word processor Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) meets and talks literature with Marcy (Rosanna Arquette). Later that... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#26

Delicatessen (1991)
89%

#26
Adjusted Score: 92930%
Critics Consensus: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet deftly combines horror, sci-fi, and humor in Delicatessen, a morbid comedy set in a visually ravishing futuristic dystopia.
Synopsis: Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is a butcher who owns a run-down apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. The building is in constant... [More]

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 92961%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding sophomore feature, Welcome to the Dollhouse sees writer-director Todd Solondz mining suburban teen angst for black, biting comedy.
Synopsis: Middle-school student Dawn Weiner (Heather Matarazzo) faces degradation at school -- where she is teased constantly -- and at home.... [More]
Directed By: Todd Solondz

#24

The Producers (1968)
90%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98628%
Critics Consensus: A hilarious satire of the business side of Hollywood, The Producers is one of Mel Brooks' finest, as well as funniest films, featuring standout performances by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel.
Synopsis: Down and out producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel), who was once the toast of Broadway, trades sexual favors with old... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#23

A Serious Man (2009)
89%

#23
Adjusted Score: 97606%
Critics Consensus: Blending dark humor with profoundly personal themes, the Coen brothers deliver what might be their most mature -- if not their best -- film to date.
Synopsis: Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a physics professor at a 1960s university, but his life is coming apart at the... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#22
Adjusted Score: 121116%
Critics Consensus: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri deftly balances black comedy against searing drama -- and draws unforgettable performances from its veteran cast along the way.
Synopsis: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 88598%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a local man's corpse appears on a nearby hillside, no one is quite sure what happened to him. Many... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#20

Polyester (1981)
93%

#20
Adjusted Score: 93581%
Critics Consensus: As proudly tacky as its titular fabric, Polyester finds writer-director John Waters moving ever so slightly into the mainstream without losing any of his subversive charm.
Synopsis: A frustrated housewife, Francine Fishpaw (Divine), tries to maintain her sanity while taking care of her dysfunctional household. Elmer (David... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 90214%
Critics Consensus: The Firemen's Ball is an uproarious comedy of incompetence, mining laughs and sharp satire from an allegory that is amusing and distressing in equal measure.
Synopsis: In Milos Forman's satire on Communism set in a small Czechoslovakian town in the 1960s, the local firemen decide to... [More]
Directed By: Milos Forman

#18

Trainspotting (1996)
91%

#18
Adjusted Score: 95299%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.
Synopsis: Heroin addict Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) stumbles through bad ideas and sobriety attempts with his unreliable friends -- Sick Boy... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#17
Adjusted Score: 105954%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
Synopsis: Former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is mounting an ambitious Broadway production that he hopes will breathe new life... [More]

#16

Heathers (1989)
93%

#16
Adjusted Score: 96433%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Synopsis: Veronica (Winona Ryder) is part of the most popular clique at her high school, but she disapproves of the other... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#15

Fargo (1996)
94%

#15
Adjusted Score: 100374%
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
Synopsis: "Fargo" is a reality-based crime drama set in Minnesota in 1987. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is a car salesman... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#14

Withnail and I (1987)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 94615%
Critics Consensus: Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann prove irresistibly hilarious as two misanthropic slackers in Withnail and I, a biting examination of artists living on the fringes of prosperity and good taste.
Synopsis: Two out-of-work actors -- the anxious, luckless Marwood (Paul McGann) and his acerbic, alcoholic friend, Withnail (Richard E. Grant) --... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Robinson

#13

Ruthless People (1986)
93%

#13
Adjusted Score: 96663%
Critics Consensus: It's sometimes crude and tasteless, but Ruthless People wrings acid-soaked laughs out of its dark premise and gleefully misanthropic characters.
Synopsis: Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) hates his wife, Barbara (Bette Midler), so much that he wants her dead. He's ecstatic when... [More]

#12

In the Loop (2009)
94%

#12
Adjusted Score: 99598%
Critics Consensus: In the Loop is an uncommonly funny political satire that blends Dr. Strangelove with Spinal Tap for the Iraq war era.
Synopsis: During an interview, British Cabinet Minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) delivers an off-the-cuff remark that war in the Middle East... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

#11
Adjusted Score: 100088%
Critics Consensus: Led by a volcanic performance from Elizabeth Taylor, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a scathing adaptation of the Edward Albee play that serves as a brilliant calling card for debuting director Mike Nichols.
Synopsis: History professor George (Richard Burton) and his boozy wife, Martha (Elizabeth Taylor), return late one Saturday night from a cocktail... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 108998%
Critics Consensus: The Death of Stalin finds director/co-writer Arnando Iannucci in riotous form, bringing his scabrous political humor to bear on a chapter in history with painfully timely parallels.
Synopsis: When tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin dies in 1953, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to become... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

#9

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
97%

#9
Adjusted Score: 102023%
Critics Consensus: Charles Chaplin adds an undercurrent of malice to his comedic persona in Monsieur Verdoux, an unsettling satire that subverts the tramp's image to perversely amusing effect.
Synopsis: Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin) is a dapper Parisian family man who loses his job as a bank clerk. In order... [More]
Directed By: Charles Chaplin

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 100310%
Critics Consensus: A complex and timely satire with as much darkness as slapstick, Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not To Be delicately balances humor and ethics.
Synopsis: Acting couple Joseph (Jack Benny) and Maria Tura (Carole Lombard) are managing a theatrical troupe when the Nazis invade Poland.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#7

Brazil (1985)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 100777%
Critics Consensus: Brazil, Terry Gilliam's visionary Orwellian fantasy, is an audacious dark comedy, filled with strange, imaginative visuals.
Synopsis: Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#6
Adjusted Score: 106035%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
Synopsis: A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#5

Parasite (2019)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 127464%
Critics Consensus: An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
Synopsis: Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#4

Multiple Maniacs (1970)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101532%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling freak-show, is a front for a band of psychotic kidnappers and murderers.... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#3

The Ladykillers (1955)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102466%
Critics Consensus: The Ladykillers is a macabre slow-burn with quirky performances of even quirkier characters.
Synopsis: Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) likes to report suspicious behavior to the police. Unaware of her reputation, the dapper thief Professor... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick

#2

A New Leaf (1971)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103262%
Critics Consensus: Elaine May is a comedic dynamo both behind and in front of the camera in this viciously funny screwball farce, with able support provided by Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: A spoiled and self-absorbed man who has squandered his inheritance, Henry Graham (Walter Matthau) is desperate to find a way... [More]
Directed By: Elaine May

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104434%
Critics Consensus: Performed with chameleonic brio by Alec Guinness, Kind Hearts and Coronets is a triumphant farce.
Synopsis: When his mother eloped with an Italian opera singer, Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) was cut off from her aristocratic family.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Hamer

(Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)

Heather Graham began her career back in the 1980s, and while modern mainstream audiences likely know her best from movies like The Hangover and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, she’s managed an eclectic film and TV résumé full of acclaimed films and popular favorites. It’s a list that includes everything from P.T. Anderson’s Boogie Nights to David Lynch’s original Twin Peaks series, from Swingers to Bowfinger to Drugstore Cowboy and recurring roles on Scrubs and Californication. She also recently completed filming her directorial debut, a comedy called Half Magic.

This week, Graham stars opposite Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in Wetlands, a noirish thriller about a disgraced cop trying to stay out of trouble as he reconnects with his estranged daughter and ex-wife in the outskirts of Atlantic City. When RT spoke with her about her Five Favorite Films, she had some difficulty narrowing down her choices: ” showing love to The Apartment, Midnight Cowboy, The Godfather, and Sophie’s Choice before settling on her top five. Read on for the full list.


Tootsie (1982) 90%

One of my favorite films is the movie Tootsie. I really love Tootsie. I just watched it when I was a kid and for some reason, I just, I’m obsessed with that movie. I think I’ve watched it 100 times. It’s just so funny and fun, and I love it. It’s cool. I like that it’s sort of about women, you know? It’s sort of about how he finds the woman inside himself, so there’s sort of like this feminine aspect to it, and I just love Dustin Hoffman. He’s amazing. I don’t know, I just love that movie. It’s emotionally totally satisfying to me, and it sort of makes me feel good while being interesting and smart.

Harold and Maude (1971) 85%

I also love Harold and Maude. That’s another probably equal favorite. I just love the Ruth Gordon character in that. I feel like she is so inspiring to me, how she lives her life. I love the Cat Stevens music. I just remember watching it as a kid, and just some part of me thought, “I want to be like her.” I wanted to be this person who lives life and enjoys life, and no matter what happens, she is finding the positive, beautiful aspects of life. She’s kind of this unconventional woman who’s just enjoying her life. I thought she was super inspiring. I love Harold’s character too, but I think it’s just, as a woman, it’s very inspiring to see that kind of a character in a movie because you don’t often see a movie about an 82-year-old woman who you just really want to be because she’s so cool, you know?

I also kind of like a movie to kind of inspire me and make me feel hopeful in a way, and I feel like that movie does that. There are so many good movies, but they just leave you totally depressed. But I feel like, with that movie, you’re like, “That’s a good movie that makes me feel excited about life.”

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 91%

I guess you got to put The Shawshank Redemption in there somewhere, right? That movie was just so amazing. It’s a wild ride, because it’s very emotional. I just remember the line at the end where he’s like, “My friend.” There’s such an amazing friendship plot in that, and then there’s that line at the end that just makes you bawl your eyes out, you know? So, it’s like, get ready for an emotional… It’s very dark. He gets raped in prison. He’s getting attacked. But that story between Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, it’s just this friendship plot that runs through the movie. I just thought that was really powerful.

Julie & Julia (2009) 77%

I also really like Julie and Julia. I know it’s not really like a classic movie, but Meryl Streep’s character was so fun in that.

Rushmore (1998) 90%

I also really like Rushmore. the Wes Anderson movie. It’s fun to watch. It is not depressing; it’s just so delightful.


Ryan Fujitani for Rotten Tomatoes: You had some difficult narrowing down your list, but that’s not uncommon.

Heather Graham: This is just off the top of my head. If I had more time to think about it, I might have a more refined thought about it. What else do other people say?

RT: It varies, and we get a lot of interesting choices. Some pick a lot of classics, while others talk about those movies they just have to watch if they come across them on TV or something. Others defer to stuff they grew up with. It really varies.

Graham: I think movies that I watched when I was a kid… Sometimes it has a more powerful effect than newer movies you go to see to as an adult, when you’re slightly jaded and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that plot before. Oh, now they’re going to do this. Oh, they always do that in these movies.” You know what I mean?

I feel like when you watch things when you’re really young and you haven’t read a million scripts or seen a million movies, when you’re just seeing it for the first time, it’s like your mind is blown. When I watch a superhero movie, I’m like, “The plot is always the same.” There’s no variation in the superhero movie structure. It’s always going to be the same story, you know? It’s like, something terrible happens, and they win, and that’s the story.

RT: So, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see Wetlands. Can you tell me a little bit about your role in the film and how you came to be a part of it?

Graham: Well, I read the script, and I really liked it. It’s about this cop, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and basically my character is from a rich family, and I marry this black cop. But I’m sort of this rebellious girl from this wealthy family. And we live together and have a kid, but then he becomes a heroin addict. We break up, and I take the daughter and go live in Wildwood, New Jersey on the beach and become a surfer and suddenly have a girlfriend. I have a younger girlfriend and live in this little surf shop and party with the surfer people there.

He comes back to try to have a relationship with his daughter, and it’s kind of about how he wants to protect her from some of the seedier elements that… In Wildwood there’s kind of a drug-dealing plot through the girl that I have this relationship with, who is dealing drugs and stuff. It’s kind of a gritty, dark sort of thriller-drama.

RT: You’ve been able to do both films that are broad comedies and some that are serious dramas. Which one you enjoy more?

Graham: I mean, I really like both. It’s really great to get to do both, because there’s something… I mean, I love watching comedy because I really admire people that are funny. I guess I like things that are a mixture, you know? People that do things that are both dramatic and funny at the same time — I kind of feel like that’s the ultimate, when you can do that both at the same time.

But I tried to look at it from the perspective that it was sort of a love story, in a weird way. And then I just started going from there, trying to push further and further with, well, what makes someone insecure or obsessive or jealous or crazy or needy? That was my “in” to the situation. Because otherwise, half the time I would’ve been judging my every move, and you can’t do that.

RT: I feel like it was either Bowfinger or Austin Powers when I first noticed you, so for a long time I primarily had you categorized as a comedic actress in my mind.

Graham: Well, Boogie Nights was serious, I think.

RT: I completely forgot about Boogie Nights. That’s right.

Graham: And then I was also in Drugstore Cowboy as a kid, which is more dark.

RT: I think that was one of those times when I just didn’t realize that was you, or I was unfamiliar with you at the time.

Graham: I know, and then people were like, “I didn’t realize you were in Swingers.” And I’m just like, “Yeah, I was in Swingers.” But yeah, it’s fun to be silly. And then, I just directed a movie for the first time, which is fun — directing your own thing and writing it. That was a fun experience.

RT: I recently spoke to William H. Macy, who just opened his second film as director, about transitioning from acting to directing, and he described it as an immensely difficult thing. How was it for you?

Graham: I mean, I feel like the business aspects of it are really hard, but the actual creative aspects of it were so fun that I loved it. I felt like getting the money and getting it all to happen — you know, selling it and doing all those things — that’s stressful, but I feel like actually making it was really, really fun.

It’s not really the planning part of it, because I loved the planning part of it. It’s more raising the money and dealing with how people get money for movies. You know, you get money for movies through getting specific actors, or else getting someone to take a chance on you, and they run everyone’s numbers through a thing. It’s not as creative as you would think. When you really learn about it, there’s like a computer, and you put all the movies the actor’s been in and how much money they’ve made, and if they haven’t made enough money, then it’s like, “No, you can’t hire that actor.”

It’s like a calculator. Someone with a calculator is sayin, “Well, I’ve averaged the money that the movies that this person has been in, and you’re not allowed to cast this person because they are not financeable.” And you’re like, “Oh, is that how movies get made? That’s really depressing,” because you’re watching movies thinking, “Oh, they just hire the best person for the job.”

RT: Aside from that, were there any creative challenges for you as a director?

Graham: I mean, getting the money is totally more of a challenge than doing it, because doing it was fun. I’m sure there’s so much you can learn and you know — I’m new to doing it — but I felt like the business aspects of it were a lot more challenging than the creative aspects, which were just fun.


Wetlands opens in limited release this Friday, September 15.

(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

While a certain action thriller about an undead Egyptian scourge currently hogs all the primetime TV spots, you may recall that the last time Universal fired up its Mummy franchise, the world took notice of a young Rachel Weisz. Thanks to her considerable talents, Weisz has been able to work with directors as diverse as Darren Aronofsky, Sam Raimi, Wong Kar-Wai, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Peter Jackson across a variety of genres, and in 2006, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardner.

This week, she stars in Roger Michell’s adaptation of the Daphne du Marier novel My Cousin Rachel, about a young man who becomes smitten with the older cousin he suspects of murdering his guardian. It’s a meaty, complex role for Weisz, who skillfully carries the film on her shoulders. We spoke to her about her Five Favorite Films earlier this week and learned she has a special love for the work of Hal Ashby and Peter Bogdanovich. Read on for the full list.

Harold and Maude (1971) 85%

I’m going to go with Harold and Maude, by Hal Ashby. I think it’s definitely one of the most unusual love stories that I’ve seen. Maude is one of the most inspiring characters. She reminds me to see the world positively and forgivingly and put past troubles behind me. The Cat Stevens soundtrack is sublime. The comedy is delicious. The performance of Ruth Gordon – you know, she’s a woman in her 80s acting like a 16-year-old – is one of the most extraordinary performances I’ve ever seen. I believe it got very bad reviews when it came out, almost unanimously, but is, I think, probably one of the great comedies ever made.

What's Up, Doc? (1972) 89%

I would say What’s Up, Doc? with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, by Peter Bogdanovich. It’s one of the best screwball comedies I’ve ever seen. Barbra Streisand is beyond beautiful and seductive and funny, and she’s playing Bugs Bunny, basically. And it has the best car chase ever.

Paper Moon (1973) 93%

It’s really hard for me not to put Paper Moon on there, which is also Bogdanovich and Ryan O’Neal, and Tatum O’Neal, his daughter. It’s one of the great stories about criminals who you love. Tonally, it’s just outrageously delicious and sublime.

Being There (1979) 95%

I kinda want to go for another Hal Ashby; I want to say Being There, with Peter Sellers. I think it’s the funniest performance ever, but it’s 99 percent drama, 1 percent comedy. It’s the tiniest dose of funny, because he’s so serious. He’s very profound about human projection, which is very relevant for My Cousin Rachel, because it’s all about what people project onto her, how they interpret this film – is she guilty or innocent?

Nights of Cabiria (1957) 100%

I think I’m going to go for a Fellini film, and I’m going to go for Nights of Cabiria. The look that Giulietta Masina gives the camera at the end – she looks right at the camera and says, basically, “I’m surviving. Nothing’s going to take me down.” I think it’s one of the great moments in cinema.


My Cousin Rachel opens on Friday, June 9, in limited release.

The leaves are turning, a slight chill lingers in the air, and TV networks are churning out a bunch of new shows in hopes of scoring the next ratings juggernaut or binge-watch sensation. In other words, Fall is here, and while there are certainly a lot of familiar favorites returning to the television airwaves, this is also the best time to check out a new series (or two, or ten). This year, the networks have lined up an eclectic schedule, ranging from high-concept comedies and sci-fi westerns to action reboots, crime dramas, and even some bone-chilling horror. Read on for a glimpse into all of the new series premiering this Fall.


SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER


 

Harley and the Davidsons: Miniseries (2016) 80%

Premieres:  Monday, Sep 5 at 9:00 PM on Discovery.

Premise: This scripted drama series follows the development of the Harley Davidson motorcycle and the three men who risked their time and money to bring the enterprise together.


 

Loosely, Exactly Nicole: Season 1 (2016) 60%

Premieres: Monday, Sep 5 at 10:30 AM on MTV.

Premise: Nicole Byer stars in this offbeat half hour comedy about the comical missteps of an aspiring actress who’s living on her own for the first time.


 

Mary and Jane: Season 1 () 38%

Premieres: Monday, Sep 5 at 10:00 PM on MTV.

Premise: The comic adventures of Paige and Jordan, two weed dealers in L.A. who become self-proclaimed entrepreneurs after creating a dope delivery app.


 

Queen Sugar: Season 1 (2016) 94%

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m on OWN.

Premise: In this drama created and executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, the lives of a New Orleans-based journalist and her family are upended by her sister, who’s returned home to help run the family sugarcane farm.


 

Atlanta: Season 1 (2016) 97%

Atlanta

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m on FX.

Premise: Starring and created by Donald Glover, Atlanta follows two cousins who try to work their way up through the Atlanta rap scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families.


 

StartUp: Season 1 (2016) 36%

startup

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 6 on Crackle.

Premise: An FBI agent targets the son of a financial swindler who hides his father’s money by investing it in a tech start-up company with the help of a computer whiz and a Haitian gang leader.


 

Better Things: Season 1 (2016) 95%

Premieres: Thursday, Sep 8 at 10:00 PM on FX.

Premise: A single mom struggles to raise three girls while trying to maintain her Hollywood career as an actor and fending off her English expatriate mother, who lives next door.


 

One Mississippi: Season 1 (2015) 93%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 9 on Amazon.

Premise: In this dark comedy based on the life of Tig Notaro, a young woman returns to her hometown following the death of her mother and struggles to find her bearings while battling her own health issues.


 

Quarry: Season 1 (2016) 78%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 9 at 10:00 PM on Cinemax.

Premise: A Marine returns to Memphis after serving in Vietnam and gradually slips into a life of crime due to a rough repatriation.


 

Son of Zorn: Season 1 (2016) 58%

Premieres: Sunday, Sep 11 at 8 PM on FOX.

Premise: A warrior from a Pacific island travels to Orange County, California, to reconnect with his son and win back his wife in this live-action/animated hybrid.


 

Fleabag: Season 1 (2016) 100%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 16 on Amazon.

Premise: This six-part comedy series based on the award-winning play is a hilarious and poignant window into the mind of a dry-witted, grief-riddled, sexual woman trying to make sense of the world.


 

High Maintenance: Season 1 (2016) 95%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 16 at 11:00 PM on HBO.

Premise: Based on the web series of the same name, this comedy centers around a nameless “guy” that delivers weed to New Yorkers in need.


 

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Premieres: Sunday, Sep 18 at 8:30 AM on CBS.

Premise: The first season of this new anthology series chronicles an investigation of the JonBenét Ramsey murder case, featuring the re-examination of evidence, a recreation of the crime scene, in-depth interviews, and new theories.


 

Kevin Can Wait: Season 1 (2016) 28%

Premieres: Monday, Sep 19 at 8:30 PM on CBS.

Premise: In the new Kevin James comedy vehicle, a newly retired police officer plans on enjoying time with his family — along with his brother and two retired buddies — only to realize his wife has been keeping key familial intel from him; now there are tougher challenges at home than he ever had on the streets.


 

The Good Place: Season 1 (2016) 92%

Premieres: Monday, Sep 19 at 10:00 PM on NBC.

Premise: In this comedy, a New Jersey woman tries to become a better person and make amends for past bad behavior in order to earn her spot in the Good Place, a town where people who have been consistently good go when they pass away.


 

Bull: Season 1 (2016)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sep 20 at 9:00 PM on CBS.

Premise: Inspired by Dr. Phil McGraw’s early career, Bull is a drama about a renowned psychologist who heads a prolific trial consulting service.


 

This Is Us: Season 1 (2016) 92%

Premieres: Tuesday, Sep 20 at 10:00 PM on NBC.

Premise: In this dramedy, several people whose lives are mysteriously intertwined begin to notice peculiar coincidences about each other.


 

Designated Survivor: Season 1 (2016) 87%

Premieres: Wednesday, Sep 21 at 10:00 PM on ABC.

Premise: A lower level United States cabinet member is suddenly appointed president after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the line of succession.


 

Lethal Weapon: Season 1 (2016) 67%

Premieres: Wednesday, Sep 21 at 8:00 PM on FOX.

Premise: A Texas cop relocates to L.A. in order to start life anew and is partnered with an LAPD detective who — due to a “minor” heart attack — must avoid stress.


 

Speechless: Season 1 (2016) 98%

Premieres: Wednesday, Sep 21 at 8:30 PM on ABC.

Premise: A mom is driven to do what’s best for her family, including her eldest son with special needs, in this comedy from Friends producer Scott Silveri.


 

Easy: Season 1 (2016) 85%

Premieres: Thursday, Sep 22 on Netflix.

Premise: Easy is an anthology series from creator Joe Swanberg that explores diverse Chicago characters as they fumble through the modern maze of love, sex, technology, and culture.


 

Notorious: Season 1 (2016) 22%

Premieres: Thursday, Sep 22 at 9:00 PM on ABC.

Premise: A drama that goes behind the scenes of the murky relationship between criminal law and the media, inspired by the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker.


 

Pitch: Season 1 (2016) 93%

Premieres: Thursday, Sep 22 at 9:00 PM on FOX.

Premise: This drama tells the story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball and her ensuing journey to prove herself.


 

MacGyver: Season 1 (2016) 25%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 23 at 8:00 PM on CBS.

Premise: A resourceful former special forces operative is recruited into a clandestine organization to use his knack for unconventional problem-solving to prevent disasters from occurring.


 

The Exorcist: Season 1 (2016) 79%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 23 at 9:00 PM on FOX.

Premise: Based on the 1971 novel and playing off the 1973 film of the same name, the drama follows two very different priests as they try to tackle a family’s horrifying case of demonic possession.


 

Van Helsing: Season 1 (2016) 82%

Vincent Gale as Flesh -- (Photo by: Dan Power/Helsing S1 Productions/Syfy)

Premieres: Friday, Sep 23 at 10:00 PM on SyFy.

Premise: Vanessa Helsing is the last hope for survival in a world dominated and controlled by vampires, all of whom want her dead.


 

Aftermath: Season 1 (2016)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sep 27 at 10:00 PM on Syfy.

Premise: A married couple and their three children attempt to survive amidst apocalyptic events, including catastrophic weather and the appearance of paranormal beasts, which threaten to bring about the end of civilization.

 

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Premieres: Friday, Sep 30 on Amazon.

Premise: In this comedy set in the US during the turbulent 1960s, a middle class suburban family is visited by a guest who turns their household completely upside down.


 

Marvel's Luke Cage: Season 1 (2016) 90%

Premieres: Friday, Sep 30 on Netflix.

Premise: After a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) becomes a fugitive trying to rebuild his life in modern day Harlem. But he is soon pulled out of the shadows and must fight a battle for the heart of his city — forcing him to confront a past he’s tried to bury.

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Photo by Getty Images / John Sciulli / Stringer

A cornucopia of marvelous roles in film (The HoursAbout a BoyThe Sixth SenseGlasslandKrampus) and TV (United States of TaraHostages) has garnered Toni Collette a bounty of well-deserved awards and acclaim from critics and audiences alike. In the new film Imperium — opening today in limited release — she teams with Daniel Radcliffe and Nestor Carbonell in a drama inspired by real events about an undercover agent who tries to take down a white supremacist terrorist group. As a performer in various genres (with a musical career to boot), Collette clearly has influences from all around. Here we have her Five Favorite Films — in her own words –to shed some more light on her professional and personal journey:


Harold and Maude (1971) 85%

I love this film and can watch it over and over. Hal Ashby is one of my favorite filmmakers. Both the lead characters are so unique and their pairing even more so. The thing that I love about it the most is Maude’s incredible sense of freedom and her direct influence on Harold. Death awaits us all, and it’s easy to shrink in that knowledge, but she teaches him to embrace life and be himself and choose to be positive and open. Their connection is so lovely and inspirational. This film tackles life, death, and everything in between in the most entertaining way.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 92%

A modern classic. So original and exciting to watch. The premise itself is like a science fiction story, except that it is all very human and emotional. I think it’s Jim Carrey‘s best and most relatable performance. Kate [Winslet] is always amazing, but here she gets to do something she’d never done before. She’s so scattered and passionate and real. It’s heartbreaking because it’s about heartbreak and vulnerability and the inability to navigate through it all, which is, of course, an essential part of the human experience. It’s entirely unique, from an original voice, and that, in itself, deserves applause. The music is brilliant also.

The Sound of Music (1965) 83%

There is an embarrassing story flying around about me faking appendicitis when I was eleven years old. Sadly, it’s true. The upshot of the experience is that whilst I was in hospital my parents bought a beta VCR player. So on the way home after being released, we stopped at a very small garage (or gas station) which had a few shelves of movies. There were no video stores yet. We hired The Sound of Music for two weeks and I watched it repeatedly, several times a day, while I recovered. Needless to say, I know every word and love it dearly. I guess I love the way the family slowly embraces Maria. She has such a good heart, and it finds the perfect home. How do you solve a problem like Maria?!

Breaking the Waves (1996) 85%

OK look, I have only seen this film once and I will never watch it again. But the effect it had on me was so profound that it kind of shifted things creatively inside me. I went to the cinema one night in London with two very good friends when I was 24. It blew me away. It’s so raw and so poetic at the same time. Emily Watson was sublime. I came out of the theater in a daze and the three of us wandered around the streets of Soho for hours not quite knowing what to do with ourselves. I literally didn’t sleep all night. I just lay there in my hotel room reliving the story. Even now I can see the bleak color palette, the camera moves, and Emily’s naive face. Lars Von Trier is a genius. Every film he makes is so honest and powerful.

Terms of Endearment (1983) 78%

It’s basically my perfect movie. Character driven with phenomenal performances, so idiosyncratic, and funny as hell, as well as achingly sad. The ideal combination of comedy and tragedy. I adore Shirley [MacLaine] and Jack [Nicholson] together. I love them, full stop. It’s the most satisfying tearjerker ever made because the lows are so beautifully balanced with gorgeous, swelling highs.


Imperium opens today in limited release.

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

 

Eric Roberts is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and prolific actors — the last time we added it up, he had starred in hundreds of projects. His most current film is Compadres, an action comedy about revenge and computer hacking. With such a varied filmography himself, what five films make the cut as his favorite?

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) 83%

I love this movie because I love anything Bill Hader does. And he’s especially great here. Everyone is at their funniest, and Mila Kunis is at her best. Wonderful moments and innuendo.

Harold and Maude (1971) 85%

I’ve just always loved everything Hal Ashby does. This movie is a strange thing of beauty.

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) 90%

A great film that happens to feature my wife, Eliza. And even my stepson Keaton Simons is in it! (Eliza was pregnant when she played “Brunella” in Animal House). Animal House captured a time and a corner of our world perfectly.

Unfaithful (2002) 50%

Adrian Lyne is a genius of a filmmaker. This film captures truth in moments. It is the finest performance ever from these actors, every single one of them.

Three Days of the Condor (1975) 88%

Written by one of my fathers-in-law. You feel like you experience the truth behind what government presents to us.


Compadres opens April 22nd in limited release.

Throw on your moth-eaten leather jacket, lace up your platform shoes, and join Rotten Tomatoes as we take a journey back to the hottest movie songs of the 1970s. Ah, yes, the 1970s: a time when blockbusters stormed theaters, disco and punk rocked the clubs, and hit soundtracks flew out of record store bins. We dug through the crates to present to you a mix of the essential cinematic singles of the “Me Decade,” so without further ado, it’s time to drop the needle on RT’s Hit Movie Songs from the 1970s!



82%

The Bee Gees – “Stayin’ Alive,” Saturday Night Fever (1977)

In addition to providing an invitation to pack the dance floor , “Stayin’ Alive” also serves to articulate the conflicts raging within Tony Manero (John Travolta). Strutting down the street with his impeccably styled hair and top-of-the-line threads, Tony projects an air of cavalier bravado (“Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk…”) that masks a desperate yearning to escape his stifling home life and limited career prospects (“Life goin’ nowhere/ Somebody help me”). “Stayin’ Alive” offers further proof (if any were needed) that even the most despondent lyrics can go down easy if the music’s funky enough. Or, as the brothers Gibb might put it, “feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin.'”


88%

Isaac Hayes – “Theme from Shaft,” Shaft (1971)

Pop quiz time! 1. Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks? 2. Who’s the cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about? 3. What’s the Isaac Hayes track with the funky wah-wah guitar and the stirring symphonic orchestration that topped the charts and won an Oscar for Best Original Song? Answers: 1. Shaft. 2. Shaft. 3. “Theme from Shaft.”



70%

Elton John with the Who – “Pinball Wizard,” Tommy (1975)

The Who’s 1969 rock opera Tommy had a narrative sweep that put virtually every other concept album to shame; the tale of a “deaf, dumb, and blind kid” who “sure plays a mean pinball” must have seemed like a natural for the big screen. However, director Ken Russell wasn’t one to do things halfway; sure, the album had great songs, but the movie needed big stars. So he recruited noted thespians like Jack Nicholson, Oliver Reed, and Ann-Margret, along with rockers like Elton John, Eric Clapton, and Tina Turner, to join the Who in their working class fantasia. The Rocket Man was in particularly exuberant form as the Pinball Wizard, whose suspenders, jewel-encrusted glasses, and gigantic boots are of little use in the face of Tommy’s pinball skills.



22%

James Brown – “The Payback,” Hell Up in Harlem (not used) (1973)

The Godfather of Soul recorded this funkdafied ode to vengeance for the Hell Up in Harlem soundtrack, but the film’s producers rejected it for being “the same old James Brown stuff.” Mr. Dynamite got the last laugh, however, as “The Payback” became one of the most sampled songs of all time and a staple of movie and TV soundtracks (including a remixed version featuring 2Pac that figured prominently in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.)



84%

Johnny Mandel – “Suicide Is Painless,” M*A*S*H (1970)

Though MASH was a sizable box office hit and inspired a spinoff TV series that would become one of the most popular sitcom of all time, the individual who made the most money off the film was its director. His son, 14-year-old Mike Altman, wrote the lyrics to Johnny Mandel’s tune, and as co-writer, earned well north of $1 million, which dwarfed his dad’s $70,000 salary.”



78%

Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, and Little Nell Campbell – “Time Warp,” The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

You have to wonder what people were thinking the first time they jumped to the left and stepped to the right; did the crowds that flocked to The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975 know that subsequent generations would also be spaced out on sensation like they were under sedation? That the film would become such a cult favorite that folks would be doing the time-warp in perpetuity? Now that would really drive them insane.



89%

Rose Royce – “Car Wash,” Car Wash (1976)

Nobody likes looking for a new career — especially in these uncertain economic times. Fortunately, the good folks of Rose Royce are here to provide a body-moving treatise on the perks of working at the car wash! Now, they’ll be the first to tell you that the pay is less than optimal, but the physical demands of the job are preferable to trench excavation. Plus, you might just make the acquaintance of a celebrated thespian or the leader of a Native American tribe, and your manager is unlikely to take exception to any horseplay that occurs during business hours.



81%

Ramones – “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

The glue-sniffin’, brat beatin’, shock treatment-demadin’ Ramones seemed more likely to play hooky than hit the books. In the Roger Corman-produced Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, the band inspired a full-fledged rebellion among the student body. (It’s unconscionable that the Academy ignored Dee Dee Ramone’s stirring performance as Dee Dee Ramone, pizza enthusiast.) The theme song is a typically fine slice of the type of pop-punk the Ramones perfected, with a bouncy, sing-songy chorus that celebrates the joys of extra-curricular pursuits like having kicks and getting chicks.



65%

Paul McCartney & Wings – “Live And Let Die,” Live And Let Die (1973)

The Beatles and James Bond were Britain’s two most important pop culture exports of the 1960s, but it took a transitional moment for the two to come together. Live and Let Die was the first 007 movie starring Roger Moore, and the title song was one of the first releases credited to Paul McCartney’s second band, Wings. And like a globe-trotting Bond movie, “Live and Let Die” covers a lot of musical territory: it opens as a piano ballad before segueing into some crunchy guitar licks, symphonic rock, and a bit of reggae skank — all in just a minute and a half!



78%

Bette Midler – “The Rose,” The Rose (1979)

Is somebody chopping onions? In The Rose, Bette Midler plays a hard-luck rock belter loosely based upon Janis Joplin who succumbs to a fatal combination of bad relationships, substance abuse, and nonstop touring. Before playing the great gig in the sky, however, our heroine pulls a Dewey Cox and summarizes her whole life with this tear-stained ballad.



52%

Jesus Christ Superstar Cast – “Superstar,” Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

In the early 1970s, it wasn’t unusual to hear stuff like “Spirit in the Sky” and “Jesus is Just Alright” blasting from longhairs’ transistor radios. Tapping into the tenor of the times, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice hit paydirt with Jesus Christ Superstar, a rock opera that took Broadway by storm; Norman Jewison’s big screen adaptation brought the groovy, psychedelic vibes of “Superstar” (with Carl Anderson, of ” Friends and Lovers ” fame, on lead vocals) to a wider audience — one that was receptive to a new spin on The Greatest Story Ever Told.


91%

Bill Conti – “Gonna Fly Now,” Rocky (1976)

The perfect musical accompaniment for punching slabs of beef, ascending the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum, or jogging along the beach with an old pal, Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now” is also a tune you might recognize if you’ve ever attended an NBA game in which the home team is down by a couple points with a minute left in the fourth quarter.



76%

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – “You’re the One That I Want,” Grease (1978)

If Saturday Night Fever evoked the pain and confusion of young adulthood, Grease represented a sunnier, campier, smuttier flipside. Grease was a massive box-office smash that solidified John Travolta’s star status and elevated Olivia Newton-John from middle-of-the-road pop singer to A-lister; their duet on “You’re the One That I Want” is an irresistibly catchy bit of honky-tonk soul that’s toe-tapping enough to turn any soire into a dance party.



20%

Steely Dan – “FM,” FM (1978)

As a film, FM is a forgettable rebels-against-the-Man comedy. However, as an audio portrait of the album-oriented rock era, it’s priceless, featuring hits from the Eagles, Tom Petty, Linda Ronstadt, Boston, and plenty of other mustached classic rockers you’re too cool to admit you like. On the title tune, the subversive yacht rock maestros of Steely Dan deliver a largely irony-free (and decidedly static-free) tribute to the joys of listening to the radio — a pleasure that the kids today, with their iPods and Pandoras and such — have largely been denied.



89%

Jimmy Cliff – “The Harder They Come,” The Harder They Come (1972)

The Harder They Come is more than a great soundtrack — it’s one of the definitive reggae albums, period. In Perry Henzell’s drama, Jimmy Cliff stars as Ivan, an aspiring singer who suffers at the hands of shady record executives; when his life devolves into criminality and murder, his songs rocket up the charts, bringing new meaning to the term “number one with a bullet.” Cliff’s contributions to the soundtrack range from the optimistic (“You Can Get It If You Really Want”) to the heart stopping (“Many Rivers to Cross”), but it’s the title track that most fully embodies the movie’s tone of hope and desperation.



85%

Cat Stevens – “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out,” Harold and Maude (1971)

It may be 40 years old, but Harold and Maude continues to be a cult favorite of angst-ridden teenagers, and it’s not hard to see why. Its influence can be felt all over the indie landscape: It’s a pitch-black comedy that tempers its cynicism with the touching, unconventional bond shared by the title characters, and it’s got a mellow, catchy soundtrack that subtly and melodically underscores the action without intruding upon it. Cat Stevens’ songs are alternately joyous and heartbreaking, particularly “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out,” which serves as a mantra for how one of the major characters tries to live and — spoiler alert! — die.



93%

Curtis Mayfield – “Super Fly,” Super Fly (1972)

A so-so blaxploitation thriller about a reformed drug dealer, Super Fly has two very big things going for it: the fabulous fashions and Curtis Mayfield’s stone-cold classic soundtrack. Alternately cool, sinister, and impassioned, Mayfield’s falsetto is an instrument of immense power, and it merges seamlessly with a killer bassline and some hard-boiled percussion to make “Super Fly” one of the baddest songs of the decade.



86%

Bob Dylan – “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

With its echo-y drums, forlorn vocals, and elegaic themes, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” would sound like the aural equivalent of a Sam Peckinpah western even if it wasn’t actually featured in one. Dylan himself played a small role in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid as Alias — a fitting name for the perpetually elusive folksinger. Still, there’s nothing mysterious about the appeal of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” — it’s one of the most straightforward of Dylan’s classics, and perhaps not coincidentally, one of the most often covered.



41%

Michael Jackson/Diana Ross – “Ease on Down the Road,” The Wiz (1978)

Regardless of its lack of critical acclaim, The Wiz‘s place in cinema history is assured by nature of being Michael Jackson’s only major film role. A year before taking the pop music world by storm with Off the Wall, the future King of Pop was both raggedy and graceful as the Scarecrow, easing down the yellow brick road with Dorothy (played by real life Jackson pal Diana Ross). Even if this revisionist take on The Wizard of Oz doesn’t fully hold together, it’s electrifying in spots –particularly Jackson’s high-spirited performance of “Ease on Down the Road.”



88%

The Muppets – “Rainbow Connection,” The Muppet Movie (1979)

The Muppets are savvy performers with the skills and panache to turn even the hoariest material into something inspired (and let’s face it: Fozzie Bear’s jokes are about as hoary as they come). Case in point: “Rainbow Connection.” It’s a decent pop song that could come across as sappy or schmaltzy in the wrong hands. In the banjo-strumming hands of Kermit the Frog, however, it’s guaranteed — guaranteed — to put a lump in your throat.

Get the party started with RT’s Hit Movie Songs Fom the 1970s Spotify playlist!

Comedian, actor, and filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait became a fixture on the stand-up comedy circuit in the ’80s and ’90s, developing an idiosyncratic persona that he parlayed into a string of movie roles and TV gigs. But rather than ride that schtick into the nostalgia sunset, Goldthwait turned his talents to filmmaking. His debut film, 1991’s Shakes the Clown — aka “the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies” — would become something of a cult classic (Martin Scorsese’s a fan), while 2009’s World’s Greatest Dad earned strong notices for its unique brand of black comedy and one of star Robin Williams’ finest performances in years.

This week, Goldthwait returns with God Bless America, a delightful valentine to popular culture in which a disgruntled office drone (Joel Murray) and his teenage sidekick (Tara Lynne Barr) go on a cross-country killing spree designed to right the wrongs of contemporary bad manners, reality TV and other social ills (if you’re texting in a theater, fear for your worthless life.)

We sat down for a chat with Goldthwait recently, and the first thing he did was send his camera crew on a break with a line from Albert Brooks’ Real Life — so right away we knew he was going to be great. Read through for more of his thoughts on the film and his career, but first, here are his Five Favorite Films.

Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971; 85% Tomatometer)



It’s hard to boil them down. I would say, well, Harold and Maude, obviously, because it seems like something… you know, when I saw Harold and Maude, I didn’t laugh; I was a boy and I just felt like a Starbelly Sneetch finding the other Starbelly Sneetches, you know. So that movie was a biggie, and still is. I’m thinking of movies that I go back and watch, ever time I see them.

Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974; 94% Tomatometer)



Young Frankenstein, you know… I think Young Frankenstein influenced me because it was a comedy but they really treated it like the James Whale Frankensteins. There’s a real sadness in that movie.

They replicated the Universal horror look really faithfully.

Yeah, and they used a lot of the same effects and stuff, yeah.

Do you find when people do something serious and then set the comedy within it that it makes the comedy better?

Yeah — and a story, you know? In a lot of comedies the story comes afterwards. They’ll cram in a “friends are the most important friends” or some bullsh-t.

I find that with your stuff, like World’s Greatest Dad, they’re almost dramas — and the comedy evolves out of that.

Yeah, and that’s the way I approach it. I kind of don’t even consider… I mean, I think of all of them as comedies, but I don’t concern myself with the jokes at all. It’s more about staying true to the world and the themes that we come up with.

Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 1994; 91% Tomatometer)



I’d say Ed Wood; the Ed Wood movie I really love a lot. I love the idea of — I think it’s a great movie — but I identify with this kook who makes movies because he has to, and works with his friends. I don’t think Ed Wood is the worst director: His movies are personal, and you can’t take your eyes off them. [Laughs.] You know what I mean? There are way worse film directors.

I read where Tim Burton said something like the difference between himself and Ed Wood was that he was lucky — which is why that movie is so affectionate. It’s not a mockery.

Oh no, no, not at all. It’s very kind and sweet, and warm. I love that movie.

Polyester (John Waters, 1981; 88% Tomatometer)


I don’t know which John Waters to pick. The go-to would be Pink Flamingos — that was another movie that was pivotal, when I discovered that — but I would pick Polyester out of his movies. I’ve got a big soft spot for John Waters, ’cause again, there’s a guy who’s doing things on his own terms, and I think people would find his topics shocking but he has a lot of kindness towards these people, these characters. I love him. I just saw him this weekend when I was in Maryland.

You two should do a movie together.

Well I’ll tell you, he’s been so supportive. He and Todd Solondz and myself met, and I was like, “Wow, this is a harmonic convergence. This is the Mount Rushmore of f-cked-up.” [Laughs.] My wife dubbed it the — you know how they had the Million Dollar Quartet, with Elvis and Carl Perkins and that? — well she dubbed it the Hundred Dollar Trio. [Laughs.]

Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941; 100% Tomatometer)



I would say Sullivan’s Travels would probably round out the five. That movie is kind of what I’m always wrestling with, you know — there’s the idea of, “Do I go out and entertain people [laughs], or do I go out and say something?” I love that movie. That’s just another movie that, you know, Preston Sturges movies — they’re not really set in the real world, or most of them aren’t set in any real world, but the characters are always very realistic; and then he has these great, oddball one-dimensional characters that show up. Clearly that’s something that’s kind of influenced me, ’cause I don’t think the world that my movies take place in, it’s not a real place. I always laugh at people who go, “Well, you know, they would have been caught” in [God Bless America] and I’m like, “It’s not real, man.” I don’t wanna have a scene where Harvey Keitel is in front of this big map of the United States going, “I gotta get inside their brains. I gotta figure out where they’re gonna strike next.”

[Laughs.] Tommy Lee Jones ordering a search of every outhouse, farmhouse, henhouse…

[Laughs.] Yeah, Tommy Lee Jones going: “Somebody! Get a patrol car to the Kardashians! I think I’ve figured it out!”

You have to suspend some disbelief there.

Yeah, yeah. And I think that maybe in this movie that works for people. We do a good job of hopefully suspending it by shooting a baby within the first 10 minutes. [Laughs.]

[Laughs.] That was a very enjoyable moment.

Well thanks, man.

Next, Goldthwait talks God Bless America, avoiding nostalgia comedy, and revisiting Shakes the Clown.

 

You were talking about the tension between entertaining people and having something to say. How did you approach God Bless America — which is entertaining, but moreover feels like it has something to say — with that in mind?

You know, it’s funny. Last night I was really exhausted and I was sitting there looking at it — there was a screening — and it played well and people were laughing and people liked the movie, but I also know that I lost some of the people. And part of me was thinking, “Why do I do this? ” I mean, it would be so much easier to just make a comedy, you know? I would not have to rent in the Valley. [Laughs.] Why is it so important for me to connect with such a small group? You know, it’s not very lucrative. Robin Williams is one of my friends, he’s probably my best friend, and we always laugh and discuss how with his neuroses, you know, he’s looking for the world’s approval, and I’m just looking for a couple of misfits to say, “Hey, we like you.” [Laughs.] “Gabba gabba, we accept you.”

[Laughs.] I like that you stuck up for him in the movie.

Yeah, there’s a little shout out. ‘Cause all my friends show up in this movie. Like, Tom Kenny is a guy I’ve known since I was six years old and he’s Spongebob Squarepants; so he shows up, and we shoot and kill him. All my best friends show up — and most of them get killed. [Laughs.] I think I was gonna have him play Robin Williams. ‘Cause this movie, you know, is the only movie I’ve written that takes place in our time — as in right now — so he probably would have been backstage at American Superstar.

And you’ve known Joel Murray since — well, you did One Crazy Summer together. Have you just been waiting for the right role to cast him in?

No, it was more like I was watching him on Mad Men and my wife was like, “He’d be a good Frank.” And I was like, “Yeah.” I didn’t think he wanted to work together, because I tried to get him for one of my other movies, and his agent, I found out, wouldn’t give him the script, which was Sleeping Dogs Lie. His agent was like, “This is a horrible movie.”

[Laughs.] That would have been a tough sell for agents to deal with.

Yeah. Most of the screenplays I write have a really hard time getting to people; as a guy who makes movies, and it’s frustrating. Understandable, but it’s a little frustrating, because it’s like, even if you don’t like my movies — and my movies do have their detractors — the actors in the movies always do well. Nobody’s ever said anything bad about them. The actors don’t get bashed in the press; the actors always get good notices. So it’s like, if you’re really concerned about your actors, you know, they’re not gonna get rich or anything but they might get to go to Park City. [Laughs.]

God Bless America concerns a guy who’s fed up with the degeneration of popular culture and social etiquette, but do you think there’ll be a time in, say, 20 or 30 years, when this era seems polite? Is it just a generational frustration?

Yeah. [Laughs.] That’s what really worries me. You know, when Frank says “Eating rats and maggots on Survivor was shocking, and now it seems quaint.” I do wonder, Where are we gonna go? The pendulum always swings back and forth, but what I’m afraid of is that the pendulum has just been let go. [Laughs.] It’s like, we’re not getting to the end of the swing, it’s actually only starting. [Laughs.] That’s the thing that kind of terrifies me. It’s funny when you go back and watch Network, the things that he predicted are tame compared to what we really did become.

 

Right. You’re talking about John Waters before, and as outré as Pink Flamingos still is, a lot of his bad taste sensibility has been assimilated into the mainstream over the years.

Right, yeah. But I still find him subversive, because, truly, sincerity is the ultimate form of being subversive. [Laughs.]

Talking about you doing — or not doing, as it were — comedy, do you get offers to bring out the old Bobcat persona?

Oh, as a comedian, as an actor? A little bit, but I always say that I retired from acting at the same time that they stopped hiring me — so that worked out well. [Laughs.] But I do get offers, you know; I did make a decision, as a comedian, to kind of stop performing in that persona, ’cause I didn’t feel it working out anymore. And I know that cost me money, because if I was willing to go on the road as a nostalgia act I could make money, but I just couldn’t really feel good about it. I’m always polite when people want to talk to me about things they recognize me from or known me from — and I understand that, and I am polite — but I’m usually more interested in what I’ve just made, or what I’m trying to make, rather than what I did 25 years ago.

I don’t know if this falls into the category of nostalgia, but Shakes the Clown is a favorite comedy of mine.

Ah!

A friend introduced me to it, and he got into it, I think, ’cause he read an interview where [record producer] Steve Albini was saying how much he loved it…

Oh really? That’s funny. That’s really crazy. I didn’t know that [Albini] liked the movie. That’s really funny because as a comedian I toured with Nirvana, which is funny. I never remember talking to Kurt [Cobain] about Shakes — I don’t know if he ever saw it — but he knew a lot of my standup, which was great.

He was a fan.

Yeah. In fact, [Dave] Grohl — when I first met Kurt, he wasn’t even in the band — but Grohl, ’cause he used to live with Kurt, he was like, “I used to have to listen to that album all the time.” Which was my album. [Laughs.]

Is Shakes a world you’d ever consider going back to?

Oh, no. I don’t think I’d have the energy to do it. But I jokingly would always love to do, like, the idea would be an origins story of Binky and Shakes as teenagers, and do an angry teen movie with those two, you know, and how the rivalry was formed and stuff.[Laughs.]


God Bless America opens in theaters this week and is available to watch through VOD.

Bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk burst onto Hollywood’s radar when his psychological novel, Fight Club, was adapted into a major motion picture directed by David Fincher; the resulting film became every American male’s aggro-fantasy (“The first rule of fight club is, you don’t talk about fight club.”) This month, the Palahniuk touch returns to cinemas via Choke, a raunchy and delightfully vulgar adaptation of his novel about a sex addict (Sam Rockwell) who cons people using the Heimlich maneuver.

Chuck Palahniuk took time to share his Five Favorite Films with RT. The results were morbid, to say the least. In no particular order, here are Chuck’s five favorites!



They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
(1969, 83% Tomatometer)



Once again, we see sex and death wed like chocolate and peanut butter. Jane Fonda looks like the angel of bitter, angry suicide girls before such girls were ever born. Bruce Dern plays the psycho hillbilly we loved him playing in ‘The Big Valley’ on television. Gig Young claws his way to the bottom of the bottom-feeders, winning the Oscar just before his own real-life suicide. Here’s my favorite “date movie” of all time.




Alien
(1979,
97% Tomatometer)



Do I really need to explain this? Except for the weird disco typeface spelling out “nostromo” on everyone’s uniform, this film seems timeless.




Session 9
(2001,
60% Tomatometer)



Again, everybody dies. That is such the best, most-great formula for a true masterpiece film. A classic film should leave you thinking, “How in the hell did this idea ever get financing?” The director, Brad Anderson, does more with his small budget than most movies do with huge, fat mountains of cash. The moment the credits start to roll, I want to watch the whole story over again.




Sunset Blvd
(1950,
100% Tomatometer)



Everybody ends up dead or insane-slash-arrested. Nancy Olson is dismissed to wed Jack Webb — the real off-screen horror ending. Every performance is outlandish, as big as anything on any Mexican soap opera. The dead monkey. Buster Keaton. The fun never ends. The best noir comedy, ever.


But wait, there’s more! We’ve got an exclusive clip from Choke for our RT readers, featuring Sam Rockwell as Victor and Anjelica Huston as his deranged mother, Ida.



Click above to watch the exclusive clip!

Click to check out the latest reviews, images, and trailers from Choke.

Though no longer the critical darling,
Wes Anderson still
knows what it takes to draw in the hipsters: wild set design, a killer soundtrack, a
Wilson brother or two, and an epic story of familial discordance. Anderson’s
latest wears all these elements on its sleeve. Critics have been lukewarm on
The
Darjeeling Limited
(65 percent on the Tomatometer), but the film’s been doing
boffo box office in limited release and looks to continue drawing crowds when it
opens wide this Friday.

Featuring beautiful losers, sharply-selected British
Invasion tunes, and eye-grabbing psychedelic visuals, Anderson’s films have
gained a fervent cult following. But Anderson doesn’t create in a vacuum; like
Quentin Tarantino, he’s a skilled pastiche artist, filtering a wide variety of
cinematic reverences to fit his own quirky, melancholy sensibilities. Though
some have criticized Anderson for thematically repeating himself, even his
lesser movies contain a bounty of visual riches, often cleverly copied from a
wide range of other films.

For Darjeeling, Anderson draws upon the work of one
of cinemas unquestioned masters,
Satyajit Ray. The great Indian director’s films
take a humanistic approach to the social changes he saw; Ray made movies that
reflected the conflict between tradition and modernity, but never forgot to
filter such messages through compelling characters and family units. All of Ray’s
movies are worth watching, but his undisputed masterwork is
The Apu
Trilogy
, a profoundly beautiful film cycle that follows its titular
character from childhood (Pather Panchali, 97 percent) to adolescence (Aparajito,
93 percent) to adulthood (The World of Apu, 100 percent). (If you’ve ever
wondered where the Kwik-E-Mart proprietor on
The Simpsons
got his name,
look no further.)

In the first two films, Apu and his family struggle with
rural poverty during a period of profound change in India; in the third, Apu is
fully grown, and adjusting to life as an adult. During Pather Panchali’s
premiere at Cannes, the usually blameless
Francois Truffaut walked out,
declaring that "nobody wants to see a film about Indian peasants." Dear reader,
please dont make the same mistake; the Apu movies are a bit slow, and not
exactly loaded with incident, but they are some of the most beautiful, moving,
and powerful tales ever captured on celluloid. "The great, sad, gentle sweep of The
Apu Trilogy
remains in the mind of the moviegoer as a promise of what film
can be," wrote Roger Ebert. Ray was a remarkably multifaceted talent; in addition
to directing films, he was also a skilled author, graphic designer, and musician
(Ray’s compositions comprise much of Darjeeling’s soundtrack).

Anderson name-checks movies from all over, but if only one
could be considered the cinematic forebear to
Rushmore
(86
percent), no doubt it’d be 1971’s
Harold and Maude
(86 percent). Bud Cort stars as Harold, a 20-year-old whose strange
interests (faking his death, anonymously attending funerals) overlap into his
taste in women (the septuagenarian Maude, played by
Ruth Gordon). The soundtrack
was provided by Cat Stevens, whose music Anderson would also use later to great
effect in Rushmore. And Harold and Maude‘s tone of ironic detachment and
panoramic shots would become Anderson staples.

Many reviewers despised the movie when it came out (Ebert
says "[death] can be as funny as most things in life, I suppose, but not the way
Harold and Maude go about it"), but it’s swelled in popularity since. While
Anderson’s films uses anachronistic music to recall times long past and
differentiate itself from contemporary cinema, Harold and Maude was a direct
product of its era. Yet, the film doesn’t age; it’s a sweet cinematic time
capsule that becomes more poignant with each passing year.

If you gave
Jacques Cousteau $50 million and an enormous
Italian studio to work in, no doubt you’d get
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
(52 percent).
Anderson modeled Zissou, played by
Bill Murray, after the legendary
oceanographer, right down to his blue suit and red beanie.  And the nature
documentaries Zissou shoots are virtual recreations of episodes from
The
Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
. Airing from 1966 to 1976, the television
show chronicled Cousteau and his loyal crew as they traveled the globe,
discovering life above and beneath its ocean waves. The show was made all the
better with Cousteau’s deadpan narration accompanying some of the most gorgeous oceanic
images and creatures captured on cheap cameras.

When a critic in The Life Aquatic accuses Steve Zissou’s
documentaries as heightened and artificial, the implication runs deep. It’s a
criticism frequently lobbed at Anderson, but in Life Aquatic the director seems to
argue life is sometimes as strange as fiction. Steve Zissou’s life really
was as extraordinary as depicted in his documentaries. And by the same token, so was Cousteau’s.

Obviously, Anderson’s influences don’t stop there. In
Louis Malle‘s
The Fire Within
(100 percent), a friend of the suicidal hero
reminisces on his exploits, which include racing go-karts through the streets of
Paris — an echo of Gene Hackman’s extracurricular activities in The Royal Tenenbaums. Powell and
Pressberger‘s
The Red Shoes

(100 percent), like
The Royal
Tenenbaums
, begins with the opening of a book. In
The Graduate
(88
percent),
Benjamin is told to go into industrials; in Rushmore that’s Bill Murray’s
line. Anderson has drawn upon many disparate films to add spice to his
fantastical, quasi-real cinematic worlds.

Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Douglas play Secret Service agents on opposite ends of the law in "The Sentinel," the latest flick from "S.W.A.T." director Clark Johnson. Click right here for the trailer, especially if you’re a fan of stuff like "24" and "The Fugitive."

"Pete Garrison is the most decorated agent in the history of the Secret Service – the president’s last line of defense. But now, wrongly suspected of targeting the president for assassination, Garrison has become the Service’s worst nightmare. As he uses his formidable skills to try and prove his innocence and find the real assassin, Garrison is tracked by his equally adept former protege."

Based on the novel by Gerald Petievich and adapted by "Ocean’s Twelve" scribe George Nolfi, "The Sentinel" also stars Kim Basinger, Eva Longoria, and David Rasche as the U.S. President.

(Yes, "Sledge Hammer" himself as the president!)

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