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: 42694%
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: 99577%
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: 53226%
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: 75137%
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: 51829%
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: 63868%
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: 99607%
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: 92788%
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: 89460%
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: 69315%
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: 104595%
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: 97893%
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: 85172%
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: 90849%
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: 90251%
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: 94175%
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: 97565%
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: 63191%
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: 103897%
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: 85403%
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: 103732%
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: 87040%
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: 99575%
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: 96001%
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: 90697%
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: 101016%
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: 98636%
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: 77315%
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: 104351%
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: 110814%
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: 94625%
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: 101048%
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: 91013%
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: 81634%
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: 103336%
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: 103682%
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

Clerks II

(Photo by Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Kevin Smith Movies Ranked

The story of Kevin Smith making his first movie starts out like the story of most indie filmmakers following a dream in the ’80s and ’90s: Maxing out credit cards, risking financial ruin all in sheer tyranny of belief that the majorly groundbreaking screenplay you wrote is your ticket into the business. Smith’s story ends differently than most: He actually made it.

‘Twas the right time, right place (unlike all those contractors on the Death Star) for Smith’s Clerks. Audiences and studios alike were hungry for outsider voices, and the guy from New Jersey holding a scuzzy black-and-white comedy was as outsidery as you can get. Released the same October week in 1994 as Pulp Fiction, Clerks set a new high for those aiming low, and thus the American independent movement of the ’90s was born.

Smith’s next movie, Mallrats, showed he was serious about giving voice to pop culture nerds, slackers, and stoners, throwing more references to movies and more reverence to comic books, to the point of roping in Stan Lee as a sage, secondary character. Smith had his most promising leap forward in writing and direction with Chasing Amy, and then took on a more aggressive front against the status quo with the iconoclastic Dogma. The organized religion send-up featured a growing cadre of stars willing to yuk it up in Smith’s unified Askewniverse (like Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Alan Rickman, and Chris Rock), with Jason Mewes and Smith himself as Jay and Silent Bob a consistent, comedy presence. (Check out our oral history of Jay and Silent bob with Smith.)

The two characters were upgraded to lead status with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, before Smith returned to his roots in Jersey Girl and Clerks II. With the Judd Apatow style changing the comedy landscape, Smith stuck his own thumb into the pie, mixing extreme raunchiness and sweet sincerity in Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

The 2010s began with Cop Out, a failed stab at Hollywood big-budget action filmmaking, and an experience Smith now openly derides. Red State just edged by with enough critics for a Fresh rating, and would begin a 3-movie string operating in horror. Tusk has its defenders. Yoga Hosers definitely does not. For his latest, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Smith hit the streets, doing roadshow screenings with Q&As city by city. Not only did that bring together his fans in community, but also played up Smith’s strengths as a world-class raconteur, whose gift of gab has helped him create an empire of podcasts and review shows, overshadowing his directing career in recent years. His next movie is horror-comedy Killroy Was Here, scheduled for a 2020 Fall release. Before then, take a look back on all Kevin Smith movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#13

Cop Out (2010)
19%

#13
Adjusted Score: 24919%
Critics Consensus: Cop Out is a cliched buddy action/comedy that suffers from stale gags and slack pacing.
Synopsis: Veteran detective Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) needs money to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding, so he decides it's time... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#12

Yoga Hosers (2016)
23%

#12
Adjusted Score: 25988%
Critics Consensus: Undisciplined, unfunny, and bereft of evident purpose, Yoga Hosers represents a particularly grating low point in Kevin Smith's once-promising career.
Synopsis: Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#11

Jersey Girl (2004)
42%

#11
Adjusted Score: 48317%
Critics Consensus: A surprisingly conventional romantic comedy from Kevin Smith, Jersey Girl is warm but often overly sentimental.
Synopsis: Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is young and at the top of his game as a music promoter. He is both... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#10

Tusk (2014)
45%

#10
Adjusted Score: 50250%
Critics Consensus: Tusk is pleasantly ridiculous and charmingly self-deprecating, but that isn't enough to compensate for its thin, overstretched story.
Synopsis: A U.S. podcaster (Justin Long) ventures into the Canadian wilderness to interview an old man (Michael Parks) who has an... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#9
Adjusted Score: 57819%
Critics Consensus: Fans can expect a good laugh as the cast from Smith's previous films reunite for Jay and Silent Bob's last bow. The loose plotting and crude language may be too much for others though.
Synopsis: When Jay and Silent Bob learn that a "Bluntman and Chronic" movie is being made featuring their comic book counterparts,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#8

Mallrats (1995)
57%

#8
Adjusted Score: 59651%
Critics Consensus: Mallrats colorfully expands the View Askewniverse, even if its snootchie has lost a few of the bootchies boasted by its beloved predecessor.
Synopsis: T.S. (Jeremy London) and his best friend, Brodie (Jason Lee), take a trip to the mall after their girlfriends break... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#7

Red State (2011)
61%

#7
Adjusted Score: 62963%
Critics Consensus: Red State is an audacious and brash affair that ultimately fails to provide competent scares or thrills.
Synopsis: Three horny teenagers -- Travis (Michael Angarano), Jarod (Kyle Gallner) and Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) -- can't believe their luck when... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#6

Clerks II (2006)
63%

#6
Adjusted Score: 69955%
Critics Consensus: Clerks II dishes up much of the graphic humor and some of the insight that made the 1994 original a cult hit.
Synopsis: Now in their 30s, slackers Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) find that they must change their lives and... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#5
Adjusted Score: 73012%
Critics Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.
Synopsis: Lifelong friends and now roommates, Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are buried under a mountain of debt. When... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#4
Adjusted Score: 67758%
Critics Consensus: Fan-focused to a fault, Jay & Silent Bob Reboot tries to mock the same audience nostalgia it's mining -- and pulls it off often enough to satisfy the faithful.
Synopsis: Jay and Silent Bob embark on a cross-country mission to stop Hollywood from filming a reboot based on them.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#3

Dogma (1999)
67%

#3
Adjusted Score: 72586%
Critics Consensus: Provocative and audacious, Dogma is an uneven but thoughtful religious satire that's both respectful and irreverent.
Synopsis: Two fallen angels who were ejected from paradise find themselves banned in Wisconsin. They are now headed for New Jersey... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#2

Chasing Amy (1997)
87%

#2
Adjusted Score: 92430%
Critics Consensus: Although Chasing Amy's depiction of queer sexuality is frustratingly clumsy, it handles an array of thorny themes with a mixture of sensitivity, raw honesty, and writer-director Kevin Smith's signature raunchy humor.
Synopsis: Holden and Banky are best friends and authors of a popular comic book. Holden falls in love with Alyssa, who... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#1

Clerks (1994)
89%

#1
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

As we near the end of the summer movie season, you may start to notice that there are fewer and fewer worthy choices at the multiplex, and you might just want to spend the weekend at home instead. If that’s the case, and movies like The MegThe Happytime MurdersCrazy Rich Asians, or Alpha aren’t particularly appealing to you, here’s a list of some solid new choices streaming on Netflix in August.


The Aviator (2004) 86%

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Martin Scorsese’s multiple Oscar-winning 2004 biopic of legendary filmmaker, businessman, and pilot Howard Hughes.

Available 8/1


Batman Begins (2005) 84%


Christian Bale and Michael Caine star in the first of Christopher Nolan’s beloved, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful Dark Knight Trilogy centered on DC Comics’ Caped Crusader.

Available 8/1


Clerks (1994) 89%

Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson star in Kevin Smith’s feature debut comedy that follows the lives of a convenience store clerk and his best buddy who works at the video store next door.

Available 8/1


Gran Torino (2008) 81%

Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this drama about a curmudgeonly veteran who grapples with his racial insensitivities when he develops a relationship with the Hmong neighborhood kid he catches trying to steal his car.

Available 8/1


The Informant! (2009) 79%

Matt Damon stars in Steven Soderbergh’s tongue-in-cheek retelling of the true story of corporate whistleblower and sometimes unreliable FBI informant Mark Whitacre.

Available 8/1


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 92%

Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, and Ian McKellen lead an ensemble cast in the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s genre-defining fantasy epic trilogy based on the novels of J.R.R. Tolkein.

Available 8/1


Million Dollar Baby (2004) 90%

Clint Eastwood’s multiple Oscar-winning sports drama follows a down-on-his-luck trainer (Eastwood) who reluctantly agrees to work with an aspiring female boxer (Hilary Swank) when her tenacity wins him over.

Available 8/1


Secretariat (2010) 64%

Diane Lane and John Malkovich star in this inspirational sports drama from Disney, based on the true story of the titular 1973 Triple Crown-winning racehorse.

Available 8/1


Silverado (1985) 76%

Kevins Kline and Costner, Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, and Rosanna Arquette headline an all-star cast in Lawrence Kasdan’s 1985 western about four men who band together in opposition to a corrupt sheriff.

Available 8/1


Stripes (1981) 88%

Before Ghostbusters, director Ivan Reitman and stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis (who also wrote both films) collaborated on this comedy about a couple of slackers who join the Army and get into all kinds of trouble.

Available 8/1


Emelie (2015) 89%

Sarah Bolger stars in this twist on the home invasion thriller in which a babysitter slowly reveals her sinister side to the children she’s watching over.

Available 8/2


Like Father (2018) 46%

Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer star in this Netflix original comedy about a woman who’s left at the alter by her fiancee and ends up taking her estranged father on what would have been her honeymoon.

Available 8/3


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) 81%

Lily James and Michiel Huisman star in Mike Newell’s period drama set in 1946 about a writer who receives a letter from a literary club located on a Nazi-occupied island and decides to visit.

Available 8/10


Insatiable: Season 1 (2018) 11%

Lauren Gussis’ Netflix original dark comedy series centers on a vengeful, bullied woman who decides to become a beauty pageant queen under the tutelage of her attorney.

Available 8/10


No Country for Old Men (2007) 93%

Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem star in the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning dramatic thriller about a man who discovers a briefcase full of cash, the deadly hitman ordered to retrieve it, and the grizzled local sheriff trying to make sense of it all.

Available 8/11


The 100: Season 5 (2018) 100%

This CW sci-fi series centers on a group of juvenile delinquents who are sent back to a post-apocalyptic Earth to see if it is habitable again. Season 5 comes to Netflix this month.

Available 8/15


Hostiles (2017) 71%

Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, and West Studi star in Scott Cooper’s western about an Army captain tasked with escorting a Cheyenne war chief and his family through dangerous territory back to his tribal lands.

Available 8/15


() %

The Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening takes to the past in his new Netflix animated series about a young princess, her elf companion, her personal demon, and their wild, fantasy-tinged misadventures.

Available 8/17


Great News: Season 1 (2017) 76%

Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, and John Michael Higgins star in this Tina Fey-produced NBC sitcom about a news anchor struggling to set herself apart from her peers.

Available 8/23


The Good Place: Season 2 (2017) 100%

Kristen Bell and Ted Danson star in this high-concept sitcom about a rude, selfish slacker who dies unceremoniously and shockingly finds herself among the residents of an afterlife utopia.

Available 8/28


Inequality for All (2013) 90%

This documentary examines the growing income gap in the United States and explores the effects it has on society at large.

Available 8/29


Ozark: Season 2 (2018) 76%

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star in this Netflix original crime drama about a finance man who runs afoul of drug lords and moves his family to a remote resort community in an effort to make amends… and possibly find a way out.

Available 8/31

10 Years Since 1999

1999 was one of the most important years for modern cinema. From defining originals like The Matrix and Fight Club to sleeper favourites like Office Space and Election, 1999 was a landmark year for the internet generation of movie fans and set a high standard for the big screen as we headed into the new millennium. Ten years on, we’re celebrating a remarkable twelve months of movies with new features around some of the year’s best and most important releases.

Shot on a budget of just $22,000 by film school graduates Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick, The Blair Witch Project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival ten years ago this month and started a journey that dominated public consciousness for most of the year. It was an unprecedented success, holding the world record as the most profitable movie of all time after making more than $10,000 for every $1 spent, and became one of the most important horror films of all time. It spawned a wave of imitators both amateur and professional and is the cultural yardstick against which hoaxes, horrors and movies shot with a camcorder are measured.

Now, ten years on, as RT reveals an exclusive Behind the Scenes featurette revealing how the project was put together, we reunite directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick to share their memories of making and releasing the film, as well as their plans for more from the Blair Witch franchise…

The Blair Witch Project


Eduardo Sánchez:

Dan and I went to film school in Orlando together and we started hanging out and we really dug each other’s films. This was in the early nineties. The Friday the 13th series had really run its course and Nightmare on Elm Street was starring Roseanne and Tom Arnold. There was a really a lull in horror movies at the time and Dan and I just started talking about the films we really liked and we had a lot in common. We started kicking around the idea of doing a very realistic film about something happening to these explorers and them filming their own journey. The best idea we came up with was for Blair Witch and at the time it was called The Woods Movie.


Daniel Myrick:

When Ed and I first got together with the idea we spent quite a bit of time outlining the film from a structural standpoint. We wanted all the story beats to be in there and for it to follow a narrative path, so we had a pretty detailed — almost hour-to-hour — shooting outline for what the characters would be going through throughout their journey. We had a pretty good idea of what the characters needed to do, but a looser idea of exactly who they were. Their personalities where what the actors brought to the characters. During shooting it was a very collaborative experience of us guiding them through the woods and allowing them to explore their characters on their own. If they strayed too far off the narrative path, Ed and I used this directors’ notes system we worked out to steer them back in the right direction.

The Blair Witch Project


Eduardo Sánchez:

Between the actors there were a lot of real arguments and emotions in there. Heather, in particular, I don’t know if it was because of the kind of character she decided to be out there, or if the guys were playing it up a bit, but she did get on Josh‘s and Mike‘s nerves a lot. We spent some time trying to calm Josh and Mike down and steer Heather into being more accommodating of the guys. But once we got the footage, and there was about 20 hours of footage, a lot of it was them arguing with each other. I’d say about 50%, in fact! We had to whittle it down and create the whole idea that there was tension between Mike and Heather when there was actually a lot more tension between Heather and Josh. That’s really where the film was born — as Dan and I went through all that footage. It could have gone a million ways.


Daniel Myrick:

Taking the film to Sundance was, for us, the moment where we got some validation as filmmakers. After all the work, when you get into Sundance you can at least start to feel like you’ve been accepted. It was a big part of the experience for us and being there for the premiere was really kind-of surreal. We were really thrown into the blender right off the bat. We were the first film that sold there, and the next thing we know we’re doing interviews for Premiere magazine and photoshoots and all the rest. It all happened so quickly and it snowballed from there. We were elated, excited, exhausted and complete virgins to this film sales phenomenon that happens at Sundance. That was really when the film took on a national awareness that lead us into Cannes later on, which is when things really went crazy. But Sundance was special because you’ll only ever sell your first film once, and there we were, deep in the snow, taking this journey together. Blair just took on a life of its own from there.


Eduardo Sánchez:

Fortunately, we made out very well with Blair Witch; probably better than anyone else had ever made out on their first film. Artisan built their deal around a film that was going to made $5-8m dollars — $10m max — so basically anything above $10m, they gave us a great deal. They didn’t think they’d ever have to pay on those promises. At the time, nothing had ever happened like Blair Witch. The big indie success stories were She’s Gotta Have It, Clerks and El Mariachi, and none of those movies broke $10m. Their thinking was, “Man, if we can make El Mariachi money, we’re set!”


Daniel Myrick:

In our wildest predictions we couldn’t have guessed the financial success of the movie. We were joking with Artisan — and they had high hopes, expecting it to do $5-8m at the box office — and we said, “If it breaks $10m, you have to buy us a competition-grade Foosball table.” They said, “Yeah, no problem!” I think in its first weekend it made $30m or so, and they lived up to their promise; they sent us a Foosball table shortly after that!


Eduardo Sánchez:

When the film was on the covers of Time Magazine and Newsweek in the same week in the States, I think that’s when we realised Blair was a really big deal. But for the filmmaking world, I think the first weekend it opened wide, where it came in number 2 — but on much fewer screens — to Runaway Bride. When that happened, and we were competing for space in theatres with the world’s biggest movie star at the time, for us that was a huge moment.

The Blair Witch Project


Daniel Myrick:

Ed and I have a prequel idea and a couple of sequel ideas and we’re in the process now of revisiting a prequel idea that we would like to do in the hopes we can get Lionsgate on board with the ten year anniversary raising awareness again. You know how the economy is, but it seems like films that already have a brand and an established lineage like Blair Witch are the kind of films getting made, so we’re hoping we can get it resurrected somehow. Some of the ideas we have are more traditional narrative ideas that play with the mythology we’ve created around Blair Witch and what we really don’t want to do is betray that mythology. We don’t want to come up with some gimmicky way to shoot a sequel that’s reminiscent of the first film — because shooting like that is a gimmick — and for it to come across as contrived. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other innovative ways to play with style and process, but I think Ed and I are most concerned with honouring the mythology.


Eduardo Sánchez:

The first time we cut the movie, we knew it was too long — it was about two and a half hours. There’s a lot of good stuff that didn’t make the film. I’m really happy with the film and I think we cut it as well as we could. There’s plenty of fan interest, though not so much from Lionsgate, but I really would love to put out a two-and-a-half hour version of the movie on DVD; like a Criterion edition with a bunch of extra footage.

The Blair Witch Project


Daniel Myrick:

There’s a great confessional with Mike that didn’t make the movie. He also had this great scene in the woods where he lost his mind, started punching trees, it was really hardcore. There’s a really cool poetry reading scene in the hotel they spend the night in where Josh and Mike are duelling with their own poetry. At that point in the film we just had to get them into the woods, so as cool as it was it had to go. They shot so much cool stuff and they rolled on everything. I think we could put together at least another hour of really, really solid footage.


Eduardo Sánchez:

At the end of the day, no matter what Dan and I do, and no matter what success or non-success we have in our careers, we have our Star Wars. Not that Blair Witch is as good as Star Wars, but we have this film that’s going to be remembered for a long time, particularly in the horror genre, and I think both of us consider ourselves extremely lucky to have had a film like that.


Daniel Myrick:

I get surprised when I read a book that has nothing to do with film at all and the author’s talking about getting “Blair Witched” or something like that. It’s almost become a verb. That’s when I step back and go, “Wow.” It has transcended what it originally was and it’s become such a part of the lexicon, and synonymous with being scared or hoaxed, and that’s really kind of amazing. For that I’m so flattered and so thankful. We could not have hoped or imagined anything more fantastic and grander than Blair Witch. I really feel, if I don’t make another movie ever again, we got our opportunity to leave our mark, and as a filmmaker that’s one of your dreams. It’s why you do what you do.

And that’s not all for our celebration of all things Blair Witch. Click here to watch our exclusive look behind the scenes on the film, featuring new footage from early auditions and the film’s shooting.

The Blair Witch Project is available on DVD. To read the script with which they shot the film and delve into a massively-comprehensive archive of production content, check out woodsmovie.com.

Kevin SmithComing off his most accessible comedy (Jersey Girl) and his most
vulgar (Clerks 2), writer-director Kevin Smith concocts a mixture of
the two styles for his latest, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, opening
this Friday. In a film by turns thoughtful and juvenile, Seth Rogen and
Elizabeth Banks star as two roommates who embark on a porno shoot to pay off
debts, while slowly realizing the possibility they could be more than just
friends, roommates, and on-screen amateurs.

RT spoke to Smith for his five
favorite films ever, and followed up with an interview about the process of
creating the Zack and Miri universe.

Jaws (1975, 100% Tomatometer)



JFK
Come
on, it’s common sense. Jaws is a fantastic film. Maybe the second film I
saw in my life — I saw The Gumball Rally prior to Jaws — but
Jaws is the first one that made a deep, deep impression. I saw it a drive-in
with my parents when I was five, which is kinda weird in retrospective. It was
PG at the time.

My kid’s nine and my wife still won’t let me show her Jaws.
I made the mistake of showing my kid Gremlins when she was six and I have
heard no end of it from my old lady. She’s all, “She’s still afraid of
Gremlins.” Gremlins is a harmless f–king movie.


JFK (1991, 84% Tomatometer)



JFK


Brilliant writing. Brilliant performances. Fantastic editing. That is
the most well-edited film I have ever seen in my life. I like a lot of Oliver
Stone stuff in general.

A
Man for All Seasons
(1966, 85% Tomatometer)



A Man for All Seasons

A Man For All Seasons is basically porn for people who love dialogue.
Paul Scofield’s brilliant performance. Robert Shaw’s equally brilliant performance
as Henry the VII. It’s always appealed to me. I was 13 years old the first time
I saw it. Absolutely fell in love with it because it’s wall-to-wall language
with compelling performances. And [it’s] about something to me, in terms that I
was raised Catholic. So Thomas Moore’s decision to not sign the oath of
succession appealed to me as I was growing up because this is a dude who’s
martyred for his beliefs and whatnot.

And people will always compare that movie
to The Crucible for some reason. But I never felt the same connection to The
Crucible
because in that instance John Procter is just going to great
lengths to try to keep his name. Whereas Thomas Moore went to great lengths to
keep, what he felt was his soul, intact. By taking that oath it would’ve been
selling out on his soul, it would’ve been lying. He couldn’t do it and I always
found that insanely admirable and the life one wants to emulate to some degree,
without being crazy Catholic at the same time.


Do the
Right Thing
(1989, 100% Tomatometer)



Do the Right Thing


Spike Lee’s finest movie. One of the movies that made me want to get
into the movies as well. I knew I was never going to make Do the Right Thing, to
do what he did with cinema and tell a story comedically but also dramatically.
Very intense. That movie goes from a fun comedy — I don’t know if you can
say fun comedy, but it’s a funny comedy — to a dramatic shift in tone. It’s a
slow burn. You don’t notice it when it happens. It comes out of left field but
it’s keeping in what has come before. You realize how masterfully it’s put
together.

That movie informed Clerks to a large degree: it takes place all in
one day, in one particular block, in one very specific city. So that was the
model I used for Clerks. So much so that the original version of Clerks Dante
gets killed because I was like, “I want to do something like that.” Then I
realized I’m not Spike Lee.

The Last
Temptation of Christ
(1988, 81% Tomatometer)



The Last Temptation of Christ


I was raised Catholic and I still consider myself a fairly spiritual
person even though I have a hard time identifying with most Christians in this
country. But I still maintain a belief in God and in Jesus, and that gets tried
on a daily basis. The older I get, the wiser I get, the tougher it is to believe
in a divine power or whatnot. So that movie appeals to me on that level alone.

To take it beyond, it’s just a fantastic Martin Scorsese picture. Great
performances in it. The first portrayal of Christ where I was, “Wow, this might
be what it was like.” He wasn’t a guy of all beatitude and perfection. He was a
man, first and foremost, who just happened to be the son of God.

Our interview with
Kevin Smith continues as we discuss the MPAA, the process of movie appeals, and
making comedies during a Judd Apatow era.

Now
Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a really sweet movie.

KS: Thank you.

Jersey Girl is also a really sweet movie, but the reaction wasn’t
quite-

KS: [Laughs.] No, not nearly as good.

With Judd Apatow’s productions currently the standard bearers
of American comedy, do you think people are now more receptive to this mix of
vulgarity and sweetness?

KS: Absolutely. It felt like once 40 Year Old
Virgin
did over $100 million, suddenly it made the type of movie that I
make, the kind that mixes vulgar stuff with sentimental stuff, or raunchy stuff
with sweet stuff, viable. Economically viable. For years, I felt any movie that
mixed raunch and sweetness couldn’t make more than $30 million. It was the best
we’ve ever done.

It was a niche thing.

KS: Totally. Absolute niche. Judd blows the ceiling out,
crashes through the glass ceiling, makes over $100 million with 40 Year Old
Virgin
, Knocked Up, and Superbad, and suddenly it proves that
genre viable. So, that to me was a blessing. I’m like, “Right on.” Now I can
totally make Zack and Miri Make a Porno without having it on a $200,000
budget on a 50 screen release.


Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.

Has Zack and Miri‘s MPAA process given you a new
enthusiasm to do [upcoming horror project] Red State?

KS: [Laughs.] I don’t take as much umbrage with the
MPAA fiasco, if you will, as everyone else. Like everyone else wants to scream
“censorship” the minute it happens. I don’t feel that way because they’re not
saying, “Cut it or it don’t go out.” They’re saying, “If you want your rating,
the rating you want, you’re gonna have to make some changes.” So I would
much rather deal with one governing body than deal with it on a state-by-state
basis, which is what it was before the creation of the MPAA. A movie that
played in New York might not play in Texas, because that state’s censors could
shoot it down. And I assure you, if we were going state by state, I don’t think
any of my movies would have played in Texas at this point.

So I’m glad there’s only one body you have to deal with
that governs the entire country and how we view movies, as opposed to 50.
They’re also fairly generous, and as much as it’s a pain in the ass, they do
give you the option to appeal. Like, you know, they’ll tell you what your
rating is, and they’ll tell you what you need to look at if you want to reach
the rating you want via cuts.

Or they give you this last bite at the apple, which they
really don’t have to do. Like, if I was in charge of the MPAA, I’d be like “F–k
you, the rating is the rating. Either cut or accept that rating.” But they give
you this alternative, where you can actually go and flip it. Go above their
heads to a third party altogether, and I think that’s kinda generous, man. The
fact that they do that at all.

I mean, to me, it is what it is. At the end of the day,
it’s part of the business. If you want to be in this business, you have to be
willing to play that game. And you know, the key is finding a way to play the
game where it works in your favor. And so far we’ve gotten lucky. Three times
I’ve gone to the appeals process; three times we’ve flipped it without having to
make any cuts.

Clerks for one.

KS: Clerks. Jersey Girl they gave an
R rating initially. I had to flip it to a PG-13. Clerks 2, first time we
submitted it: R. That’s why I never thought we’d have problems on Zack and
Miri
because I’m like, “Nothing in this movie is nearly as outrageous as the
donkey show in Clerks 2. If they let that pass, this should be fine.” I
was wrong.

How does the appeals process work?

KS: There’s a bunch of people that work on the
ratings board. I don’t know if they all watch every single movie or if they
just use this many people and they rotate it or something.

First, you go before the ratings board. They watch the
movie, they give you your rating. Then you could either choose to work with the
ratings board, try to cut it to get to your rating, or you go to the appeals
process. The appeals process is made up of an audience that has no ratings
board members on it. There are MPAA members in the audience, people who work in
the studio system or whatnot, members of the Motion Picture Association, but
they’re not ratings board members. The other half of the audience is made up of
members of NATO, the National Association of Theater Owners. I’ve always felt
that those members of NATO should be what the ratings board is made up of.


Craig Robinson and Seth Rogen.

Because they’re the ones who exhibit the movie.

KS: They are the last line of defense. They’re the
ones that deal with the public on a regular basis. So a guy who owns a movie
theater, an exhibitor, can tell you precisely what will get a person on their
feet, out of the theater, asking for a refund. And that’s an opinion I trust
more than some nebulous body with people who may or may not be parents of
children who are of a young age.

Anyways, the appeals screening is made up of those members
of the audience. What you do is you screen the movie for them, and then you as
the filmmaker get up and you get 15 minutes to make an argument for why you feel
the movie should be rated R as opposed to NC-17. Then Joan Graves, who is the
head of the ratings board, gets up and she does 15 minutes as to why she feels
the movie is NC-17. Then you get 10 minutes to rebut her, and she gets
10 minutes to rebut you. Then you two leave the room, and people take a secret
ballot. That’s how it all works. And you have to win by 2/3 majority. You
can’t win by one vote. So we had 14 people in our screening. If eight of them
had voted for us, we would have lost. We had to have 2/3, so we wound up
winning 10-4.


Zack and Miri’s film crew.

Now after getting the R rating, people are taking
issue with the posters.

KS: It’s weird. After we won the appeal, it felt
like the MPAA got a little more stringent with our marketing materials. Like,
they started kicking back our posters and potential trailers. We had done a
bunch of behind-the-scenes shorts on Clerks 2 and put them up on the
Internet and ran them for almost 6 months in advance of the movie. Never once
had to approve them through anybody. We do what we want, because it’s the
Internet, and who governs the Internet?

We were gonna do [the shorts] again [for Zack and Miri,
and] this time around, the MPAA told us that we couldn’t run without getting
them approved by the MPAA first. The MPAA’s manifest is they have approval over
all movies and of signatory members of the MPAA. A studio has to be a signatory
MPAA member [and] most studios are. All of them are, as a matter of fact. But
[the MPAA] also governs the marketing material. So in the same way that they’re
like, “We can tell you what can go in a trailer that plays on TV, we can also
tell you these can or cannot be played on the Internet.” And that’s the first
time I’ve ever encountered that.

Suddenly, after years of ignoring the Internet, they’re now
paying attention. So all those [shorts] had to get rated through them as well,
and that was kind of weird. They were insisting that we install an age gate on
the site. An age gate is ridiculous. Anybody can beat an age gate. You don’t
even have to be Einstein to beat an age gate. You’re just f–king picking a
date that makes you 18 or older. And in a world where you can jump to a porno
site and watch a 15-second mpeg of people f–king without clicking an age gate,
how are you protecting people from anything, you know? It’s like, this movie is
a comedy. It’s not true porn, you know. All the f–king is fake, and silly at
that. What about the real porn over here? But they’re like, “We’re not in
charge of that. We’re only in charge of movies.” Because no parent calls up the MPAA to say, like, “My kid saw something weird on largelabia.com.”

I’ll be honest with you, I’m shocked they’ve let it go as
long as they have. The one thing I’m really terrified about is when they start
rating the extras on a DVD. So far, people have left that alone. Jersey Girl
was a PG-13 movie. Those two commentary tracks are R, if not worse. And some of
the features we had on it were definitely not PG-13-friendly. So for years
you’ve been able to do that. I’m scared that one day those cats are gonna start
turning on home video as well and being like, “We have to rate all the extras on
the disc.” So you could conceivably have a PG movie with R-rated extras. So as
long as they leave that alone, I’m fine.

Largely, I don’t make PG-13 movies, so it doesn’t matter.
If most of my [DVD extra] content was rated R, the movies are usually rated R,
so I’m okay with it. But, you know, [a potential MPAA crackdown] will prevent
things like that Jersey Girl commentary track from happening. Which, you
know, let’s be honest, wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It wouldn’t be
the collapse of the American infrastructure. But it is kinda vexing.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno opens in theaters this Friday.

Want more 5 Favorite Films? Check out previous installments with Chuck Palahniuk, Dane Cook, Eva Mendes, and Judd Apatow.

Just in time for filming to begin, Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno has added five new faces to its cast.

Joining the already-announced starring duo of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks are Craig Robinson (NBC’s The Office), Traci Lords (Cry-Baby), Ricky Mabe (Frankenstein and Me), and Katie Morgan, as well as Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes, both veterans of previous Smith productions.

In the film — which started shooting in Pittsburgh yesterday — Rogen and Banks play friends who decide to film a porno in order to help pay off their debts, only to discover their feelings for each other might be more complicated than they thought.

The Dimension production, currently without a firm release date, will mark the latest chapter in a long partnership between Smith, producer Scott Mosier, and Dimension/The Weinstein Company co-chairs Bob and Harvey Weinstein; previous outings have included Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma.

Some journalists are lucky to get 15 minutes with a director; RT-UK hit the jackpot of good fortune when "Clerks 2" director Kevin Smith agreed to a two-hour long kick back, foul-mouthed, rollicking good time chat, so awesome that we’re presenting it in not one, not two, but five daily installments! Click here to start reading.

Kevin Smith has long been one of the most accessible directors around — between his frequent appearances in online forums, on his own site (ViewAskew.com), and his world-traversing Q&A shows, he’s made a name for himself as a decidedly fan-friendly filmmaker (and earned his reputation for being the closest thing any fanboy could possibly come to being a director). RT-UK’s Joe Utichi caught up with Smith recently in London, where Smith was giving one of his patented answer ’em-until-the-questions-run-out Q&A sessions.

Up first: Joe and Kevin release their inner nerds with talk of the "X-Files" and the exciting potential of a second "X-Files" movie (guess which one named his pets after Scully and Mulder?)…

———-

Joe Utichi: Speaking of the dogs, I was kind-of relieved to hear you’d called them Scully and Mulder because, rather embarrassingly, I was big into "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" back in the day and I had a dog called Kira and a cat called Dax.

Kevin Smith: [laughs] Did you really? Yeah, we’re kind-of gay like that as well. It’s so weird, the show’s been over for a few years and we’ve had the dogs for like eight, nine years. Sometimes you don’t even think about it but every once in a while you mention their names and people are like, "Did you say Scully and Mulder?" And it’s like, "Oh, yeah… That’s right…"

JU: Talking of "The X-Files," I’m excited about the potential of the second film.

KS: I just read that; I read it on f*cking Rotten Tomatoes yesterday as a matter of fact! I guess it was the Gillian Anderson somewhat semi-confirmation which complemented something Duchovny had said last week or earlier in the week.

JU: Yeah, he’d said it’s happening and we want to get it in before the strike.

KS: Right, and then she kind-of flat-out confirmed it.

I can’t wait, I mean, it’s just a no-brainer. And the fact they’re talking about doing a non-mythology entry… That just makes a lot more sense.

JU: Right, you can’t tell mythology over ninety minutes. They had trouble telling it over nine seasons.

KS: Totally, and when they did that first feature as well you’re sat there going, "Well, it’s good, but it’s not nearly as good as some of their best shows." I think just doing a one-off that doesn’t go all into it… I’m sure they’ll sprinkle a bit of mythology in there, but doing a one-off that’s not tied into, like, the Cigarette Smoking Man, aliens and sh*t like that.

JU: Krycek.

KS: Yeah, Krycek… No more black oil. It’ll be kind-of stimulating to say the least.

JU: Just to be in an environment with those characters again while they’re just doing their jobs is an exciting prospect. Because that show was always at its best when they were solving those one-off cases.

KS: Totally. Some of those episodes like "Home," where they go and meet that backwards family with the mother under the bed, that has nothing to do with mythology but they’re so f*cking terrifying.

JU: I’m really excited by the prospect. I probably shouldn’t be…

KS: You know, I think that’s one where you can probably get your hopes up in a good way. Enough time has gone down between the end of the series and a lot of time has gone down between the last movie and the next movie.

JU: I hope so. Plus, Chris Carter’s used to doing TV and coming up with ideas week by week…

KS: He’s had enough time to think something great.

Next: On reading reviews (from critics and fans alike on Rotten Tomatoes), Kevin’s infamous "Revenge of the Sith" RT thread, and getting drawn into message board flame wars…

JU: So I wanted to talk to you about reviews, I know you read reviews but most filmmakers I meet tell me they never read them.

KS: That’s horse-sh*t. I don’t believe that for a second. I think everybody does and I think it’s very fashionable to say, "I don’t read the reviews." Maybe, at best, what they mean is they don’t read the negative reviews. With Rotten Tomatoes it’s very easy to skip the negative reviews; you see that little green splotch and unless you want to torture yourself you just avoid it and go to the little red tomato.

I think, best-case scenario, they’re probably just avoiding the green splotches. But, you know, it’s a communications medium where it’s manufactured for use; you’re putting something out there to get a response. What filmmaker would not want to read that response? The box-office response only tells one part of the story.

In the age of the Internet it’s not like you’re just relying on the opinion of published cineastes to get their take on it. Film criticism, as democratised as it’s been over the last five, ten years of the Internet, suddenly you’re getting the opinion of people who, if they weren’t writing for some Internet site, would be paying to see the movie anyway. You’re almost getting the opinion of the same guy who’s paying for a ticket. And then if you go beyond even the published critics, the Internet critics, you can just read what people write on a message board and kind-of get the true opinion.

Now, you know, it’s good and bad because the Internet being the Wild Wild West that it is, and the anonymity that it affords, you get people saying things that they would never in a million years say to your face. And sometimes they’re just saying sh*t to get a reaction.

JU: MagnoliaFan.

KS: Yeah, totally. But I think when you read a message board you can’t believe the most insanely positive thing you read and you can’t believe the most belligerently negative thing you read. The truth lies somewhere in between.

JU: I remember something brought you to the Rotten Tomatoes message boards a couple of years ago…

KS: It was the "Revenge of the Sith" thing. I wrote a little piece that wasn’t even meant to be a review. I had seen it and so I wrote on the View Askew website about seeing the movie. It was kind-of a mini-review but not like a three-page, well-thought-out thing. It was kind-of like, "This is what I thought about the movie."

JU: Which, by the way, I read and hated you for, because that was before all the press screenings and I was desperate to see that movie.

KS: [laughs] Right and that’s, I think, why it circulated as much as it did. I remember I just put it up on the message boards and our server got crashed and it wound up getting linked from all these places. I hadn’t really thought about it but I guess it was the first review and I had no idea. For some reason I thought the press had already seen it and they were talking about it.

So when that review went up, there was one thread on the Rotten Tomatoes message boards where some people appreciated my thoughts and some people totally took me to task and some people just shredded me for it. That was in an age where anything I saw that I thought was an unfair shredding I would respond. Which is such a self-defeating practice but in those days I felt the need to do it. I’ve since kind-of gotten over it.

I’d never go after people with whom I differed in opinion; people who were just like, "My opinion is completely different from yours." I would tend to just go after people who printed untruths or misstated facts or something like that to just be more corrective than anything else. But that thread wound up going on and on and on, and there was one broad there whose insults were just getting weird and mean and I just kept going back at her with things that were even more weird and even more mean and wrote some of the most f*cking biting but f*cking cut-and-slash type of sh*t in response to her, to the point where she did the internet equivalent of crying; completely changed her tune, cried foul and that she was under attack.

It was just this weird phenomenon but parts of it were really entertaining. I felt like I did write some of my most biting and f*cking mean-spirited sh*t in one way but to this anonymous person that I’d never met.

JU: To a certain extent you’ve got to have more respect for those people who stick to their guns.

KS: I think in theory you’re supposed to but, you know, let’s be honest; it’s human nature to like people who are saying nice things to you rather than f*cking horrible things to you. I’d rather see them all just f*cking flip-flop and be nice. I don’t know anybody – unless you’re a f*cking masochist – you don’t want to read horrible things about yourself. You’re supposed to respect that commitment to their opinion and their ideals but it sucks sometimes. You’re just like, "Dude, just cave. I’m here, I’m reading."

But I’ve since kind-of calmed down about reading all that stuff. It’s an ever ongoing process and learning curve and I’ve been making films for thirteen years now but – at least for me, I don’t know how other people deal with it – it takes a long time to process that if you don’t want to read negative things you just don’t have to. And Rotten Tomatoes makes it easy by seeing that splotch. Even if you see on your message threads a subject line that’s just heinous, you simply avoid it if you don’t want to take an hour, two hours out of your day to wind up addressing it. Or if you just don’t want to feel like sh*t because there are times when you’ll read something that’s just so negative and finds all the chinks in your armour and really cuts you to the quick and addresses your own insecurities that it will effect the rest of your day in a way like, "They’re right, I suck. What am I doing?"

And it’s so easy to believe the negative over the positive. Overwhelmingly the majority of the things people write are positive but you will remember verbatim the negative things. I think that’s part of human nature as well, to focus on the bad rather than the good. And when it’s you sitting in front of a computer screen, alone in a room, that is the whole world. That is the most important thing in the whole world; suddenly everything boils down to you and this person and their horrible opinion of you. And then your kid walks in the room and you’re like, "What are you doing? I’m going to get out and hang out with my kid."

Because ultimately whether they’re right or wrong it’s just opinion. It’s subjective. There is no right and wrong; if that’s how they feel that’s how they feel and nothing you do, no film you can make, is really going to turn them around. But it’s so easy to get lost in that; to get lost in the opinion of some faceless individual on the Internet. When it’s just you alone on the Internet that person represents everybody else in the world. It’s tough to kind-of keep perspective and just be, "This is just one dude." Even if they’re a bunch it still represents a small sample.

Click here to read more, and check back tomorrow for the next installment, in which Kevin talks more about his horror movie, "Red State," the movies that inspire it, his Minnesota-set comedy script, indie cinema in 2007 and, erm, Britney Spears

This week at the movies, we’ve got cops and robbers in Boston ("The Departed," starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon), chainsaw massacres in Texas ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," starring Jordana Brewster), and retail employees in New Mexico ("Employee of the Month," starring Jessica Simpson and Dane Cook). What do the critics have to say?

Is Martin Scorsese America’s greatest living filmmaker? He’s certainly bolstering his case with "The Departed." The film, which is a loose remake of the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs," tells the story of two moles, one of whom (DiCaprio) a cop undercover within a Boston crime family led by Jack Nicholson, and the other (Damon) a hood who has infiltrated the police department. Critics say Scorsese has created a crime drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality that infused such past triumphs as "GoodFellas," with outstanding work from an excellent cast. At 96 percent on the Tomatometer, "The Departed" may signify a new arrival for the master director; Scorsese’s best reviewed wide release since "GoodFellas." And it’s not only Certified Fresh, but it’s also the best reviewed wide release of the year.


"Wait a minute… you’re telling me I ripped that ‘how do you like them apples’ line off from you?"

The lives of wage slaves are often grist for the cinema’s mill, whether comic ("Clerks"), dramatic ("One Hour Photo") or both ("The Good Girl"). Now comes "Employee of the Month," starring Cook as a slacker at a Costco-like box store who whips himself into shape when attractive new hire (Simpson) comes on board. Critics say the movie has a few good laughs, but Cook and Simpson lack chemistry, and the film doesn’t do much beyond showing employee antics. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, audiences may want to hire a different "Employee."


"And these are called ‘numbers.’ I know, it’s confusing."

For horror fans who are interested in the origin of Leatherface, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" provides some back story on the Lone Star State’s scariest resident. It also provides oodles of gore, and a style reminiscent of the original. Unfortunately, the critics say it doesn’t provide enough scares to make the experience worthwhile. The plot involves a group of young adults headed to Mexico for a good time before two brothers go to fight in Vietnam; naturally, Leatherface curtails their enjoyment in a hurry. The scribes say the film is a little too rote, and at 14 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Chainsaw" doesn’t cut very deep. (Read RT’s interview with director Jonathan Liebesman here.)


"The unsuspecting teenagers wail/ along the trail/ deep in the heart of Texas"

Also opening this week in limited release: "Blood Tea and Red String," a handmade stop-motion fairy tale 13 years in the making, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "So Goes the Nation," a documentary about the 2004 election season in Ohio, is at 100 percent; "49 Up," the latest in Michael Apted‘s remarkable documentary series about growing and changing in England, is at 94 percent; "Black Gold," a documentary about the global effects of the coffee trade, is at 88 percent; "Little Children," a tale of suburban angst starring Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Connelly, is at 79 percent; "Shortbus," John Cameron Mitchell‘s warmhearted exploration of unconventional sexuality, is at 68 percent; and "Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner," a documentary about the eponymous Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning scribe, is at 55 percent. And "The Queen," which is expanding this week, is at 98 percent, making it the third best reviewed limited release of the year.


"Blood Tea and Red String":"The King of Cartoons!"

Recent Martin Scorsese Movies:
—————————————
92% — No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)
89% — The Aviator (2004)
77% — Gangs of New York (2002)
100% — My Voyage to Italy (2001)
72% — Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Texas Chainsaw Massacres:
———————————-
86% — The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
50% — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
23% — Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 (1989)
16% — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
37% — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Best Reviewed Wide Releases Of 2006
————————————-
(Releases with at least 40 reviews)
96% — The Departed
93% — Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
93% — Little Miss Sunshine
90% — United 93
88% — Inside Man
84% — Akeelah and the Bee
83% — Slither
83% — The Descent
80% — A Prairie Home Companion
78% — The Devil Wears Prada

Best Reviewed Limited Releases Of 2006
—————————————
(Releases with at least 40 reviews)
98% — Kekexeli: Mountain Patrol
98% — The War Tapes
98% — The Queen
96% — Army of Shadows
95% — Wordplay
93% — Fateless
93% — Little Miss Sunshine
92% — The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
92% — An Inconvenient Truth
92% — Lassie

This week we’ve got some magic in ordinary dwellings (M. Night Shyamalan‘s "Lady in the Water" and "Monster House") and some funny couples ("My Super Ex-Girlfriend," with Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson, and Kevin Smith‘s "Clerks II," featuring Jay and Silent Bob). What do the critics have to say?

For a moment, it appeared that M. Night Shyamalan would join the top tier of contemporary directors. "The Sixth Sense" and "Signs" were commercial and critical hits, establishing a winning combination of spooky, twisty plots and spiritual quests. But now, after the lukewarm critical reaction to "The Village," and the absolute drubbing that his latest, "Lady in the Water," is taking, it’s looking like Shyamalan may be adrift. (The fact that "Water" star Bryce Dallas Howard‘s dad was piloting the craft when Fonzie jumped the shark is purely coincidental.) The film tells the story of a super (Paul Giamatti) at a drab apartment complex who discovers a mythical creature (Howard) living beneath the swimming pool. Though its description makes "Lady" sound like a simple fairy tale, critics say the film is needlessly complex, ponderous, and pretentious. At 22 percent on the Tomatometer, "Lady in the Water" is out to sea.


Ignoring the sound advice of his co-stars, Paul Giamatti’s characters continue to drink and dial.

On every street, there’s one house that’s just a little creepy, a place that inspires trepidation and even fear among the neighborhood kids. In "Monster House," there’s a residence that actually attacks people. The critics say this CG film, featuring the voices of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nick Cannon, and Steve Buscemi, is technically excellent and effective as a funny, scary funhouse ride of a movie. But perhaps it’s a little too effective; more than a few of the scribes say the movie may be way too scary for younger viewers. Still, at 66 percent on the Tomatometer, this "House" may be a prime piece of real estate.


Yes, children…. mortgage payments are scary.

"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" has a pretty amusing premise: A guy is on the outs with his girlfriend, but she’s a superhero, and uses her powers to thwart his budding romance with a coworker. Plus, director Ivan Reitman and stars Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson are pretty adept at light comedy. So what’s the problem? Well, the critics say the movie never quite transcends its premise. While the scribes say the leads are solid and the script does a decent job of poking fun at the superhero genre, the execution is ultimately too flat to make this material soar. "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" is at 45 percent on the Tomatometer.


It appears Uma has seen "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" one too many times.

If it wasn’t for Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Smith would likely be the voice of New Jersey. His "Clerks" changed the landscape of indie cinema in the 1990s; its DIY aesthetic inspired hundreds of other kids in the suburbs with demented minds and big dreams to pick up a camera and document their existential crises. In "Clerks II," he revisits Dante and Randal, those lovable, potty-mouthed slackers, who’ve barely changed a lick in a decade (aside from the release of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the presence of Rosario Dawson, which at least gives them something new to talk about). The critics say that while "Clerks II" will not break any new ground, it will please the legions of Kevin Smith acolytes with its witty, ribald humor. At 70 percent on the Tomatometer, "Clerks II" may be worth a stop, though it’s still a cut below the original, at 85 percent.


Buncha savages in this town.

Also in theaters this week in limited release: Ryuhei Kitamura‘s "Azumi" is at 57 percent on the Tomatometer; "Shadowboxer," starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren, is at 44 percent; and the bloody indie "Mad Cowgirl" is at 17 percent.

Recent M. Night Shyamalan Movies:
———————————————
43% — The Village (2004)
75% — Signs (2002)
67% — Unbreakable (2000)
83% — The Sixth Sense (1999)
38% — Wide Awake (1998)

Recent Kevin Smith Movies:
————————————
41% — Jersey Girl (2004)
51% — Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
68% — Dogma (1999)
93% — Chasing Amy (1997)
49% — Mallrats (1996)

In this week’s news, the creators of "Lost" hope to one day transfer the show’s success to the big screen; rumors are heating up that Johnny Depp will co-star with Will Smith in "I Am Legend"; Eric Bana is reportedly out of "Hulk 2," and the sequel will adopt themes more closely related to the 1970s TV show; "Superman Returns" conquered the holiday weekend box-office to the surprise of no one; and this week’s opening movies are receiving mixed reviews.

In Other News: both "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" were shut out of the major Emmy nominations; you too can be in "Pirates of the Caribbean 3"; Dolly Parton and Dakota Fanning are among those invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the existence of one Suri Cruise is still unconfirmed; and David Hasselhoff recovered from his accident rapidly enough to get kicked out of Wimbledon. Read on for details.


Q: Why are pirate jokes funny? A: Because they just ARRRGH!

The Week’s Most Popular News

You’ll Eventually Be Able to Get "Lost" at the Movies
First we learn that "24" is planning to make the leap onto the silver screen, and now comes the (not very surprising) news that smash series "Lost" also has its sights set on life after network.

Johnny Depp, Futuristic Vampire?
Now here’s a juicy piece of casting gossip that just might be true: Johnny Depp as a (semi-)vampire, playing opposite Will Smith, in Francis Lawrence’s "I Am Legend." This, of course, is the long-awaited adaptation of Richard Matheson’s frankly awesome story.

A Few More "Hulk 2" Happenings
Some good news and bad news seems to be floating around regarding the "Hulk" sequel. Word is that Eric Bana is entirely out of the running for the follow-up, but also that the flick might harken back to the classic 1970s series that old folks like me remember fondly.

Box Office Wrapup: "Superman Returns" to Top of Charts

The Man of Steel conquered the North American box office this weekend as the super hero adventure Superman Returns claimed the number one spot over the pre-Independence Day holiday frame.

Critical Consensus: "Dead Man’s Chest" Is Overstuffed; "Scanner" Shines Darkly
This week at the movies, we’ve got pirates back for more box office bounty ("Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest") and a journey to the center of the mind ("A Scanner Darkly"). What do the critics have to say?

In Other News:

  • ABC executives are dumbfounded by the Emmy snubs of "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost."
  • Dolly Parton and Dakota Fanning are two of the 120 creative individuals invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • An open casting call has been announced for "Pirates of the Caribbean 3." Hunchbacks, albinos, and exotic amputees are welcome.
  • Good News Holdings, a Christian media company will make a horror film called "Dudleytown."
  • Keith Richards will make a cameo in Pirates 3 as Johnny Depp’s dad.
  • The star-studded remake of "All The King’s Men" will premiere at the Toronto film festival in September.
  • Robert Downey Jr. will write memoirs detailing his tumultuous life and career.
  • Cary Elwes has joined the cast of "Georgia Rule," a dark comedy directed by Garry Marshall. Elwes will play a character who molests his stepdaughter, played by Lindsay Lohan.
  • Ben Stiller will produce and wife Christine Taylor will star in a CBS sitcom.
  • The existence of Suri Cruise is still unconfirmed. No known photographs have been taken, and even Mr. and not-yet-Mrs. Cruise’s celebrity friends, both scientologist and non-scientologist, have yet to see the little bundle of joy.
  • And finally, David Hasselhoff, who just last week was injured in a bathroom mishap, squandered some of our RT goodwill by reportedly being kicked out of Wimbledon because he was too drunk and arguing with security, apparently pulling the "do you know who I am?" card.


SpongeBob SquarePants: Who are you? David Hasselhoff: I’m David Hasselhoff! SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star: [together] HOORAY!

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