The world is a difficult place right now and a good laugh is hard to come by. But in the age of pandemics, lockdowns, distancing and quarantines, we could all use some guffaws, LOLs, ROFLs and dare I say it, maybe even the odd LMFAO.
These are movies that aim to throw us into fits of pure, giddy, ugly and embarrassing laughter. From talking bears, inane terrorists and high school buffoonery to dumb dictators, here’s a list of outrageous laugh out loud comedies that are sure to lighten up your lockdown.
Pitch Perfect-writer Kay Cannon’s directorial debut about a group of parents coming together to stop their daughters from losing their virginities on prom night is both ridiculously funny and surprisingly sensitive.
Blockers is a deeply satisfying mix of laughs and feels, led by an unlikely cast. The real surprise here is John Cena who stars alongside comedy constants Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz. Sure there’s strange kinky sex parties and John Cena butt-chugging (you don’t want to know), but amidst all the raunchy hilarity, it offers a progressive and mature take on virginity, sex and parenting and remains one of the funniest comedies of the last few years.
Available On: Netflix
2) The Other Guys
Adam McKay gave us buddy cop comedy goals with The Other Guys. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg bring their A-game as two sidelined cops who chance upon a case of a lifetime. A hysterically unhinged Wahlberg along with Ferrell’s domesticated accountant with a dark past share impeccable chemistry in the rare comedy that has you laughing throughout.
The movie has no shortage of hysterical set pieces. Who doesn’t enjoy Samuel L Jackson and The Rock jumping to their deaths from a skyscraper for no apparent reason? Or that unforgettable education on lions vs tuna?
Available On: Netflix
Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane brings his signature pop-culture-referencing insult comedy style to this story of a boy whose birthday wish brings his teddy bear to life. Except 30 years later, it’s not as cute anymore as the two man-children just lounge around doing drugs and being idiots. Ted gives us one of the greatest comedic characters – a lovable, foul-mouthed cuddly toy full of memorable one-liners who armed us with an arsenal of handy insults. Aside from giving us a lengthy directory of white trash names, Ted (and it’s equally funny sequel) was a stroke of genius with cover to cover laughs which gave us a thunder buddy for life.
Available On: Amazon Prime Video
4) Duck Soup
The Marx Brothers are responsible for some of the greatest physical comedy in films and the 1933 film Duck Soup is arguably their funniest. Here they used the story of a newly-appointed bumbling dictator of fictional nation Freedonia, who runs around making a mess of things to dish out some of their most glorious gags. Duck Soup is a glowing testament to the fact that the finest comedy can stand the test of time. The film is delightfully silly, thoroughly ridiculous and filled with now-iconic sequences. Who can forget that mirror scene or the chaotic lemonade stand?
Love superhero movies? Tired of superhero movies? Indifferent to them but just want to laugh like hell? Deadpool is somehow perfect either way. Ryan Reynolds gloriously brought to life the merc with a mouth, perfectly nailing every line, insult and bad-guy-skewering bit with maximum effort. True to its title character, Captain Deadpool serves as a giant middle finger to the superhero genre by making fun of itself, the studio, and just about everything else along the way. In a world starting to suffer from superhero fatigue, Deadpool is the irreverent, foul-mouthed character we can never get tired of. That it continues to have that distinct ‘holy shit I can’t believe this actually got made’ vibe is a testament to its achievement in comedy, superhero movies and dick jokes.
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar
6) Four Lions
Are there things that just shouldn’t be joked about? It would appear not as British comedy Four Lions proves through just how funny it is despite its seemingly ‘un-jokable’ subject matter. It follows a group of moronic British Jihadi terrorists attempting to plan a suicide bomb attack.
But despite the constant laughs, the film never shies away from the seriousness of what they’re setting out to do. Yes, it’s bloody brave, weirdly moving and constantly sensitive, but above all, Four Lions is drop-dead hilarious and filled with unforgettable catchphrases (rubber dinghy rapids, can I have 12 bottles of bleach please?). Four Lions is an achievement in comedy not just for how funny it is, but also for showing us what comedy can be.
7) Get Smart
A spoofy, action flick about an inept spy has been done time and again, but Get Smart is one of the most underrated, sailing off the back of the always lovable Steve Carell. He plays Maxwell Smart, an analyst turned field agent who must save the day. With laugh a minute humour, Get Smart is the big Hollywood blockbuster channelled for laughs, with all the secret bases with phone booth entrances, world-ending stakes and silly gadgets you can think of. A harmless, fun balance of action and comedy, Get Smart is sledgehammer comedy at its best.
Available On: Netflix
8) The Nice Guys
Another great buddy cop gem, Shane Black’s film has dramatic actors Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe take a winning leap towards the funny with their winning banter and dynamite chemistry. Set in 70s LA, Gosling’s lovably opportunistic private detective and Crowe’s muscle for hire come together to investigate the disappearance of a girl following the murder of a pornstar. Through quippy one-liners, sharp dialogue and glorious back and forth, The Nice Guys brought unending laughs to a good old-fashioned detective story where the only real mystery was why we never got a sequel.
Actress Olivia Wilde’s wonderful directorial debut utterly shattered the notion that indie movies take themselves too seriously with this joyful, smart and refreshing coming of age flick. Two overachievers try to make up for lost time by living out the biggest high school experiences on the night before graduation. Bursting with a fresh energy, Booksmart is funny, clever, insanely quotable and a different take on the typical high school comedy anchored by great performances from Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever.
This beloved 2007 high school comedy about teenagers being teenagers is just as funny today. Writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg follow Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s desperate adventures to get alcohol for a big party so that they can revoke their unpopular status. Superbad is filled with raunchy laughs, kooky cops and copious amounts of alcohol consumption and of course, the inimitable McLoven.
Special Mentions: In Bruges, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Borat, Trainwreck, We’re The Millers, Analyze This