Best comedy movies of all time

In 1895, early filmmaking legend Louis Lumière produced and directed a movie called “L’Arroseur Arrosé,” also known as “The Waterer Watered” or “The Sprinkler Sprinkled,” in which a mischievous young boy plays pranks on a gardener. The short film clocked in at a mere 45 seconds, but that was long enough to give birth to cinema’s comedy genre.

During the silent era, comedy was largely a slapstick affair, with performers like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd serving up many of the genre’s finest examples. Then, with the introduction of sound into movies, the genre broadened significantly in scope, delivering slapstick to satire and everything in between.

Nowadays, comedy endures in all its permutations and can guarantee a great time at the movies—when executed properly. Since making a successful comedy is easier said than done, there are numerous clunkers for every bona fide hit. However, when a solid comedy does indeed land its punches, it powerfully permeates the pop culture sphere, often for decades at a time.

But, which comedy movies rank highest among viewers? Stacker looked at all feature films listed as comedies on IMDb, as of May 7, 2024, and ranked the top 50 according to an indexed Stacker score, which is equally weighted between popular (IMDb) and critical (Metacritic) ratings. The top movie on this list has a Stacker score of 100 and the remaining movies are ranked relative to it. To qualify, the film had to have at least 10,000 IMDb user votes and a Metascore with at least seven reviews. Ties were broken by IMDb user votes.

3 adults dressed in white baby gowns and bonnets sit in high chairs.
MGM

#50. The Band Wagon (1953)

– Director: Vincente Minnelli
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes

A Broadway production is derailed by its megalomaniacal director (Jack Buchanan) in this musical comedy. Released at the height of the genre’s golden age, it stars Fred Astaire as a thinly veiled version of himself. The Chicago Reader critic Dave Kehr described the film as “a frenetic meditation on pop art versus high art.”

3 men with musical instruments in a house.
Ealing Studios

#49. The Ladykillers (1955)

– Director: Alexander Mackendrick
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes

The only thing getting between five thieves and their perfect heist is an elderly landlord (Katie Johnson) in this comedy of errors. It features a breakthrough performance from Peter Sellers, who plays one of the imbecilic criminals. Tom Hanks starred in a 2004 remake from the Coen brothers.

MK2 Productions

#48. Three Colors: White (1994)

– Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes

Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski released this dark comedy as the second entry in his acclaimed Three Colours trilogy. The story centers on Polish barber Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), who enacts an elaborate revenge scheme against his French ex-wife (Julie Delpy). Beneath the playful veneer is a pointed look at the psychological ramifications of economic inequality in the modern world.

Two girls stare, one with a pink cast on her arm and both wearing school uniforms.
IAC Films

#47. Lady Bird (2017)

– Director: Greta Gerwig
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes

Greta Gerwig’s first solo directorial effort takes place in 2002 and follows a young artist (Saoirse Ronan) as she comes of age in a Catholic high school. It famously held a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes until critic Cole Smithey took it down a notch.

A group of people sit at a couch behind a woman who is holding a monkey.
Astralwerks

#46. Being John Malkovich (1999)

– Director: Spike Jonze
– Stacker score: 90.8
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 1 hour 53 minutes

This surreal comedy announced director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman as two major cinematic talents. It tells the story of a struggling puppeteer turned office worker (John Cusack), who discovers a secret portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich (who plays himself). Things only get weirder from that point.

Black and white image of two men with fishing hats on talk with a blonde woman in next to a piano.
Warner Bros.

#45. To Have and Have Not (1944)

– Director: Howard Hawks
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes

Not long after “Casablanca,” Humphrey Bogart starred in this noirish dramedy with a similar premise. It finds him playing reluctant hero Harry Morgan, who agrees to help smuggle French Resistance fighters into Martinique. The story draws loose inspiration from an Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name.

A cartoon of a man getting a shave at the barbershop.
Les Armateurs

#44. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

– Director: Sylvain Chomet
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes

Featuring signature animation and nary a word of dialogue, this French comedy debuted to instant critical acclaim. With help from her loyal dog and a female jazz trio, the elderly and adorable Madame Souza attempts to rescue her kidnapped grandson. Newsweek critic David Ansen described it as “80 minutes of idiosyncratic inspiration.”

A man and woman walk down the street talking.
Orion Pictures

#43. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

– Director: Woody Allen
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes

Winner of three Academy Awards, this masterful dramedy chronicles the romantic exploits of three sisters. Hannah (Mia Farrow) is viewed as the most stable among them, but even her love life is more troubled than it seems. The story plays out over two years and occasionally presents the interior monologues of certain characters.

A young woman sits resting her head in her hand.
Oslo Pictures

#42. The Worst Person in the World (2021)

– Director: Joachim Trier
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 2 hours 8 minutes

A young woman (Renate Reinsve) navigates modern love and life alike in this acclaimed dramedy out of Norway. Far from the worst person in the world, she’s on a tireless search for personal and professional fulfillment. It concludes director Joachim Trier’s unplanned “Oslo Trilogy,” in which numerous self-doubting characters grapple with their futures.

A man and woman look into each other's eyes.
Columbia Pictures Corporation

#41. It Happened One Night (1934)

– Director: Frank Capra
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes

This 1934 romantic comedy follows spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) who flees from her possessive father and embarks on a road trip to get back to her husband King Westley (Jameson Thomas). Along the way, she crosses paths with out-of-work reporter Peter Warne (Clark Gable). Realizing he has a hot scoop, Warne gives Andrews an ultimatum: Either she lets him help her or he’ll report her whereabouts to her father. It might sound like a somewhat hostile way to kick off a romance, but director Frank Capra makes it work.

Black and white image of a man and woman dancing onstage during the silent era.
Studio 37

#40. The Artist (2011)

– Director: Michel Hazanavicius
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 89
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes

This French dramedy takes the form of a silent film and pays direct homage to a lost era in the process. Against the backdrop of massive industry change, actor George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) falls for a young protégé (Bérénice Bejo). It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.
Focus Features

#39. Lost in Translation (2003)

– Director: Sofia Coppola
– Stacker score: 91.3
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes

Director Sofia Coppola’s sophomore effort takes place in Tokyo and captures the unique experience of being a stranger in a strange land. It mines natural comedy out of the language barrier and other cultural differences while touching down on psychological themes. At the heart of the story are two drifting Americans (Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson), who forge a unique bond throughout their stay.

A family sits in the living room in their nightclothes with Judy Garland in a red gown in the center.
MGM

#38. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

– Director: Vincente Minnelli
– Stacker score: 91.8
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 1 hour 53 minutes

Set at the turn of the 20th century, this musical comedy revolves around four sisters in a well-to-do family. It features top-notch performances from stars Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien and bursts to life in signature Technicolor. The featured song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” remains a holiday staple.

A woman smokes a cigarette while talking to a man behind bars.
RKO Radio Pictures

#37. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

– Director: Howard Hawks
– Stacker score: 91.8
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes

An heiress (Katharine Hepburn), who owns a pet leopard, falls for a paleontologist (Cary Grant) in this screwball comedy. It showed off a new side to Hepburn and nearly derailed her career after underperforming at the box office. Nowadays, it’s considered a definitive milestone of its respective sub-genre.

Two men hold up wine glasses at a tasting.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#36. Sideways (2004)

– Director: Alexander Payne
– Stacker score: 91.8
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 2 hours 7 minutes

A struggling writer (Paul Giamatti) and his incorrigible companion (Thomas Haden Church) head to California wine country in this understated dramedy from Alexander Payne. Its discernible impact on the wine industry at large was also known as “The Sideways Effect.” Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

A young woman in a furry coat laughs and points with a boy next to her.
Columbia Pictures

#35. Almost Famous (2000)

– Director: Cameron Crowe
– Stacker score: 91.8
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes

Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical dramedy revisits his time as a teenage journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. It stars Patrick Fugit as 15-year-old William Miller, who hits the road with rock outfit Stillwater and their “band aids,”—what their devoted female fans call themselves. According to legend, many of the film’s events were inspired by Crowe’s experiences with The Allman Brothers Band.

A woman in a gray jumpsuit gets in the face of a policeman.
Blueprint Pictures

#34. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

– Director: Martin McDonagh
– Stacker score: 91.8
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes

Director Martin McDonagh drew loose inspiration from actual events when crafting this pitch-black comedy. It centers on a determined woman (Frances McDormand), who publicly calls out the local police over their failure to solve her daughter’s murder. McDormand and co-star Sam Rockwell won Academy Awards for their respective performances.

Hotel employees dressed in colorful suits look over a guest book at reception.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#33. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

– Director: Wes Anderson
– Stacker score: 91.8
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes

Wes Anderson makes an appearance on the list with this idiosyncratic 2014 comedy that depicts the adventures of Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), concierge at the renowned Grand Budapest Hotel in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. Many of the film’s events were loosely inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig, who’s respectively channeled by the author’s character (Tom Wilkinson), the author’s fictionalized counterpart (Jude Law), and Gustave H. himself.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers look at each other sideways while both are dressed to the nines.
RKO Radio Pictures

#32. Top Hat (1935)

– Director: Mark Sandrich
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 1 hour 41 minutes

The third film collaboration between Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire tells a whimsical story of romance and mistaken identity in the city of London. After a chance hotel encounter, a talented dancer pursues the woman of his dreams. Legendary composer Irving Berlin provided songs for the film, including the timeless classic “Cheek to Cheek.”

The three Marx brothers at a desk, one on the phone, one looking under and the other on top of the desk smoking a cigar.
Paramount Pictures

#31. Duck Soup (1933)

– Director: Leo McCarey
– Stacker score: 92.4
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 1 hour 9 minutes

This Marx Brothers comedy takes place in the fictional nation of Freedonia, where the appointment of a new leader (Groucho Marx) stirs up a revolution. It was banned in Italy by dictator Benito Mussolini, who took the premise as a personal attack. According to the Marx Brothers, it was all just for laughs.

A clown talks with a ballerina and Charlie Chaplin.
Charles Chaplin Productions

#30. The Circus (1928)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 1 hour 12 minutes

No list of “best comedy movies” is complete without Charlie Chaplin, and he makes his first appearance in 1928’s “The Circus.” In the silent film, Chaplin reprises his role as the Tramp, who finds work, romance, and rivalry after joining the circus. Featuring some of Chaplin’s best work, the movie won him an Honorary Oscar for “versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing.” Nevertheless, it’s a film he reportedly preferred to forget, perhaps because he was going through a major divorce while making it.

A group of people sit at a dinner table while a red theater curtain opens around them revealing an audience.
Greenwich Film Productions

#29. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

– Director: Luis Buñuel
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 93
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes

Luis Buñuel’s French satire centers around a group of bourgeois friends, whose failed dinner plans interweave with a series of dream sequences. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay. On the BBC Culture’s list of the 100 Greatest Comedies of All Time, it ranks at #49.

Black and white image of The Beatles running from the police.
Walter Shenson Films

#28. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

– Director: Richard Lester
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes

This musical comedy captures The Fab Four at the height of Beatlemania when their popularity was almost literally contagious. Blurring the line between fiction and reality, it spends two days in the life of the British rock group. An irreverent and whimsical tone persists.

Three men at a table wearing viking helmets and holding candles.
Crossbow Productions

#27. The Producers (1967)

– Director: Mel Brooks
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes

Comedy legend Mel Brooks targets show business itself in this hilarious sendup of industry economics. Behold the story of Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and accountant Leopold Bloom (Gene Wilder), who realize that a flop is actually more profitable than a hit. From this discovery comes the most tasteless play ever made, better known as “Springtime for Hitler.”

Two boys talk in front of a colorful diner.
Universal Pictures

#26. American Graffiti (1973)

– Director: George Lucas
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes

This nostalgic comedy takes viewers back to early 1960s California, a time of milkshakes and drag races. Against a backdrop of signature rock tunes, teens and adolescents cruise around town on the last day of their summer vacation. A benchmark in more ways than one, the film’s blockbuster success allowed director George Lucas to make “Star Wars.”

A hair band poses making faces for the camera.
Spinal Tap Prod.

#25. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

– Director: Rob Reiner
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes

One of the most influential mockumentaries of all time follows England’s loudest rock band on a disastrous American tour. Co-screenwriter and star Christopher Guest went on to create several similar comedies, including “Waiting for Guffman” and “Best in Show.” A sequel is currently in production.

Cartoon image of spider man swinging through the city.
SPE

#24. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

– Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 87
– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes

Web-slinging superhero Spider-Man (voiced by Shameik Moore) discovers that anyone can wear the mask in this multidimensional computer-animated adventure. Visually dazzling, it features no shortage of comic relief.

A house being held up by balloons floating through the sky.
Pixar Animation Studios

#23. Up (2009)

– Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
– Stacker score: 92.9
– Metascore: 88
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes

Pixar kept the hits coming with 2009’s “Up,” which follows an old man (voiced by the late Edward Asner) and a young boy as they take to the skies inside a floating house. Their journey leads them to an exotic location known as Paradise Falls, where danger awaits. While the movie does indeed feature plenty of laughs, it also includes a downright devastating opening montage.

People decorate a woman's hospital room in all yellow.
ABC Entertainment

#22. Nashville (1975)

– Director: Robert Altman
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Runtime: 2 hours 40 minutes

Robert Altman’s sprawling dramedy injects an element of satire as it touches down on various escapades throughout Music City. It takes place over a few days and peels back the curtain on celebrity culture and American politics alike. A talented ensemble cast and hit soundtrack bring each story to life.

Two women look through an old dilapidated sructure outside.
Channel Four Films

#21. Secrets & Lies (1996)

– Director: Mike Leigh
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 2 hours 16 minutes

An adopted Black woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) tracks down her white biological mother (Brenda Blethyn) in this British dramedy from Mike Leigh. The story uses their relationship to explore pointed racial and socioeconomic themes. It won three awards at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d’Or.

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton chat on a rooftop
Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

#20. Annie Hall (1977)

– Director: Woody Allen
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 1 hour 33 minutes

Woody Allen turned a new chapter in his career and simultaneously redefined the romantic comedy genre with this groundbreaking masterpiece. Employing a variety of stylistic devices, it chronicles the relationship between a divorced comedian (Allen) and an aspiring entertainer (Diane Keaton). The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Fish and turtles looking frightened at each other.
Pixar Animation Studios

#19. Finding Nemo (2003)

– Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes

On the heels of “Monsters, Inc.” came this wildly successful adventure from Pixar about a forlorn clown fish named Marlin who travels the ocean in search of his missing son. Striving for authenticity—relatively speaking, of course—Pixar sent its art team through aquatic training before production began. Providing the voice for Marlin is comedic talent, Albert Brooks, while comedian Ellen DeGeneres lends her voice to Dory, the hapless fish who helps Marlin in his quest.

Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, and Holland Taylor in The Truman Show.
Paramount Pictures

#18. The Truman Show (1998)

– Director: Peter Weir
– Stacker score: 93.5
– Metascore: 90
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes

Released a few years before the reality TV boom, this blockbuster comedy has become all the more prescient in the time since. Jim Carrey plays insurance salesman Truman Burbank, the unwitting star of a 24-hour reality show. In 2008, “Truman Show Syndrome” was coined as a psychological condition whereby people think they’re being watched for the entertainment of others.

A woman leaning over a chair pressed againsta a man's face.
Paramount Pictures

#17. The Lady Eve (1941)

– Director: Preston Sturges
– Stacker score: 94.0
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes

A career highlight for filmmaker Preston Sturges, this classic comedy stars ​​Barbara Stanwyck as a con artist and Henry Fonda as her latest mark. What starts as a routine con becomes far more complicated when genuine emotions enter the fold. Variety called it “laugh entertainment of top proportions with its combo of slick situations, spontaneous dialog, and a few slapstick falls tossed in for good measure.”

Two knights sitting on a park bench, one reading the paper and the other smoking a pipe.
Python (Monty) Pictures

#16. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

– Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
– Stacker score: 94.0
– Metascore: 91
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes

Monty Python thought up this historical comedy between the third and fourth series, i.e. seasons, of their iconic sketch show. Reinterpreting medieval legend through an absurdist lens, it follows King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his knights on their quest for the Holy Grail. A number of the film’s signature jokes remain culturally relevant almost five decades later.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land.
Summit Entertainment

#15. La La Land (2016)

– Director: Damien Chazelle
– Stacker score: 94.6
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 2 hours 8 minutes

Director Damien Chazelle took cues from “Singin’ in the Rain” and other musical comedies when crafting this Oscar-winning smash. Set in the city of Los Angeles, it opens on a traffic-themed song-and-dance number before diving into the story of two dreamers (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone). An upbeat tone gives way to a dramatic wallop of an ending, where a sliding-doors plot device examines a life that could have been.

One man carries a woman in a robe while he talks to two other men.
MGM

#14. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

– Director: George Cukor
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 7.9
– Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes

Katharine Hepburn staged a massive career comeback with this romantic comedy, adapted from a play in which she also starred. She dominates the screen as Tracy Lord, a wealthy socialite who has a crisis of love and identity on the brink of her wedding. It won two Academy Awards—Best Actor for Jimmy Stewart and Best Screenplay.

Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita.
Riama Film

#13. La Dolce Vita (1960)

– Director: Federico Fellini
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 95
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 2 hours 54 minutes

In this Italian comedy, tabloid journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) navigates the “sweet life” of Rome’s upper class. The film’s title entered the cultural lexicon soon after, as did the term “paparazzi” (inspired by a character named Paparazzo). Director Federico Fellini became an international sensation on the heels of its success.

A cartoon of a man, woman and girl sitting at a table eating takeout.
Pixar Animation Studios

#12. Inside Out (2015)

– Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes

Boldly going where no animated feature had gone before, “Inside Out” takes place inside a young girl’s head and personifies her respective emotions of Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. As the young girl grapples with moving to a new city, her emotions scramble to retain control of their domain. Like most Pixar films, this one is as humorous as it is sincere, prompting tears of sadness and joy alike.

Cartoon image of Woody the cowboy peaking around the corner.
Pixar Animation Studios

#11. Toy Story 3 (2010)

– Director: Lee Unkrich
– Stacker score: 95.1
– Metascore: 92
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes

In the third installment of Pixar’s “Toy Story,” Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and the gang have their worst fears realized when it appears that their owner, Andy, is too old to play with them. To make matters worse, the toys are accidentally donated to the local daycare center, where the children are merciless and an evil teddy bear runs the show at night.

A man sits next to a woman in bed who is reading a letter and smiling.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios

#10. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

– Director: Ernst Lubitsch
– Stacker score: 95.7
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes

Decades before Nora Ephron’s “You’ve Got Mail,” there was the 1940’s “The Shop Around the Corner” from Ernst Lubitsch, about a quarreling man (Jimmy Stewart) and woman (Margaret Sullavan) who don’t realize they’ve been forming a romance as anonymous pen pals. This was one of three movies based on the same play by Miklós László. Meanwhile, it’s no coincidence that the name of Meg Ryan’s bookstore in “You’ve Got Mail” happens to be The Shop Around the Corner.

Specta Films

#9. Playtime (1967)

– Director: Jacques Tati
– Stacker score: 96.2
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 7.8
– Runtime: 2 hours 35 minutes

Director and star Jacques Tati reprised the role of Monsieur Hulot for this comic exploration of technology and hyperconsumerism. Set in future Paris, it interconnects stories through the recurrence of two central characters. The film’s lack of dialogue and other experimental techniques made it hard to digest upon release, but it’s now considered a masterpiece.

Shirley MacLaine looks ahead while Jack Lemmon talks to her from behind.
Mirisch Corporation

#8. The Apartment (1960)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– Stacker score: 96.2
– Metascore: 94
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 2 hours 5 minutes

Company employee C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his apartment to high-powered executives for extramarital trysts in this Billy Wilder comedy. In return, he hopes to score a promotion and ascend the corporate ladder. Things get complicated when the personnel director romances the elevator girl (Shirley MacLaine), whom Baxter happens to like.

A cartoon of a rat flying through the air holding cheese.
Pixar Animation Studios

#7. Ratatouille (2007)

– Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
– Stacker score: 96.2
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutes

From Pixar Studios came this 2007 animated comedy, which follows a talented rat named Remy as he helps a human kitchen employee climb the ranks in a French restaurant. The film was co-directed by animation wizard Brad Bird, the same man behind films like “The Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles.” More than 270 pieces of food were computer-animated for the film—after first being prepared and consumed in real life. Providing the voice for Remy is actor and comedian Patton Oswalt.

A cartoon of Woody the cowboy looking at Buzz Lightyear the astronaut, as he flashes a red light.
Pixar Animation Studios

#6. Toy Story (1995)

– Director: John Lasseter
– Stacker score: 97.3
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 1 hour 21 minutes

More than any other feature, the original “Toy Story”—a film about toys that come to life when humans aren’t looking—kicked off the modern era of animation. In addition to its iconic characters and hit songs, the original film delivers plenty of affectionate comedy that still holds up nearly three decades later. Many of the movie’s outwardly funny moments come from Mr. Potato Head, voiced by comedy legend Don Rickles.

Tony Curtis in a bubble bath and Marilyn Monroe sitting next to the tub talking.
Ashton Productions

#5. Some Like It Hot (1959)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– Stacker score: 97.8
– Metascore: 98
– IMDb user rating: 8.2
– Runtime: 2 hours 1 minutes

On the run from the mob, two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) dress up like women and join an all-female band. So goes this classic 1959 comedy, which stars Marilyn Monroe as sultry singer Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk. According to legend, Monroe was difficult to work with during the shoot, as she routinely showed up late and frequently forgot her lines.

Black and white image of three men holding tools while working in a factory who look angry at each other.
Charles Chaplin Productions

#4. Modern Times (1936)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 98.4
– Metascore: 96
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes

Charlie Chaplin turned his satirical eye toward big industry in this 1936 silent film with sound effects. It follows The Tramp (Chaplin) as he struggles to make ends meet during the rise of factories and machines. Famously featured is a sequence where the Tramp gets swallowed by a machine—only to slither his way through a digestive tract of wheels, gears, and cogs.

A man looks sideways and smiles with crazy eyes.
Stanley Kubrick Productions

#3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

– Director: Stanley Kubrick
– Stacker score: 98.4
– Metascore: 97
– IMDb user rating: 8.4
– Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes

Dark comedy rarely gets much darker than this 1964 film from Stanley Kubrick, in which a series of miscommunications triggers a nuclear holocaust. Peter Sellers stars in multiple roles, including the title character, a quirky, wheelchair-bound doctor with fascist reflexes. Making the whole premise slightly less funny is the fact that it could have happened in real life—or at least could have at the time of the film’s release.

Gene Kelly dances in the rain on a lamppost.
MGM

#2. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

– Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
– Stacker score: 98.9
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 8.3
– Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes

Chronicling the struggles of a silent-era production house as it transitions to talkies, this 1952 musical is among the most celebrated films of all time. While audiences will mostly remember the movie for its iconic song-and-dance numbers, it also delivers a bevy of laugh-out-loud moments. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds star in this comedy classic.

Charlie Chaplin holds a flower for a girl on the sidewalk.
Charles Chaplin Productions

#1. City Lights (1931)

– Director: Charles Chaplin
– Stacker score: 100
– Metascore: 99
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes

Topping off the list of the best comedy movies is “City Lights” from Charlie Chaplin. The film sees Chaplin reprising his role as the Tramp, this time undergoing a series of adventures while trying to raise money for a blind flower girl. Subtitled “a comedy romance in pantomime,” the silent movie, which consciously eschews audible dialogue, balances slapstick antics with copious amounts of pathos—all without saying a word.

Story editing by Cynthia Rebolledo. Copy editing by Robert Wickwire. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.

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