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What Are the Best Comedies of the 21st Century? An In-Depth Look Into Critical and Audience Ratings

January 7, 2016

Hello all. Mark here!

The comedic films of the 21st century have been an eclectic mix that feature 40-year-old virgins, bridesmaids and Merlot hate. We’ve been blessed with horror comedies (What We Do in the Shadows), comedy dramas (The Royal Tenenbaums) and just straight up comedy (The Other Guys)  Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Judd Apatow and Edgar Wright directed solid gold movies that have made defining the word “comedy” impossible. So many of the 21st century comedies fall into several categories at once. For example, movies like Juno, Shaun of the Dead, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Station Agent, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, American Hustle and The Kid’s Are All Right cover every genre while still being recognized as comedy. Movies don’t have to be “Ow, My Balls” to be considered funny and that is why I collected so many films for the data set.

The 370 comedies I collected critic/audience data for are incredibly different but utilized laughs in brilliant ways. My favorite comedic moment of the 21st century revolves around a guy playing terrible tennis because his sister married Bill Murray.

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Here are my 10 favorite 21st century comedies to give you an example of the varying hilarity we’ve been given.

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums
  2. Hot Fuzz
  3. Goon
  4. The Trip
  5. The Guard
  6. In Bruges
  7. What We Do in the Shadows
  8. Sideways
  9. The Other Guys
  10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

What we do in the shadows jemaine clement gif

 

The following lists are pure data. I’ve haven’t tinkered with the averages or weighted anything. I simply wanted the facts and I found out some interesting things in the process. For instance, here are the films that audiences loved much more than critics. The numbers next to the movie represent the difference between the critic/audience averages.

5. Van Wilder – 48.1

4. Joe Dirt – 49.5

3. Grandma’s Boy – 51.5

2. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist – 60.1

1. Out Cold – 62.6

Out Cold Zach G

Zach looks shocked.

When I unleashed my 21st century horror post it sparked a lot of conversations about the definition of horror and what should be included. I loved those conversations and I understood the points made. So, in order to prevent mass annoyance I included a fourth category to appease the masses.

  1. Top 25 critically rated comedies according to Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic critics
  2. Top 25 audience rated comedies according to IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes audience scores and Metacritc users
  3. Top 25 rated comedies from Rotten Tomatoes critics, RT audience Scores, Metacritic critics, Metacritic user scores and IMDb users
  4. Top 25 Rated “Comedy” comedies from Rotten Tomatoes critics, RT audience score, Metacritic critics, Metacritic user scores and IMDb users

Here is a PDF list of the 371 films ranked so you can see where your favorite films placed.

Enjoy the list and make sure to vote below!

Sidenote: I decided to exclude animated films because I wanted to save them for another post.

1. Top 25 Critically Rated Comedies according to Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic Critics

25. Volver (2006), The Station Agent (2003)  –  88

24. The Host (88.5) – 88.5

23. Her (2013) – 88.5

22. Nebraska (2013) – 88.5

21. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) – 88.5

20. In the Loop (2009) – 88.5

19. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – 88.5

18. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) – 88.5

17. The Band’s Visit (2007) – 89

16. The Kids Are All Right (2010) – 89.5

15. The Ten Canoes (2006) – 90

14. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) – 90

13. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) – 90

12. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)  (2014) – 90

11. Ghost World (2001) – 90

10. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – 90

9. Le Havre (2011) – 90.5

8. Tangerine (2015) – 90.5

7. The Man Without a Past (2002) – 91

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – 91

5. American Hustle (2013) – 91.5

4. Lost in Translation (2003) – 92

3. The Artist (2011) – 93

2. American Splendor (2003) – 93.5

  1. Sideways (2004)  – 95

Seeing Sideways at number one makes me happy. It features perfect blend of humor, drama and lines that alter the wine industry.

Sideways wine movie

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2. Top 25 Audience Rated Comedies according to IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores and Metacritc Users

25. Shaolin Soccer – 81.6

24. Old School -82

23. The Band’s Visit – 82

22. Juno – 82.3

21. Stranger Than Fiction (2006) – 82.6

20. Zombieland (2009)- 82.6

19. 24 Hour Party People (2002) – 82.6

18. Black Dynamite (2009)- 83

17. 50/50 (2011) -83.3

16. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – 83.3

15. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – 83.6

14. Volver (2004) – 84

13. Amelie (2001) – 84

12. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) – 84.3

11. In Bruges (2008) – 84.6

10. The Station Agent (2003) – 85

9. Hot Fuzz (2007) – 85.3

8. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)  -85.3

7. The Big Short (2015) – 85.6

6. Her (2013) – 86

5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) – 86

4. The Intouchables (2012) – 86.3

3. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – 86.6

2. Wild Tales  (2014) – 86.6

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – 89

Eternal sunshine table

I love Charlie Kaufman screenplays.

3. Top Rated Comedies from Rotten Tomatoes Critics, RT Audience Score , Metacritic, Metacritic User Scores and IMDb Users

25. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) – 83.2

24. Adaptation (2002) – 83.2

23. 50/50 (2011) – 83.2

22. Lost in Translation (2003) – 83.8

21. Nebraska (2013) – 83.8

20. 24 Hour Party People (2002) – 83.8

19. Ghost World (2001) – 84.2

18. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – 84.2

17. Juno (2007) -84.4

16. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)  – 84.6

15. American Splendor (2003) – 84.8

14. The Band’s Visit – (2007) –  84.8

13. Kung Fu Hustle (2004) – 85

12. The Big Short – (2015) 85.2

11. Volver (2006) – 85.6

10. Hot Fuzz (2007) – 85.6

9. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – 85.6

8. The Man Without a Past (2002) – 85.8

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – 86.2

6. The Station Agent (2003) – 86.2

5. Her (2013) – 86.4

4. Wild Tales (2014) – 86.6

3. The Artist (2011) – 87

2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) – 87

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – 89.8

 

4. The 25 highest rated “comedy” comedies from Rotten Tomatoes Critics, RT Audience Score , Metacrtic, Metacritic User Scores and IMDb Users

25. Bad Santa (2003)/ I Love You, Man (2009) – (75.8)

24. Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004) – 76

23. Bridesmaids (2011) – 76.2

22. Four Lions (2010) – 76.4 

21. Elf  (2003) – 76.4

20. 22 Jump Street (2014) – 76.6

19. 21 Jump Street (2012) – 77.6

18. The Trip (2010) – 77.6

17. Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2010) – 77.8

16.  A Mighty Wind (2003) – 78.4

15. The Hangover (2009) – 78.4

14. Knocked Up (2007) – 79

13. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) –  79.2 

12. The Guard (2011) – 79.8

11. Black Dynamite (2009) – 79.8

10. Francis Ha (2012) – 80.4

9. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)- 81

8. Superbad (2007) – 81.4

7. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) – 82

6. Zombieland (2009)- 82

5. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – 83

4. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – 84.2

3. Hot Fuzz (2007) –  85.6

2. Shaun of the Dead (2004)  – 85.6

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) –  86.2

Grand Budapest Hotel M. gustave

Gustave loves the news!

There you have it! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the list! If you have some time please vote below. I want to know what the readers think is the best 21st century comedy.

You have three votes. I understand how hard it is to just pick one. 

If you do not find your favorite 21st century comedy on the list please write it in!

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2016 7:08 am

    I guess a few of the more recent ones wouldn’t make the cut, like The Overnight or People, Places, Things. Comedies like The Mule, Hot Rod and Nightbus need more recognition. But if I was to pick 3 out of the ones listed, here we go…

    What We Do In The Shadows
    The Trip
    Wild Tales

    Great effort here pal. Love it.

  2. January 7, 2016 8:10 pm

    I love those three movies! I could watch The Trip once a week. I dug The Trip to Italy too.

Trackbacks

  1. The MFF Podcast #45: The Best Comedies of the 21st Century | Movies, Films & Flix

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