The 50 Best Indie Comedy Movies

The 50 Best Indie Comedy Movies

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The best highly-rated but little-known comedy movies as featured on agoodmovietowatch.com.

Note: to see if each film is available for you to stream on Netflix or elsewhere, click on the title to be redirected to the movie page.

50. Transamerica (2005)

6.9

Country

United States of America

Director

Duncan Tucker

Actors

Amy Povich, Andrea James, Burt Young, Calpernia Addams

Moods

Grown-up Comedy

Bree (Felicity Huffman) is an uptight transwoman who gets a phone call from her long lost son who is in trouble. She does not tell him she is his father but bails him out of jail and they end up on a long road trip to LA. Bree’s high strung conservative personality intersecting with a wild young man and people they meet along the way leads to some comical situations. Felicity Huffman’s performance is excellent. It is enjoyable to watch the characters develop over the film.

49. World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

6.9

Country

United States of America

Director

Bobcat Goldthwait

Actors

Alexie Gilmore, Bobcat Goldthwait, Cheri Minns, Daryl Sabara

Moods

Dark, Dramatic, Funny

Summary: it’s a really unusual movie, especially for a star like Robin Williams. It’s almost an indie film actually. Robin Williams plays Lance Clayton, the father of a typical rude teenage boy Kyle Clayton (Daryl Sabara) wherein Sabara’s character meets an unusual demise, and out of embarrassment of the situation the father ghost-writes a suicide note from his son. This white lie leads to another and another and so on until his lies spread further than anticipated. The movie definitely earns points for making the film that was set out to be made. They wanted to make a dark comedy and a dark comedy was what they made. It’s even uncomfortable to watch at times. Between Lance’s love life and Kyle’s non-existent one there’s enough awkwardness that you feel like you can’t wait to get to the next scene just so this one can be over. All in all the actors did a truly fantastic job. Each character seemed well developed by the individual actor to the point where every gesture, line delivery, and awkward silence seemed too natural and organic. Additionally, the writing was exceptional for this movie, as no dialogue was ever wasted. Each and every little detail in each and every shot of each and every scene was very carefully designed to continually push the aesthetics, this film is a big success.

48. Sightseers (2013)

6.9

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Director

Ben Wheatley

Actors

Alice Lowe, Aymen Hamdouchi, Christine Talbot, Dominic Applewhite

Moods

Funny, Weird

Definitely a film you will either love or hate, Sightseers is an extremely dark comedy on the verge of being a horror movie. And it’s British, with many elements of deep British culture. A couple go on their dream road trip in the countryside to suddenly find themselves killing strangers. Sightseers will feel almost like a very British version of True Romance. Again, it’s a unique film, but don’t get me wrong that does not make it hard to like – it’s really about if you like it, you will find it absolutely hilarious.

47. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

6.9

Country

Japan

Director

Satoshi Kon

Actors

Akio Otsuka, Aya Okamoto, Hiroya Ishimaru, Koichi Yamadera

Moods

Character-driven, Emotional, Funny

This is a great movie to watch on say a Sunday. The story of three homeless people who find a newborn baby while foraging through trash on Christmas eve and decide to care for the baby and track down its parents. Middle-aged Gin, aging Hana and teenage runaway Miyuki form a makeshift family haunted by its members’ past and troubled by their present. As expected, Satoshi Kon (who also directed Paprika) delivers a beautifully animated story with unique characters and unique dynamics. The result is a very humane and moving animation, not to be missed by both Kon fans and those willing to be introduced to his style.

46. Up in the Air (2009)

6.9

Country

United States of America

Director

Jason Reitman

Actors

Adam Rose, Adhir Kalyan, Adrienne Lamping, Amy Morton

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Smart

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a corporate axman, he comes in a fires people when the managers are too afraid to do it themselves. The nature of his work requires a lot of flying, short lived meetings in transit zones and he absolutely loves it, and he has a certain goal in mind. When the company tries a new approach to corporate downsizing he has to change his way and view of life. It’s full of cynicism and warmth. If you are familiar with Jason Reitman’s previous work, you’ll feel right at home, if you don’t : Get to it!

45. Beautiful Girls (1996)

6.9

Country

United States of America

Director

Ted Demme

Actors

Adam LeFevre, Annabeth Gish, Anne Bobby, David Arquette

Moods

Easy, Heart-warming, No-brainer

With an ensemble cast featuring a young Natalie Portman and a less murderous Uma Thurman, Ted Demme’s “Beautiful Girls” recreates the worries and woes that thrive in the minds of a tight knit group of working class friends stuck in their own small town Massachusetts world. Warm, quirky and filled with champagne diamonds, both metaphorical and tangible, for anybody who’s ever walked the thirty something walk, it’s a film that’ll make you want to remember all the friends you wish you still had and actually still do.

44. Sing Street (2016)

6.9

Country

Ireland, UK, United Kingdom

Director

John Carney

Actors

Aidan Gillen, Ben Carolan, Des Keogh, Don Wycherley

Moods

Easy, Romantic, Sweet

In 1980s Dublin, a young Irish catholic-school boy, whose family is facing financial problems starts his own band with the sole objective of impressing a mysterious femme fatale. The film takes you on a beautiful and witty journey through the band’s path to success and our protagonist’s quest in conquering his love all to the rhythm of some of the biggest 80’s pop-rock hits and the band’s own original soundtrack. Without a doubt this film is the long awaited passion project of filmmaker John Carney (Once, Begin Again).

43. Sound of Noise (2010)

7.0

Country

France, Sweden

Director

Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Ola Simonsson

Actors

Anders Jansson, Irene Lindh, Iwar Wiklander, Paula McManus

Moods

Easy, Funny, Quirky

When a group of percussionists illegally carry out a city-wide performance act, it’s up to policeman Amadeus Warnebring to stop them. The musical fugitives perform on stolen objects and disrupt public spaces, but Warnebring has his own reasons to pursue them so determinedly: he’s tone-deaf for one and born into a family of snobby musical geniuses for another, making this case all the more meaningful and consequential to him.

Sound of Noise is more than reminiscent of Stomp, what with its playful symphonies subsisting on random borrowed objects, but it is livened up with the suspense of a caper, the dry wit of a Swedish comedy, and the abundant charms of a light romance.

42. Kontroll (2004)

7.0

Country

Hungary

Director

Nimród Antal

Actors

Balla Eszter, Bence Mátyássy, Csaba Pindroch, Enikő Eszenyi

Moods

Funny, Smart, Weird

A story about inspectors on the Hungarian subway and their struggle to get travelers to pay up. Skinheads with attack dogs, drunks and freaks are the harsh reality of these working-class heroes, who themselves of course are quite the weird bunch. Dark post-soviet humor, refreshingly politically incorrect characters and an abstract parallel love story which barely makes sense even at the end. Kontroll is a movie you will regret having waited 10 years to see.

41. Metropolitan (1990)

7.0

Country

Spain, United States of America

Director

Whit Stillman

Actors

Chris Eigeman, Isabel Gillies, Taylor Nichols

Moods

Character-driven, Smart, Without plot

It’s very interesting, if not startling, to see an earnest movie made about the white upper class these days. Metropolitan is one such film, and even though it was released in the ’90s, it still stands the test of time precisely because it neither judges nor defends the group of WASPs it follows. It simply shows them in all their elegance and sophistication, as well as their insulation and irony. 

Metropolitan takes place in the upper crust of New York debutante society, during Christmas vacation, where soirees are rampant and afterparties even more so. The young-adult leads who navigate the scene in their expensive clothes and self-important aura recall a Scott Fitzgerald novel, or if you like, Gossip Girl episode. But instead of falling into tragedies, these characters just end up in silly but relatable mishaps and misunderstandings: they’re just kids after all. And as high and mighty as they may seem, whiling away in tall Park Avenue apartments, they’re still prone to the universal pains that haunt and shape teenagers. Expect to see heartbreak, jealousy, and longing even among the brightest and wealthiest of New York. 

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