15 Best Smart Comedy Movies to Watch Now

15 Best Smart Comedy Movies to Watch Now

May 2, 2024

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Contrary to that old adage that states that a comedy is good as long as it makes you laugh, sometimes people want a brand of comedy that might be a little more thoughtful, with something different to say. So here at agoodmovietowatch, we’ve put together a list of smart comedy movies available on streaming. Don’t be fooled, though; just because these films don’t indulge as much in the simple joys of slapstick and crude, mindless humor (which is still difficult to get right), that doesn’t mean these movies aren’t still funny. Comedy is an art form no matter how it looks and sounds, and these movies trust that you’ll find something worth laughing about the more you give it some thought.

11. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

best

8.2

Country

United States of America

Director

Boots Riley

Actors

Annie Chen, Armie Hammer, Damion Gallegos, Danny Glover

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Funny, Smart

In the year of the Netflix TV Show Maniac, another absurdist title stole critics’ hearts. Sorry to Bother You is a movie set in an alternate reality, where capitalism and greed are accentuated. Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) is a guy called Cassius who struggles to pay his bills. However, when at a tele-marketing job an old-timer tells him to use a “white voice”, he starts moving up the ranks of his bizarre society. A really smart movie that will be mostly enjoyed by those who watch it for its entertaining value, and not so much for its commentary. It is like a Black Mirror episode stretched into a movie.

12. Warehoused (2015)

best

8.2

Country

Mexico

Director

Jack Zagha Kababie

Actors

Hoze Meléndez, Jack Zagha Kababie, José Carlos Ruiz

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Slow, Smart

When Sr. Lino started his warehouse job, he had to work for 11 years before being able to sit down during work hours. This is because there was one chair, and he had to wait for his more senior colleague to retire before he could have his turn.

Now, many years later, he’s about to retire. A new recruit is sent to replace him just five days before he leaves. Sr. Lino is disgruntled that the new kid will only have to stand for five days, but on the second day, the kid brings a chair from home and sits.

Warehoused is a comedy about these two characters with completely different personalities as they interact during the few days left in Sr. Lino’s career. The most interesting thing is perhaps how little seems to happen: the warehouse is empty, unvisited, and yet religiously maintained by Sr. Lino.

It’s such a joy to watch the two actors carry this movie. And behind the funny and simple premise, there is a lot that this movie tries to deal with: deceit and lies, the weight of modern working life, and more.

13. Ruby Sparks (2012)

best

8.1

Country

United States of America

Director

Female director, Jonathan Dayton

Actors

Aasif Mandvi, Alia Shawkat, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas

Moods

Romantic, Smart, Well-acted

Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), a young and promising novelist imagines and writes about his idea of a perfect female companion. Somehow, his words manifest into reality – the beautiful and corky Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan). Soon, however, his magical love turns shallow as his creation begins to think for herself and wrestle against her creation. This romantic comedy has the right amount of wit and emotion with a deep message of loving people just the way they are.

14. The Death of Stalin (2017)

best

8.1

Country

Belgium, Canada, France

Director

Armando Iannucci

Actors

Adam Ewan, Adam Shaw, Adrian McLoughlin, Alla Binieieva

Moods

A-list actors, Discussion-sparking, Funny

This is a hilarious political comedy starring the ever-great Steve Buscemi. Set in the last days before Stalin’s death and the chaos that followed, it portrays the lack of trust and the random assassinations that characterized the Stalinist Soviet Union. Think of it as Veep meets Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator. Although to be fair, its dark comedy props are very different from the comedy that comes out today: where there are jokes they’re really smart, but what’s actually funny is the atmosphere and absurd situations that end up developing.

15. Irma Vep (1996)

best

8.1

Country

France

Director

Olivier Assayas

Actors

Alex Descas, Antoine Basler, Arsinée Khanjian, Balthazar Clémenti

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Raw, Smart

In this film-within-a-film, we and a fictional version of actress Maggie Cheung are brought through the disorienting experience of French filmmaking. The film’s washed-up director wants to remake the classic silent film Les Vampires to revive his career. But as with all plans, everything inevitably goes wrong. On top of depicting the regular chaos of a movie set, this film presents the anxieties of the modern-day French film industry—about how it may be past its prime, and how it can still compete on a global level. And through the steady, inscrutable face of Maggie Cheung, we remember the creative collaborations we’ve had ourselves—the energetic passion, the behind-the-scenes power dynamics, and the pure chaos of the process.

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