100 Best Underrated Comedy Movies of All Time

100 Best Underrated Comedy Movies of All Time

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Comedy is so much more than the loudmouthed slapstick humor that still dominates screens to this day. This isn’t to slander the average farce, some of which are actually hilarious, but there are also dark comedies, romantic comedies, meta comedies, and satire comedies to enjoy. In other words, there are many shades of funny, but we miss out on a lot of them when we only tune into what’s popular. 

Below we round up our 100 favorite comedy films of all time. These movies are highly rated but little seen, meaning there’s a high chance of them being underrated. If you’ve already gone through the usual films that appear in lists like this, go give the ones below a try and have your faith in funny be restored. 

80. Hello, My Name is Doris (2015)

best

8.0

Country

United States of America

Director

Michael Showalter

Actors

Abraham Lim, Amy Okuda, Anna Akana, Beth Behrs

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Romantic

Doris Miller is an unassuming sixty-something office worker whose life takes an unusual turn after her mother passes away. We find out over the course of the film that Doris’ life was put on hold early when she had to give up her dreams and ambitions to take care of her mother. Something is awakened in Doris though when she falls head over heels for John, a much younger co-worker, and Doris dives head first into the world of social media, electro-pop, and Brooklyn hipsterdom. Sally Field is an absolute delight here — her Doris is sweet, lovable, and tragic in equal measures. And the chemistry between her and John is palpable; you can see why they eventually strike up a friendship. In many ways this is a late in life coming-of-age story, and while there are moments of uncomfortable humor, you will find yourself rooting for Doris to come out of her shell and embrace her new life to the fullest.

79. The Lobster (2015)

best

8.0

Country

France, Greece, Ireland

Director

Giorgos Lanthimos, Yorgos Lanthimos

Actors

Aggeliki Papoulia, Angeliki Papoulia, Anthony Dougall, Ariane Labed

Moods

Mind-blowing, Smart, Thought-provoking

A unique movie about a near-future society obsessed with couples; viewing couples as the norm, as opposed to single people who are viewed as unproductive and undesirable. In that way, the film shows David (Colin Farrell), a newly single person who is transferred to the Hotel, a place where single people have just 45 days to find a suitable mate, and if they fail, they would be transformed into animals of their choice. While the film’s original premise may not be everyone’s cup of tea, The Lobster will prove a goldmine for people who are into a Kafkaesque, absurdist mentality, or anyone looking for an idea-driven experience.

78. Another Year (2010)

best

8.0

Country

UK, United Kingdom, United States of America

Director

Mike Leigh

Actors

Badi Uzzaman, Ben Roberts, David Bradley, Edna Doré

Moods

Feel-Good, Heart-warming, Romantic

This is a very nice movie about a lovely older couple named Tom and Gerri. It follows their lives for an entire year, as they work at their jobs, invite friends over for dinner, and work in their garden. They live modest but fulfilling lives, and they seem mostly happy and very much in love, a rarity in the movies. This probably sounds horribly boring to most people, but since Mike Leigh is the director, the film is instead a touching and realistic portrayal of love and how people spend their time together. We should all be so lucky as to live a life as charmed as the central couple in this film.

77. Soul Kitchen (2009)

best

8.0

Country

France, Germany, Italy

Director

Fatih Akin

Actors

Adam Bousdoukos, Anna Bederke, Birol Ünel, Birol Ünel

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Weird

A delightfully screwy comedy about a guy and his struggling bar (of the title). The film is full of food, music, dancing, romance, and crazy coincidences. Our hero, Zinos, has just be abandoned by his girlfriend. On top of that his bar is struggling, he’s recently thrown his back out, he desperately needs to find a new chef, and his shady brother has just come to the Soul Kitchen looking for a job after being let out of on “partial parole.” Will it all work out in the end? Of course it will! This film is a lot lighter than Akin’s previous features, but maybe after all those challenging pictures he just felt the need to have a good time, which this film definitely delivers.

76. Begin Again (2013)

best

8.0

Country

United States of America

Director

John Carney

Actors

Adam Levine, Andrew Sellon, Aya Cash, Catherine Keener

Moods

A-list actors, Easy, Feel-Good

John Carney, who directed the critically and commercially successful Once, may be the world’s best captor of charm. Begin Again tells the story of a broken-hearted singer who gets discovered by a failed showbiz executive. Their ideas and love for music are all they have to face their failures and bring their creativity to life. The original songs are charming and from Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo to Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Adam Levine, and Cee-Lo Green, the cast generate sparkling chemistry and portray the story beautifully. Begin again is a sweet and effortless watch, yet far from being your classic rom-com.

75. Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

best

8.0

Country

United States of America

Director

Christine Jeffs, Female director

Actors

Alan Arkin, Amber Midthunder, Amy Adams, Amy Redford

Moods

Dramatic, Easy, Emotional

Sunshine Cleaning is a great addition to that unidentified genre of grown-up comedies populated by other great entries like Your Sister’s Sister and Enough Said. It is however, less of a comedy than it is a heart-warming emotional tale. Powered by outstanding performances from Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, it ultimately evolves into a character study of failed potential and validation seeking. Sunshine Cleaning is enjoyable, satisfying to a fault, and provides an interesting peak into the lives of its characters.

74. All or Nothing (2002)

best

8.1

Country

France, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Mike Leigh

Actors

Alan Williams, Alex Kelly, Alison Garland, Badi Uzzaman

Moods

Character-driven, Depressing, Slice-of-Life

Grounded by Lesley Manville and Timothy Spall’s powerhouse performances, this gut-wrenching family drama from Mike Leigh is an acting juggernaut. Penny and Phil are a working-class couple whose marriage is rapidly deteriorating and pushed to the brink when their son, played by a young James Corden, is hospitalized. 

While Manville and Spall are centered as the leads, Leigh draws a staggering amount of depth from Corden as well as a young Sally Hawkins who plays a neighbor. Despite being one of Leigh’s grimmest films, there is still a profound sweetness lingering at the edges as the story teeters between despondency and hope.

73. Mid-August Lunch (2009)

best

8.1

Country

Italy

Director

Gianni Di Gregorio

Actors

Alfonso Santagata, Gianni Di Gregorio, Maria Calì, Marina Cacciotti

Moods

Character-driven, Grown-up Comedy, Lighthearted

Director Gianni Di Gregorio’s gorgeous debut is an understated masterpiece about a bachelor who is his mother’s caregiver. The movie takes place almost entirely in Di Gregorio’s family home in central Rome, a beautiful, big, and well-furnished apartment that his character can’t afford any longer. 

To catch a break from rent, he agrees to host the landlord’s mother while the landlord goes on holiday. The same for his and his mother’s medical bills, and the doctor shows up with yet another elderly woman.  

Di Gregorio finds himself running an impromptu elderly home, with conflicts rising about who gets to watch TV and whose dietary restrictions should be respected. But his calm demeanor, love for cooking, and a lot of white wine make him the perfect man for the job.

72. The Death of Stalin (2017)

best

8.1

Country

Belgium, Canada, France

Director

Armando Iannucci

Actors

Adam Ewan, Adam Shaw, Adrian McLoughlin, Andrea Riseborough

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.

71. Three Kings (1999)

best

8.1

Country

United States of America

Director

David O. Russell

Actors

Ali Afshar, Alia Shawkat, Brian Bosworth, Cliff Curtis

Moods

A-list actors, Action-packed, Thrilling

David O. Russel (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) is one of those directors who the more you dig into his past, the more you are rewarded. I Heart Huckabees is a great example of this, as is The Fighter (both are must-watch if you haven’t seen them). But it is Three Kings that truly presented him as someone who can give great substance to big-budget movies. It stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and even director Spike Jonze (Her, Adaptation), in other words, a festival of talent at its peak. And it follows three soldiers who want use the end of the Gulf War as an opportunity to get rich. Their journey through a devastated and uncertain Iraq is a thrilling one, as Three Kings is action-packed. But the purpose of this movie lies somewhere between political satire around American interventionism and social criticism of the main characters. However, none of that stands in the way of this movie being an entertaining and exhilarating movie.

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