The best comedy movies on Hulu

The best comedy movies on Hulu

Booksmart, Palm Springs, Sorry To Bother You, and more of the best comedy movies to stream on Hulu

Clockwise from upper left: Greener Grass (Photo: IFC Films), Booksmart (Photo: Annapurna Pictures), Sorry To Bother You (Photo: Annapurna Pictures), Palm Springs (Photo: Neon), Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle (Screenshot), Hunt For The Wilderpeople (Photo: Sundance Institute), Young Adult (Photo: Paramount)
Clockwise from upper left: Greener Grass (Photo: IFC Films), Booksmart (Photo: Annapurna Pictures), Sorry To Bother You (Photo: Annapurna Pictures), Palm Springs (Photo: Neon), Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle (Screenshot), Hunt For The Wilderpeople (Photo: Sundance Institute), Young Adult (Photo: Paramount)

Streaming libraries expand and contract. Algorithms are imperfect. Those damn thumbnail images are always changing. But you know what you can always rely on? The expert opinions and knowledgeable commentary of The A.V. Club. That’s why we’re scouring both the menus of the most popular services and our own archives to bring you these guides to the best viewing options, broken down by streamer, medium, and genre. Want to know why we’re so keen on a particular movie? Click the author’s name at the end of each slide for some in-depth coverage from The A.V. Club’s past. And be sure to check back often, because we’ll be adding more recommendations as films come and go.


Some titles on this list also appear on our best movies on Hulu list, but we decided comedies deserved their own spotlight since dramas are often included on our year-end lists far more than comedies. The criteria for inclusion here is that (1) the film is available with the basic Hulu subscription; (2) the film is classified by Hulu as a comedy—a very broad term for them, apparently; (3) The A.V. Club has written critically about the movie; and (4) if it was a graded review, it received at least a “B.” Some newer (and much older) movies will be added over time as Hulu announces new additions to their library. (And we aren’t exagerating about the broad definition of “comedy.)

Looking for other movies to stream? Also check out our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime, best movies on Disney+, best movies on HBO Max, and best movies on Netflix list. And if you’re looking to laugh, check out our list of the best Netflix comedy specials and the best comedy movies on Netflix.

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2 / 44

2 Days In Paris

2 Days In Paris

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Screenshot: 2 Days In Paris

On paper, Julie Delpy’s 2 Days In Paris might well read like a light French farce, full of wacky characters and playful relationship banter that only turns serious toward the end of the film. The reality is much more raw. Playing a thirtysomething couple making a brief stopover in Paris after a vacation to Italy, Delpy (Before Sunrise) and co-star Adam Goldberg snipe at each other with casual venom, refusing to acknowledge or accede to each other’s calls for comfort or reassurance. When he says she’s special, she shoots back “Like in the retarded way, which is why I’m going out with you.” When she gives him more information than he wants about something, he says “It’s like dating public television.” They both seem a little neurotic and a little self-centered, but mostly, after two years together, they’ve apparently run out of reasons to be kind. And while their give-and-take is almost playful, both actors put an uncomfortable edge on it, fit to keep viewers squirming with alternate waves of sympathy and disgust. [Tasha Robinson]

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3 / 44

50/50

50/50

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion,” Dolly Parton’s character says in Steel Magnolias. Surely she would have loved 50/50, a film about cancer that aims for that sweet spot. At age 27, screenwriter Will Reiser contracted a nasty, multisyllabic form of cancer on his back, and with this film, he tells a personal story that looks a lot like a movie. Turning an agonizing experience into a viable Hollywood entertainment involves a little contortion, and at times, 50/50 seems too buffed-out and commercially minded to read as real. But it achieves the laughter-through-tears effect anyway, thanks to the lightness and wit of Reiser’s script; strong, committed performances; and some real insight into the difficulties of being supportive—or, on the other end accepting that support. Ideally cast as Reiser’s stand-in, Joseph Gordon-Levitt digs into a character role that also gives him a chance to show off the comedic chops he developed during his years on 3rd Rock From The Sun. After early scenes establish his character as neurotically health- and safety-conscious, dramatic irony comes a-callin’ when Gordon-Levitt starts experiencing acute back pain and his doctor says he has a rare, aggressive form of cancer. Before he can even process the news, he begins chemotherapy treatment at the hospital, and his friends and family struggle with the situation. His best friend (Seth Rogen) does his best to keep things light, but his mother (Anjelica Huston) smothers him with concern, and his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) doesn’t have the stomach for it. His young, inexperienced hospital therapist (Anna Kendrick) has trouble reaching him too, but they soon fall into a groove. [Scott Tobias]

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4 / 44

The Birdcage

The Birdcage

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Screenshot: The Birdcage

Nineteen years after its debut, Mike Nichols’ modernized adaptation of La Cage Aux Folles strikes a somewhat awkward chord with the character of son Val (Dan Futterman), whose demand that Armand and Albert deny and repress their homosexuality makes him come off as a selfish, insensitive brat—and one who, ultimately, only embraces his parents’ true nature because he’s been left with no more deceitful options. Similar discomfort comes via Armand’s repeated attempts to hide the flamboyant Albert from view (note to future spouses: do not treat the love of your life like an embarrassment). Yet whereas those plot points now stick out like sore thumbs, Elaine May’s script otherwise remains amazingly sharp, generating consistent laughs from a bevy of clever one-liners and ever-more-awkward situations, all of which Nichols directs with his usual un-showy sharpness. Ultimately, though, The Birdcage remains a riot thanks mostly to its cast, from the stuffy Hackman and Wiest, to the exasperated Williams and showy Lane, to the colorful Azaria, playing a man whose absurd vivacity cannot be contained. [Nick Schager]

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5 / 44

Bolt

Bolt

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Image: Bolt

When Disney disbanded its cel-animation unit and went full CGI, its feature cartoons—Chicken Little, The Wild, Meet The Robinsons—began to seem painfully calculated and pandering, more an attempt to catch up with the burgeoning kid-film market than to lead it. Bolt was the studio’s first film since Lilo & Stitch that felt like it was trying to recapture the old Disney instead of aggressively shedding it in favor of something slick and new. And yet it comes with a healthy cutting-edge Pixar flavor as well. It’s tempting to lay both aspects firmly at the feet of John Lasseter, the Pixar honcho who became Disney Animation’s chief creative officer when Disney bought Pixar; in spite of its mostly animal protagonists, Bolt has a humanity rarely seen in the CGI world outside of Pixar’s features. [Tasha Roberston]

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6 / 44

Booksmart

Booksmart

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Annapurna Pictures

Booksmart manages to be both sensitive to changing social mores and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time, launching a new chapter in director Olivia Wilde’s career while redefining the “one crazy night” teen movie for Generation Z. The film is predicated on upending stereotypes about both popular and unpopular high school kids, and makes a point of establishing sympathy with even its most cartoonish characters. But this isn’t a group therapy session: Sex, drugs, booze, mean girls, and earth-shattering betrayals all still come into the equation. It’s just that in 2019, the kids running off into the suburban night trying to avoid getting busted for underage drinking self-identify as intersectional feminists. [Katie Rife]

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7 / 44

The Catechism Cataclysm

The Catechism Cataclysm

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Screenshot: The Catechism Cataclysm

Todd Rohal’s gleefully dopey comedy The Catechism Cataclysm opens with bumbling priest Steve Little telling his congregation a funny story that has no real point and no scriptural application. The rest of the movie follows suit. The plot kicks in when Little (best known for playing Kenny Powers’ dim-witted yes-man on Eastbound & Down) emails old acquaintance Robert Longstreet, and invites him to spend an afternoon canoeing. Little remembers Longstreet from high school as a great short-story writer and musician, but since graduation, Longstreet has been working as a spotlight-operator on lame national tours, completely unaware that he’s been such an inspiration to a guy he barely knew. As they float down the river, Little reveals how endearingly ignorant he is about how the world works, while Longstreet enjoys having someone to talk to—even though Little complains that none of Longstreet’s stories have proper endings. All is well until the boys can’t find their exit point. [Noel Murray]

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8 / 44

Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin’

Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin’

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Screenshot: Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin’

Still Smokin’, their fifth effort remains an improvement on the previous films under just about every vector of criticism. This film finds director Chong tentatively experimenting with form and structure, devoting the first half of the film to a comic mishap that sends the pair to Amsterdam for a Dolly Parton/Burt Reynolds film festival, and then shooting the second half as a stand-up concert documentary. If stoner comedy has a Stop Making Sense, this would have to be it; there’s a winning sense of spontaneity to the grainy footage of Cheech and Chong’s onstage set, bouncing around the theater and employing the occasional distorted exposure to nod to their countercultural roots. More exciting still, Still Smokin represents the series’ first effort to actually tussle with legitimate thematic concerns, forming cogent thoughts beyond a desire for the nearest bag of Lay’s. Most of the first half plays out as a Q&A between the esteemed European press and our dudes, affecting a Godardian aloofness as if they had just been kicked out of Cannes for taking bong rips in the bathroom of the Grand Palais. They deliver some strong one-liners (“A lot of people say we’re just in it for the drugs, but that’s true,” Cheech deadpans) and more than that, they confront their own growing public profile with more self-awareness than in the literally self-aware flourishes. They lampoon their own cult of celebrity, but there’s a genuine unease beneath the jokes as they reconcile the stardom they stumbled into with the enduring desire to remain a toasty slacker forever. Chong mutters that “responsibility’s a great responsibility, man” in Next Movie, and those words ring loud and clear over his semi-reluctant fame. [Charles Bramseco]

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9 / 44

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu

Freely adapted from the 1978 children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett, the new animated movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs feels like a warning from another era, a parable about the perils of living amid abundance. But Cloudy—co-directed and co-scripted by first-time feature-makers Phil Lord and Chris Miller—doesn’t get too bogged down with moralizing. It flits swiftly between easy-but-funny sight gags involving gin food, send-ups of disaster-film clichés, and endearing characters brought vividly to life by a pleasing visual style, plus funny vocal performances from Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Bruce Campbell, and Mr. T. Hader plays a hapless geek with a lifelong gift for building inventions that almost work. His luck changes—and with it, the luck of his island town, whose sardine-based economy has been hit hard by the revelation that, as one headline puts it, “Sardines Are Super Gross”—when he unveils a machine that makes the sky rain whatever food he chooses. But the tremendous gift works largely to make his fellow citizens lazy, and it leaves Hader no happier than before, even with the arrival of a pretty weather reporter (Faris) who shares some of his nerdy obsessions. [Keith Phipps]

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10 / 44

Colossal

Colossal

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Photo: Colossal (Neon

Colossal’s early April release date all but eliminated star Anne Hathaway from the 2017 awards-season conversation, which is a shame because she turns in a witty, sympathetic performance as Gloria, a self-destructive alcoholic who discovers that she has a psychic connection to the giant monster who started ravaging Seoul right around the time she moved back home in disgrace. At first, this high-concept sci-fi drama appears to be pushing a straightforward (and rather obvious) metaphor for alcoholism. But by the surprisingly moving final scene, Nacho Vigalondo, who wrote as well as directed the film, deftly pivots it into a much more interesting statement about toxic masculinity, as well as a character study of a woman taking back her life from the forces, both internal and external, that want to tear her down. [Katie Rife]

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11 / 44

The Croods: A New Age

The Croods: A New Age

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Photo: Universal Pictures

New director Joel Crawford (a veteran story artist directing his first feature) doesn’t have the willpower to resist other DreamWorks standbys like cheesy, jokey music cues—though when one of the most prominent is an original song from HAIM, who can blame him? (A couple more strong soundtrack cuts involving the Kung Fu Panda himself, Jack Black, are unfortunately relegated to the closing credits.) A bigger problem, at least for adults in the audience, is how the movie’s cleverness flags as it goes on. The parenting story and any social satire are muddled, too, the younger characters’ storylines forever crowded out for another round of dads learning to let go. That The Croods: A New Age is both entertaining and utterly superfluous does feel like a sort of evolution for DreamWorks Animation: They’ve got nothing left to knock off but themselves. [Jesse Hassenger]

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12 / 44

The Dictator

The Dictator

Sasha Baron Cohen
Sasha Baron Cohen
Photo: Two By Four Films

The Dictator keeps the gags coming as fast as it can manage, sometimes in big gross-out setpieces like an impromptu baby delivery, but more often in the general fusillade of hit-or-miss jokes that hit at a better-than-average rate. While Admiral General Aladeen certainly has a place in Baron Cohen’s gallery of human cartoons, the key point about The Dictator is that it’s a departure from his previous films and not another trip to the well. His needling instincts to shock and provoke are still present—and still merrily juvenile—but the film is both more conventional than Borat and Brüno and a more accommodating vehicle for different types of comedy. In reaching back to the past, Baron Cohen finds a viable way forward. [Scott Tobias]

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13 / 44

Force Majeure

Force Majeure

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Screenshot: Force Majeure

For a fleeting moment, one could reasonably mistake Force Majeure for a disaster movie. Certainly, its characters might wonder, through their panic and fear, if they’ve somehow stumbled into one. The pivotal scene arrives early, on the second day of a blissful family vacation. Seated for a relaxing lunch on the terrace of a French ski resort, married Swedish parents Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) and Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli) are alarmed by the rapid approach of snow, tumbling down the adjacent slope in their general direction. As the wall of white seems to close in on them, expanding outward with menacing speed, Thomas makes an instinctual flee for safety, completely abandoning Ebba and their two young children. The avalanche, as it turns out, is controlled; what looks like certain doom is just a false alarm, a dramatic billow of powder. But as the smoke clears, so too does any illusion Ebba might have held about Tomas and his paternal instincts. There’s no going back from such a flagrant act of self-preservation, however involuntary it might have been. [A.A. Dowd]

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14 / 44

The Full Monty

The Full Monty

Mark Addy
Mark Addy
Screenshot: The Full Monty

Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) stars as a laid-off Sheffield steelworker who devises an unusual scheme to better himself in this boisterous new comedy. Inspired by the popularity of a Chippendales appearance, Carlyle begins recruiting other unemployed men to form their own stripshow. That none of them, for various reasons, are really qualified to be taking off their clothes in public is the source for much of The Full Monty’s humor—most often in the form of some very funny physical gags—but the film has much more going for it than that one obvious joke would suggest. The Full Monty takes a harsh look at the state of post-Thatcher labor in Britain, portraying some of the humiliation involved with life on the dole. Carlyle’s attempts to win the respect of his young son, and some of the other men’s insecurity with their bodies—a rarely touched topic—are treated sensitively and incorporated seamlessly into the story. [Keith Phipps]

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15 / 44

Greener Grass

Greener Grass

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Screenshot: Greener Grass

Greener Grass isn’t quite at the level of Wet Hot American Summer, but its cracked sensibility has far more artistic ambition than the average cringe-fest. Writer-directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe star as suburbanite moms nursing despair and desperation beneath their clenched, forced smiles, and though the plot turns are often surrealistically outlandish (one mother politely gives away her baby, and regrets it; another child seems to turn into a dog), they pulse with a genuine anxiety that goes beyond deadpan subversion of conventional narrative. It may feel a little overextended at 95 minutes, but DeBoer and Luebbe sustaining it so well beyond 10 is a testament to their talent. [Jesse Hassenger]

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16 / 44

The Guilt Trip

The Guilt Trip

Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand
Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand
Screenshot: The Guilt Trip

The Guilt Trip is casually astute and clever about the way even sane, responsible adults revert back to being prickly children when confronted with the gale-force wind of a parent’s intense, misguided attention. But while Streisand and Rogen’s relationship is smartly, affectionately drawn, just about every other element of the movie feels perfunctory, from the hooey about Streisand’s lost love to the flat, uninspired direction of 27 Dresses/The Proposal helmer Anne Fletcher. The film’s end credits feature Rogen and Streisand riffing off each other in ostensibly improvised outtakes that are far funnier and livelier than anything in the movie, hinting at the better comedy that might have ensued had the filmmakers trusted their leads’ chemistry and chops more, rather than watering them down with schmaltz and shtick, wacky eating contests, contrived plotting, and a horribly hokey happy ending. [Nathan Rabin]

Available June 20

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17 / 44

Hancock

Hancock

Will Smith
Will Smith
Screenshot: Hancock

From the moment Hancock first introduces Will Smith as a drunken, glowering, foul-mouthed superhero, it seems clear that he’s eventually going to rehabilitate himself into the charming version of Will Smith, the one who became famous on the strength of wisecracks and a famously infectious grin. The movie telegraphs that change in the trailer and even in the first half-hour of action, as Smith’s hostile hero—who frequently causes millions of dollars in damages while sloppily foiling crimes in Los Angeles—meets PR man Jason Bateman, who offers him a major public-image makeover. But the obvious never happens. Instead, Hancock takes off at right angles, essentially turning into M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, as seen through the big action lens of modern superhero movies like Iron Man and the Spider-Man series. [Tasha Robinson]

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18 / 44

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

John Cho and Kal Penn go to White Castle
John Cho and Kal Penn go to White Castle
Screenshot: Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

While Cheech and Chong’s career is the exception that proves the rule, there was a time when Caucasians possessed an apparent monopoly on lead roles in dopey, lowbrow stoner comedies and raunchy teen-targeted fare. Happily, cinema and society have advanced to such a degree that now Asians, blacks, gays, and other minorities all have inept teen- and young-adult-oriented comedies to call their own. The wildly uneven but intermittently funny new feature-length fast-food commercial Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle fits squarely into this brave new paradigm. It boldly subverts stereotypes and challenges conventional wisdom by presenting affable Korean and Indian antiheroes who are just as sex-crazed, irresponsible, mischief-prone, and chemically altered as their white counterparts. Danny Leiner’s theatrical follow-up to 2000's Dude, Where’s My Car?, which has enjoyed a surprising second life as a national punchline, Harold & Kumar stars John Cho and Kal Penn as twentysomethings with just two things on their minds: getting baked and grabbing White Castle food. [Nathan Rabin]

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19 / 44

Heathers

Heathers

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Screenshot: Heathers

Heathers isn’t a perfect movie by any stretch: The heavily worked-over ending feels frantic and rushed, not the exclamation point it needed to be, and the dialogue occasionally crosses the line between clever and overly pleased with itself. (Call it “The Diablo Cody Threshold.”) Yet coming at the end of the ’80s, Heathers still stands out for questioning the prevailing stereotypes of teen movies rather than accepting them as a given. Two decades later, the Hughes model of teen comedy/dramas is still pervasive, but the goings-on at Westerburg High have only gained in potency, perhaps because so few movies have had the courage (or the approval) to follow Heathers’ lead. “It’s not very subtle,” as J.D. says, “but neither is blowing up a whole school.” [Scott Tobias]

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20 / 44

Hello, My Name Is Doris

Hello, My Name Is Doris

Sally Field and Max Greenfield
Sally Field and Max Greenfield
Screenshot: Hello, My Name Is Doris

Sally Field, looking fabulous in cat-eye glasses and eccentric knits, stars as Doris, a sixtysomething woman who at the beginning of the film is living a lonely existence in Staten Island. Her mother, to whose care she has devoted much of her adult life, recently died, leaving her with little but her old-school leftist pal Roz (Tyne Daly) and her menial data-entry job to occupy her time. It’s the confluence of these two that inspires Doris to change things up, actually: After Roz takes her to a lecture by self-help guru Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher), Doris is motivated to pursue a relationship with her office crush, a recent L.A. transplant several decades her junior named John Fremont (Max Greenfield). Field keeps both hands firmly on the wheel as Doris, skillfully maneuvering through both the comedic and dramatic scenes like the two-time Oscar winner that she is. [Katie Rife]

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21 / 44

High-Rise

High-Rise

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Photo: High-Rise

High-Rise, a darkly funny adaptation by cult English director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field In England) of the J.G. Ballard novel of the same title, preserves the book’s ’70s setting, steeping its vision of a toppling society in retro decadence. Dr. Laing (Tom Hiddleston, very good), a bachelor physiologist from apartment 2505, watches as the titular building regresses into a Mad Max-esque wasteland of garbage barricades, raiding parties, and literal class warfare following a few blackouts and a problem with the trash chute—a descent into collective madness that High-Rise underplays and elides to surreal (and audience-defying) effect. Wheatley’s use of ellipses and his overall refusal to do anything that might suggest a point of view or invite identification skirt incoherence. As in Ballard’s novel, the building isn’t just a dystopian microcosm of alienation and stratification, with the wealthiest living at the top. It also seems to create a new reality of its own: a killer cocktail of claustrophobia, stylishness, and oblique irony. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

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22 / 44

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

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Photo: Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Hunt For The Wilderpeople, an enjoyably goofy adventure that manages to bring some freshness to the moldy “cantankerous adult reluctantly bonds with adorable kid” subgenre. Starring Sam Neill as the cantankerous adult, the film plays a bit like Jurassic Park minus Lex and dinosaurs, mining humor from the incongruity of its odd-couple pairing and basic fish-out-of-water elements, plus some Flight Of The Conchord-ish wit. [Mike D’Angelo]

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23 / 44

I, Tonya

I, Tonya

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Screenshot: I, Tonya

From the opening minutes of Craig Gillespie’s unreliably narrated, glibly entertaining biopic I, Tonya, it’s clear that Margot Robbie has disappeared into the role of disgraced figure skater and pop culture punching bag Tonya Harding. It’s not a precise imitation: However hard the wardrobe and makeup teams have worked to deglamorize this glamorous Hollywood star, she still doesn’t look much like the person she’s playing—a truth reinforced by the obligatory, closing-credits appearance by the real Harding, conquering the ice in archival footage. But as she wraps her mouth around a cigarette, a cornpone accent, and some well-delivered profanity, Robbie channels the antagonistic, take-no-shit attitude of her infamous “character,” while adding notes of disappointment and even dignity missing from every headline or Hard Copy treatment of The Tonya Harding Story. In the process, the actor wrestles a rare role worthy of her abilities from an industry that’d just as soon keep her in bubbles. [A.A. Dowd]

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24 / 44

I Love You Phillip Morris

I Love You Phillip Morris

Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor
Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor
Photo: I Love You Phillip Morris

Based on the book by Houston Chronicle journalist Steve McVicker, I Love You Phillip Morris marvels at the impulsive, diabolical brilliance of Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey), a.k.a. “King Con,” a multi-talented con artist who frustrated and embarrassed detectives and jailers for years. In a breathless series of scenes, it’s established that Steven, upon discovering he was adopted, became so motivated to impress his birth mother that he fashioned a straight-arrow life as a Georgia policeman, and a respected husband and father of two. When he finally meets his mother and is shown the door, Steven embraces who he really is—gay—and proceeds to build a new life in South Beach on embezzlement and fraud. While in prison, he meets Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor), a sweet but taciturn love object, and his criminal exploits are pushed to another level. Beyond the aggressive black comedy, most of it funny and the rest compensated for via pacing, I Love You Phillip Morris examines the fascinating contradictions of a man who spun an elaborate web of lies in order to sustain a love that was fundamentally true. [Scott Tobias]

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25 / 44

Ingrid Goes West

Ingrid Goes West

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Photo: Ingrid Goes West

Ingrid Goes West begins in media res, as Ingrid Thorburn (Aubry Plaza), her face stained with tears and her long dress covered with a dirty oversize sweatshirt, barges into a wedding to pepper-spray the bride, a woman we later find out she barely even knows. After a brief detour to the mental hospital, Ingrid is back home and back to her routine of stuffing limp convenience-store food into her mouth while obsessively scrolling through Instagram in her pajamas. Ingrid’s M.O. is mistaking social media likes for actual human connection—something she sorely lacks—and so it doesn’t take long for her to zero in on a new obsession, faux-hemian “influencer” Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). An innocent reply to a comment on Instagram later and Ingrid has cashed in her modest inheritance to move to L.A. and obsessively remake herself in Taylor’s image. This all happens within the first 10 minutes of the film, which devotes much of its running time to skewering the pretentious unpretentiousness of Taylor and her bearded and boat-shoe-clad husband, Ezra (Wyatt Russell). The cast is uniformly strong, although Plaza does a lot of the dirty work as the desperate Ingrid, whose unnerving smile suggests that she could fall back into psychosis at any moment. [Katie Rife]

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26 / 44

It’s A Disaster

It’s A Disaster

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Screenshot: It’s A Disaster

An unusually eventful “couples brunch” among a neurotic group of bright, colorful friends is rudely interrupted by news of imminent apocalypse in It’s A Disaster, a droll social comedy about a party that takes a number of strange turns. It’s a smart, dark, tonally tricky affair about what happens when the bonds that hold civilization together come apart, whether through the impending divorce of a couple whose union helps keep a disparate group of friends together, or through some manner of dirty bomb or zombie attack. [Nathan Rabin]

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27 / 44

The Little Hours

The Little Hours

The LIttle Hours
The LIttle Hours
Photo: Gunpowder & Sky

One of the first things Aubrey Plaza says in The Little Hours is “Don’t fucking talk to us.” Anachronism, as it turns out, is the guiding force of this frequently funny, agreeably bawdy farce, which imagines what a convent of the grubby, violent, disease-infested Middle Ages might look and sound like if it were populated by characters straight out of a modern NBC sitcom. Plaza’s Fernanda, a caustic eye-rolling hipster nun born eons too early, sneaks out to get into mischief, using a perpetually escaping donkey as her excuse. Uptight wallflower Genevra (a priceless Kate Micucci) tattles relentlessly on the other women, reporting every transgression to Sister Marea (Molly Shannon, playing her dutiful piousness almost totally straight—she’s the only character here that could actually exist in the 1300s). And Alessandra (Alison Brie), the closest the convent has to a spoiled rich kid, daydreams about being whisked away and married, but that would depend on her father shelling out for a decent dowry. If the plague doesn’t kill them, the boredom will. When Plaza, Micucci, and Brie get smashed on stolen communion wine and perform a drunken sing-along of a wordless choral staple, like college girls sneaking booze past the RA and belting some radio anthem in their dorm, the true resonance of all this anachronism slips into focus: An itchy desire for a better life is something women of every century experience, regardless if their catalog of curses yet includes “fuck.” [A.A. Dowd]

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28 / 44

Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky
Logan Lucky
Photo: Fingerprint Releasing/Bleecker Street

As a heist picture, Logan Lucky knows just how often to alternate straight exposition with cagey withholding. The full robbery blueprint is revealed slowly—new details are still twisting the narrative even after the big heist day has passed, perfect for Steven Soderbergh’s control-freak tendencies (once again, he shoots and edits himself). The snappy script by unknown (and possibly pseudonymous) newcomer Rebecca Blunt offers some Coen brothers-like dialogue, which Soderbergh complements with his compositions. Sometimes he gets a laugh just by how he positions the actors in the frame, and there are multiple gags predicated on the timing of explosions. [Jesse Hassenger]

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29 / 44

Lowlife

Lowlife

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Screenshot: Lowlife

This black comedy is set in the fleabag motels and greasy taco stands of working-class L.A. You can tell it was written by several people (a sketch comedy group, to be precise), but director Ryan Prows unites the film around its colorful characters, including standout performances from Nicki Micheaux as morally conflicted motel owner Crystal and Jon Oswald as Randy, the most lovable ex-con with a swastika face tattoo ever committed to film. (It makes sense when you see the movie, I promise.) [Katie Rife]

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Missing Link

Missing Link

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Image: Laika

Now that every major studio produces big-screen computer-animated movies at least semi-regularly, it’s a small but appreciable miracle that stop-motion animated features still occasionally appear on thousands of screens nationwide. This doesn’t make them automatically good, but it does make them automatically different; has a stop-motion feature ever been described without using the word “painstaking”? This is not to say that Missing Link, the new stop-motion feature from the masters of the form at Laika, is a study in stillness. There are slapstick bar fights and actual cliff-hanging. There are celebrity voices, including Zach Galifianakis in full (if genteel) rambling mode. Even the animation itself is noticeably smoother than some past stop-motion classics, with animators’ fingerprints less visible just outside (or sometimes fully inside) the frame, as Laika continues to push forward with its own medium-specific technological advances. But the movie also has the freedom of its constraints. It operates on its own little wavelength, rather than broadcasting itself loudly. [Jesse Hassenger]

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The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling
Screenshot: The Nice Guys

Not since Blue Ruin has a movie gotten as much mileage out of having its hero fuck up as The Nice Guys does. Shane Black’s entertaining but shaggy homage to The Rockford Files-era detective series and mid-to-late 1970s cheese finds its offbeat gumshoe in Holland March (Ryan Gosling), a smartass with no sense of smell who tends to make bad guesses, lose guns, misread addresses, drink whatever’s handed to him, and defenestrate himself repeatedly; early on, he tries to break into a window, only to slice his wrist up so badly that he passes out from blood loss. Structured like a TV pilot, the movie partners March with Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), the Yoo-hoo-loving goon who broke the private eye’s arm just days before, in the search for a missing activist. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

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Palm Springs

Palm Springs

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Palm Springs

Andy Samberg stars as Nyles, a slacker doofus stuck at a destination wedding in Southern California, which he’s attending as the date of a bridesmaid. Blithely wandering the reception in a loud and very informal short-sleeve shirt, Nyles clearly doesn’t have any fucks to give. But he also seems to have a suspiciously premonitory sense of how the night will play out. And before long, Palm Springs reveals the reason for both: He’s stuck in a time warp, waking up every morning to find himself still in Palm Springs on the morning of the wedding. The film employs its magical conceit as a multi-purpose metaphor for a long-term relationship. The flip side, of course, is that monogamy can leave you feeling as stuck as the characters, living the same day over and over again, with only your significant other for company. But Palm Springs wears all that baggage lightly. It’s a sadly rare thing: a sweet, madly inventive, totally mainstream romantic comedy, buoyed by inspired jolts of comic violence (some of them provided by J.K. Simmons as another wedding guest with a very big bone to pick with Nyles). [A.A. Dowd]

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Parasite

Parasite

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Parasite (Neon

The last time Bong Joon Ho made a parable of class warfare, he set it aboard one hell of a moving metaphor: a train looping endlessly around a frozen Earth, its passengers divided into cars based on wealth and status, upward mobility achieved only through lateral revolution. Parasite, the South Korean director’s demented and ingenious new movie, doesn’t boast quite as sensational a setting; it takes place mostly within a chicly modern suburban home, all high ceilings, stainless steel countertops, and windows instead of walls, advertising the elegant interior decoration within. But there’s a clear class hierarchy at play here, too; it runs top to bottom instead of front to back, vertically instead of horizontally. And though we’re watching a kind of warped upstairs-downstairs story, not a dystopian arcade brawler, Parasite races forward with the same locomotive speed as Snowpiercer, with plenty of its own twists and turns waiting behind each new door. [A.A. Dowd]

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Playing It Cool

Playing It Cool

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Playing It Cool

The romantic comedy gets little love these days, and with understandable reason—its happily-ever-after formulas have grown so stale that it’s difficult to find much life amidst its predictable, robotic twists and turns. Playing It Cool does not dispense with the genre’s favorite clichés, and in fact, it embraces them wholeheartedly, from the charming hunk who’s more comfortable with one-night stands than commitment, to said protagonist serendipitously discovering his one-true-love, to the off-color banter with a group of wisecracking friends (in this case, Anthony Mackie, Topher Grace, Martin Starr, Aubrey Plaza, Luke Wilson, and Philip Baker Hall). Justin Reardon’s film is, on the face of it, just like the many other rom-coms that flood the multiplex each year. And yet despite its wholesale familiarity, it’s that rare effort that properly delivers the funny-and-amorous goods, thanks in large part to two headliners—Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan—with enough winning charisma, spot-on comedic timing, and natural chemistry to help invigorate its commonplace material. [Nick Schager]

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Plus One

Plus One

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Plus One

Ben (Jack Quaid) and Alice (Maya Erskine) are longtime friends who are both facing down a full summer’s worth of weddings, kicking off with the nuptials of a mutual friend. Because they’re both single—Ben bumbling (some might say picky) in his dwindling relationships, Alice still smarting from a major break-up—they cook up a plan to serve as each other’s plus-one, whenever necessary, throughout the season. They’re willing to double their wedding attendance if the arrangement can provide a trusted wing-person, as well as a commiseration partner for when their potential hook-ups inevitably misfire. Plus One isn’t much more than consistently amusing and sweetly romantic, but in the right hands, those qualities can still feel like a lot. [Jesse Hassenger]

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The Sandlot

The Sandlot

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Screenshot: The Sandlot

The Sandlot, with its coming-of-age and sports-movie clichés, broke molds when it was released in April 1993. Director and co-writer David Mickey Evans went the Stand By Me route, centering the film on a young cast but setting it in an era more familiar to the parents in the audience. The movie sounds downright trite when distilled down to one sentence: An uncoordinated indoor kid learns to love baseball and make friends in the summer of 1962. A more detailed description would note that the uncoordinated kid accidentally loses his stepdad’s baseball signed by Babe Ruth, and he and his new pals spend most of the film attempting to recover the ball in between first kisses and “not too much, but some” trouble. As much as The Sandlot replays familiar tropes, the movie succeeds in part because it embraces the magical realism that remolds all our childhood memories into the lore we pass on to the next generation: the baseball the neighbor kid hit that never touched the ground; the scary house around the corner with the dog the size of a lion; hell, at one point the ghost of Babe Ruth even shows up. The Sandlot treats these surreal moments with all the seriousness of a fifth-grader—which is to say, it fully believes the myth. [Patrick Gomez]

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The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: The Sisters Brothers

When Quentin Tarantino coined the term “hangout movie,” he was describing one of the greatest Westerns ever made: Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks’ 1959 masterpiece, which kills most of its running time just laying low with a small-town sheriff and the motley posse he’s assembled to guard a jailhouse, eavesdropping on their conversations as they dig in their spurs and chew the cud. The film, talky and at times nearly plotless, brought the Wild West to life in a different way: These weren’t just mythic archetypes we were watching but complicated people, with personalities and hang-ups and whole interior lives. The Sisters Brothers, a Western directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Dheepan) and adapted from the acclaimed novel by Patrick DeWitt, spans a larger geographic radius than Rio Bravo—it’s a kind of road picture, ambling across two states, instead of plunking us down in (basically) a single locale. Nevertheless, there’s a strong whiff of Hawks’ classic in the movie’s conception of its titular outlaws as neurotic chatterboxes. It’s something of a hangout Western, too, and its pleasures mostly come down to the company we get to keep with the characters and the actors easing into their eccentricities. [A.A. Dowd]

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Something’s Gotta Give

Something’s Gotta Give

Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson
Screenshot: Something’s Gotta Give

In Something’s Gotta Give, Jack Nicholson plays a man who’s worlds apart from Warren Schmidt, but who comes to wear Schmidt’s knowledge for all the world to see. That adds a touch of gravity to Nancy Meyers’ pleasantly but deceptively lightweight film, a romantic comedy that takes a rare tack by leaving its characters different from how it finds them. Nicholson begins the film as a man happy to keep reminders of aging at arm’s length: He’s driving to a romantic Hamptons weekend with girlfriend Amanda Peet, the latest in his string of nubile twentysomethings. But their getaway is interrupted by the arrival of Peet’s playwright mother, Diane Keaton, then by a mild heart attack that leaves him recuperating in the latter’s beach house. The setup is about as obvious as they come, but Meyers steers away from romantic-comedy clichés until she has no other choice. But mostly, it’s just a pleasure to watch Keaton and Nicholson learning new steps in an old dance, stumbling to grab at happiness before it’s too late. [Keith Phipps]

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Sorry To Bother You

Sorry To Bother You

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Sorry To Bother You

It’s hard to imagine a cinematic depiction of Oakland, California as grabby or arresting as Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You. Though it uses real locations from the city, Riley’s version depends less on particular landmarks or geography than the filmmaker’s eye for which quotidian details can be nudged into the realm of absurdity—and how to pull them back down to the ground. It’s a push-pull best depicted by the movie’s visualization of a job at a rundown call center: When Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) places a cold call, the movie briefly throws him and his workstation into the personal space of whoever he’s speaking with, sort of a physicalized split-screen that thrusts him back into the bleak office space when the conversation ends. It’s a neat trick that emphasizes both the intrusiveness of cold calling and the discomfort the caller might feel, all while keeping the scenes of call-center drudgery from becoming as dull as the actual work. [Jesse Hassenger]

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Support The Girls

Support The Girls

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Support The Girls

So many movies perform grotesque contortions (or extraordinary acts of denial) to avoid showing their characters at work, at least if their jobs aren’t cop, lawyer, or secret agent. And who can blame them, really? A lot of work is a soul-crushing slog, something that Support The Girls understands intuitively—so intuitively that writer-director Andrew Bujalski doesn’t need to sink his characters into a swamp of misery to acknowledge the drudgery of working at Double Whammies, sort of a poor man’s Hooters in the Texas suburbs. Applying a one-crazy-day structure to a day that isn’t all that crazy, Bujalski follows Lisa (Regina Hall), the restaurant’s manager, as she plays boss, dutiful employee, counselor, and mother, depending on which crisis she’s addressing. Hall, in exactly the kind of performance that’s too grounded and true to receive the awards attention it deserves, shows deft command of the subtle differences between our various selves—work, family, uncomfortable fusions of the two—that so many working people are forced to navigate. Yet for all of its dead-end realism, this is also a warm and funny movie, with boundlessly charming supporting turns from Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle, and Dylan Gelula. Workplace drudgery doesn’t preclude glimmers of humanity—and humanity doesn’t guarantee a happy ending, as the movie’s perfectly open final shots indicate. [Jesse Hassenger]

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Tragedy Girls

Tragedy Girls

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Screenshot: Tragedy Girls

Finally, millennials have a Heathers of their very own. Actually, that’s not quite right: Imagine instead a Heathers that gleefully goes all the way past the point of nihilism, and ends up in a warped funhouse mirror reflection of society that blends camp and satire in equal measure (with a heaping dose of gore liberally applied throughout). Reimagining high school murderers for the age of Instagram, Tragedy Girls casts Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse) and Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool) as social media-obsessed high schoolers who kidnap a serial killer—not to kill him, but to learn how to more effectively stage their own attacks, the better to boost the numbers on their YouTube show. And that’s just the first five minutes of this nastily effective comedy-horror, which takes genre clichés and runs them through a candy-coated ADHD wringer, leaving you bloodied and smiling at the end. [Alex McLevy]

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Wild Rose

Wild Rose

Illustration for article titled The best comedy movies on Hulu
Photo: Wild Rose

Country music has a long history of brazen women doggedly persevering over daunting personal and societal odds. As far back as 1952, Kitty Wells shredded the hypocrisy of sexual double standards in her song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” and Loretta Lynn had already given birth to three children when she taught herself to play the guitar in 1953, at the age of 21. Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley), the protagonist of Tom Harper’s new social-realist musical drama Wild Rose, has a life story that’s similar to those of her idols: She’s in her early 20s, fresh off of a 12-month prison sentence on drug charges, and trying—but mostly failing—to reconnect with her 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. Her disapproving mother Marion (Julie Walters) wants Rose-Lynn to give up her dream of becoming a country (not “country and western”) singer. But to Rose-Lynn, country music is “three chords and the truth.” And you can’t deny the truth. [Katie Rife]

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Young Adult

Young Adult

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Characters reminisce about the ’90s, wear Pixies T-shirts, and maintain collections of hand-painted action figures in Young Adult, all in line with what viewers might expect from a film that reunites Juno’s writer and director, Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman. What’s different this time around? They’re on the sidelines, gazing with bewilderment, dislike, and/or awe at their heroine, played by Charlize Theron as the type of girl who once upon a time walked all over them. Though her character’s high-school glory days are almost two decades behind her, she’s dredged them up with an unstable determination that attests to the years of disappointment that followed them. It’s an empathetic but bravely brittle portrait of an aging queen bee that showcases a nuanced performance from Theron as a woman too used to being admired to admit how lonely and desperate she’s become. [Alison Willmore]

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