Need a laugh? You’ve come to the right place.
Netflix’s vast library can be hard to sift through, even if you know what mood you’re in. There are romantic comedies, satires, action comedies, dramedies, musical comedies, and plenty more available on the platform. We’ve put together a list of some of our very favorites that you can watch at home right now.
If you’re looking for comedies beyond just Netflix, check out our list of some of our favorite comedy movies currently streaming across platforms. And for more of the best on this particular streaming service, check out our frequently updated list of the best movies on Netflix, or the best horror and action movies it has to offer.
Adam Sandler’s latest basketball project is one of our favorite new movies of 2022 — it’s a terrific showcase of his skills as a dramatic actor, his love for the game of basketball, and the merits of casting real athletes as performers in sports movies.
Sandler is Stanley Sugerman, a down-on-his luck scout who is finally on the verge of getting a big promotion to assistant coach, allowing him to spend more time with his family. But when the one person who knows how good Stanley is at his job dies, Sugerman must prove himself all over again and find a diamond in the rough — Bo Cruz (real-life NBA player Juancho Hernangómez), who the scout discovers playing pickup basketball.
From my write-up of Hustle as one of the best movies of the year:
Hustle’s performances truly shine. Sandler’s centered, grounded portrayal of a man who loves what he does but would rather have the job he was promised is another terrific, layered role for one of our great modern actors. The cast is also filled with NBA players who deliver memorable performances, led by Hernangómez as the temperamental and talented Cruz and Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Anthony Edwards as his trash-talking rival Kermit Wilts, a terrific addition to a long line of sports movie heels.
Edwards is worth highlighting here, since this is a list of comedies. His performance as Wilts is one of the funniest of the year, repeatedly taunting Cruz with hilarious jabs and making full use of the NBA star’s magnetic charisma. —Pete Volk
The Debt Collector(s)
Direct-to-video action expert Jesse V. Johnson has made many efficient 90-ish minute action movies and action comedies, but my personal favorite are his two Debt Collector movies with Scott Adkins and Louis Mandylor.
Adkins, one of the greatest action stars of his generation, and Mandylor — likewise an underrated screen presence perhaps known best for his part in My Big Fat Greek Wedding — have terrific chemistry as a pair of mismatched tough guys collecting debts for the mob. Adkins is French, a martial arts instructor forced into the world of debt collecting to prevent his studio from being shut down. He’s assigned to partner up with Mandylor’s Sue, a veteran debt collector who is supposed to show French (or “Frenchy,” as Sue often calls him) the ropes.
When a job they’re sent on goes wrong, the two must work together to extricate themselves from a sticky situation. Part DTV action movie, part buddy comedy, both Debt Collector movies are a blast. —PV
The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience
A somewhat forgotten Lonely Island project from 2019, this straight-to-Netflix Lemonade parody was a delightful surprise when it first arrived, and holds up as a silly and entertaining musical romp. Following Oakland A’s teammates Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire as they mash a metric ton of home runs in the 1980s, the movie features an ensemble cast that includes Maya Rudolph, Jenny Slate, and Sterling K. Brown in addition to Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg as the Bash Brothers themselves. —PV
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
This 2018 Coen Bros. anthology is consistently funny, frequently moving, and prominently features Tim Blake Nelson. What’s not to love? —PV
From our 2018 review:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs plays like the ultimate acceptance of this repetitive process, providing some of the most side-splitting laughs of the year at the cost of human lives (albeit fictional ones), even as we’re made to question this long-standing narrative paradigm. Moments of entertainment between the dread — nuggets of gold, much as Tom Waits’ prospector finds, while putting humanity’s worst foot forward — make The Ballad of Buster Scruggs one of their funniest yet hauntingly pessimistic films in years, asking whether questions about how or why we exist can have answers at all.
The Meyerowitz Stories
Noah Baumbach is well known for his particular form of dramedy, with Frances Ha as a standout example. Frances Ha is no longer streaming on Netflix, but the heartfelt and underseen Meyerowitz Stories is.
A family drama about a group of siblings who return from their very different lives to visit their older father, Meyerowitz features terrific, layered performances by the three dysfunctional siblings (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel), as well as a powerhouse rendition of an aging patriarch by Dustin Hoffman. Adam Driver, Sigourney Weaver, Judd Hirsch, Emma Thompson, and Candice Bergen all also feature in the sprawling ensemble cast. It is also, crucially, quite funny! Intra-generational and inter-family conflicts are often quite humorous, and the specificity of the characters and the ways members of the same family can be vastly different makes for a great modern comedy of errors. —PV
The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star in The Nice Guys, Shane Black’s second-best neo-noir buddy cop comedy, as Holland March and Jackson Healy, an unlikely pair of down-and-out private eyes in 1970s Los Angeles who could generously be described as two of the most likable terrible people you will ever meet. When the investigation of a missing girl and the death of a porn star bring the two together, Holland and Jackson are forced to team up to get to the bottom of an insidious conspiracy. —TE
From Matt Essary’s write-up of 10 great detective movies to watch at home:
This wonderfully twisty mystery from writer/director Shane Black finds Ryan Gosling as a shady private investigator in late 1970s Los Angeles who gets inadvertently sucked into a case involving arson, the death of an adult film actress, and a possible government conspiracy involving a politician played by Kim Basinger. Gosling’s only help in this situation, where he is clearly outmatched and in over his head, is a local bruiser-for-hire played by Russell Crowe (in what is his most fun on-screen performance in years). Together, the pair hilariously bumble and argue their way through unraveling how and why everything ties together while barely avoiding angry hitmen and the local authorities. If you only know Shane Black from his work on Iron Man 3, then you owe it to yourself to check out The Nice Guys and see why he is such a cult favorite among people who adore noir films.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Johnnie To’s 2011 rom-com is one of the best love triangle movies of the century. The leads are hot and bothered, the meet-cutes are adorable, and there’s a playful energy that doesn’t undercut the sincerity of the drama at play.
To may be best known as a filmmaker for his gangster thrillers, but as Don’t Go Breaking My Heart shows, he’s one of the most versatile directors working today. Soon after a breakup, Chi-yan (Gao Yuanyuan) finds herself torn between two men vying for her heart — a CEO (Louis Koo) who works across the street and makes images with Post-it notes on the glass wall that separates them, and Kevin (Daniel Wu), an alcoholic ex-architect with whom Chi-yan finds mutual inspiration. —PV
Om Shanti Om
This modern Bollywood classic comes from Farah Khan, a decorated choreographer in addition to her work as a director. Starring Hindi superstar Shah Rukh Khan, it’s an absolute delight of a musical comedy, with plenty of romance and thrills along the way. —PV
From Sydney Wegner’s list of the best Hindi-language movies on Netflix:
Om Shanti Om is an epic of romance and reincarnation following a young man whose life is changed after he encounters his favorite actress. [It has] plenty of comedy, romance, action, and joy.
David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is just as ridiculous and entertaining as its title. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star as Lars and Sigrit, two musicians who are given the opportunity to represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest. As we said in our review, “Director David Dobkin doesn’t land every single beat, but he taps into that well of carefree exultation so potently that the movie’s stumbles hardly register.” It’s a joyous, goofy, irreverent film that’s not without its foibles, but nonetheless wins you over with through its sheer absurdity and silliness. —TE
Dolemite Is My Name
Eddie Murphy is brilliant as Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian, actor, and larger-than-life personality best known for playing the character Dolemite. A movie very much about who gets to make movies (and which get made — Murphy’s Moore remarks in disgust that a movie has “no titties, no funny, and no kung fu”), Dolemite works best as a display of Murphy’s outrageous talent (and of Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s, as well), and it’s shame his performance went mostly unnoticed in awards circles. —PV
One of Adam Sandler’s least Sandler-y comedies, this is a fun mystery movie send-up pairing him with Jennifer Aniston and directed by television veteran Kyle Newacheck (Workaholics, What We Do in the Shadows). Sandler is a cop, while Aniston is his mystery novel-obsessed wife. While on an anniversary trip, the two get caught up in a real murder mystery, and must work together to figure out what actually happened. It’s a funny, breezy 97 minutes that also cleverly inverts some expectations about the genre and the roles “husbands” and “wives” typically play in them. —PV
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
There’s a fair bit of Monty Python material on Netflix at the moment, including the British comedy troupe’s four-season original TV run, a collection of live specials, and a few documentaries about the group’s origins and importance. But Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the boiled-down test piece, the film newbies can most easily dive into to see whether the Python brand of dry, straight-faced absurdity is for them. This episodic feature built around the King Arthur story has the six Python members playing a wide variety of kings, knights, peasants, and buffoons, as they face a dragon and a killer rabbit, a sneering coterie of French knights and a mysterious dark knight who won’t stay down even with his limbs hacked off. There’s singing and dancing, banter, repetition gags, and a whole lot more, but above all, there’s that incredibly influential specific Python sense of humor. The way this group treated childish ridiculousness with haughty self-importance helped define British humor for decades to follow. —Tasha Robinson