Funniest Movies of 2018

Every awards season, there are a lot of comedies that get swept under the rug simply because they’re trying to make people laugh. Most comedies aren’t “good enough” to be considered for Oscars, and even the Golden Globes ignore many of the real comedies in favor of movies pretending to be comedies, like The Martian or Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

This past year brought us a wide array of comedies, but rather than merely classifying them as your average comedy, we wanted to just count down The 13 Funniest Movies of 2018. No two of these movies are alike, and each of them brings a different brand of comedy, sometimes making you furious, other times making you uncomfortable, but always making you laugh. So let’s get down to it.

This list is no particular order, because there’s no point in trying to determine which of these movies is funnier than the other. They all deserve recognition for different reasons. So without further adieu, here are The 13 Funniest Movies of 2018.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Most Netflix movies are completely forgettable, and it wouldn’t be surprising if you forgot that this movie was released nearly a year ago all the way back in January of 2018 after being an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. But A Futile and Stupid Gesture is hilarious both in the comedy contained therein, and the way it portrays the world of comedy from inside the disturbed minds behind National Lampoon, the humor magazine turned feature comedy machine.

Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain brings his meta and spoof sensibilities to the traditional entertainment biopic by delivering the story of National Lampoon in a way that’s been exaggerated and dramatized while also acknowledging those details with self-referential gags, breaking the fourth wall, and plenty of hilarity that would feel right at home in a movie created by National Lampoon. Combine all that with the fact that this features an incredible cast of some of the funniest comedy stars working today, and you’ve got a hilarious gem.

a simple favor blu-ray

A Simple Favor

The mysterious trailers for A Simple Favor didn’t try to portray the Paul Feig movie as a comedy. If anything, they tried to convince viewers that this movie was anything but a comedy, especially touted as being from the “darker side” of his mind. But the truth is that this thriller about a confident, secretive and abrasive young woman going missing is full of twisted comedy, especially when the ludicrous nature of the mystery starts to unfold.

Blake Lively plays the missing matriarch and businesswoman in question while Anna Kendrick plays a young, bubbly mother who recently befriended her after their kids bonded at school. As the two strike up an uncomfortable friendship, their interaction makes for some truly amusing banter, especially as Anna Kendrick’s character slowly begins to come out of her shell and give into her own darker side. While much of the comedy comes from the interaction of these characters, the hilarity reaches a new level when the real, unbelievable game is given away. No spoilers here, just see it for yourself and enjoy.

Eighth Grade Trailer - Elsie Fisher

Eighth Grade

Some of the best comedy comes from making people uncomfortable, simply because they don’t know what else to do. So when you force people to relive the hell that was middle school and adolescence in the most authentic way possible, there are plenty of laughs to be had, even if a lot of them come from embarrassment thanks to director Bo Burnham‘s unflinching portrayal of the most awkward time in a teen’s life. In fact, for what it’s worth, this movie could easily have been one of the best horror movies of the year for some people.

Eighth Grade tells the story of 13-year old Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she awkwardly makes her way through the last week of the titular final year of middle school, and it’s her performance that brings everything together to make a movie that is just as funny as it is charming. Whether it’s her rambling advice videos that only a teen could deliver, or her efforts to impress the cute boy whose dead-behind-the-eyes demeanor doesn’t make him any less of a dreamboat to a teen girl, Kayla will remind you what it feels like to be in middle school, and even though it’s certainly terrifying and unsettling for a number of reasons, it’s also incredibly funny.

Christian Bale Weight Gain

Vice

You know those moments when you’re laughing to keep from crying? That’s pretty much the entirety of Vice in a nutshell. Most of the laughs in this movie come from the sheer audacity and brazenness of the actions of Vice President Dick Cheney (played by Christian Bale). The lengths to which this man went to obtain and execute power in the name of freedom and the United States of America is scary, but you can’t help but laugh at the confidence and nonchalant attitude that Cheney has the entire way through.

However, much of the comedy comes from the satirical angle that director Adam McKay brings to the table, much like he did with the financial crisis dramatization of The Big Short. Some elements of Vice border on parody, especially when it comes to breaking the fourth wall, but it’s no more ridiculous than the things that actually happened behind the scenes of Washington DC to get us into a number of messes that we still haven’t recovered from.

Spider-Verse cast

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Superhero movies are known for their blockbuster action setpieces, but several of them have become known for their humor, like Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians of the Galaxy. But when it comes to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, we get an even more hilarious superhero movie that pays with the conventions and tropes of the genre, and uses them to create different kinds of laughs.

More than the laughs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and even more than the lower brow fourth wall breaking and self-referential humor of Deadpool, the kind of comedy that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brings to the table is smarter, tighter, and it even adds layers to the totally original and compelling story that does something completely new with Spider-Man (and superheroes in general). Even the visuals themselves, which are stunning, bring a level of amusement to the proceedings, especially when it comes to defining the various Spider-People from other dimensions.

BlacKkKlansman

If you were flummoxed by the simultaneous laughter and anger brought on by Vice, director Spike Lee takes it to a whole new level with BlacKkKlansman. While the unflinching racism of the Ku Klux Klan will have you shaking your head in dismay and disbelief, the brashness and confidence of such blind and often stupid racism also brings a surprising amount of laughter, simply because you know that these people are the worst, most ignorant people on the face of the Earth.. These people are so hateful that it’s laughable, especially when it comes to the dimwitted, redneck played by Paul Walter Hauser.

But this is a Spike Lee movie, so the biggest laughs come from black detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) laying down the law, literally and figuratively, on these hicks by being a black man who manages to be welcomed warmly into the Ku Klux Klan via a series of phone calls. Aside from the snark and snide remarks thrown at Klan members by Washington and his partner (Adam Driver playing the “face” of Ron Stallworth) by being smug right to their face, all while lying to them, the real victory comes from the hysterical reveal of Ron Stallworth’s real identity to the one and only David Duke (Topher Grace), which results in one the biggest fits of clapping and satisfied laughter all year.

Never Goin Back Trailer

Never Goin’ Back

While 2018 was full of comedies that weren’t just concerned with making us laugh, others just brought freewheeling and wild antics to the screen like Never Goin’ Back. A comedy in the vein of Superbad, the film from writer/director Augustine Frizzell follows Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone as two directionless teenagers barely scraping by as waitresses who just want to sleep, do drugs and get to the beach (even if it’s just in Galveston, Texas). But of course, nothing goes as planned.

Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone are a couple of real fuck-ups, but you can help but fall in love for them and root for their success as the stumble into poor decision after poor decision. But what’s great about this movie is that even at their lowest points, they never turn on each other, instead choosing to sling savage insults and hilarious bitterness at some of the worst people who surround them. This movie is as unapologetically dirty as the girls themselves, and the movie is that much funnier for it.

Game Night Trailer

Game Night

Hopefully by now someone has forced you to sit down and enjoy one of the most surprisingly satisfying and stylish studios comedies of the decade. Game Night has an outstanding ensemble cast that includes Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan and scene stealer Jesse Plemons, but what makes them all shine is a suspenseful story that lets them all perfectly bring to life the comedy of disbelief and panic in the face of danger.

Throughout this night of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the twists and turns of Game Night add more and more layers to the complex proceedings. But on top of that, there are these great tangents, such as a little relationship tiff between Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury involving Denzel Washington, or the divorce of unnerving and odd neighbor and police officer Gary. Elements like that combined with all the fast-paced banter only elevates the movie into being an unforgettable comedy.

Bodied Trailer

Bodied

When music video director Joseph Kahn takes you into the stylized world of battle rap, you know the results are going to produce some laughs and groans due to the fast-paced, rhythmic insults flowing out of the mouths of these lyrical wizards. The movie more than delivers a hefty amount of intentionally offensive and purposefully inappropriate lines of devastating rhymes. However, this isn’t just an excuse to make racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes. This shocking affront means something.

Through battle rap, Joseph Kahn explores a variety of concepts that are hot in today’s America, including freedom of speech, cultural appropriation and so much more. No one is safe from the insults of battle rap, and that’s kind of the point. It puts everyone on an even playing field, blasting woke culture and racists alike, simply because everyone stereotypes everyone else, and the intention is to make you realize that, to break down the barriers of sensitivity by saying the most insensitive things possible. And it’s quite brilliant, especially when it comes to these gut-busting, genius battle rap lyrics.

Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin

While Vice takes shots at Dick Cheney and his phantom presidency under the watch of George W. Bush through the lens of satire, director Armando Iannucci (Veep and In the Loop) takes the political and historical comedy to an entirely different level with The Death of Stalin. Here’s another comedy that borders on spoof, but in a much more subtle way that chooses to play scenes straight rather than merely trying to go for laughs.

As if the title didn’t make it clear, The Death of Stalin focuses on the death of tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953 and the aftermath as his underlings have a foul-mouthed, double crossing face-off to determine who will take control over the Soviet Union. But what’s great about this movie is that Armando Iannucci doesn’t have real-life figures such as Georgy Malenkov, Nikita Khrushchev and Lavrenti Beria played true to their Russian roots. Instead, he lets Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale play them in the actors’ native dialects, and it makes all this unrest in Soviet Russia that much more comical. They play their roles so deadly serious that you can’t help but laugh at their intensity and misfortune. It’s the kind of political satire that only the creator of Veep and In the Loop could deliver.

Blockers

Blockers

It’s a shame the trailers for Universal’s sex comedy Blockers painted it as a desperate parental-focused version of American Pie, because the movie so much better than that. Sure, the basic premise brings to mind the once popular high school sex franchise, but this movie is truly progressive in its portrayal of not just teenage sex and shenanigans, but society’s view of the behavior of hormone-fueled teenage girls.

One of the things that makes Blockers stand out from most comedies of its kind is not only that it focuses on three teenage girls hellbent on losing their virginity while their parents try to do everything they can to stop them, but it’s also directed by a woman – Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon – and it really shows. The progressive nature of the movie isn’t in your face and it brings a refreshing perspective full of riotous one-liners and gags that shine simply because they come from the other side of the sex equation rather than the usual bro viewpoint.

The Favourite

The Favourite

Most of the time, when you see a period movie like The Favourite, you’re not expecting there to be many laughs. But this film from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos brings with it a hefty amount of dark comedy as 18th century’s Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) of England finds herself ill-tempered, ill-mannered and, well, just ill all around. Helping her sort through governing problems is her friend and right-hand woman Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), but a recently arrived servant named Abigail (Emma Stone) weasels her way into the queen’s trust and the two begin a cutthroat competition for her favor.

The Favourite is twisted and mean, but it’s also hilarious in its ruthlessness as these two royal confidantes duke it out. Not only is the battle of words these two share full of humor, but the queen’s behavior is often childish and worth some laughs too. On top of that, there are a couple buggers of men sniffing around that our two competitors continue to dispatch with rather rudely and nonchalantly, and that’s quite amusing too.

Lakeith Stanfield - Sorry to Bother You

Sorry to Bother You

A lot of people have called Sorry to Bother You this year’s Get Out, simply because it has something to say about race under the guise of an absurdist indie comedy. But this movie is on a whole other level with the social and racial commentary it puts forth, simply because of the outrageous setting and even more outlandish plot twist surrounding a telemarketing company called Regal View. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say this a raucous send-up of corporate domination, economic disparity, corruption, cultural appropriation, viral fame, and more, and it does it all through the lens of an surreal, oddball comedy.

Like some of the greatest comedies, Sorry to Bother You has something to say, and director Boots Riley isn’t shy about spelling it out for you, especially when it comes to the film’s third act reveal. But just because this movie isn’t subtle, doesn’t mean it isn’t smart, because the comedy on display here comes from the absolute insanity of this world, which is only an absurd embellishment of what’s actually happening in the real world right now. That’s part of what makes the movie so funny, but it’s also what makes it so poignant.

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