The 11 Best Comedy Movies Of 2024 So Far

Hollywood isn't investing nearly as much in straight-up comedies as they used to. While 2023 saw many of the best comedies of the year come from the indie and arthouse world. "Barbie" was a big winner last year, but that's a blockbuster doing a lot more heavy-lifting than just bringing laughs, with an adventure fueled by one of the most recognizable intellectual properties of all time. "No Hard Feelings" and "Anyone But You" brought some raunchy, romantic laughs to the proceedings, and we were certainly grateful that Jennifer Lawrence and Sydney Sweeney took risks as producers on R-rated studio comedies like that. Otherwise, most of the laughs come from cross-genre comedy hybrids that have bigger box office potential because of a high-concept story that just so happens to bring some hilarity, such as "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" or "Cocaine Bear."

So how is comedy shaping up in 2024? Unfortunately, with some worrisome box office potential, the pickings are still slim, and most of our options fall into that cross-genre category, especially in the action comedy arena, while others again come from the indie and arthouse scene. But we do have a couple of pure comedy standouts among them, as well as a certain musical adapted from a hit high school comedy celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Let's dig into our list of the best comedies of 2024 (so far)!

Argylle

Director Matthew Vaughn has always blended bloody violence with comedy, creating an entertaining mix of blockbuster action and laughs, whether it's the comic book adaptation "Kick-Ass" or the British spy antics of "Kingsman." Vaughn's latest contribution to the action comedy genre is "Argylle," a movie that absolutely delivers on bonkers action while letting the versatile Sam Rockwell and charming Bryce Dallas Howard team up as an unlikely duo caught up together in a world of espionage and intrigue. 

Bryce Dallas Howard plays author Ellie Conway, the writer behind the successful "Argylle" spy novels. But her life is thrown into upheaval when a real-life villainous agency believes she's the key to sorting out the next step in their diabolical scheme to expose government spies working undercover around the world. Helped by a secret agent named Aidan (Rockwell), Ellie must try to stay alive (with her cat in tow) as people keep trying to kidnap her. The duo have an entertaining dynamic that evolves into a romance as many twists and turns unfold and make things infinitely more complicated. Vaughn escalates things to such an unbelievable level that the third act delivers two absolutely ludicrous action sequences that are both absurd and awesome and deserve to be seen.

Plus, let's not forget that Henry Cavill, John Cena, Dua Lipa, and Ariana DeBose also bring some heightened action comedy laughs by bringing the world of Ellie Conway's "Argylle" books to life too. Don't worry about the Rotten Tomatoes score, hop on this crazy train, and enjoy the ride. (Ethan Anderton)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Henry Cavill, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O'Hara, Ariana DeBose, Samuel L. Jackson

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

Drive-Away Dolls

In the late 1990s, Tricia Cooke and Ethan Coen came up with a comedic road trip movie called "Drive-Away Dykes," which would feature two lesbians caught in the crosshairs of a crime plot by picking up the wrong rental car. The Coen brothers were enjoying massive success following "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski," so this film sounded like a surefire hit. There was just one problem — it was the 1990s when the only queer stories Hollywood was interested in telling were coming out stories or gut-wrenching tragedies. A light-hearted, fun, and frisky romp about a free-spirited "lesthario" named Jamie and her demure friend Marian on the vacation of a lifetime couldn't exist in 1999, at least not with the necessary budget to pull it off as envisioned. It only took 20 or so years, but "Drive-Away Dolls" has finally arrived, and it's well worth the wait. 

As /News's Witney Seibold described in his review of the film, "It possesses all the impish, make-the-straights-squirm energy of a legit '90s indie lesbian farce [...] it unapologetically and cartoonishly plunges audiences into lesbian basement make-out parties and rowdy gay bars, flinging about cunnilingus jokes, masturbation scenes, and multiple on-screen dildos with gleeful impunity." The crime hijinks are a true delight, but the charm of "Drive-Away Dolls" is its ability to turn the most basic circumstances into a laugh-out-loud affair. Come for Pedro Pascal's head in a hatbox, stay for Beanie Feldstein unscrewing a wall-mounted dildo through tears. (BJ Colangelo)

Director: Ethan Coen (and Tricia Cooke)

Cast: Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

The Fall Guy

"The Fall Guy" is an impressive action movie for sure, but it's also one of the funniest movies of 2024. Director David Leitch never misses an opportunity to squeeze a visual gag into the action beats, allowing gags set up in dialogue to pay off during the more explosive moments (and vice versa). If there's an opportunity to make the audience laugh, the film goes for it. It's almost relentless how many running jokes populate the film, and the sheer variety of them. Just when you think the film has run out of ways to make you chuckle, the story introduces Jean Claude, the dog with a special set of skills who only responds to commands in French.

Let's say you don't have enough good taste to appreciate the sparkling, wry comedic chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, who both give the film a jolt of rom-com brilliance that lurks behind every action scene. That's okay. You'll probably appreciate the running gag involving Gosling getting drugged by a bad guy, and the resulting ... Well, that would be spoiling it. "The Fall Guy" wants to be a lot of things, and it pulls those things off, but it works especially well in the comedy department. (Jacob Hall)

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Hannah Waddingham, Winston Duke, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Babes

"Babes" is one of the filthiest movies of the year, and almost none of that filth is ever onscreen. Instead, this is a movie where the dialogue allows you to conjure up the most grotesque imagery imaginable, and then giggle about it. Ilana Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz's script isn't being gross for the sake of being gross, but instead, it's gross because it knows that human bodies are gross and that we love nothing more than to talk about our gross bodies with the people we love and cherish.

The raunchiness of "Babes" orbits a very sweet core, and director Pamela Adlon (making her feature debut) uses the poop jokes to get at something more incisive and sincere. This is the story of an irresponsible woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy with the help of her best friend, and how this potentially traumatic and difficult-by-default experience is made easier when you have someone to lean on ... and to discuss vaginal discharge with. It's all very gross, but that's life. And life's nastiness is something we all laugh about after the fact. (Jacob Hall)

Director: Pamela Adlon

Cast: Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau, Hisan Minaj, John Carroll Lynch

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

The Idea of You

Romantic comedies are an interesting thing. On the one hand, they've been a part of the cinematic landscape for a long, long time and, not unlike horror movies, are often looked at as lesser-than despite often being huge hits. But every once in a while, a rom-com comes around that transcends what we typically think of the genre. Such is the case with Amazon Prime Video's "The Idea of You," which was met with an incredible response following its premiere at SXSW this year. You can read my 8 out of 10 review of the film here.

The film has what sounds like a wacky premise: a 40-year-old single mom (played by Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway) has a chance encounter with a member of her daughter's former favorite boy band (Nicholas Galitizen), which kicks off a whirlwind romance between two people with a significant age gap. Instead of going for the low-hanging fruit, director Michael Showalter turns this into an illuminating human tale that is very funny when it needs to be. Showalter and his team didn't forget the "com" part of the rom-com equation here, and that's why this movie is on this list. More importantly, the comedy is exactly why this movie should be on your radar. It's funny. It's poignant. It's worth every second of your time. (Ryan Scott)

Director: Michael Showalter

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Nicholas Galitzine, Ella Rubin, and Reid Scott

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Lisa Frankenstein

Zelda Williams and Diablo Cody's "Lisa Frankenstein" is a neon-soaked throwback to a style of genre comedies that we just don't make anymore. Equal parts Tim Burton, Savage Steve Holland, and PG-13-rated John Waters, this coming-of-rage horror-comedy plays heavily into the silly sensibilities of films that have no interest in existing within the realm of possibility. The story centers on a teenage girl with an undead corpse boyfriend who needs her to kill people in order to get him new parts for his decaying body, and luckily for him, Lisa is exactly the type of weird girl who would willingly dismember a person and sew their limbs onto her crush. Luckily for the audience, the characters are also hilarious.

As I noted in my review, "For all of its fantastical elements of undead boyfriends and tanning bed magic, there's a genuine message about how ungodly difficult it is to be a teenage girl in all of its forms, but that gallows humor is one of the strongest coping mechanisms to employ." There's a fine line to walk with gallows humor, but "Lisa Frankenstein" knows exactly when and how to launch a twisted zinger. You'll never be able to hear Jeffrey Osborne's "On The Wings of Love" the same way ever again, and that's a good thing. (BJ Colangelo)

Director: Zelda Williams

Cast: Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Carla Gugino

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Mean Girls

Based on the Broadway adaptation of the hit 2004 movie "Mean Girls," the 2024 redux adds a modern musical twist to the high school comedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams. Complete with full-blown song and dance numbers that weave in and out of hallways, classrooms, and parties, the remake adds just enough new wrinkles to the story and jokes to make this feel fresh. 

Angourie Rice stars in "Mean Girls" as Cady, a student freshly joining the social mayhem of high school after being home-schooled and living in Africa with her wildlife expert mother for pretty much her entire life. Thrown into the potentially more deadly jungle of teenage drama, Cady befriends outcasts Janis (Auli'i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), and the three concoct a plan to bring down the school-ruling queen bee Regina George (Reneé Rapp) and her girlfriend trio known as the Plastics. The updated script by original "Mean Girls" writer Tina Fey makes for plenty of laughs, especially when it comes to Bebe Wood and Avantika's performances as Gretchen and Karen. But Reneé Rapp steals the show with a full-on diva turn as Regina, albeit one that may be a little more vulnerable than the original iteration of the character. Catchy songs and slickly shot musical sequences that weave through scenes with impressive single-shot takes provide visual spectacle as well, making this a satisfying and hilarious musical. (Ethan Anderton)

Director: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr.

Cast: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auli'i Cravalho, Jaquel Spivey, Bebe Wood, Avantika, Christopher Briney, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Jon Hamm

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Problemista

It's almost infuriating how brilliant Julio Torres is as a singular creative voice. The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and brain behind the hit HBO series "Los Espookys" makes his narrative feature directorial debut with "Problemista," a quirky satire of toxic workplace environments and the busted-beyond-belief United States Immigration system. We reviewed the film out of SXSW back in 2023, but with a wide release in 2024, it's already looking like one of the sleeper comedic hits of 2024. Torres writes, directs, and stars in the film as Alejandro, an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador struggling to find work in New York City. When his work visa runs out, he decides he's willing to do anything to stay in the country and make his dreams come true.

"Problemista" approaches comedy similarly to Emma Seligman's "Shiva Baby," in that despite the hilarity, it often feels like we're peering into a horror film. The circumstances of working for an unhinged boss or constantly under the threat of deportation or, you know, capitalism can be so bleak that waking up every day feels like its own job. In another universe, "Problemista" is the most depressing film ever made, but in the more than capable hands of Julio Torres, it's a relatable delight with so much heart you'll be crying through full belly laughs. (BJ Colangelo)

Director: Julio Torres

Cast: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA, Isabella Rossellini

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Ricky Stanicky

Since their childhood, best friends Dean, JT, and Wes (Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, and Jermaine Fowler) have been using a non-existent friend named Ricky Stanicky as a scapegoat and excuse for various missteps and sneaky trips. But when their partners and in-laws begin to suspect something fishy going on, the trio is forced to recruit a washed-up, alcoholic actor known as "Rock Hard" Rod (John Cena) to pose as Ricky Stanicky. 

"Ricky Stanicky" gives John Cena one of his best comedic roles to date, and it's not just because he's hilarious as the pathetic and desperate "Rock Hard" Rod. It's the turn Cena makes by taking the Ricky Stanicky alter ego so seriously that makes this worth watching. Not only is Cena charming, but he brings an earnestness to the role that makes you want to root for him, even as he threatens to upend everything by taking this pretend person a little too far. Though this R-rated comedy has more lulls than we'd prefer, Cena's performance is more than enough to keep it afloat. Plus, William H. Macy adds a surprisingly hilarious wrinkle to the story as Dean and JT's boss, who ends up hiring Ricky to work in their office, taking this ruse to a troublesome new level. (Ethan Anderton)

Director: Peter Farrelly

Cast: Zac Efron, John Cena, Andrew Santino, Jermaine Fowler, William H. Macy

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score47%

Scrambled

Thirty-something Nellie Robinson (Leah McKendrick) has been enjoying the best years of her life as a perpetual bridesmaid. But a fun run-in with an old friend at a wedding reception turns into a moment of cautionary advice, as Nellie is told she better freeze her eggs before it's too late. So Nellie decides to make some arrangements to secure her future, jumping into the complicated pool of female fertility and all the hurdles that entails. This also sparks a trip down memory lane, where Nellie revisits some of her more promising male suitors in the hopes of finding someone who could be an integral part of her future. 

However, "Scrambled" isn't your typical R-rated romantic comedy. While it does venture down some of the same roads, ultimately, the movie that's also written and directed by Leah McKendrick is actually more about coming to terms with loving yourself, especially when there's no telling what the future will hold. Maybe being a mother doesn't have to define a woman's future, and if it does, then that's for her to decide. McKendrick brings a sharp wit to the table with a hilarious script, and the supporting cast playing her brother (Andrew Santino), father (Clancy Brown), and mother (Laura Cerón) help amp up the laughs too. We're glad this movie finally got released in February 2024 after debuting at South by Southwest back in March 2023, and you will be too. (Ethan Anderton)

Director: Leah McKendrick

Cast: Leah McKendrick, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Santino, Adam Rodriguez, Laura Cerón, Clancy Brown, and June Diane Raphael

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Y2K

Kyle Mooney has been a force to be reckoned with on "Saturday Night Live," as one of the show's most distinctive voices in recent years. Now? He's making the jump to big screen filmmaking by directing an absurd comedy aimed at anyone who lived through the late '90s milestone known as "Y2K." The film, which serves as Mooney's feature directorial debut, had its world premiere at SXSW (read /News's official review here), where it was met with a warm response from the crowd. It's overloaded with turn-of-the-millennium nostalgia, a great cast, and absurd comedy based on a silly moment in human history.

Anyone who lived through 1999 remembers the Y2K scare, but nothing really came of it. Mooney imagines a very different version of events where things did, indeed, go horribly wrong. That's ripe comedic territory, but it also has a fair amount of heard, more bloodshed than one might imagine, and one of the more memorable cameos in recent memory. From standout performances by Rachel Zegler and Jaden Martell to a soundtrack that is sure to have '90s kids looking up what it costs to procure a Sony Walkman on eBay along with some nu-metal CDs, this is a preposterous crowd-pleaser. (Ryan Scott)

Director: Kyle Mooney

Cast: Rachel Zegler, Jaeden Martell, Lachlan Watson, and Julian Dennison

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%