25 Funniest Comedies on Netflix Canada You Need to Watch
From teen satires to buddy cop parodies, these comedy movies on Netflix are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
Photo: DreamWorks Pictures
Irritable ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) loves his solitude more than anything in the world. Peace and quiet is destroyed, however, when his humble abode is invaded by a motley crew of famous fairy tale characters, all banished from their magical kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Boasting impressive voice work and a surprisingly irreverent script, Shrek is perfect viewing for children and adults alike.
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Photo: Paramount Pictures
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
After writing and directing two of the greatest teen movies ever, John Hughes decided to cover middle-age with Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It might just be his most fully-realized work, and it’s certainly one of the most varied comedies of the decade, moving from slapstick to compassionate drama in the blink of an eye. Its two stars, Steve Martin as a curmudgeonly marketing exec and John Candy as a kind but annoying shower curtain ring salesman, hit career highs in this 1987 comedy classic.
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Photo: Paramount Pictures
Thought there was nothing new to add to the midlife-crisis comedy? Think again. In Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne’s misunderstood triumph, a groundbreaking new scientific process, “downsizing,” allows participants to shrink themselves to a height of five inches, thereby granting them a smaller carbon footprint and, most importantly, more bang for their buck. Cash-strapped physical therapist Paul (Matt Damon) goes ahead with the procedure, but after moving into Leisureland, a New Mexico community for tiny people, he learns all that glitters is not gold. Look out for the scene-stealing Hong Chau as Ngoc Lan Tran, a Vietnamese political activist who lives in Leisureland’s less-privileged parts.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
In the ultra-competitive, often petty world of NASCAR, Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell, who also co-wrote the film) reigns supreme. With his best pal Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly) as the second driver on his team, Bobby is poised to be the next Dale Earnhardt—until a talented French Formula One Driver (Sacha Baron Cohen) derails the duo’s plans and threatens to take the crown for himself. Equal parts spoof and love letter to the popular sport, Talladega Nights is above all a celebration of friendship, determination and yes, speed.
Photo: Universal Pictures
Happy Gilmore (1996)
Adam Sandler may have earned critical plaudits for 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love and 2019’s Uncut Gems, but Happy Gilmore is still his most “Adam Sandler” film to date. The title character, a failed hockey player equipped with nothing more than a violent temper and a powerful slapshot, enters a professional golf tournament in the hopes of saving his grandmother from foreclosure. Sandler shines in the kind of role he perfected—the mentally unstable man-child—but Gilmore’s real ace is Chubbs Peterson, a one-handed former pro who takes a shine to Happy. Plus: there’s Bob Barker in one of the funniest cameos in movie history.
Photo: Amazon Studios
Late Night (2019)
The “diversity hire” may not be go-to subject matter for mainstream comedies, but 2019’s Late Night tackles the concept head-on—to hilarious effect. In an attempt to revamp her once-popular late night talk show, Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) hires Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling), the show’s first Indian-American writer in a staff room full of white men. Slowly but surely, Molly’s ideas prove to be a hit with audiences, while Katherine is forced to deal with an unexpected personal crisis. An insightful and superbly acted flick.
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Photo: Universal Pictures
The King of Staten Island (2020)
Breakout Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson and writer-director Judd Apatow prove to be an inspired combo in this heartfelt comedy-drama. Loosely based on Davidson’s own life, The King of Staten Island follows Scott Carlin, an aimless 24-year-old high school dropout who dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. But when his mother (Marisa Tomei) begins dating a firefighter (Bill Burr), Scott is forced to come to terms with his father’s passing—and his own feelings towards Kelsey (Bel Powley), his on-and-off girlfriend.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
After starring in some of the greatest action movies ever made, it’s only fair that Bruce Willis would return to the genre that first made him a star—for laughs, of course. He does just that in 2010’s Red, playing Frank Moses, a retired CIA black ops agent who now spends his days sweet-talking a call centre employee (Mary Louise Parker). But after learning that a hit squad is out to eliminate him, Moses is forced to call his old pals—Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Succession’s Brian Cox—out of retirement.
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The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson prove to be a formidable pair in this endearing action-comedy. When a sought-after mercenary (Reynolds) is hired for a security detail job, he’s shocked to learn that his newest client is Darius Kincaid (Jackson), a world-famous assassin who’s set to testify against a vicious Belarusian dictator (Oldman). The Hitman’s Bodyguard overcomes its clichés by leaning into screwball territory—and letting its two superstar leads take control of the proceedings.
Photo: Focus Features
No actor had a better 2020 than Anya Taylor-Joy—eight months before she captured the world’s attention in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, the British star led the best silver screen version of Jane Austen’s Emma to date. (Clueless, a loose adaptation, doesn’t count.) Handsome, clever and rich, the titular Ms. Woodhouse spends her days meddling in the romantic lives of her friends and neighbours, while stumbling in her own pursuit of Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn). First-time director Autumn de Wilde employs her considerable talents as a photographer to offer a candy-coloured view of Regency-era England, while screenwriter Eleanor Catton (who penned 2013’s Man Booker Prize-winning The Luminaries) expertly captures Austen’s unique comedy of manners.
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Colin Quinn: The New York Story (2016)
Its status as a live recording of an Off-Broadway show may disqualify it as a “movie,” but Colin Quinn: The New York Story is simply too funny to ignore. In just one hour, Quinn, a hardened, fast-talking Brooklyn native long known as a “comedian’s comedian,” condenses New York City’s 350-year history into a series of smart, hilarious vignettes centered on its immigrant populations. From the Irish, Italians and Jews (the latter of whom, Quinn quips, were the “only immigrant group that wanted to be checked for tuberculosis at Ellis Island”) to Puerto Ricans, Asians and Eastern Europeans, Quinn explores how the city’s diverse roots led to that famous “New York attitude”: no-nonsense, opinionated and perpetually in a rush.
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Rose Island (2020)
The 1960s was a tumultuous time for young Europeans who were sick and tired of the status quo—add Giorgio Rosa (Elio Germano), an idealistic engineer in Italy, to the list. His solution? To build a platform on the Adriatic Sea and call it home for him and other like-minded individuals. (Unsurprisingly, the Italian government is not a fan of Rosa’s island paradise and tries to thwart his plans.) Based on a true story, this whimsical comedy proves that truth really is stranger—and funnier—than fiction.
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The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
Meet Harold (Dustin Hoffman): sculptor, retired art professor and father to three dysfunctional children: unemployed Danny (Adam Sandler), financial advisor Matthew (Ben Stiller) and project manager Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). In the lead-up to a retrospective of Harold’s work at the MoMA, the siblings reunite—to disastrous results. The laughs in The Meyerowitz Stories are plenty—and pop up in unexpected ways.
Stan & Ollie (2018)
Between 1926 and 1950, the Englishman Stan Laurel and American Oliver Hardy made 107 comedy films together. By 1953, however, the famous funnymen were on their last legs and, desperate to reconnect with their fans, embarked on a demanding music hall tour of the United Kingdom. Stan & Ollie dramatizes the aforementioned tour…and then some: Laurel (Steve Coogan), it turns out, secretly blames Hardy (John C. Reilly) for the way their careers have flamed out. Amusing, affectionate and angry in equal measure, Stan & Ollie is a handsomely staged tribute to the greatest double act ever.
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Photo: Netflix Canada
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Everyone assumed childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) would wind up together—except for Sasha and Marcus, that is. Fifteen years after graduating high school, she’s a celebrity chef and he’s a struggling musician. Will the two reconnect and find their happily-ever-after? Always Be My Maybe cleverly subverts Hollywood’s Asian stereotypes—and co-stars a never-better Keanu Reeves playing a fictionalized version of himself.
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Photo: Netflix Canada
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
There’s been no shortage of revisionist films made about the Old West, but The Ballad of Buster Scruggs may be the funniest. This anthology film tells six tales about the frontier: a self-mythologizing gunslinger (Tim Blake Nelson), a down-on-his-luck cowboy (James Franco), a cold-blooded talent manager (Liam Neeson), a grizzled prospector (Tom Waits), a young woman travelling across the Prairies (Zoe Kazan), and a group of stagecoach passengers on an otherworldly journey.
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Yes, God, Yes (2019)
Alice (Natalia Dyer) is a junior at an ultra-strict Catholic high school in the Midwest. Her friends and teachers stress that premarital sex will lead to eternal damnation—but their sermons don’t stop Alice from falling for a boy at a religious camp. Charming, funny and surprisingly moving, Yes, God, Yes is a highly original take on religion and adolescence.
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Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman) is no stranger to living on the sidelines: after all, the Bethlehem native was born in the stable next door to the baby Jesus. Adulthood is equally uneventful for him—until, through a silly sequence of events, he’s mistaken for the actual Messiah. The rest of the Python gang—John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam—shine in roles as varied as religious fanatics and ex-lepers. Life of Brian’s show-stopping musical number, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” may be the happiest song ever written about death.
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The Intouchables (2011)
While interviewing candidates to be his new live-in caregiver, the wealthy but grouchy quadriplegic Philippe (François Cluzet) meets Driss (Omar Sy of Lupin), a happy-go-lucky ex-con with a troubled home life. After concluding that Driss was the only applicant to treat him like a normal person, Philippe decides to hire him; the two later develop a close bond as Driss encourages his patient to begin life anew. Funny, inspiring and proudly unsubtle, The Intouchables overcomes its familiar beats thanks to the amazing chemistry between its two leads.
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Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
A remake of the famous but forgettable 1960 film of the same name, Ocean’s Eleven is a perfect example of big-budget Hollywood filmmaking done right. Boasting one of the finest casts—George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia, among others—ever assembled, this slick action-comedy about one group’s plan to simultaneously rob the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand casinos in Las Vegas is a joy to watch from beginning to end.
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21 Jump Street (2012)
After an arrest gone bad, bike cops Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) are given new identities and sent undercover to Sagan High School. Their mission? Find the source of a new synthetic drug. Soon, however, the pair are torn between catching the drug operation’s mastermind and living out their high school dreams.
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Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
If Looney Tunes was rated-R, the result would be Kung Fu Hustle. Set in Guangzhou, China, in the 1940s, this action-comedy follows Sing (Stephen Chow), a village idiot who wants to become a member of the dangerous Axe Gang. The only area not under the gang’s rule is Pig Sty Alley: a slum whose landlords happen to be legendary kung fu masters in disguise.
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3 Idiots (2009)
After clashing with an oppressive mentor at an Indian engineering college, the brilliant Rancho (Aamir Khan) disappears without a trace. Ten years later, his old buddies, Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi), embark on a quest to find him, reminiscing about paths not taken. Silly and unabashedly sentimental, 3 Idiots is a hilarious critique of India’s education system.
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Photo: Netflix Canada
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
In this Golden Globe-nominated Netflix original, Eddie Murphy portrays real-life Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved doubters wrong when his hilarious kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation smash.
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Tallulah (Elliot Page) is having a rough go of things: she’s just been dumped by her boyfriend, lives in a rundown van and steals credit cards to make ends meet. Things, however, go from bad to worse for Tallulah when she impulsively decides to kidnap a neglectful mother’s toddler and meet Margo (Allison Janney), her ex’s mom. Downward spirals have never been so darkly funny—and so deeply moving—as in Tallulah.
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