One of the reasons we go to the cinema is because movies have the potential to make us do or feel many things. One of those things is laugh. We watch comedies in hopes of lightening our mood and providing us 90-120 minutes of laughter. Comedies are also the most subjective genre of film; our senses of humor are all different, after all. Still, there are some that rise above and showcase themselves as funnier than the rest.
Here are the funniest movies of 2017.
Band Aid is a VOD title that didn’t get a lot of play, but it’s both really funny and quite sweet. It’s about a married couple that seems to always be fighting, and figure out a way to work through their issues is by starting a band and writings songs together about them. It stars Zoe Lister-Jones—who also wrote, directed, and produced—and Adam Pally, and has some humorous songs and a lot of great lines, particularly when the couple is fighting.
The Big Sick
The Big Sick is the funniest movie of the year, as far as I’m concerned. Based on real events, it follows a man who has to grow as a person after his girlfriend finds herself in a coma—particularly while dealing with his girlfriend’s parents, who come to town because of the incident and wind up spending a lot of time with him. It deals with more than just that—race relations, generational gaps, and familial expectations, to name a few—and it’s also hilarious.
The Disaster Artist
The making of The Room, one of the worst movies of all time to gain any sort of notoriety, is a story worth telling, and James Franco has done a very good job of doing so with The Disaster Artist. Tommy Wiseau is an enigma of a man, and the way The Room came together is so absurd that you can’t help but laugh. Franco directed the film and also starred as Wiseau in a performance so uncanny you begin to forget you’re not actually watching the real person.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
I exclude superhero movies from any Best Action Movies lists because there are so many action movies out there, and the good superhero movies would almost always make those lists. With comedies, the pickings is slimmer and not all superhero movies make people laugh. This year did have a lot of funny ones, though.
The first of those is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which James Gunn wrote and directed. He’s got a unique sense of humor and he’s working with characters that are a little … different, all of which adds up to more than a few funny moments. The film also benefits from having great action and a good heart, but it belongs here if you judge it just as a pure comedy.
The “incident”—as the movie calls it—in 1994 involving Tonya Harding is one that the media may have gotten wrong. At least, that’s the case if I, Tonya is to be believed, which hopes to elicit sympathy for Harding, all while telling a funny but nonetheless heartbreaking story. We see her childhood, her relationship with her demanding mother, her abusive relationship with her sometimes-husband, and the way she participated in the assault of Nancy Kerrigan.
The film tells its story well, breaking the fourth wall, having a lot of laughs, but also by calling out the audience for the way it treated Harding in the days, months, and years that followed. It’ll make you laugh, but also feel a little guilty.
Ingrid Goes West
Social media is ubiquitous nowadays. There’s almost no escaping it. And that might not be a good thing. Ingrid Goes West tells the story of a woman who moves in order to befriend an Instagram celebrity … and then takes that friendship to its logical conclusion given the people involved. It’s a great satire of the social media era, provides a lot of laughs, but also has a point to make.
The LEGO Batman Movie
It isn’t hard to make fun of Batman. Just replace all text instances with “man dressed as a bat” and you’re halfway there, if you really want to. “And then the man dresed as a bat chased the jewel thieves down the alley.” See, it’s already sillier.
What The LEGO Batman Movie does is significantly smarter than that, thankfully. It makes fun of the entire Batman history, but also does it in a way that’s respectful. It also provides one of the best takes on the way an adult Batman deals with the issue of family. It’s a nice counter to the dark-and-serious version of the character we’ve gotten in recent years, that’s for sure.
Pitch Perfect 3
It shouldn’t surprise you that I love the Pitch Perfect movies. Well, maybe it should if you don’t know me, but I did write an article dedicated to the film’s music, after all.
It would be just as easy to write one about all of the jokes the films contain. All three of them are a riot, a combination of edgy humor and gross-out comedy that you wouldn’t expect to find in a movie about a cappela groups. Pitch Perfect 3 is more of a victory lap than a real movie, but it has a bunch of good music and funny jokes, and made me laugh more than most movies this year.
The main reason Thor: Ragnarok wound up on this list is because of its director, Taika Waititi, who is one of the funniest filmmakers currently working. If you haven’t seen his previous two films, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Thor: Ragnarok is also really funny. But it also does a lot to reinvent several members of its cast, allowing it to feel fresh even among the Marvel catalogue, which at times starts to feel a little same-y.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The darkest comedy on this list is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is as pitch black as they come. If you need some edge to your laughs, this is the one from you. It comes from Martin McDonagh (In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths), who is great at this sort of thing, and it its wickedly funny. It’s also a wonderful movie about a woman wanting to get revenge for the loss of her daughter. Mostly, though, it’s just hilarious.