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 2015.
Inside Out has a fantastic premise. It uses anthropomorphic emotions to show the inside of a person’s head. They control the person whose head they’re inside of, with the dominant at the emotion at the time taking over the controls and acting in a way that emotion is known for. If Anger is in control, the human will act angry. It also creates an entire world full of memories for these emotions to explore.
It is very smart. It is very funny. It will move you emotionally. It will make you remember your childhood, make you think about the way you act now, and make you care about a stupid imaginary pink elephant. That last one will make sense once you watch it. Inside Out is one of those rare movies that works regardless of your age; adults will take different things from it than children will, but everyone will have a good time.
Magic Mike XXL
The Magic Mike franchise – a couple of movies about male strippers – is really good. They’re funny, they’re eventful, they’ve got good messages, the dance scenes are well-choreographed – they’re solid all the way around. It’s about a bunch of genuinely nice dudes who dance exotically and treat people with respect. And if you can’t enjoy that, even as a straight male, then you’re missing out.
The Night Before
The Night Before is about a trio of guys going out on Christmas Eve to get wasted, only to have several adventures on which they didn’t plan. It’s got a very talented cast, a great director, a solid screenplay, and more than a few surprises. It’s hilarious and even kind of sweet, in its own R-rated raunchy comedy sort of way.
You probably didn’t see Night Owls. Much to my chagrin, it still doesn’t even have a proper home video release. But it’s on Netflix and you can rent it from various VOD outlets. It’s about two people in a house, one of whom tries to OD on pills. She fails, and the other one has to keep her awake all night long – if she falls asleep, she might die after all. It’s insightful and hilarious and has great acting.
Paddington looked like another bad kids’ movie dumped into January. It doesn’t have a great trailer. So when it turned out to be really funny and sweet with a solid plot, it came as a really big surprise. It sucks you in pretty early on and doesn’t let you go until it ends. It still surprises me to this day that it’s any good.
Its sequel is also really strong. It’s arguably even better than its predecessor.
Pitch Perfect 2
I love the Pitch Perfect movies. I love the music and the comedy and many of the characters. I can watch them on repeat. Admittedly, if you watch one and don’t like it, you won’t like the others, either. But I do. The humor is a great mix of dark/raunchy/slapstick, the characters are witty and sarcastic, and the music is tremendous. They’re movies about an a capella group who have to come together to win competitions. I thought I’d hate them, too.
Nope. Nothing but love.
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Claymation – and stop-motion animation in general – has gone largely by the wayside. There aren’t many studios even attempting it anymore. Aardman Animations is one that still is. Every couple of years, a new one pops up. They’re typically clever, funny, and engaging – if a bit too simplistic. Shaun the Sheep Movie is about some sheep who go into the big city and cause trouble. It’s largely slapstick, mostly without dialogue, and it’s hilarious. And the animation is great, and not something you get to see much of anymore.
2015 had a lot of spy movies. Kingsman, a new Mission: Impossible, and The Man from UNCLE were among them – all of which made my Top Action Movies of 2015 list. Spy lampooned the genre. Kingsman was a semi-spoof but ultimately played much of it straight. Funny, but straight. Spy‘s job is to make fun of all of it. It features one of Melissa McCarthy’s best performances, it has Jason Statham doing a self-parody of all of his action roles, and it’s just hilarious from start to finish. Its action isn’t bad, either – it’s just not the focus.
Trainwreck follows a woman who believes that monogamy is bad – as she gets into a monogamous relationship. She’s a writer, tasked with doing a story on a sports doctor. She doesn’t like sports. But the two hit it off and eventually start dating. It has a lot of great lines and has LeBron James, of all people, stealing the show in some scenes. It also has some things to say about, well, its protagonist’s life philosophy. So there’s that, too.
The Voices is about a man who inadvertently becomes a serial killer and talks to his pets – and they talk back. It’s a pitch-black comedy about mental illness and relationships, and it’s both hilarious and startling. Saying much more would be giving away some of the fun, but suffice to say that if you think that premise sounds like something you’d enjoy, you owe it to yourself to check it out. And stay through the credits, since it features a great music video.