20 Comedy Movies You Must See Before You Die

Our picks for the those essential comedies that make life worth livin'.

Universal Pictures

Of all the movie genres, comedy might just well be the most subjective. Whereas people all over the world tend to be moved or frightened by relatively similar things (be they adorable puppy troupes overcoming the odds or giant demon creatures with way, way too many legs), laughter is a far more personalised beast. One simple gag has the power to make a person laugh hysterically for days on end, whilst somebody else might find themselves thinking: "What's so funny?"

There are some comedy movies that deserve to be seen by everyone, however, and those are the ones we've assembled here for our list of 20 Comedy Movies You Must See Before You Die. These are the bonafide classics of the genre, taking into account the best of the best from a variety of subgenres - romantic comedies, farcical comedies, surreal comedies, animated comedies, mockumentaries, spoofs and satires. These are ones you really shouldn't miss.

For a film to be considered for our list, then, there were very few qualifications; the only thing we took into account whilst compiling the entries included were: how funny were they? How likely were they to make a large audience of people laugh? And how rewatchable were they?

In essence, a "great comedy" should be one that prompts frequent revisits; one that sticks in your memory banks. We also tried to account for a variety of tastes, not always going for obvious picks.


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.