It’s become cliché on this blog by now that comedy is not my favorite genre of film. It’s not that I don’t like to laugh. Far from it. It’s just that usually comedy films pander to the lowest common denominator of moviegoers and barely even try to be anything more than what they think they need to be to earn a paycheck. But every year we get those select few films that entertain even a killjoy like me and I’ve got to say 2018 had quite a few great comedy offerings ranging from outright laugh riots to more serious and cynical dark comedies that force us to examine the world around us with a lighthearted edge. Those are the films today’s list will explore a I continue to celebrate the best in film for 2018. So, let’s take a look at the movies that made us laugh or introduced us to new definitions of irony. These are my picks for the Top 10 Comedy Films of 2018.
For this list I looked at any movie that was primarily defined as a comedy in 2018. Not all of these films are the laugh-out-loud experiences you might expect. Dark and absurdist comedies, satirical films and traditional comedies were all selected for consideration on this list however biographical films that may include comedic flair like “Vice”, “The Favourite”, “Green Book” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” won’t be on this list. You’ll see more from them on my upcoming Best Biopics of 2018 list coming soon.
That said as with all lists in my Best of 2018 celebration a film can only make one genre countdown and there are many films that could be considered comedies but fit more into other genres, like “Deadpool 2” which I included in my Best Fantasy Films of 2018 list as a comic book film and “Isle of Dogs” which was included in by Best Animated Films of 2018 countdown, so if you don’t find your favorite comedy of 2018 hear it might have made a different list.
This is part of a series of lists celebrating the best of 2018 in film all leading up to my picks of the 20 best movies of 2018 on New Years Day.
Now this is a genre that I tend to miss quite a few gems with so I’m sure there’s a movie I have not seen or reviewed in 2018 that some think should be represented here, so I pass it on to you. What is your favorite comedy of the year? Let me know in the comments below and enjoy the list! Also if you’d like to read my reviews of these films you can check them out by clicking the name of each movie on the list.
10. “The Spy Who Dumped Me”
This movie is proof that I’m not above enjoying ridiculous, over the top pandering comedy. Action comedy films are a dime a dozen but “The Spy Who Dumped Me” took the concept to the next level with powerhouse duo Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon at the helm as a pair of friends on the run from assassins after one discovers her ex-boyfriend was a spy. The result is a charming story about the bonds of friendship that also parodies action movie clichés by balancing action set pieces with comedic timing. While this blend of genres didn’t sit so well with other critics, I felt it was one of the movie’s strongest aspects and helped make it one of the more memorable comedy pictures of the year and a perfect place to start on today’s countdown.
Honestly this is not a movie I expected to enjoy, but low and behold I did. “Blockers” gets its name from the term “cock blocker” as it follows three parents trying to prevent their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. This, of course, results in things going wrong for them as they continue to try and track their kids down leading to hilarious mishaps including a butt chugging challenge and an exploding SUV. By the end of the film “Blockers” becomes a nice story about how being a good parent is important but it’s also important to allow your kids to grow on their own. Humorous and charming, “Blockers” also proves to be touching and well-acted with stars John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz showing their chemistry and comedic prowess in full force.
8. “Game Night”
One of the earliest major comedy offerings of 2018 “Game Night” benefited from not only a neat premise but a creative visual style as well. The story focuses on a group of friends who get together for their traditional game night, but when one of them is kidnapped and the games take a very real turn the rest of the crew tries to figure out what is real and what is all part of the ruse. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams lead a cast of talented comedic actors while Director John Francis Daley adds a nice touch to the project by making the overhead establishing shots look like a game board through a shooting style called tilt-shift photography. The film also takes ample opportunity to call itself and other movies out for cinematic clichés making for a slightly self-aware and undeniably fun comedic experience.
7. “Ocean’s 8”
A recent fad in Hollywood has been rebooting or remaking products with female, aka gender-swapped, leads. The “Ghostbusters” reboot was an epic failure in the eyes of many and this year’s “Overboard” didn’t fare much better. However 2018 also brought us our first acceptable gender-swapped film with “Oceans 8” which manages to capture the same charm, fun and humor of the original “Ocean’s” movies (themselves based on a Rat Pack film) while charting its own path. With an all-star cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling and others, “Ocean’s 8” is surprisingly witty and adapts the heist premise for a female group of thieves in a way that brings the franchise into the modern world while also respecting its roots. It’s thrilling, it’s hilarious and it’s one of the best comedies of 2018.
Noone was really asking for a “Mamma Mia!” sequel but in 2018 we got it and I have to say I’m glad it was made. The first “Mamma Mia!” was a decent-at-best comedy musical but ten years later we get a sequel that not only advances the story but is arguably a superior film with more emotional depth, more fluid and enjoyable humor and more defined characters than the first. Once again themed around ABBA songs, “Here We Go Again” follows Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie as she takes over her mother Donna’s hotel while also providing flashbacks to Donna’s life. Balancing drama and humor with perfection and taking full advantage of ABBA’s extensive discography “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” may not be a sequel we asked for, but it’s a sequel we definitely deserved from one of the highest grossing live action musicals of all time.
5. “Super Troopers 2”
One of the most anticipated comedies of 2018, “Super Troopers 2” is the followup to the 2001 cult classic created by the Broken Lizard comedy team. This sequel colelcted nearly $5 million in crowdfunding seed money to get made and boy did it deliver. The story brings back the same characters from the original film only this time they have to contest with Canadian Mounties as they try to spearhead the transition of a Canadian territory found to actually be United States land. This results in hilarious pranks, offensive cultural references and a spectacular farcical examination of American nationalism that had me laughing all the way through. I even noted in my review that if you’re going to make a ridiculous comedy you have to go all in and this film does just that giving us exactly what we wanted after 17 years of anticipation.
4. “Crazy Rich Asians”
It’s been a LONG time sense a romantic comedy has resonated on the level that “Crazy Rich Asians” did in 2018. This movie became a box office sensation upon its release and it’s not hard to see why. The completely Asian cast brought much needed diversity to Hollywood, but what could have been a token film turned out to be so much more. “Crazy Rich Asians” is an endearing and hilariously good time as it portrays a woman discovering her boyfriend is the heir to a business fortune and has to deal with his traditionalist relatives. The comedy is balanced with very intimate and heartwarming moments to retain the tension needed to drive home the story while never taking itself too seriously. While I didn’t give it the perfect score many others did, I can safely say “Crazy Rich Asians” deserves all of the credit it has gotten as one of 2018’s best dramadies by far.
Billed by several outlets as “’American Psycho’ meets ‘Heathers’”, this dark comedy was a sleeper gem in early 2018 and remains one of the year’s most underrated films. The story revolves around two high school women who are exact opposites. One feels literally every emotion and the other feels no emotion at all. When they decide to kill one’s stepfather the lines of morality are drawn with hilarious results. “Thoroughbreds” is a well-crafted picture that draws into question what is right and what is wrong, using its title to compare the worst of the world to a useless horse in need of being put down. This movie sets the standard for what a dark comedy should be, a film that tests the boundaries of what society it willing to accept while touching on the subject with tact and a great sense of humor.
I struggled to find a place for this film in my various “Best of” lists because “The Balled of Buster Scruggs” actually covers a myriad of genres in its anthology format. However, the one that permeates most of the stories is comedy and so I decided to put it here. The film showcases six disconnected western-themed tales that all could have made great films on their own but together they create a masterful offering that only the Coen Brothers could have pulled off so perfectly. With great performances by everyone on board and deep, well thought out stories that balance levity and drama with meticulous precision “The Balled of Buster Scruggs” was one of the finest offering from Netflix in 2018 and one of the best of the year overall as well. There’s something for everyone in this collection so whether you’re a lover of classic western stories or more layered tales this is one collection of modern shorts I highly recommend.
1. “Sorry to Bother You”
God, I loved this movie. I love it more and more every time I see it. “Sorry to Bother You” could have fit in several categories for the Best of 2018…science fiction, fantasy, drama…but what it is first and foremost is an absurdist dark comedy that examines how social media and influence from smartly operated corporations can shape society and opinion. Writer and director Boots Riley gives us a powerhouse of a film that takes major risks and isn’t afraid to be brutally honest despite existing in an alternate reality. With a story that surrounds a black man who works his way up the ranks in a telemarketing company eventually discovering the dark secrets hidden behind closed doors, “Sorry to Bother You” sports an appropriate name as it’s not only references the livelihood of the lead, but also serves as a warning to viewers that this movie aims to make you think. Even nearly half a year later “Sorry to Bother You” still resonates and is by far the best comedy of the year.