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The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians

Updated December 18, 2019 8.8k votes 1.4k voters 68.8k views59 items

List RulesDramatic or serious films with a traditionally comic actor in a lead role

Dramatic movies starring comedians, ranked by comedy and film fans. Often, after making a name for themselves appearing in wacky or silly movies, comics will purposefully take on a more serious role, often in an attempt to show off their range. Comics like Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and Robin Williams are all noted for their tendency to alternate between funny and more serious roles (with Williams at some points in his career altogether abandoning comedies in favor of dramas.)

Often, fans are initially resistant to attempts by comedians to change around their style or appeal to new audiences. Sometimes, the experiments blatantly don't work out, with viewers unable to see their favorite funny performers in a new light. But other times, the decision to switch gears in favor of working in a drama pays off for a comedian, sometimes even resulting in award nominations or greater appreciation from acting peers. (As when Eddie Murphy was nominated for an Oscar - and won a Golden Globe - for his role in the musical "Dreamgirls" after years of being written off as the star of goofy features like "Nutty Professor" and "Norbit.")

What are the best serious movies starring comedians? Vote for your favorite serious dramatic films starring comedians. And if your favorite comic-starring drama isn't featured, make your own list and add it as a suggestion!

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    Awakenings

    Robin Williams
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    Rushmore

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    Patch Adams

    Robin Williams
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    The Fisher King

    Robin Williams
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    Insomnia

    Robin Williams
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    Big Fan

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    Seven Pounds

    Will Smith
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    Arthur

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    Punch-Drunk Love

    Adam Sandler
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    Dreamgirls

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