Entertainment

The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Dramatic 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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1
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Robin Williams
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more
2
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
Robin Williams
Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more
3
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
Jim Carrey
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more
4
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Jim Carrey
The Truman Show is a 1998 American satirical social science fiction comedy-drama film directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol. The cast includes Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, Laura ...more
5
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Steve Carrell
Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by ...more
6
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Bill Murray
Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, and Fumihiro Hayashi. The ...more
7
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Jim Carrey
Man on the Moon is a 1999 American biographical comedy–drama film about the late American entertainer Andy Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey. The film was directed by Miloš Forman and also features ...more
8
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Robin Williams
The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, with Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer, ...more
9
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Jamie Foxx
Ray is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was written, produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and ...more
10
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Ralphie added Robin Williams
Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks' 1973 memoir of the same title. It tells the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, fictionalized as American Malcolm ...more
11
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Will Ferrell
Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 American comedy-drama-fantasy film directed by Marc Forster, written by Zach Helm, and starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, ...more
12
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Will Smith
The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more
13
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Bill Murray
Rushmore is a 1998 comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson about an eccentric teenager named Max Fischer, his friendship with rich industrialist Herman Blume, and their mutual love for ...more
14
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wiabux added Robin Williams
One Hour Photo is a 2002 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Mark Romanek and starring Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Gary Cole, and Eriq La Salle. ...more
15
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Adam Sandler
Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Luis ...more
16
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Ralphie added Robin Williams
Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Gunton. Directed by Tom Shadyac, it is based on the life story of ...more
17
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wiabux added Will Smith
Enemy of the State is a 1998 American spy-thriller about a group of rogue U.S. National Security Agency agents conspiring to take out a U.S. Congressman and try to cover up. It was written by ...more
18
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Robin Williams
Insomnia is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives ...more
19
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Jerry Lewis
The King of Comedy is an American black comedy film starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis. Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul D. Zimmerman, the film focuses on themes including ...more
20
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wiabux added Will Smith
Seven Pounds is a 2008 American fantasy drama film, directed by Gabriele Muccino, in which Will Smith stars as a man who sets out to change the lives of seven people. Rosario Dawson, Woody ...more
21
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Bill Murray
Broken Flowers is a 2005 French-American comedy-drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and produced by Jon Kilik and Stacey Smith. The film focuses on an aging "Don Juan" who ...more
22
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Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy
Dreamgirls is a 2006 American musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road ...more
23
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Jim_In_Texas added Dudley Moore
Arthur is a 1981 comedy film written and directed by Steve Gordon. The film stars Dudley Moore as the eponymous Arthur Bach, a drunken New York City millionaire who is on the brink of an ...more
24
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willyboymcoy added Jim Carrey
The Majestic is a 2001 American drama film directed and produced by Frank Darabont, written by Michael Sloane, and starring Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, Jeffrey DeMunn, David Ogden Stiers, James ...more
25
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wiabux added Jim Carrey
The Number 23 is a 2007 American psychological thriller film written by Fernley Phillips and directed by Joel Schumacher. Starring Jim Carrey, the film was released in the United States on ...more