Drama The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians  

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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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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
464 142
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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

3
377 105
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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

4
445 150
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
323 114
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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
230 133
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Bill Murray Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It was her second feature film after The Virgin Suicides. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett ...more

7
182 107
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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

8
177 126
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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

9
219 126
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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

10
140 101
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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

11
217 128
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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

12
144 101
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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

13
126 46
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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

14
122 136
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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

15
128 56
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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

16
141 70
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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
118 83
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Robin Williams Insomnia is a 2002 American crime 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

18
91 67
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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 kill a U.S. Congressman and try to cover up the murder. It was ...more

19
79 94
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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
81 77
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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
63 102
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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
81 100
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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
78 79
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RichieRich123 added Adam Sandler In Reign Over Me, two former college roommates Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) and Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) run into each other years later and rekindle their friendship. Charlie, who recently ...more

24
83 82
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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

25
39 30
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Bill Murray The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a 2004 American comedy-drama film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Wes Anderson. It is Anderson's fourth feature length film, released in the U.S. ...more

26
38 54
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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

27
73 82
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
wiabux added Jack Black King Kong is a 2005 epic monster film and remake of the 1933 film of the same name. Directed, co-written, and produced by Peter Jackson, it stars Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, Jack Black as Carl ...more

28
56 87
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Mo'Nique Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more

29
42 86
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Steve Martin The Spanish Prisoner is a 1997 American suspense film, written and directed by David Mamet and starring Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ben Gazzara, Felicity Huffman and Ricky ...more

30
66 97
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Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen Funny People is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by Judd Apatow, and starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, and Leslie Mann. The film was released on July 31, 2009 in ...more

31
37 26
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looksharp added Jamie Foxx Collateral is a 2004 American neo-noir crime film directed by Michael Mann from a screenplay written by Stuart Beattie, and starring Tom Cruise as a contract killer and Jamie Foxx as a taxi ...more

32
38 82
Big Fan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
Patton Oswalt Big Fan is a 2009 independent drama film written and directed by Robert D. Siegel, and starring Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Michael Rapaport, and Scott Ferrall. The story ...more

33
15 35
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Steve Martin Grand Canyon is a 1991 American drama film directed and produced by Lawrence Kasdan, and written by Kasdan with his wife Meg. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about random events ...more

34
12 30
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Andy Griffith, Walter Matthau, Lee Remick A Face in the Crowd is a 1957 film starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau, directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by Budd Schulberg, based on his short story ...more

35
40 15
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Tom Islava added Roberto Benigni Life Is Beautiful is a 1997 Italian tragicomedy comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his ...more

36
45 90
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Will Smith Six Degrees of Separation is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Fred Schepisi. It serves as a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated John Guare play of the same title, which ...more

37
11 11
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Steve Carrell Dan in Real Life is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Hedges, starring Steve Carell, Alison Pill, Juliette Binoche, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney and Dane Cook.

38
10 13
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Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader The Skeleton Twins is a 2013 drama and comedy film directed by Craig Johnson.

39
12 13
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Ben Stiller The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 romantic adventure comedy-drama cult film directed by, produced by, and starring Ben Stiller. Gore Verbinski served as executive producer. This is the ...more

40
33 80
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Billy Connolly Mrs Brown, also theatrically released as Her Majesty, Mrs Brown, is a 1997 British drama film starring Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher and Gerard Butler. It was written ...more

41
5 12
Other People is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
Molly Shannon Other People is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Chris Kelly and is a semi-autobiographical look at Kelly's family. David (Jesse Plemons), a 29-year-old gay man, moves ...more

42
30 84
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Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson Permanent Midnight is a 1998 independent drama film directed by David Veloz and starring Ben Stiller. The supporting cast features Maria Bello, Elizabeth Hurley, Owen Wilson, Cheryl Ladd and ...more

43
23 37
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looksharp added Will Ferrell Everything Must Go is an upcoming film directed by Dan Rush. "After 16 years devising motivational speeches that promise certain success, Nick Porter (Will Ferrell) is abruptly fired. He ...more

44
26 16
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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

45
17 7
The Wolf of Wall Street is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
moodorf(moodorf) added Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie

Jonah Hill is great in this

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the eponymous memoir by Jordan Belfort and ...more

46
30 26
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looksharp added Steve Martin Leap of Faith is a 1992 American dramedy film, directed by Richard Pearce and starring Steve Martin, Debra Winger, Lolita Davidovich, Liam Neeson and Lukas Haas. The film is about Jonas ...more

47
28 33
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Cablogula added Adam Sandler Spanglish is a 2004 American comedy-drama film written and directed by James L. Brooks, and starring Adam Sandler, Paz Vega, and Téa Leoni. It was released in the United States on ...more

48
12 16
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Jim_In_Texas added Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Dudley Moore Foul Play is a 1978 American comic mystery/thriller film written and directed by Colin Higgins, and starring Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Dudley Moore, Burgess Meredith, Eugene Roche, Rachel ...more

49
11 17
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Cablogula added Steve Martin Shopgirl is a 2005 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Anand Tucker and starring Steve Martin, Claire Danes, and Jason Schwartzman. The screenplay by Steve Martin is based on his ...more

50
8 13
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Kristen Wiig Welcome to Me is a 2014 American comedy film directed by Shira Piven and written by Eliot Laurence. The film stars Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini and Wes Bentley. The film is ...more