films 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!
list ordered by

1
394 76
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Good Will Hunting Robin Williams

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2
382 117
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians

3
317 77
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Dead Poets Society Robin Williams

4
375 116
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The Truman Show Jim Carrey

5
271 96
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Little Miss Sunshine Steve Carrell

6
189 107
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Lost in Translation Bill Murray

7
146 75
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Ray Jamie Foxx

8
193 95
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Stranger than Fiction Will Ferrell

9
139 101
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Man on the Moon Jim Carrey

10
120 74
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The Fisher King Robin Williams

11
99 94
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Being There Peter Sellers

12
125 82
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Rushmore Bill Murray

13
174 99
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14
93 28
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Ralphie added Awakenings Robin Williams

15
110 101
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Punch-Drunk Love Adam Sandler

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16
101 43
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Ralphie added Patch Adams Robin Williams

17
95 38
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wiabux added One Hour Photo Robin Williams

18
60 13
Batman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
looksharp added Batman Michael Keaton

19
64 76
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The King of Comedy Jerry Lewis

20
69 49
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wiabux added Enemy of the State Will Smith

21
95 63
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Insomnia Robin Williams

22
66 52
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wiabux added Seven Pounds Will Smith

23
66 54
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RichieRich123 added Reign Over Me Adam Sandler

24
53 83
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Broken Flowers Bill Murray

25
68 76
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Dreamgirls Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy

26
68 57
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wiabux added The Number 23 Jim Carrey

27
21 8
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Tom Islava added Birdman Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis

28
57 58
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
wiabux added King Kong Jack Black

29
23 36
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willyboymcoy added The Majestic Jim Carrey, Matt Damon, Rob Reiner

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30
59 72
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Funny People Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen

31
51 70
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32
25 10
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looksharp added Collateral Jamie Foxx

33
9 18
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Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen, Daryl Hannah, Mia Farrow

34
35 72
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The Spanish Prisoner Steve Martin

35
8 18
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Grand Canyon Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Mary-Louise Parker

36
23 16
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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe

37
32 67
Big Fan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Serious Movies Starring Comedians
Big Fan Patton Oswalt

38
4 16
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A Face in the Crowd Andy Griffith, Walter Matthau, Lee Remick

39
39 72
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40
28 68
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Permanent Midnight Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson

41
17 21
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looksharp added Everything Must Go Will Ferrell

42
19 5
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Tom Islava added Life Is Beautiful Roberto Benigni

43
26 66
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Mrs Brown Billy Connolly

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44
18 13
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looksharp added Leap of Faith Steve Martin

45
15 11
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looksharp added Clean and Sober Michael Keaton

46
6 1
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Jim_In_Texas added MASH Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

47
8 4
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Lilytabby added The Big Short Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Finn Wittrock - Steve Carell

48
15 14
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Cablogula added Spanglish Adam Sandler, Sarah Hyland, Téa Leoni

49
3 3
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Jim_In_Texas added Arthur Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, John Gielgud

50
3 3
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Jim_In_Texas added Foul Play Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Dudley Moore