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The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time 

Ranker Film
Updated March 17, 2020 2.4k votes 478 voters 34.2k views 41 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

Intelligent comedies really aren't too easy to come by—or they're at least far less common. Simply put, most people want constant laughter, regardless of content. In other words, what most consider the be the best comedies of all time don't typically fall under the intelligent category. Be that as it may, it's not to say smart and clever comedies don't exist, or that they aren't funny. It's just the fact we all love dumb humor, and there's nothing wrong with that. 

Nevertheless, a great movie can certainly intertwine comedy and intelligence - or even take on social concerns - and it happens all the time. Even quintessential comedies can incorporate such elements sometimes. Whether it be a solid storyline, a strong setting, or even high-brow jokes, some of the big screen's top comedies do more than just make us laugh. The Truman Show is a prime example. While funny, the film also makes us feel emotion and think. The same goes for other funny flicks like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Groundhog Day and Burn After Reading, among many others. So, of all the clever and intelligent comedies out there, which are the best?

Check out the list of comedies below and vote up those you feel incorporate a little more into the story and ultimately warrant themselves a smart comedy. Feel free to add more to the list as well. 

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list ordered by
1
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright

Released: 1994

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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2
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon

Released: 1993

Directed by: Harold Ramis

Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott. It was written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, based on a story ...more

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3
Monty Python and the Hol... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

Released: 1975

Directed by: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British comedy film written and performed by the comedy group of Monty Python, and directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus ...more

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4
The Big Lebowski is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Tara Reid

Released: 1998

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 stoner comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles ...more

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5
The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris

Released: 1998

Directed by: Peter Weir

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

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6
Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
George Harrison, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Released: 1979

Directed by: Terry Jones

Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python, and directed by Jones. It tells the story of Brian ...more

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7
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

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8
O Brother, Where Art Tho... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with ...more

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9
A Fish Called Wanda is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Stephen Fry

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Cleese, Charles Crichton

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10
What We Do in the Shadow... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Olha Radomska added Jemaine Clement, Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi

Released: 2014

Directed by: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement

What We Do in the Shadows is a 2014 New Zealand mockumentary comedy horror film about a group of vampires who live together in Wellington. Directed and written by Taika Waititi and Jemaine ...more

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11
Office Space is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Jennifer Aniston, John C. McGinley, Mike Judge

Released: 1999

Directed by: Mike Judge

Office Space is a 1999 American comedy film written and directed by Mike Judge. The film satirizes the everyday work life of a typical mid-to-late-1990s software company, it focuses on a handful ...more

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12
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio

Released: 1992

Directed by: Jonathan Lynn

My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan Lynn. The film stars Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Lane Smith, Bruce ...more

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13
Shaun of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Olha Radomska added Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy

Released: 2004

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 British horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright and written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg plays Shaun, a man attempting to get ...more

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14
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Olha Radomska added John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

Released: 1994

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more

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15
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker

Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more

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16
Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Olha Radomska added Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette

Released: 2006

Directed by: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

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

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17
In Bruges is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith

Released: 2008

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

In Bruges is a 2008 British-American comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two Irish hitmen in hiding, with Ralph Fiennes as ...more

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18
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Olha Radomska added Audrey Tautou, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett

Released: 2001

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in ...more

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19
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey

Released: 2000

Directed by: Christopher Guest

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20
Rushmore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
toxicxchocobo added Bill Murray, Alexis Bledel, Brian Cox

Released: 1998

Directed by: Wes Anderson

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

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21
Seven Psychopaths is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Colin Farrell, Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken

Released: 2012

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Seven Psychopaths is a 2012 comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh.

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22
Thank You for Smoking is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall, Maria Bello

Released: 2005

Directed by: Jason Reitman

Thank You for Smoking is a 2005 comedy-drama film written and directed by Jason Reitman and starring Aaron Eckhart, based on the 1994 satirical novel of the same name by Christopher Buckley. It ...more

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23
As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Julie Benz

Released: 1997

Directed by: James L. Brooks

As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and produced by Laura Ziskin. It stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic, homophobic, racist, ...more

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24
The Life Aquatic with St... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe

Released: 2004

Directed by: Wes Anderson

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

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25
The Royal Tenenbaums is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Gwyneth Paltrow, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray

Released: 2001

Directed by: Wes Anderson

The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, ...more

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