Comedy

The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time 

Ranker Film
Updated February 17, 2020 2.2k votes 405 voters 31.6k 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, 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. 

list ordered by
1
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon
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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2
Monty Python and the Hol... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
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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3
The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris
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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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
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
What We Do in the Shadow... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Olha Radomska added
Jemaine Clement, Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi
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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6
A Fish Called Wanda is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Stephen Fry
A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 film written by John Cleese and Charles Crichton. It was directed by Crichton and stars Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin. Kline won the ...more

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7
Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
George Harrison, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
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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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
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
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand
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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10
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field
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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11
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio
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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12
Office Space is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Jennifer Aniston, John C. McGinley, 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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13
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman
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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14
Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Olha Radomska added
Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette
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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15
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Olha Radomska added
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman
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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16
Shaun of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Olha Radomska added
Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy
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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17
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Olha Radomska added
Audrey Tautou, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett
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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18
In Bruges is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith
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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19
Seven Psychopaths is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Colin Farrell, Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken
Seven Psychopaths is a 2012 comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh.

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20
Thank You for Smoking is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall, Maria Bello
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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21
The Life Aquatic with St... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe
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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22
Dogma is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Olha Radomska added
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock
Dogma is a 1999 American comedy film, written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also stars along with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, ...more

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23
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Frances Conroy
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story. A sophisticated con artist (Michael Caine) and an arrogant hustler ...more

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24
The Full Monty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy
The Full Monty is a 1997 British comedy film directed by Peter Cattaneo, starring Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber and Hugo Speer. The ...more

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25
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies of All Time
Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey
Best in Show is a 2000 American improvisational comedy film written and directed by Christopher Guest. The film follows five entrants in a prestigious dog show and focuses on the slightly ...more

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