Watchworthy

The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time 

Ranker Film
Updated July 23, 2020 3.1k votes 602 voters 45.7k views 50 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. 

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Monty Python and the Hol... is listed (or ranked) 1 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

More Monty Python and the Holy Grail 

'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' Was An On-Set Nightmare That Everyone Hated Filming #126 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #74 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

2
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 2 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

More Forrest Gump 

The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movie #43 of 377 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
The Big Lebowski is listed (or ranked) 3 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

More The Big Lebowski 

'The Big Lebowski' Fan Theories That Really Tie The Film Together #53 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #232 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 4 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. A derisive weatherman (Bill Murray) finds himself reliving the same day over and over again after reporting a small ...more

More Groundhog Day 

#19 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #40 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #41 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

5
Life of Brian is listed (or ranked) 5 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

More Life of Brian 

#58 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #43 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #563 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 6 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

More The Truman Show 

Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'The Truman Show' #163 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #290 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

7
A Fish Called Wanda is listed (or ranked) 7 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

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

More A Fish Called Wanda 

#171 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #59 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 8 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

More Fargo 

Theories About Why The Coen Bros. Had Marge Gunderson Go On A Date In Fargo #296 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
O Brother, Where Art Tho... is listed (or ranked) 9 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

More O Brother, Where Art Thou? 

#84 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #78 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #186 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

10
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 10 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

More My Cousin Vinny 

Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'My Cousin Vinny' #37 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
What We Do in the Shadow... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Olha Radomska added Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh

Released: 2014

Directed by: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement

What We Do in the Shadows is a 2014 New Zealand mockumentary comedy horror film directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Vampire roommates Viago (Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and ...more

More What We Do in the Shadows 

#668 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #352 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #18 of 23 23 Pretty Interesting Movie Details We Found This Week

12
Shaun of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 12 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. In a small flat on the outskirts of London, Shaun (Simon Pegg), a 30-something dull loser, must protect his ...more

More Shaun of the Dead 

#191 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #38 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #74 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

13
Office Space is listed (or ranked) 13 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

More Office Space 

#18 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #17 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

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

More Pulp Fiction 

Genius Fan Theories About What's In The Briefcase In 'Pulp Fiction' #17 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Airplane! 

The Funniest Quotes From 'Airplane!' #128 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #38 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

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

More Little Miss Sunshine 

#138 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #173 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

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

More Amélie 

#286 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #658 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #230 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

18
In Bruges is listed (or ranked) 18 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

More In Bruges 

#628 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #1,270 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #174 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

19
As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 19 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

More As Good as It Gets 

#204 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #120 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

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

More Thank You for Smoking 

#713 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #483 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #1,184 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

21
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Frances Conroy

Released: 1988

Directed by: Frank Oz

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

More Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 

#172 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #382 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #101 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

22
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey

Released: 2000

Directed by: Christopher Guest

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

More Best in Show 

#216 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #142 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #268 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

23
The Full Monty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy

Released: 1997

Directed by: Peter Cattaneo

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

More The Full Monty 

#248 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #174 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
The Royal Tenenbaums is listed (or ranked) 24 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

More The Royal Tenenbaums 

#461 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #605 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #802 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

25
Kill Me Three Times is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Comedies Of All Time
oneword added Simon Pegg, Steve Le Marquand, Alice Braga

Released: 2015

Directed by: Kriv Stenders