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The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart 

Ranker Film
Updated October 13, 2018 484 votes 89 voters 6.4k views 23 items

List Rules Comedy movies with ensemble casts and higher brow jokes that smart people will appreciate.

Comedies sometimes get a bad rap for being low-brow entertainment, but some of the funniest films are actually smart ensemble comedies. The best intelligent comedies feature big casts with big-name stars, portraying unique characters dealing with often over-the-top situations. This is a list of the best smart ensemble comedies including everything from The Big Lebowski to Tropic Thunder to Burn After Reading.

What films will you find on this list of the top intelligent comedy movies? Maybe you'd vote Best in Show up to number one. With a hilarious cast of comedians – including Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, and many more – it's hard to pick out a favorite character from this smart comedy. Director Christopher Guest's other films, including Waiting for Guffman and Mascots, are also acclaimed ensemble films. One of the smartest modern comedies is Wes Anderson's cult classic The Royal Tenenbaums. Other good movies featured in this roundup of the best ensemble comedy films include Bridesmaids, Wet Hot American Summer, and Friends with Kids.

Which smart comedy is your favorite? Give the best ensemble films a thumbs up and add any movies that are missing.

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1
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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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2
A Fish Called Wanda is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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

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3
The Big Lebowski is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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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4
Best in Show is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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

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5
The Royal Tenenbaums is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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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6
Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.

Released: 2008

Directed by: Ben Stiller

Tropic Thunder is a 2008 American action satire comedy film directed by Ben Stiller. Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become ...more

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7
Bridesmaids is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig

Released: 2011

Directed by: Paul Feig

Bridesmaids is a 2011 American romantic comedy film directed by Paul Feig, written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, and produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, and Clayton Townsend. The plot ...more

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8
Seven Psychopaths is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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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9
A Mighty Wind is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey

Released: 2003

Directed by: Christopher Guest

A Mighty Wind is a 2003 American mockumentary comedy-drama film about a folk music reunion concert in which three folk bands reunite for a television performance for the first time in decades. ...more

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10
The Life Aquatic with St... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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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11
Horrible Bosses is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell

Released: 2011

Directed by: Seth Gordon

Horrible Bosses is a 2011 American black comedy film directed by Seth Gordon, written by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, based on a story by Markowitz. It stars ...more

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12
Waiting for Guffman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
David Cross, Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara

Released: 1997

Directed by: Christopher Guest

Waiting for Guffman is a comedy in the documentary style starring, co-written and directed by Christopher Guest that was released in 1997. Its cast included Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred ...more

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13
Burn After Reading is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich

Released: 2008

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Burn After Reading is a 2008 black comedy film written, produced, edited and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and ...more

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14
Wet Hot American Summer ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Wain

Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 satirical comedy film directed by David Wain from a screenplay written by David Wain and Michael Showalter, starring Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, ...more

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15
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling

Released: 2011

Directed by: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a 2011 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and written by Dan Fogelman. It stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma ...more

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16
MASH is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

Released: 1970

Directed by: Robert Altman

MASH is a 1970 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner, Jr., based on Richard Hooker's novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The ...more

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17
Annie Hall is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Brandon Gregory added Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Sigourney Weaver

Released: 1977

Directed by: Woody Allen

Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen. Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall (Diane Keaton).

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18
Hail, Caesar! is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Hail, Caesar! Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes
19
Friends with Kids is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Megan Fox, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jennifer Westfeldt

Friends with Kids is a 2011 independent American ensemble romantic comedy that was written, produced, and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt, who is also stars in the film. Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, ...more

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20
State and Main is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Julia Stiles

Released: 2000

Directed by: David Mamet

State and Main is a 2000 comedy film, written and directed by David Mamet and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Stiles, William H. Macy and Alec ...more
21
Mascots is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch, Parker Posey

Released: 2016

Directed by: Christopher Guest

Mascots is a 2016 mockumentary film directed by Christopher Guest. Several sports mascots compete for the World Mascot Association championship's Gold Fluffy Award.

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22
Adventureland is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig

Released: 2009

Directed by: Greg Mottola

Adventureland is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Mottola, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart and co-starring Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Martin Starr, and ...more

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23
A Prairie Home Companion... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Lindsay Lohan, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 2006

Directed by: Robert Altman

A Prairie Home Companion is a 2006 American comedy film directed by Robert Altman in his final film. The film is a fictional representation of behind-the-scenes activities at the long-running ...more