Entertainment

The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart  

Ranker Film
386 votes 77 voters 5.8k 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.

list ordered by
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
6
A Mighty Wind is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey
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
7
Tropic Thunder is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.
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
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
Seven Psychopaths is a 2012 comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh.
9
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zi... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
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
10
Bridesmaids is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig
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
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
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
12
Burn After Reading is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich
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
13
MASH is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould
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
14
Waiting for Guffman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
David Cross, Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara
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
15
Wet Hot American Summer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler
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
16
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling
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
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
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).
18
Friends with Kids is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Megan Fox, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig
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
19
Hail, Caesar! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Hail, Caesar! Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes
20
Mascots is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch, Parker Posey
Mascots is a 2016 mockumentary film directed by Christopher Guest. Several sports mascots compete for the World Mascot Association championship's Gold Fluffy Award.
21
A Prairie Home Companion is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Lindsay Lohan, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones
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
22
State and Main is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Julia Stiles
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
23
Adventureland is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ensemble Comedies That Are Actually Pretty Smart
Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig
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