Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best Comedy Movies Of 2024 So Far

It's been a rough few years for comedy movies, as even A-list star vehicles have been sent directly to streaming services rather than getting theatrical releases. Comedy simply isn't the financial powerhouse it was earlier this century. Still, there's been some promise of late with 2023's box office successes, including the Oscar-nominated "Barbie," the rom-com revival "Anyone But You," and even franchise adventures like "Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves." 

Even just a few months into 2024, there's promise for the year's comedy film line-up, from major studio tentpoles to low-budget indie flicks. Not all of them have been lucky enough to screen in theaters, but they're worth checking out if you have the appropriate streaming service. Some will be perfect watches for families or broad fans of cinema, while others might be more for acquired comedy tastes.

Particularly with comedy films, it can be hard to parse through what's worth watching and what can be ignored. For those who frequent sites like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, comedy movies typically get lower scores than prestige dramas or the works of auteur filmmakers, so some cinephiles might miss out on fun theater-going experiences based on unreliable word of mouth. It's a shame, considering comedy movies are often way better for romantic movie nights and group-watch parties. But these movies released so far in 2024 are guaranteed to make even the most hardcore film fanatic bust their gut laughing, whether they like it or not.

Mean Girls (2024)

No one needs to be reminded how great the original "Mean Girls" from 2004 is. Now, 20 years later, it's been reinterpreted not as a straight remake but an adaptation of the stage musical. Although there are varying opinions on the remake culture of the modern entertainment industry, the 2024 "Mean Girls" is a worthy re-imagining of the original film through the lens of the Tony-nominated Broadway show. While it does feature returning cast members from the 2004 film, the bulk of the teenage cast is replaced with younger stars like Angourie Rice, Auli'i Cravalho, and Christopher Briney. 

At the center of it all is Reneé Rapp, who reprises her role as Regina George after playing the character in its Broadway run. Since then, Rapp has become a star in her own right, having appeared in HBO's "The Sex Lives of College Girls" as well as developing a pop music career with her debut album "Snow Angel." Rapp's performance steals the show, or as Variety put it, her entrance as Regina George "carries a jolt, and you may wonder for a moment how Rachel McAdams, in the original film, made the impact she did without that song."

It's difficult for the film to live up to the original in many aspects, but with a handful of catchy songs and great performances from new cast members, it's certainly worth a watch for fans of the 2004 version. As The New York Times wrote, "its charms and ingratiating likability remain intact" — though it's mainly a Reneé Rapp star vehicle.

Self Reliance

Comedy fans likely know Jake Johnson from playing Nick Miller on "New Girl," as well as appearances in films like "Tag" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." "Self Reliance," the actor's directorial debut, originally premiered over a year ago at SXSW. It didn't properly open until January 2024, appearing in theaters for one night only before moving to a Hulu-exclusive release. Given that many might have missed the film's arrival, it's a surprising diamond in the rough for fans of alternative comedy.

Johnson stars as Tommy, a down-on-his-luck, lonely man offered the chance to participate in a dark web reality competition in which he must survive being hunted for 30 days. Exposing a loophole where he's only in danger when he's alone, Tommy befriends a homeless man, played by Biff Wiff, and a fellow player named Maddy, played by Anna Kendrick, to keep himself around people at all times. The film carefully balances high-stakes action and a heartwarming story about human connection. 

As Slant magazine noted in its review, the movie "gets a firm handle on the things it does want to achieve: tell good jokes, craft likeable characters, and strike a lighthearted tone that's always just a little bit odder than you may be expecting." With actors as likable as Johnson and Kendrick leading the way, it's hard to not get sucked into the fun of watching a guy like Tommy sign himself up for something far beyond his depth. 

The Book of Clarence

It's been a long time since movies based around the Bible were a popular film genre in Hollywood, whether they're dramas like "Mary Magdalene" and "The Last Temptation of Christ" or comedies like "Year One" and "Bruce Almighty." But 2024 is the rare exception in this case, with writer-director Jeymes Samuel flipping the script on Bible movies with "The Book of Clarence." 

The film stars LaKeith Stanfield as the titular Hebrew man living in 33 A.D., who is inspired by the popularity of Jesus Christ to fake being the Messiah and become free of his mundane, debt-ridden life. The film features a strong supporting cast, including David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodward, and James McAvoy, who all play figures from the New Testament in this reinterpretation of the story of Christ. It's certainly not the most accurate Bible adaptation (nor is it trying to be), but its satirization of modern-day racial issues makes it a unique take on the genre.

It's definitely a solid use of Stanfield following his work on "Atlanta," with Rolling Stone saying of his performance, "even if he wasn't doing double duty as Clarence and his twin, you'd still feel like he was giving you twice as much as most performers." Whether the film is offering up a Monty Python-esque depiction of Biblical Jerusalem or a fully realized dramatic story of a Black dreamer, Samuel's satire is both a thoughtful and hilarious watch. 

Lisa Frankenstein

While Valentine's Day is usually reserved for romantic comedies led by two unrealistically beautiful actors (see: "Anyone But You"), "Lisa Frankenstein" took the holiday to a much darker place. From the pen of Diablo Cody, the screenwriter behind cult classics like "Juno" and "Jennifer's Body," "Lisa Frankenstein" takes its cues from '80s comedies like "Weird Science," starring Kathryn Newton as a goth teen who resurrects a Victorian-era corpse, played by Cole Sprouse, to be her perfect boyfriend. 

From its aesthetics to its cast, "Lisa Frankenstein" likely won't appeal to the most casual of film fans, but for those who already love the low-budget '80s vibe it brings, it's a worthwhile ride and a fun date night pick. Bloody Disgusting called it "a celebration of teen girls and outcasts who just want to be loved," with a "magnetic" performance by Newton at the center. Sadly, most critics failed to see the campy appeal that Cody and director Zelda Williams were going for with this charming love story. 

Thankfully, the film's commitment to cheesy '80s aesthetics was praised by some, with Deadline writing, "it's an ambitious swing that will find an audience with some, and may not land with others." It's certainly a spiritual successor to Cody's work in "Jennifer's Body," which took a few years after its release to catch on with cult horror fans. Perhaps the same is in store for "Lisa Frankenstein" in the near future.

Drive-Away Dolls

"Drive-Away Dolls" was a long time in the making, originating in the early 2000s as the brainchild of Ethan Coen and his wife, Tricia Cooke. Ethan, known as one half of the Coen brothers with Joel Coen, worked on the film for nearly 20 years before actually making it his solo directorial debut. With a cast that includes Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Colman Domingo, "Drive-Away Dolls" draws inspiration from 1970s B-movies and exploitation films. 

The end result, much like "Lisa Frankenstein," might not find love from the average moviegoer, but will certainly find a very specific audience as a future cult classic. What the film lacks at times in narrative cohesiveness it makes up for with the oozing chemistry of its two leads, Qualley and Viswanathan, as lesbian best friends who take a road trip and find themselves intertwined in a political scandal that involves some sex toys, a Miley Cyrus cameo, and a severed head. 

Tomris Laffly wrote at RogerEbert.com, "Qualley is simply a firecracker, an explosive and voracious sprit bursting with the kind of energy that once again cements her as a once-in-a-generation talent," while Viswanathan "beautifully charts as one of the most striking leading actors working today." By the end of this over-the-top adventure, audiences may be shocked to see how elegant and heartwarming the love story between its two leads really is. 


Stand-up comedian Julio Torres first rose to prominence as a writer on "Saturday Night Live," with a hyper-specific comedic voice that shone in pre-taped sketches like "Papyrus," "The Actress," and "The Sink." After co-creating and starring in the absurdist HBO comedy "Los Espookys," Torres has now made his debut as a writer and director with "Problemista," in which he also stars as a struggling designer who takes a job working for an eccentric artist played by Tilda Swinton. 

For those who are fans of Torres' comedy, "Problemista" is essentially a 98-minute version of his best work, which may be alienating to the unfamiliar viewer. As The Washington Post wrote, the film "can seem baggy and digressive at times, but 'Problemista' finally becomes something greater than its parts." Other reviews felt the film was more welcoming, with RogerEbert.com calling it "the latest evolution in Torres' offbeat comedy; it rewards those who know what came before it ... but it is not closed off to those who haven't kept up with all of the in-jokes."

What really shines in the film is Tilda Swinton's performance as the employer from hell, with many regarding the actress as a scene-stealer. That's not to discount the film's stellar supporting cast, including Greta Lee and RZA, but Swinton's freak flag is on full display with this role. It's certainly one of the weirder movies to come from A24, though it easily fits right at home with the production company's more ambitious projects. 

Ricky Stanicky

There was a time not too long ago when a film like "Ricky Stanicky," with A-listers like Zac Efron and John Cena leading its cast, would be a go-to studio comedy for a theatrical run. However, it's only seen a low-key release on Prime Video, despite coming from the directorial mind of Peter Farrelly, who with his brother directed some of the most iconic comedies of the 2000s, including "Dumb and Dumber," "There's Something About Mary," and "Me, Myself, and Irene."

"Ricky Stanicky," compared to those other comedies, lives and dies by Cena's performance at the center of it. The film follows a group of childhood best friends who have grown accustomed to blaming their mischief on their titular imaginary friend, but when it comes time to pay the piper, they end up hiring Cena's Rod, an actor and parody songwriter, to play the role, which ends up having disastrous consequences for all involved. Variety went so far as to call Cena "the movie's MVP" in their online review.

For fans of Cena's comedic performances in films like "Trainwreck" or "Blockers," "Ricky Stanicky" might be the actor's best work yet. As AP News wrote, "Cena really and truly commits and brings a kind of unexpected depth and pathos to Rock Hard Rod," though they had little good to say about the rest of the film. Nevertheless, it's a decent watch for a late-night movie marathon, especially for those who miss raunchy 2000s comedies. 

Kung Fu Panda 4

It's been almost 10 years since the last "Kung Fu Panda" film, so franchise fans may be hesitant to check out the fourth installment after all this time. But it doesn't take long for audiences to be reminded of what made "Kung Fu Panda" such a success in the first place, and a lot of it has to do with the endearing lead voice performance from Jack Black as Po, who at the start of "Kung Fu Panda 4" has been loving life as the Dragon Warrior, despite Master Shifu's insistence that it's time for Po to find himself a successor.

Right on time, Po is challenged with an all-new enemy: The Chameleon, voiced by Viola Davis, who takes on the appearance of Po's greatest foes, including Tai Lung from the first "Kung Fu Panda" film. Teaming up with a crafty corsac fox named Zhen, voiced by Awkwafina, Po's latest adventure is his greatest trial yet, featuring some of the franchise's best action sequences and funniest moments of slapstick. 

A review for AP News hit the nail right on the head: "As always, it's the animators who are the real heroes here ... this is a visual delight." Other reviews also gave credit to the chemistry between Black and Awkwafina, as well as the movie's originality compared to the other three "Panda" films. As far as 2024 comedies go, "Kung Fu Panda 4" is the most fun for the whole family.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

It's always a perilous thing to reintroduce audiences to a beloved franchise, especially one as revered as "Ghostbusters." However, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" might be the first film since the original "Ghostbusters" to give audiences a fun supernatural adventure, rather than having to live up to any sort of standard. Coming off the success of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," which brought the franchise into the modern era as Egon Spengler's family teamed up with the original crew to form the new Ghostbusters, "Frozen Empire" was made to feel like an isolated episode of the 1986 animated series. 

When Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) comes across an ancient orb containing a mysterious demonic entity, Ghostbusters both old and new must team up to defend New York City from the frozen emperor's return. Newcomers to the franchise include Kumail Nanjiani, James Acaster, and Patton Oswalt, though the stand-outs are still "Afterlife" veterans Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd. Plus the old guard, especially Aykroyd, gets ample screentime compared to "Afterlife."

Digital Spy called the new film "a step in the right direction for the revived 'Ghostbusters' franchise. Old fans can revel in the nostalgia, while there are promising signs that they're doing something original for new fans." Like "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" last year, there will be viewers who cross their arms at the mere mention of a series reboot. But for those with more of an open mind, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" is one of the funniest sci-fi comedies in recent memory. 

The Idea of You

"The Idea of You" has gotten a lot of traction online for apparently being inspired by Harry Styles fan fiction. For those willing to look past its origin, it's a fresh and modern romantic comedy led by one of the greats of the genre: Anne Hathaway. In the film, Hathaway plays a single mother who sparks a romance with a singer from her daughter's favorite boy band. "The Idea of You" was helmed by director Michael Showalter, who has proven his worth with films like "The Big Sick," "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," and "Spoiler Alert."

The film recently debuted at South by Southwest, and early reviews have been more positive than many were expecting. Variety stated that the film's success comes down to the chemistry between its leads, but mostly hinges on the performance of Hathaway in her triumphant rom-com return: "This is Hathaway's movie, and she owns it: independent, desirable and never, ever desperate."

Another SXSW review from The A.V. Club sang its praises even higher, calling the film "one of [Hathaway's] finest performances ... filled with a sincere sense of passion that will have eager audiences humming in their seats, it's one of the best romantic comedies we've seen in quite a while." With the entertainment industry starved for good romantic comedies — as box office results for "Anyone But You" proved — it's the perfect time for audiences to catch this when it drops on Prime Video in May. 

The Fall Guy

One of the most anticipated comedies of 2024 is "The Fall Guy," starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, hot off their successes in 2023 with "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer," respectively. Based on a television series from the 1980s, "The Fall Guy" stars Gosling as a charismatic Hollywood stunt performer who is tasked with hunting down the missing lead of his ex-girlfriend's directorial debut, throwing him in the path of a crime syndicate and way out of his depth. The film is also helmed by proven action director David Leitch, whose prior credits include "Atomic Blonde" and "Deadpool 2."

"The Fall Guy" is a certified crowd-pleaser that pays homage to the incredible work of stunt people over the years, with Variety commending its "crisp, meticulously lit sequences in which the colors pop, sparks literally fly and even the below-the-line characters look like ... well, movie stars." A review from Rolling Stone following its SXSW premiere also gave credit to the on-screen chemistry between Gosling and Blunt, who "play off each other in a way that perfectly complements their strengths."

Simply put, "The Fall Guy" is primed to be one of the most beloved blockbusters of 2024, with enough high-octane action and laughs to satisfy any audience member. With the movie's May release, it's looking to be an incredible time for comedy films, whether they're available to watch at home on streaming services or luring audiences back to the theaters.