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The 10 Best Comedies of 2016 (So Far)

13 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists | by Justin Gunterman

best-comedies-2016

We’ve tackled the horror genre, and now we’re going to look at comedy movies. What are the best comedies of the year so far? Like the horror genre, comedy movies seem to be much more consistent than other genres this year such as action movies and dramas. As a result, it might be hard to narrow the list down to just ten.

The year is roughly three fourths of the way over, so there’s plenty of time for more comedy heavyweights to sneak in at the end of the year. We’re going to make sure we talk about the movies up to this point just in case you might forget about these movies when the big Oscar and Globe contenders come up.

One thing to note about this list is that it is going to look strictly at traditional comedies. Unlike the aforementioned Golden Globes, the list will only include movies that can be classified as a comedy with little to no argument. In other words, you will not find films like The Martian, Her, The Kids are All Right, and Eternal Sunshine.

While there are plenty of great films that blur the line between comedy and another genre from this year (Love & Friendship and Florence Foster Jenkins) , we’re going to focus on films that make comedy the top priority. There certainly are films on the list that feature some type of drama, but in the end it’s abundantly clear that they are primarily comedies.

 

1. Don’t Think Twice

dont-think-twice

Mike Birbiglia’s directorial debut Sleepwalk with Me was the perfect adaptation of his one-man show performed Off-Broadway. It perfectly mixed Birbiglia’s clever standup with a melancholic story about anxiety and the life of a comedian.

Four years later, Birbiglia returns with a film that tops his debut in every way imaginable. Featuring a more consistent tone, a funnier script, and a more concise story – Don’t Think Twice is one of the best movies of 2016 so far.

Like Sleepwalk with Me, this movie is a refreshingly honest look at live comedy. This kind of biting honesty can’t be found in even the most acclaimed movies about live comedy. The laughs may be the thing that draws the audience in, but the surprising amount of depth regarding the subject material is what allows Don’t Think Twice to remain memorable long after the conclusion.

This isn’t to say the film is devoid of laughs. On the contrary, the jokes fly at you like bullets. However, they’re just icing on an already delicious cake.

If you’re looking for more of an incentive to watch the movie, then the stellar ensemble should help convince you. Led by a number of famous stand-up comedians, this kind of chemistry between cast members is hard to come by. It’s a true ensemble in that it’s hard to pinpoint who’s the star of the show. Everyone brings their a-game and it’s evident that the cast is passionate about the project.

Don’t Think Twice is a remarkably genuine take on a subject that audiences have seen before. Birbiglia has managed to take something familiar and make it fresh and exciting. He’s two for two as of now, and it’s exciting to see what he’s going to deliver next.

 

2. Swiss Army Man

Swiss Army Man movie

Are you sick of big budget blockbusters that all copy one another? Are you looking for something a little different? If so, then Swiss Army Man might be the right movie for you. Honestly, a “little different” is probably an understatement.

Swiss Army Man is so strange, you’ll have a hard time believing that actual human beings came up with this concept. After watching the movie, you’ll feel lucky that somebody was crazy enough to make a movie like Swiss Army Man

The basic concept (if you could even use the word basic) is that a man trapped on an island has to utilize a man with an array of supernatural powers to escape. The powers range from magic farts to erection compasses. The inherent quirkiness of the idea itself warrants a chuckle, but the execution is what puts Swiss Army Man so high on this list.

The movie’s delightful soundtrack, dedicated performances, and assured direction assure that the movie is more than just an interesting concept. It’s definitely still an interesting concept, but it’s also a heartfelt, hilarious look at friendship and the importance of living life to the fullest.

The concept is bound to throw certain people off, but the people who are willing to embrace this eccentric film will likely fall in love. Even if you find it hard to appreciate the strangeness of it all, there is an unbelievable amount of dedication and craftsmanship that makes the movie easy to at least admire.

 

3. Everybody Wants Some!!

Everybody Wants Some (2016)

Linklater’s spiritual successor to his cult hit Dazed & Confused may not have the same lasting effect as some of his more recent films, but it’s still a charming comedy with quiet confidence throughout. Everybody Wants Some!! is a “boys will be boys” tale that will leave a giant grin on your face from beginning to end. It’s not exactly a complex movie, but its simplicity is something that undoubtedly works in the film’s favor.

Linklater has always relied on building complex characters through the exchange of dialog rather than through plot development, and this movie is no exception. Everybody Wants Some!! is more than meets the eye as a result of its wonderful script penned by Linklater. The majority of this movie is made up of characters simply chatting.

The highlight of the film is watching the members of this loveable baseball team interact. Despite the large ensemble, the characters all manage to have their own distinct personalities as a result of Linklater’s mastery of character development.

Then again, the cast also deserves praise for bringing the characters to life. Glen Powell is probably the best of the bunch as upperclassman smartypants Finn, but each and every cast member brings his or her own spin on the delightfully quirky characters.

Will Brittain keeps the laughs coming as resident redneck Beuter, Wyatt Russell was a welcome addition after he surprised viewers in 22 Jump Street, and Blake Jenner never ceases to bring charisma to the table as the lead. In addition, Zoey Deutch bounces back after her appearance in Dirty Grandpa.

Everybody Wants Some!! shows Linklater at the top of his comedy game. It’s not exactly a life changer, but the killer script, alluring cast, and nostalgic setting add up to one hell of a time at the movies. It’s one of the most purely enjoyable movies of the year.

 

4. The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys

Fresh off of directing one of Marvel’s most financially successful movies, Shane Black returns to deliver something a little more grounded and small-scale.

While The Nice Guys is still very much an action movie like Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it’s also his most overtly comedic film by a mile. The Nice Guys mixes stylized action with belly laughs to create Black’s crowning achievement. It unfortunately tanked at the box office, but it still deserves every ounce of your undivided attention.

The basic setup isn’t anything groundbreaking. Two very different personalities are forced to clash when they’re brought together to solve a crime. It’s essentially the same as every buddy movie in existence.

The premise may feel familiar, but Black adds just enough of his own space to make things his own. The script rapidly fires jokes at you while also setting up a surprisingly intricate story. In between laughs, you’ll likely try putting the pieces together in order to figure out the big mystery.

Gosling and Crowe are a comedy force to be reckoned with. The chemistry between the two seasoned actors is one of the film’s greatest strengths. Additionally, Angourie Rice keeps up with the two and then some. Her pitch perfect timing results in one of the best breakthrough performances of 2016.

 

5. Deadpool

Deadpool

Deadpool isn’t half as revolutionary as it thinks it is, but it’s frequently laugh-out-loud hysterical. Despite the character’s disastrous appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox has still toyed with the idea of a Reynolds-led Deadpool movie for close to a decade. Of course, as a result of the aforementioned movies horrible treatment of the character people had their doubts.

Then people started to gain interest when trailers began to come out and Ryan Reynolds starting losing his mind because of how exciting the project was for him. Still, with a first-time director on board and lingering doubts regarding how edgy they could make the film, most people remained cautiously optimistic at most.

Deadpool completely defied expectations in terms of overall quality and box office success. Ryan Reynolds seems as if he was born for the role. At times, it’s hard to tell if he’s playing Deadpool or if Deadpool is playing him. Unlike his silent depiction in X-Men Origins, this Deadpool is the character that comic readers have loved for years.

In this adaptation, he’s a wisecracking asshole who breaks the fourth wall in between bloody battles. His jokes don’t always land, but when they do they’ll bring you tears.

The plot and pacing are a bit messy, but they’re not much of an issue when you get to spend so much time with one of the most likeable characters in the X-Men universe. In terms of quality, it’s a stretch to call Deadpool one of the “greatest” superhero movies. However, it’s definitely one of the most consistently entertaining takes on the genre.

 

 

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