The Best Comedy Movies on Amazon Prime (May 2024) |

The Best Comedy Movies on Amazon Prime (May 2024)

No streamer is harder to navigate than Amazon Prime Instant Video. It has a huge amount of content—the volume is genuinely ridiculous—and then barely categorizes or organizes them in any coherent way. There’s so much stuff to watch here that finding it can be a nuisance, even through the official Prime Video apps. Much of what you’ll find are TV shows, including several Amazon originals, and thousands of other things you’ve probably never heard of before or since. There’s also a large library of hilarious movies, though, including some of the most beloved and influential comedies ever made. That’s what we’re here to share with you today: the best comedies on Amazon Prime Video.

For a broader list, check out The Best Movies on Amazon Prime or you can peruse The Best Comedy Movies on Netflix

Here are the best comedy movies available to stream for free with Amazon Prime, in alphabetical order:

Another Round
Year: 2020
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang
Rating: NR


In Thomas Vinterberg’s new film Another Round, camaraderie starts out as emotional support before dissolving into male foolishness cleverly disguised as scientific study: A drinking contest where nobody competes and everybody wins until they lose. Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), a teacher in Copenhagen, bobs lazily through his professional and personal lives: When he’s at school he’s indifferent and when he’s at home he’s practically alone. Martin’s closest connections are with his friends and fellow teachers, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) and Peter (Lars Ranthe), who like many dudes of a certain age share his glum sentiments. To cure their malaise, Nikolaj proposes putting Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud’s blood alcohol content theory to the test: Skårderud maintains that hovering at a cool 0.05% BAC helps people stay relaxed and loose, thus increasing their faculty for living to the fullest. As one of the day’s preeminent screen actors, Mikkelsen finds the sweet spot between regret and rejoicing, where his revelries are honest and true while still serving as covers for deeper misgivings and emotional rifts. Sorrow hangs around the edges of his eyes as surely as bliss spreads across his face with each occasion for drinking. That balancing act culminates in an explosive burst of anger and, ultimately, mourning. Good times are had and good times always end. What Another Round demonstrates right up to its ecstatic final moments, where Mikkelsen’s sudden and dazzling acrobatics remind the audience that before he was an actor he was a dancer and gymnast, is that good times are all part of our life cycle: They come and go, then come back again, and that’s better than living in the good times all the time. Without a pause we lose perspective on all else life has to offer, especially self-reflection. —Andy Crump

Asteroid City
Year: 2023
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Maya Hawke, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
Rating: PG-13


While The French Dispatch crammed an impressive amount of narrative into its kinetic structure, Asteroid City’s journey to the intersection between California, Arizona and Nevada feels positively placid. The film is a story within a story, structured as a television show about a playwright trying to put together a production called “Asteroid City.” We bounce back and forth from the TV movie about the creation of the play, to a production of the play itself using the same characters, switching between black-and-white sequences narrated by a Rod Serling-like Bryan Cranston, and the Kodachrome splendor realized in the desert setting on the virtual stage. Thus, we have actors being actors playing actors, the kind of narrative playfulness that’s too often ignored when focusing on Anderson’s iconic visuals and soundtrack choices. The result is a meta-narrative constantly folding back on itself (in one of the film’s more playful moments, Cranston’s character accidentally appears in the color sequence, and quickly sees himself out), an alien invasion adventure story and family drama wrapped within the setting of a classic Western, where offramps literally lead nowhere and the seemingly regular shootout down the main street is the only interruption to what otherwise bucolic setting. From the opening moments, the immaculate production design explodes off the screen, the onscreen filigrees and dynamic color scheme a feast for the eye. There’s a mix between the stagey and the decidedly down to earth, with hand-painted signs advertising milkshakes dwarfed by background rock formations that are as theatrical as any Broadway flat. It’s but one way the film toys with our perception of the characters, both believing in their small and intimate moments, but always made aware of the artifice. There are of course many cinematic references, from the schlock of ‘50s sci-fi to more than a hint of Close Encounters that also fueled last year’s Nope. There are also echoes to many of Anderson’s own films. There’s so much joy on screen, so much playfulness, that it’s perhaps churlish to complain about any missteps. While not as deeply moving as some, or downright thrilling as others in Anderson’s filmography, it’s a journey to the desert well worth taking.—Jason Gorber

The Big Sick
Year: 2017
Director: Michael Showalter
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Rating: R


The Big Sick can sometimes be awfully conventional, but among its key assets is its radiant view of its characters. Based on the first year in the relationship of married screenwriters Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, this indie rom-com has a mildly risky structure and some trenchant observations about the culture clashes that go on in immigrant families living in America. But what cuts deepest is just how profoundly lovable these people are. That’s not the same as being cutesy: Rather, The Big Sick is defiantly generous, understanding that people are horribly flawed but also capable of immeasurable graciousness when the situation requires. So even when the film stumbles, these characters hold you up. Nanjiani plays a lightly fictionalized version of his younger self, a struggling Chicago stand-up who is having as much success in his career as he in his dating life. Born into a Pakistani family who moved to the United States when he was a boy, he’s a dutiful son, despite lying about being a practicing Muslim and politely deflecting the attempts of his parents (Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff) to set him up in an arranged marriage. That’s when he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan), an American grad student with whom he’s instantly smitten. She swears she doesn’t want a relationship, but soon they fall for one another—even though Kumail knows it can’t work out. What’s most radical about The Big Sick is its optimistic insistence that a little niceness can make all the difference. —Tim Grierson

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Year: 2020
Director: Jason Woliner
Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova
Rating: R


The gung-ho hilarity and up-for-anything attitude Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova brings to the Borat sequel (playing Borat’s daughter, Tutar) makes for the closest thing to a can’t-miss-it performance that 2020 has provided. It’s one thing that Bakalova holds her own against Sacha Baron Cohen and his seasoned on-camera bravura. It’s another thing altogether to supplant him as the breakout of the sequel, shepherding the soul of a movie—that nobody expected to be as perversely touching as it is—while keeping in hilarious lockstep with the scuzzy legacy that the Borat name implies.

Since Borat Subsequent Moviefilm dropped on Amazon Prime, Rudy Giuliani has unsurprisingly remained the movie’s most noteworthy conversational export. News headlines about Giuliani and his most unusual way of removing a mic were the topic of the day at whatever the pandemic-era equivalent of the watercooler is. But it’s to the credit of Bakalova, the mockumentary’s other buzzed-about element and secret weapon, that its shocking climax is as effective as it is in targeting Donald Trump’s private attorney.—David Lynch

Burn After Reading
Year: 2008
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich
Rating: R


This Coen Brothers favorite has an unsurprisingly incredible cast, but can we take a moment to give all of the awards and props to Frances McDormand? Her Linda Litzke is one of the strangest, most hilariously bizarre characters to ever appear in a film, and yet there’s something completely familiar about her. She’s pursuing her own version of the American Dream, and the mess she leaves in her wake makes up the crux of this very black, very funny comedy. That she does so while all the other members of this ensemble do the same, and manage to entangle their own personal dramas with hers, makes this movie an entertaining way to spend an evening. Along with McDormand, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and Richard Jenkins (who plays the tragically adorable Ted) all give fantastic turns—unrecognizable, in many ways, from their typical fare which makes the story all the more enthralling.—Garrett Martin

Coming 2 America
Year: 2021
Director: Craig Brewer
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones, John Amos
Rating: PG-13


Coming 2 America effectively uses the legacy of Zamunda to expand the narrative space not only of the classic original, but for Black diasporic affinity at large. At the end of the 1988 romantic comedy, the royal marriage of Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) and Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley) further symbolically enmeshed the interconnected experience between African-Americans and Black Africans. In this sequel, the legacy of that union is explored through the gendered opportunities of Prince Akeem’s lineage and the pressure he faces to determine his royal successor—all while appeasing the tyrannical leader of Zamunda’s neighboring country Nextdoria, General Izzi (Wesley Snipes). Coming 2 America is an exciting follow-up that’s ensemble cast and increasingly complex musings mostly outweigh its shortcomings. In present-day Zamunda, Prince Akeem enjoys the company of his wife, his three badass warrior daughters and his dear albeit mischievous dude-in-waiting Semmi (Arsenio Hall). But when dying, nearly expired King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) reiterates that Akeem’s eldest daughter, Princess Meeka (KiKi Layne, Beale StreetBeale Street!) will not be eligible to inherit the throne because she is a woman, Akeem and Semmi return to Queens to find Akeem’s long-lost bastard son, Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler). Of course, hijinks ensue along the way. Semmi and Akeem must fumble around a new New York stuffed less with mustard-colored cabs and more with rideshares. They become acquainted with an increasingly gentrified Queens, visit some familiar friends and meet new members of Akeem’s extended family as they court Lavelle. This film’s greater comedic elements come from these familiar moments of cross-cultural tension and new intergenerational differences. Coming 2 America is a deeply fun, goofy, incredibly cast Blackity-Black movie. Viewers be warned of the emotional whiplash they might receive from the returning likes of James Earl Jones and John Amos, as well as the steady stream of Black artists and icons from across the diaspora who make surprise appearances in the film. Coming 2 America achieves exactly what an effective sequel should: It reinforces themes from the original film while offering new, intriguing points of tension, nodding to old gags in a way that rewards fluent fans without alienating newbies.—Adesola Thomas

The General
Year: 1926
Directors: Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckham
Stars: Joseph Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
Rating: NR


When Yankee spies steal his locomotive and kidnap his girlfriend, a Southern railroad engineer (“The Great Stone Face” Buster Keaton) is forced to pursue his two beloveds across enemy lines. While a few Charlie Chaplin pictures give it a run for its money, The General is arguably the finest silent comedy ever made—if not the finest comedy ever made. At the pinnacle of Buster Keaton’s renowned career, the film didn’t receive critical or box-office success when released, but it has aged tremendously. It’s a spectacle of story, mishmashing romance, adventure, action (chases, fires, explosions) and comedy into a seamless silent masterpiece. —David Roark

The Graduate
Year: 1967
Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katherine Ross, William Daniels
Rating: R


In the undisputed king of movies for those headed out into the real world, a hyper-accomplished recent grad (Dustin Hoffman) panics at the prospect of his future and falls into an affair with the much older wife of his father’s business partner (Anne Bancroft). It helped define a generation long since embalmed by history, but the sense of longing for an alternative hasn’t aged. —Jeffrey Bloomer

Year: 1989
Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Kim Walker
Rating: R


As much an homage to ’80s teen romps—care of stalwarts like John Hughes and Cameron Crowe—as it is an attempt to push that genre to its near tasteless extremes, Heathers is a hilarious glimpse into the festering core of the teenage id, all sunglasses and cigarettes and jail bait and misunderstood kitsch. Like any coming-of-age teen soap opera, much of the film’s appeal is in its vaunting of style over substance—coining whole ways of speaking, dressing and posturing for an impressionable generation brought up on Hollywood tropes—but Heathers embraces its style as an essential keystone to filmmaking, recognizing that even the most bloated melodrama can be sold through a well-manicured image. And some of Heathers’ images are indelible: J.D. (Christian Slater) whipping out a gun on some school bullies in the lunch room, or Veronica (Winona Ryder) passively lighting her cigarette with the flames licking from the explosion of her former boyfriend. It makes sense that writer Daniel Waters originally wanted Stanley Kubrick to direct his script: Heathers is a filmmaker’s (teen) film. —Dom Sinacola

His Girl FridayYear: 1940
Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Rating: PG


Special effects have become so sophisticated that many of us have probably forgotten how much pure amazement you can wreak with a great story and a script that doesn’t let up for one second. This amazing, dizzyingly paced screwball comedy by Howard Hawks stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, and takes us back into two of the decade’s hallmark preoccupations: The “remarriage comedy” and the intrigue and obsessiveness of the newspaper world. The minute Russell’s Lindy Johnson stalks into the newspaper office run by her ex-husband Walter Burns (Grant), you know it’s to tell him she’s getting remarried and leaving journalism to raise a family, and you know that’s not how it’s going to end. No high-suspense mystery here. What puts you on the edge of your seat in this film is how you get there. Hilariously acted and expertly filmed, His Girl Friday derives much of its comedic impact from the incredibly clever and lightning-fast banter of the characters. Don’t even think about checking your phone while you’re watching this. In fact, try to blink as little as possible. —Amy Glynn

The Kentucky Fried MovieYear: 1977
Director: John Landis
Stars: Evan C. Kim, Master Bong Soo Han, Bill Bixby, George Lazenby, Henry Gibson, Donald Sutherland, Tony Dow, Boni Enten
Rating: R


Sketch comedy is rarely consistent, which makes the reliably hilarious Kentucky Fried Movie even more impressive. It might not entirely hold up today, over 40 years after it was first released, but in its day this anthology contained some of the sharpest and most transgressive parodies of pop culture yet seen, from trailers for fake exploitation films like Cleopatra Schwartz, to the absurd educational strip parody of “Zinc Oxide and You,” to the long-form Bruce Lee satire A Fistful of Yen. It also launched the careers of John Landis, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, who would all go on to define comedy over the next decade.–Garrett Martin

Licorice Pizza
Year: 2021
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie
Rating: R


Licorice Pizza is writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s second ode to Los Angeles in the early 1970s: A city freshly under the oppressive shadow of the Manson Family murders and the tail end of the Vietnam War. But while in his first tribute, Inherent Vice, the inquisitive counter-culture affiliate Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) earnestly engages with his surroundings and follows the threads of societal paranoia all the way to vampiric drug smuggling operations and FBI conspiracies, Licorice Pizza’s protagonist, 25-year-old Alana Kane (Alana Haim), refuses to follow any such thread. A bored, directionless photographer’s assistant, Alana nonchalantly rejects any easy plot-point that might help us get a grasp on her character. What are her ambitions? She doesn’t know, she tells successful 15-year-old actor Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman, son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) over dinner at a restaurant called Tail o’ the Cock. What interests and excites her? It’s hard to say. When Gary first approaches Alana while she’s working picture-day at his high school, it’s hard to imagine that Licorice Pizza isn’t going to follow the playful design of a sunny Southern California love story. Alana is instantly strange and striking, and—when Anderson introduces her in a languid dolly-shot with a mini-skirt, kitten-heels, slumped shoulders and a gloriously pissed expression—we are compelled to fall in love with her, just like Gary does, at first sight. Of course, Anderson quickly rejects the notion that Licorice Pizza is going to be a straightforward romance. Anderson knows that this ambling, disjointed structure reflects what it’s like to be young, awkward and in love. Each shot, filled with dreamy pastels, glows with a youthful nostalgia. Anderson and cinematographer Michael Bauman balance out this haziness with a unique control of the camera, implementing long takes, slow dollies, and contemplative pans galore. What is it that Alana gets from being friends with someone ten years younger than her? And why does Gary always return to Alana even when she tries her best to put him down? Like gleefully gliding through the streets of L.A. in the midst of a city-wide crisis, it’s a madness you can only truly understand when you’re living it.—Aurora Amidon

Love & Friendship
Year: 2016
Director: Whit Stillman
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel
Rating: PG


The title of Whit Stillman’s latest comedy may be Love & Friendship, but while both are certainly present in the film, other, more negative qualities also abound: deception, manipulation, even outright hatred. Underneath its elegant period-picture surface—most obviously evident in Benjamin Esdraffo’s Baroque-style orchestral score and Louise Matthew’s ornate art direction—lies a darker vision of humanity that gives the film more of an ironic kick than one might have anticipated from the outset. Still, the humor in Love & Friendship is hardly of the misanthropic sort. As always with Stillman, his view of the foibles of the bourgeois is unsparing yet ultimately empathetic. Which means that, even as Stillman works his way toward a happy ending of sorts, the film leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste—which is probably as it should be. Such honesty has always been a hallmark of Stillman’s cinema, and even if Love & Friendship feels like more of a confection than his other films, that frankness, thankfully, still remains. —Kenji Fujishima

My Man Godfrey
Year: 1936
Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Carole Lombard, William Powell
Rating: 7+


Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey is kind of like a proto-Le Dîner de Cons—or Dinner for Schmucks—except that My Man Godfrey is really good and neither the latter nor the former film measure up to it. (Because Le Dîner de Cons is coarse, condescending trash, too.) La Cava’s inroads to skewering the upper crust is through the upper crust itself: The film takes its outsider protagonist, Godfrey “Smith” Parke (William Powell), who’s not an outsider at all but a man in exile from high society’s bosom, and inserts him into circumstances where he’s the sanest, sharpest man in the room. Rich people are wild. That’s the film’s subtext, or just its text, because Godfrey’s charges, the members of the family Bullock, are either completely out of their gourds or stuffed headfirst up their own asses. They’d have to be, perhaps, to mistake him for a vagrant when he’s actually a member of the elite class just like they are. They’d also have to be observant and considerably less self-absorbed to make these fine distinctions. La Cava has fun with the scenario, as does Powell, and as does the rest of the cast, in particular Carole Lombard, playing young Irene, who falls head over heels for Godfrey, blithely unconcerned with his disinterest, and Gail Patrick as the daffy Mrs. Bullock, full of unfettered, dizzying joy. Dizziness, of course, is a requirement. Films like My Man Godfrey, screwball joints that move at a laugh-a-minute pace, demand the exhaustion of their viewers, and La Cava wears us out as surely as he delights us. —Andy Crump

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
Year: 1979
Director: Allan Arkush
Stars: P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Patten, Clint Howard, Mary Woronov, the Ramones
Rating: PG


This might be known as “that Ramones movie,” but it’s P.J. Soles’s show. As Riff Randell, the biggest Ramones fan at Vince Lombardi High, the Carrie and Halloween actress gives us one of the best on-screen depictions of what it means to be a passionate fan of anything, but especially rock ‘n’ roll. Riff’s enthusiasm is infectious and her love for the Ramones updates the archetype of the teenage girl swooning over ’50s and ’60s pop stars for the late ’70s, just as the Ramones revived bubblegum pop through the dirty lens of that rotting decade. You don’t have to like the Ramones to like this movie–you just have to like rebellion and rock ‘n’ roll and the wholesale destruction of confining institutions like the American high school.—Garrett Martin

Saint Ralph
Year: 2005
Director: Michael McGowan
Stars: Adam Butcher, Campbell Scott, Gordon Pinsent
Rating: PG-13


Saint Ralph is the story of Ralph Walker, a precocious Catholic schoolboy living in Canada in the early 1950s. Blessed with an Eddie Haskell eagerness and plagued by a cruel libido, he’s willing, at one point, to receive fellatio from a swimming-pool jet. But, when the 14 year-old’s mom slips into a coma, he decides to win the Boston Marathon, a miracle he hopes will wake her. Ralph falls short as a sports film, but it succeeds as a coming-of-age comedy. To see this boy bring a jar of dog feces to his mother’s hospital bed because “smell is one of the strongest memories,” and to see him blanch from shock at the possibility of actually having a consensual kiss, is much more poignant and charming than the many training montages. First-time writer/director Michael McGowan, the steadfast Campbell Scott as Father Hibbert, and magnetic newcomer Adam Butcher as Ralph create an endearing tale of woe and redemption, redeeming the melodrama.—Kennan Mayo

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Year: 2023
Director: Jeff Rowe, Kyler Spears (co-director)
Stars: Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Brady Noon, Nicolas Cantu, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube
Rating: PG


A visual tour de force of hybrid 2D and 3D animation, Mutant Mayhem is not only the most authentically New York version of the Turtles yet, it’s arguably the most inventive. Rowe, Spears and production designer Yashar Kassai have rendered the brothers as if they’re hand-drawn, complete with messy sketch lines, doodle flairs and a graffiti aesthetic. This is the ultimate paint-outside-the-lines take on the Turtles and it works on every level. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is swinging for the fences with its story and voice performances to ambitiously, quantifiably shake up the artistic rut that theatrical computer animation has been stuck in for the last two decades. Another plus is that the brothers are voiced by non-adult voice actors Nicolas Cantu (Leo), Brady Noon (Raph), Shamon Brown Jr. (Mikey) and Micah Abbey (Donnie), who recorded together, and were encouraged to excitedly talk over one another like a gaggle of real, tight-knit brothers would do. It translates into rapid-fire, organic quips and seemingly effortless timing that conveys a rapport that is singular to this iteration. It also elevates the script so that it doesn’t sound like it was written by a bunch of 40-year-olds trying to be hip and young. Rowe and Spears have a firm hold on their pacing, especially in how they use comedy to enhance their action beats. They also chart a progression to the brother’s battle prowess that is satisfying and pays off in satisfying full-circle moments. There’s also much to be admired in their choice to frame a lot of sequences with hand-held camera blocking, which leans into the unpredictable youth of the heroes that works so well in the gritty New York environs they’re sparring in. The filmmakers are also delightfully experimental throughout the Mutant Mayhem, using inspired live-action inserts, segueing into different artistic styles (including a homage to Eastman and Laird’s comic art) and embracing the asymmetrical character design that gives the film a fresh and energetic looseness.  Rowe and company prove that there’s no strength to the myth of IP fatigue when you have the vision and passion to reinvent with such bold and fun intention.—Tara Bennett

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