Trying to discover something to watch on the streaming service of your friendly local worldwide multibillion-dollar corporation? For another hour or two, ignore the ever-growing pile of worthwhile but soul-crushing dramas and acclaimed documentaries on your watchlist and turn on some of Amazon Prime Video’s best comedies.
Whether you’re looking for a rational chuckle, crumb-sputtering splutters, or shouting, hysterical, hang-on-hang-on-just-pause-for-a-moment cackling, there’s something on Amazon Prime that will make you laugh.
So, without further ado, here are the best comedy movies available on Amazon Prime Video. Prepare to guffaw.
1. Galaxy Quest
This affectionate spoof and homage to Star Trek’s storytelling cliches and fervent fandom has a heart of gold that would make Gene Roddenberry proud himself. A superb cast, led by Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Rainn Wilson, and Justin Long in their debut film appearances, is backed by a beautiful and witty story that remains one of the best Hollywood movies about the power of falling in love with a fictional world.
Cher won an Oscar for her performance as Loretta, a young widow about to settle for a nice man she doesn’t really love until she meets his brother — the furious, wildly romantic Ronny — in this operatically unhinged New York romantic comedy (a 24-year-old Nicolas Cage, all raw angles and hangdog looks). The script by John Patrick Shanley is dry, silly, and smart, and it will make anyone with a large, noisy, nosy family full of loving pessimists feel understood.
3. What We Do In The Shadows
This 2014 mockumentary (which was adapted into the acclaimed FX series of the same name) follows a group of vampires living together in suburban Wellington, New Zealand, as they navigate sharehouse politics, needy familiars, werewolves (“not swearwolves”), and the ever-present need for a constant supply of virgins to feed on. It was written and directed by Taika Waititi and Flights Of The Conchords’ Jemaine Clement.
4. Knives Out
The obnoxious Thrombey family, whose crime-novelist father is inexplicably murdered, is played by a deep bench of beloved performers in Rian Johnson’s smash hit whodunit. Chris Evans reprises his magnificent-asshole role as the black sheep in cream cable knit in his first post-Cap performance, and Detective Benoit Blanc is played by Daniel Craig, who has a delightfully ludicrous Southern accent as he picks through a stack of plausible motivations and alibis. Craig will make a cameo appearance in the next (and equally star-studded) sequel.
Keep in mind that Reese Witherspoon wasn’t always America’s smiling sweetheart. Tracy Flick, the terrifyingly ambitious overachiever eager to do anything it takes to win the contest for student body president, is Tracy Flick in Alexander Payne’s savage high school political satire. Matthew Broderick shed his Ferris Bueller shadow to play an enraged instructor who can’t take seeing her achieve the success she believes she deserves, and progressively drives himself insane trying to stop her. Its edges are as keen as ever after more than 20 years (and multiple brutal electoral cycles).