#40 – Rango (2011)
TONY: Personally, I LOVE westerns, but you don’t need to be a fan of the genre to appreciate this sharp animated parody/homage starring the voice talents of Johnny Depp (putting in his best cinematic performance of the 21st century) and a bunch of great supporting actors, including a movie-stealing Timothy Olyphant(!). Definitely a PG comedy, but without talking down to its audience; the sort of wonderfully demented humor that Nickelodeon perfected in the early to mid 90’s.
#36 (tie) – The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
JOHN: Rushmore (1998) remains Wes Anderson’s best flick, but The Royal Tenenbaums was a great follow-up. Gene Hackman proves that his late-career work wasn’t just about the paychecks. And Owen Wilson’s role as the boy who always wanted to be part of the special family is more-or-less perfect—especially when he’s on peyote (“Wildcat…”).
#36 (tie) – The Lego Movie (2014)
TOM: This 100 minute commercial was surprisingly awesome. Plenty of great jokes and characters (with the best on-screen Batman ever). It feels like hand-made stop-motion but it’s all CGI. It should have won the best animation Oscar but it wasn’t even nominated!
#36 (tie) – The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
DAN: This film is a wonderful blend of beautiful cinematography, relentless action and, yes, weird characters and situations. Clearly influenced in title and substance by Spaghetti Westerns, The Good, the Bad, the Weird evokes the same joys and thrills that many of that subgenre aroused in the 60s and 70s. You will have a smile on your face through the whole flick.
#36 (tie) – From Paris with Love (2010)
TOM: Overweight and completely bald John Travolta hunts terrorists while chugging energy drinks and driving his gigantic American SUV through the narrow streets of France. He is the truly the greatest badass CIA agent that Luc Besson could have possibly imagined. Great dollar performance by Travolta.
#34 (tie) – This Is the End (2013)
JOHN: This was absolutely hilarious—certainly among the best laugh-inducing films of the past ten years. The plot was ridiculously farcical, but the banter and the expressions (lots of weird faces) always deliver. Danny McBride and Craig Robinson deserve more credit for their work on projects like this one. Bonus value: the actors I don’t like get fucked by the devil.
#34 (tie) – Shooter (2007)
TOM: One of the quintessential dollar theater experiences. But why a comedy? The bad guys are so crooked. So flippantly crooked. Danny Glover is accused of genocide and he just shrugs it off! Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger (what a name!) cleans up the corruption, but not before consuming about 20 whippets. Where’s the sequel?!
#32 (tie) – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
PAT: This is going to be an unpopular pick, I assume. It’s infantile, but also a good skewering of Hollywood–possibly the best? Endlessly quotable; a movie that absolutely should not exist but does, and holds up on multiple rewatches. I cannot express how funny this movie was/is. A truly cynical, but loving tribute to all things of its time.
#32 (tie) – Dope (2015)
DAN: I still don’t know how it all happened to be so funny, but Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope was an incredible ride. Balancing the charm of a coming-of-age story with the life-and-death realities of crime-ridden Inglewood, the film hilariously navigates Malcolm Adekanbi’s attempt to unload a backpack of ecstasy, get into Harvard, maintain his friendships and lose his virginity. He also loves early 90s hip hop and the soundtrack doesn’t let you forget it.
Check back next week for more entries on our Top 50 Comedies Since 2000 list!