Celebrating side-splitting cinema, from slapstick legends to today's anarchic voices.
Fooling about became a fine art through the early decades of cinema, but comedy genius is too often under-recognised.
It’s the gift of perfect timing, an expertly executed sight-gag, a zinging wise-crack, a giddy rush of manic energy. Whether perfectly choreographed, brutally raw, or conjured out of improvisation and collaboration, the best comedy is ultimately disruptive.
It punctures pomposity, and blows a raspberry at social convention: the proto-feminist whiplash of screwball wit, the rambunctious working-class revolt of Carry On, the purposeful anarchy of alternative comedy.
Our three online collections (Rentals, Subscription, Free) celebrate the changing face of what – and who – we find funny.
Withnail & I
Comedy1986107 minsDirector: Bruce Robinson
Richard E. Grant steals the show in the indomitable cult classic following two washed-up actors as they embark on a booze-filled getaway to the Lake District.
Comedy193369 minsDirector: Leo McCarey
The Marx Brothers' lunatic satire of international relations finds Groucho in his his most memorable role as Rufus T. Firefly - leader of Freedonia. A comic masterpiece.
Drama1996106 minsDirector: Alexander Payne
Laura Dern is hilarious an addict unwittingly caught in the midst of America's culture wars, in Alexander Payne's superb first feature - previously unreleased in the UK.
Comedy1996113 minsDirector: Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith's quirky charmer features an early-career Ben Affleck as the comic-book artist who discovers the girl of his dreams is a lesbian.
Comedy1996114 minsDirector: Donald Petrie
Whoopi Goldberg plays an investment banker forced to invent a male superior in this unjustly forgotten, feminist workplace satire.
In the Loop
Comedy2009106 minsDirector: Armando Iannucci
Armando Iannucci returns to the world of his hit show The Thick of It as Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) and Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) deal with a Middle-East crisis of their own making.
The Death of Stalin
Comedy2017107 minsDirector: Armando Iannucci
Chaos and comedy ignite in Armando Iannucci’s acerbic satire, as Soviet officials frantically react to the passing of their glorious leader.
Comedy201688 minsDirector: Sean Foley
Julian Barratt is hilarious as the washed-up actor forced to reprise his 80s TV role as a sleuth with a robotic truth-telling eye, to help catch a deranged killer.
Swimming with Men
Comedy201897 minsDirector: Oliver Parker
Rob Brydon leads a motley crew who pool their resources as part of a synchronised swimming team, in this buoyant feelgood comedy.
Adult Life Skills
Comedy201596 minsDirector: Rachel Tunnard
Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is an emotionally stunted 30-year-old living in her mum’s shed, learning to confront adult reality, in Rachel Tunnard’s quirky debut.
Comedy201694 minsDirector: Sheridan De Myers
Street-smart Hackney comedy about three friends whose unexpected cash windfall funds the mother of all parties; from the talents behind YouTube hit Mandem on the Wall.
Comedy1985101 minsDirector: Walter Hill
Richard Pryor plays the everyman who inherits a vast estate with a massive catch: he’ll have to spend $30million in 30 days in order to inherit it all.
Comedy198193 minsDirector: Oz Scott
Richard Pryor sets out on the road to redemption, as an ex-con ferrying a busload of troubled kids on a wild cross-country adventure.
Science Fiction2015118 minsDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos
Colin Farrell, Ben Whishaw and Rachel Weisz star in this bleakly hilarious dystopian drama from Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth).
Comedy2015105 minsDirector: Athina Rachel Tsangari
Athina Rachel Tsangari's biting and hilarious dissection of the male ego was awarded Best Film at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival.
The Big Sick
Comedy2017120 minsDirector: Michael Showalter
The hilarious, breakout indie comedy about a Pakistan-born comedian and his culture-clash relationship with an American grad student.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Comedy2008111 minsDirector: Nicholas Stoller
Dumped and devastated Peter (Jason Segel) holidays to Hawaii only to discover his ex is shacked up there with a debauched rock star (Russell Brand).
The Edge of Seventeen
Comedy2016104 minsDirector: Kelly Fremon
Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age comedy eschews quirkiness for genuine warmth, while boasting a hilarious supporting turn from Woody Harrelson.
What We Do in the Shadows
Comedy201486 minsDirector: Taika Waititi
An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Comedy2016101 minsDirector: Taika Waititi
Juvenile delinquent Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) forms an unlikely partnership with Sam Neill’s grizzled bushman in this hilarious wild adventure from Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows).
Comedy201288 minsDirector: Ben Wheatley
Young lovers Chris and Tina turn their first holiday together into a rural killing spree in Ben Wheatley's priceless black comedy.
Black Mountain Poets
Comedy201585 minsDirector: Jamie Adams
Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells play criminal sisters who steal the identity of two poets, only to be charmed by the world of competition poetry.
Comedy201586 minsDirector: Desiree Akhavan
Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.
Comedy201286 minsDirector: Noah Baumbach
Lady Bird creator Greta Gerwig steals this hit comedy about an awkward girl and her complex passions, a critical smash hit for its star and her director, Noah Baumbach.
Love & Friendship
Comedy201693 minsDirector: Whit Stillman
Whit Stillman crosses the Atlantic for this irresistible Jane Austen adaptation, following the delicious and devious exploits of Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale).
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Comedy201390 minsDirector: Declan Lowney
It’s Alan’s finest hour, as the veteran DJ for North Norfolk Digital (Steve Coogan) is called into action to mediate a hostage situation following a siege.
Shaun of the Dead
Horror200499 minsDirector: Edgar Wright
The original ‘rom-zom-com’: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the slacker mates tasked with battling a zombie apocalypse in Crouch End.
The Big Lebowski
Comedy1998117 minsDirector: Joel Coen
Arguably one of the greatest comedies of modern times; the Coen brothers’ deconstructed film noir following slacker hero ‘The Dude’ (Jeff Bridges).
Comedy197994 minsDirector: Carl Reiner
Steve Martin brought his sensational standup persona to the screen, in his utterly hilarious screen debut about a loser who momentarily finds success.
Comedy199997 minsDirector: Frank Oz
Hysterically funny Hollywood satire, with Steve Martin as a director who'll stop at nothing to make a movie with his top star (Eddie Murphy).
Monty Python's the Meaning of Life
Comedy1983107 minsDirector: Terry Jones
Mr. Creosote, live organ transplants, salmon mousse... The Python's cinematic swansong contains some of the troupe's most notorious and hilarious sketches.
Privates on Parade
Comedy1983113 minsDirector: Michael Blakemore
Musical comedy with John Cleese. In Singapore, 1948, the Song and Dance Unit tour their 'Jungle Jamboree' review.
Comedy198386 minsDirector: Richard Loncraine
In his first substantial feature-film role away from the involvement of his Monty Python cohorts, Michael Palin stars as a 19th-century missionary tasked with setting up a mission for fallen prostitutes.
Comedy1999124 minsDirector: Roger Michell
Richard Curtis and Hugh Grant followed Four Weddings with this featherlight, frequently funny romance between an ordinary bloke and a visiting Hollywood starlet.
Comedy199882 minsDirector: Tamra Davis
Dave Chappelle stars in the fondly (if hazily) remembered stoner comedy, as an entrepreneur whose weed business goes up in smoke.
East Is East
Comedy199997 minsDirector: Damien O'Donnell
Damien O'Donnell's charming comedy-drama about Zaheed Khan (Om Puri), the patriarch of a Pakistani-British family whose children begin to reject their heritage and embrace UK life.
Bhaji on the Beach
Comedy1993101 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha's charming and critically acclaimed comedy about a group of British Asian women from Birmingham who bond during a day-trip to Blackpool.
Comedy199284 minsDirector: David Attwood
Defying opposition from his conservative Pakistani family, Zaf Ayub dreams of becoming Southall's greatest gift to country & western.
Animation & Artists Moving Image200084 minsDirector: Peter Lord
Mel Gibson’s Rocky the rooster helps the chickens escape from fascistic farmers in Aardman Animations first foray into feature films.
Comedy2014122 minsDirector: Damian Szifron
This Oscar-nominated, Almodóvar-produced anthology of six tales of ordinary madness is the most riotously enjoyable portmanteau film since Pulp Fiction.
The Brand New Testament
Comedy2015110 minsDirector: Jaco van Dormael
Catherine Deneuve and Benoît Poelvoorde head the cast in Jaco Van Dormael’s wildly inventive comedy, in which God’s daughter decides to rewrite the rules.
I'm So Excited!
Comedy201390 minsDirector: Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar’s highly enjoyable over-the-top comic satire is set on an aeroplane experiencing in-flight difficulties.
The Station Agent
Drama200390 minsDirector: Thomas McCarthy
Before Tyrion Lannister, Peter Dinklage excelled as another sardonic misanthrope in this award-winning indie comedy from director Tom McCarthy (Spotlight).
Comedy199492 minsDirector: Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith ushered in a new wave of no-budget indie filmmaking, and introduced the world to his enduring one-man brand, with this classic convenience-store comedy.
Comedy2003100 minsDirector: Joel Coen
The Coen brothers update the acerbic, fast-talking style of the screwball comedy, with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones as scheming, warring lovers.
Comedy1983111 minsDirector: Bill Forsyth
An American oil-man goes native while on a mission to buy up a Scottish fishing village, in Bill Forsyth’s tribute to Scotland’s irresistible charm.
Comedy198092 minsDirector: Bill Forsyth
The ultimate depiction of coming-of-age awkwardness, Bill Forsyth’s comedy about a teen who falls for the new female footballer on the school team.
Rita, Sue and Bob Too
Drama19860 minsDirector: Alan Clarke
A married man seduces two teenage babysitters in Alan Clarke’s mix of bawdy comedy and social comment, based on Andrea Dunbar’s Bradford plays.
Carry On Camping
Comedy196989 minsDirector: Gerald Thomas
Happy campers Sid Boggle (Sid James) and Bernie Lugg (Bernard Bresslaw) are troubled by hippies in one of the best-loved films of the famed series.
The Importance of Being Earnest
Comedy195296 minsDirector: Anthony Asquith
The evergreen wit and verbal dexterity of Oscar Wilde’s classic play is artfully captured in Anthony Asquith’s colourful adaptation.
A Show Called Fred Ep 5
195628 minsDirector: Richard Lester
Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan invite you to leap into your dustbin and dance in this episode of their 50s comedy show
Remember the Night
Comedy193994 minsDirector: Mitchell Leisen
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray are the shoplifter and attorney who fall for other in this charming, Christmas comedy scripted by Preston Sturges.
The Lady Eve
Comedy194194 minsDirector: Preston Sturges
A female con artist falls in love with her target in Preston Sturges’s comedy, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.
The Goose Steps Out
Comedy194275 minsDirector: Will Hay
Will Hay's third film for Ealing Studios finds the legendary comic parachuted into Nazi Germany when British intelligence discover that he's the spitting image of an enemy master spy
First a Girl
Comedy193692 minsDirector: Victor Saville
Sparkling musical comedy about a shop girl who pretends to be a boy in order to perform on stage as a female impersonator.
Comedy194194 minsDirector: Walter C. Mycroft
A penniless woman’s attempts at matchmaking her way to riches go awry when her son falls for the wrong daughter of a nobleman.