The 15 Best A24 Comedy Movies: A24 has gained a reputation for producing unique, critically acclaimed films, including many in the comedy genre. A24 comedy films are special are notable for taking risks on unconventional and fresh ideas rather than relying on formulaic, mainstream approaches. “You know one when you see one” is often the case with an A24 film in general. Most notably, almost all the films in this list of best A24 comedy films have unique premises, offbeat humor, and unexpected twists that set them apart from other conventional comedies.
Such is the quality of craftsmanship in these A24 films that you would probably cry more than you laugh. Their brand of comedy, and films in general, is ruefully rebellious of how we envision them to make us feel – warm and comfortable. Their films often mix humor with drama, romance, and other genres, blurring the lines between what is traditionally considered a comedy and what is not. It would not be unfair to say A24 has redefined the paradigms of humor in films.
Most of these titles have prioritized diversity in their storytelling. They feature diverse casts and explore diverse themes, making them more inclusive and representative of underrepresented voices in film. This commitment to diversity is a refreshing departure from many mainstream comedies, which often rely on tired stereotypes. These comedies tackle social and political issues in a thoughtful and nuanced way, starting conversations and sparking important discussions.
A24 films have built a devoted cult following among film enthusiasts. The quirky, unconventional, and thought-provoking gist of their existence appeals to audiences who are looking for something different from mainstream comedies. This dedicated fan base is a testament to their unique filmmaking approach’s special qualities. Enjoy our presentation of the 15 Best A24 comedy movies.
1. Laggies (2014)
Laggies isn’t a pure laugh-out-loud joyride but has enough humor to entertain you. The comedic elements are not its strongest aspect when viewed in isolation. Given its serious themes and the hilarious premise, Laggies takes a leaf out of modern-day comedies where subtlety plays a huge role in ushering the narrative. It is a typified A24 film with real-life drama and theatrical absurdity colliding meaningfully.
The movie follows the story of a 28-year-old woman named Megan, who struggles to come to terms with her adulthood and the expectations that come with it. After a chance encounter with a teenage girl named Annika, Megan decides to escape from her responsibilities by spending a week living with Annika and her friends, pretending to be a high school student. The star attractions are Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, and Chloë Grace Moretz.
Keira Knightley’s portrayal of Megan is charming and endearing, and her witty banter with Sam Rockwell’s character adds some amusing moments to the film. The interactions between Megan and Annika’s teenage friends also provide some lighthearted moments. Their presence guarantees acceptable performances, but director Lynn Shelton and her team fall well short of developing the characters. They seem a little undercooked, and their motivations and actions are often difficult to comprehend.
Laggies celebrates the struggles of growing up and finding one’s place in the world. At a certain point in our lives, we tend to navigate what is expected of us and what we want to do. And we must strike a delicate balance between these two worlds of expectation.
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2. Swiss Army Man (2016)
Swiss Army Man stands out as a one-of-a-kind comedy that defies convention with its multi-layered plot and genuine emotions. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe deliver captivating performances as two men who meet on the brink of death, one about to die and the other already deceased (or is he?). The unlikely bond they form grows stronger as the film progresses, but the reality of their situation remains ambiguous, seen only through the eyes of Dano’s character, Hank.
The film deftly mixes humor with tragedy, using the situation’s absurdity to deliver laugh-out-loud moments, such as Hank riding Manny (Radcliffe) like a jet-ski using his flatulence as fuel. However, the story also tackles serious themes such as mental illness and abandonment, highlighted in the jarring shift to the darker reality of the character’s life. The final scene, while narrated through Hank’s perspective, still underscores the urgent need to address these issues in society.
Swiss Army Man, overall, offers a liberating and unconventional viewing experience, defying mainstream cinema’s expectations. The film’s execution matches its absurd premise, creating a memorable and thought-provoking story that challenges audiences to rethink their preconceptions of comedy and the human experience.
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3. Morris from America (2016)
Morris from America explores themes of identity, acceptance, and family relationships. At its core, the film molds the attempts of a 13-year-old African-American boy named Morris, who moves with his father from the US to Germany in a coming-of-age narrative. The story revolves around Morris’s experiences as he navigates the challenges of fitting into a new country and culture while trying to pursue his passion for hip-hop music.
The film’s underlying message is about the struggle to find one’s place in the world, especially when faced with adversity and social prejudice. It portrays the difficulties of growing up in a foreign land where one’s differences are not always accepted. Morris’s journey towards self-discovery is a relatable and emotional one, as he grapples with issues of race, identity, and belonging.
But that is not where director Chad Hartigan’s thematic structure ends. There are marked instances in the film that showcase the importance of embracing one’s individuality and staying true to oneself, like when Morris is dealing with a tonally racist punk head. Markees Christmas and Craig Robinson (Darryl from The Office) deliver impressive performances that capture the characters’ vibrant appeal effortlessly.
While Morris from America has some humorous moments, it is not a movie that primarily focuses on providing laughs. It is more of a coming-of-age drama with comedic elements, exploring serious themes through a lighthearted lens. The humor is used to offset the drama and add a layer of relatability to the story. So, while the movie may not be considered a pure comedy, it still balances humor and poignant drama.
4. Free Fire (2016)
Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire is grounded in a unique blend of absurdity, political incorrectness, and conflicted Britain-Ireland history. The film is set in Boston in 1978, during a time of heightened tensions between the Irish Republican Army and the British government. The plot revolves around a group of characters who are brought together for a weapons deal, which quickly goes awry and turns into an all-out shootout in a deserted warehouse.
Wheatley’s direction of the film is characterized by its dark humor and absurdity, which contrasts sharply with the violence and chaos on screen. The film’s characters are presented as a motley crew of criminals, each with their own idiosyncrasies and quirks. The dialogue is often witty and irreverent, with characters trading insults and banter even amid gunfire.
At the same time, the film also touches on the fraught political history between Britain and Ireland. One of the characters, Chris, is an Irish Republican Army sympathizer who is involved in the weapons deal to fund the IRA’s cause. The film doesn’t take a clear stance on the issue, instead using it as a backdrop to the action and chaos on screen.Wheatley’s direction brings a unique energy and style to the film, making it a memorable and entertaining viewing experience.
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5. Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird won critical acclaim across the board for its honest and nuanced portrayal of teenage life and the complex mother-daughter relationship. Greta Gerwig, who writes and directs, instills her own life experiences breathing new life into the film and the characters. Lady Bird follows the story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a high school senior from Sacramento, California, who is navigating the challenges of growing up, including her relationships with her mother, father, friends, and love interests.
One of the less talked about aspects of Lady Bird is its setting. The plot takes place in 2002. References to cultural and political events of that time add an extra layer of realism and nostalgia. Various cultural and political events from that period, such as the Iraq War and the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, are used to solidify the setting in our minds.
By including these cultural and political references, Lady Bird captures a sense of the anxieties and hopes of its characters and the larger cultural moment in which they exist. This helps to make the story feel more real and relatable, creating a stronger emotional connection between the characters and the audience.
Lady Bird’s desire to leave her hometown of Sacramento and attend college in New York is juxtaposed against her mother’s fear and anxiety about letting her daughter go so far away during a time of national uncertainty and fear. The characters feel like real individuals with flaws and peculiarities, and the plot feels like a genuine portrayal of adolescent life.
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6. The Disaster Artist (2017)
“I did not hit her. It’s not true. It’s bullshit. I did not hit her. I did not. Oh, hi, Mark,” has achieved an iconic, almost cult-like status in popular culture. A major Hollywood star has made a film on its “badness,” for God’s sake. Tommy Wiseau truly showed the world that even terrible filmmaking could appeal to viewers on a mass scale if done with a sufficient lack of effort and brazenly degraded quality of work.
The film captures the essence of its inspiration, Tommy Wiseau, by portraying him as a larger-than-life character who is simultaneously endearing and enigmatic. Franco and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber present Tommy as a man with a dream willing to do whatever it takes to see that dream come to fruition, even if it means making a film widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever made.
The film also captures Tommy’s idiosyncrasies and eccentricities in an entertaining and poignant way. Tommy is portrayed as a man who is deeply passionate about his work but who is also socially awkward and emotionally stunted. It explores the complex relationship between Tommy and Greg, highlighting how their friendship is strengthened and strained by their work on “The Room.”
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7. The Lovers (2017)
Falling in and out of love is quite routine. Films over the better part of the last century have normalized the change in people’s feelings. In that vein, Azazel Jacob’s offbeat comedy film provides a unique and refreshing perspective on marital dynamics. It follows a long-married couple, Mary and Michael, who have fallen into a passionless routine and are having an extramarital affair with others.
As the film progresses, the couple is attracted to each other again, but they are too ashamed to admit it. Those awkward and hilarious situations that arise as Mary and Michael try to hide their newfound affection for each other give The Lovers a fun-filled energy. The film also plays with traditional gender roles in relationships, with Mary taking on a more dominant and sexually assertive role, which provides some unexpected laughs.
However, The Lovers is not just a comedy but a fascinating take on marital dynamics. It examines the idea that sometimes, couples can fall back in love with each other by rediscovering the spark that initially brought them together. The film also highlights the challenges that can arise when one partner is more interested in rekindling the relationship than the other and how that can affect their relationship.
8. Eighth Grade (2018)
Eighth Grade is more of a dramedy than pure comedy. It is perhaps the outcome of modern-day standards that have evolved beyond a film being rooted in a single genre. The modern audience expects its films to be unique, eccentric, and significant in some way. Eighth Grade is all of them, but especially the latter, which portrays adolescence in a realistic and sympathetic manner. Through its 13-year-old protagonist, Kayla, first-time director Bo Burnham explores the anxieties and insecurities that many young people experience as they navigate the complexities of social interactions, identity, and self-worth. Elsie Fisher is a revelation as Kayla.
The impact of social media on young people’s lives is Burnham’s overarching theme. The film highlights the pressures and expectations that social media can create, and its potential for connection and isolation. Kayla’s struggle to fit in and be seen as “cool” by her peers is exacerbated by her constant use of social media, which reinforces unrealistic standards and fuels her self-doubt.
At the same time, Eighth Grade reinforces the importance of empathy and self-acceptance. As Kayla navigates the challenges of middle school, she learns the value of being kind to herself and others, even as she confronts the harsh realities of bullying and social exclusion. The film’s hopeful and empowering message is that it’s alright to be imperfect and vulnerable and that true connection and belonging come from accepting oneself and others for who they are.
While Eighth Grade deals with serious and emotionally complex themes, it can still be considered a comedy by modern standards. It impressively uses humor to offset the more dramatic moments and to create a sense of relatability and connection with the audience.
The humor in Eighth Grade is often rooted in the awkwardness and discomfort of adolescence. Many of the film’s funniest moments come from Kayla’s attempts to navigate social situations and express herself authentically. The film also uses irony and satire to comment on how social media can amplify these struggles, as Kayla’s carefully curated online persona contrasts with her inner thoughts and experiences.
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9. Slice (2018)
Slice is a cult classic due to its unique blend of horror, comedy, and satire, which is not often seen in mainstream cinema. The film’s dark humor and satire are what make it stand out, and it often feels like a parody of the horror genre. Silce satirizes the fast-food industry, the horror genre, and small-town politics, making fun of their tropes and stereotypes. The humor in the film is often absurd and over-the-top, but it works in the context of the movie.
The filmmakers clearly did not take themselves too seriously, which is visible throughout the film. The film’s message is that viewers can find tacky filmmaking endearing. It is a throwback to the low-budget horror movies of the ’80s and ’90s that were often quirky and eccentric. As a mark of convention, Slice’s low-budget production values add to its charm, and the film’s creators were able to create an entertaining and enjoyable experience despite their limited resources.
10. Gloria Bell (2018)
A24 films have a unique way of enhancing the significance of their stories through nuanced storytelling. The refinement flows from the creative personnel involved but also the core idea of giving films a certain tonal and narrative quality. The underlying message of Gloria Bell is that it’s never too late to find love and pursue happiness on one’s own terms. It follows the story of a divorced woman in her 50s named Gloria, who navigates the ups and downs of a new romantic relationship while also dealing with the challenges of family and work.
There is a clear effort to target viewers interested in exploring adult relationships’ complexities and nuances. The key demographic is not as difficult to please but rather not taken too seriously. Gloria Bell rectifies the neglect with an offering that they can fully understand. Even those who appreciate character-driven dramas with humor and emotional depth would fancy Gloria Bell.
Gloria Bell’s themes are especially pertinent to persons in their forties and older, as the movie tackles the challenges and opportunities that come with this period of life. The film’s humor is reflected in its characters’ quirks and idiosyncrasies, and it creates a sense of warmth and familiarity that makes the more serious moments all the more impactful. The film’s intentional use of natural lighting and muted colors creates a sense of intimacy and realism that is common in A24’s work. Furthermore, its use of music and sound design adds depth and emotion to the storytelling.
11. The Farewell (2019)
The Farewell was one of the first in a slew of recent films tackling the sensitive issue of immigration experience and culture clash in America. More and more filmmakers have since dared to take the plunge into their own experiences of coming to the Promised Land. Minari, Halmoni, The Swimmers, and Beef are some notable instances. The Farewell tells the story of a Chinese-American family who reunites in China to say goodbye to their beloved grandmother, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. However, the family has decided to keep the diagnosis a secret from the grandmother, leading to emotional and moral dilemmas for the family members.
While the film has moments of humor, particularly in the interactions between the Americanized protagonist Billi and her Chinese relatives, the overall tone of the film is contemplation and reflection. The Farewell is a film that explores the complexities of immigrant identity and the cultural clashes that arise between first-generation immigrants and their families back home.
The film’s social commentary on the immigrant experience in America is critical and thought-provoking. Director Lulu Wang draws on her own life experiences to depict the difficulty of immigrants in balancing their dual identities and the demands placed on them by their families and communities. Her precise understanding of the subject matter and its volatile sociopolitical inclinations do not preclude her from raising important questions about the nature of family, cultural identity, and the immigrant experience. One of the film’s strengths is its highlighting of the generational divide that exists between immigrant parents and their American-born children, as well as the challenges of maintaining a connection to one’s cultural heritage in the face of assimilation and cultural erasure.
Awkwafina is a big part of The Farewell’s success. Her presence in the film certainly adds to the comedic appeal of the film. Her comedic timing and delivery add a sense of levity to the film.
At the same time, Awkwafina’s performance is also grounded in emotional depth and vulnerability. Her portrayal of Billi is nuanced and authentic, and she brings a sense of realism and relatability to the character. As an Asian-American actress, Awkwafina brings a unique perspective to the film’s exploration of cultural identity and the immigrant experience. Her performance highlights the complexities and challenges of navigating the divide between different cultural worlds.
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12. The Death of Dick Long (2019)
The Death of Dick Long is awkward and uncomfortable, to say the least. It is perhaps the most jarring film on the list. Daniel Scheinert challenges traditional cinematic structures and defies genre categorization in his exploration of themes of guilt, secrecy, and friendship. The plot follows a group of friends who accidentally kill their friend Dick Long during a drunken night of horseplay. The film’s humor is often cringe-inducing, and the situation’s awkwardness is accentuated by the characters’ attempts to cover up their involvement in Dick’s death.
Despite the film’s uncomfortable subject matter, it manages to be artistically empowered through its bold stylistic choices and committed performances. Director Daniel Scheinert brings a unique visual style to the film that blends gritty realism with surrealism. Using atmospheric lighting and experimental camera angles creates a sense of unease that mirrors the characters’ discomfort.
The film also features strong performances from its cast, notably Michael Abbott Jr. as Zeke, who is plagued by guilt over his involvement in Dick’s death. His internal struggle is palpable throughout the film, and his performance brings depth and nuance to the character.
The film can also be seen as a commentary on the appeal of kitschy filmmaking. Its gritty, low-budget aesthetic and offbeat humor give it a sense of authenticity that may be lacking in more polished Hollywood fare. The Death of Dick Long becomes a unique and memorable cinematic experience by embracing its flaws and quirks.
13. Zola (2020)
Zola perfectly represents the dynamic and intriguing social media world. The story behind the film is as perplexing and irrational as the story in it. The basis of the film is a 148-tweet thread, which serves as the bizarre foundation of an even more complicated episode that occurred in Tampa, Florida, some years ago. Taylour Paige and the increasingly popular Riley Keough star as two best friends who unwittingly become involved in a prostitution racket and become worst enemies on the run.
The film portrays the thriving business of crime in the “Xs” of nightlife across the US. Zola’s visually appealing aesthetic remains true to all the best A24 movies. It is difficult to separate the fleeting social commentary from the thrilling story. Director Janizca Bravo effectively uses the sexual prowess of her leads without glorification. Although it can be overwhelming for viewers, it is not without purpose.
Zola’s underlying message critiques the exploitative and dangerous nature of the sex industry. The film exposes the seedy and disturbing realities that many women face when they are forced into prostitution. The story also highlights the complicated power dynamics and friendships that can develop in this environment.
In terms of comedic elements, Zola offers a unique and darkly humorous take on the genre. The film’s humor is often uncomfortable and awkward, but it effectively captures the absurdity of the situation. The lead actresses deliver strong performances that add to the humor quotient while also conveying the intense emotional toll that their characters are experiencing.
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14. Red Rocket (2021)
The USP of Red Rocket, directed by Sean Baker, is its unflinching and unapologetic portrayal of a flawed protagonist, portrayed by Simon Rex, and its exploration of the seedy underbelly of small-town America. Like many of Baker’s previous films, “Red Rocket” features a cast of mostly unknown actors and non-professionals. Baker’s signature visual cues, such as extended long shots and the use of brilliant, saturated colors, make the film immediately identifiable.
The film centers around Mikey Saber, a washed-up porn star who returns to his hometown in Texas, hoping to rebuild his career and relationships. Despite his manipulative and selfish behavior, Mikey is a charismatic and engaging character, and the film presents him as a complex human being rather than a one-dimensional caricature.
Through Mikey’s character and experiences, Red Rocket offers a critical commentary on small-town America and its economic struggles, cultural isolation, and moral decay. The film presents a bleak and unvarnished portrayal of life on the margins of society, where desperation and exploitation reign supreme.
At the same time, Red Rocket also features moments of dark humor and unexpected tenderness, highlighting the humanity and vulnerability of its characters. The film is a raw and challenging exploration of American life and identity, showcasing the unique talents of its director and cast.
15. Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)
The “Eat the rich” movie trope took a full-blown shape in 2022. Glass Onion, The Menu, Triangle of Sadness, and Bodies Bodies Bodies – Halina Reijn’s twisty subversion of the slasher/whodunnit genre. This is an evident, well-planned onslaught on the wealthy using didactic themes and eccentric narratives that will only gain momentum in the coming years. Bodies Bodies Bodies makes the most of its single-location and thunderstorm setting to eke out every last bit of atmosphere.
The story’s title refers to a party game played by the characters, which takes on a more literal meaning as the story progresses and David is murdered. The story promises to blend different elements but ultimately delivers a distinctive tale with valuable insights into issues of race, sexuality, and class critique. Despite its humorous and satirical tone, the story addresses contemporary societal concerns in a youthful and engaging manner.
The dialogue is skillfully written in modern language, incorporating words such as “triggered” and “toxic” to reflect the anxieties of contemporary American society and the broader Western world. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is first-rate entertainment that provides plenty of laughs yet also has a self-aware artistic core, making it a truly engaging and compelling work.