THE BURFORD TOP 10S: THE FUNNIEST FILMS OF THE LAST FEW YEARS

After recently having the deep misfortune of watching the abysmal Dumb and Dumber To it served as yet another depressing and infuriating reminder that so much mainstream comedy simply is not very good anymore; Okay so maybe now I am in my 30s I may have crossed a watershed moment similar to when we all of a sudden think that the music in the charts is crap and all sounds the same, but so many of these supposedly comic films are cynical, manufactured, complacent products that show no respect for the honest paying cinema going public.

Comedy is notoriously difficult to get right, but yet so many actors and directors think that making it up as they go along and essentially having a series of overlong sketches kept together by a wafer thin narrative while being crude for the sake of it will be fine. They may have a great time making these films, but their complacent lack of effort is just as insulting for all viewers and these films and those that continue to make these turgid and vile films need to be stopped!

A Few recent examples from both sides of the Atlantic: Dumb and Dumber To, The World’s End, Sex Tape, The Harry Hill Movie, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Tammy, Mr’s Brown’s Boys D’Movie, The Other Woman, Blended, Let’s Be Cops, Ride Along, That Awkward Moment, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Almost Married, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Hangover Part 3, Horrible Bosses 2, The Internship, Grown Ups 2, Run For Your Wife, 21 and Over, Nativity 2 & 3 – reviews for pretty much all of these terrible films can be found on my blog, most of these reviews are quite angry!

Now, I appreciate that comedy is of course subjective, but here is my run down of the ten funniest films of the last few years, using how long I have been writing my blog (since February 2013) as the best time frame. Some indeed do not actually officially fit into the genre of ‘comedy’, but these are the ten films that made me laugh the most, and I thoroughly recommend them for that reason (among others in some cases) as the perfect antidote to what mainstream comedy and the likes of Vince Vaughn, Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Adam Sandler and co. have to offer.

10. What we did on Our Holiday

The makers of the often hilarious TV series Outnumbered decided to bring the same formula from the TV series to the big screen, with the emphasis on intelligent and witty dialogue spoken by all characters, both young and old. Though they may struggle to keep it all together for a coherent feature length narrative as the film goes on, the great cast including David Tennant, Rosamund Pike and children that are not actually annoying make for a uniquely British and often hilarious film.

To read my review, click here

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

I will happily admit that I regard Guardians of the Galaxy as slightly overrated and it certainly had a few narrative problems, but considering the ridiculous concept, James Gunn took exactly the appropriate tongue in cheek approach. The result; an often hilarious and highly entertaining two hour romp.

To read my review, click here

8. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

It took a while for Will Ferrell and his pose to bring us a sequel to 2004’s Anchorman, a film that provided Ferrell with his most famous and most quoted character. The sequel certainly did suffer from the usual problem of Apatow comedies in that it was essentially a series of slightly improvised sketches that both hit and missed. Ferrell is of course a bit of a one trick pony, and whether you find Anchorman funny will depend on your views on him, but for me it was a welcome return for his most memorable character and the film had did have some kind of plot in their somewhere (though attempts at satire were slightly lame) and it did just about provide more hits than misses, and those hits were very funny indeed.

To read my review, click here

7. The Lego Movie

comedy 7

It is surprising just how long it took for a proper Lego Movie to come about, and with its highly unoriginal title the concept just sounded like one big advert that surely would be as bland as most of the dross the comes out of Hollywood. Well, the smart move was drafting in makers of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to write and direct as well as employ a vast array of actors to do the voices, and the result was 100 energetic minutes of non-stop hilarious gags that utilised just exactly what could be done with the concept.

To read my review, click here

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I have always been a huge fan of Wes Anderson, and though I certainly could appreciate that his unique almost OCD method of filmmaking does not appeal to some, and I was certainly surprised by just how successful Budapest Hotel was both financially and critically. This success was most certainly deserved as this caper was quite possibly Anderson’s funniest film yet, and this was down to every element of the film, from the incredible set design to Alexandre Desplat’s superb score to Ralph Fiennes incredibly charismatic leading performance.

To read my review, click here

5. The 100 Year Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window and Disappeared

comedy 5

It is often said that Nordic humour does not translate very well overseas, well based on the humour on display in this hilarious and absolutely bonkers film about the random adventures of a 100 year old man obsessed with dynamite (as well as flashbacks of his previous life involving famous historical figures and moments) then that is not the case. The style of humour is both farcical and dark, but I think mainstream comedies could learn a fair few things from this uproarious romp.

To read my review, click here

4. Filth

comedy 4

I of course cannot emphasise or repeat enough that humour is subjective, and the dark and often vulgar humour on display in Filth may not appeal to all, but this is my chart and I thought it was often hilarious. Thanks to James McAvoy’s superb leading performance and director Jon S. Baird’s visual flair and energy, when not going to some very dark and deeply depressing places, Filth is laugh out loud funny.

To read my review, click here

3. 22 Jump Street

comedy 3

Both 22 Jump Street and 2012’s 21 Jump Street are indeed rare specimens in that they are mainstream American comedies that are actually genuinely funny! I was personally surprised by just how funny 21 was, and so were the makers it seemed, as this was one of the many self-aware jokes in the witty script of 22. Though it had perhaps very little in the way of plot, the great chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum and the energy of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller brought genuinely non-stop farcical hilarity, and not to mention one of the funniest credit sequences in cinema history.

To read my review, click here

2. Dead Snow 2: Red or Dead

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If comedy is notoriously hard to get right, then horror-comedy is even harder, with so many terrible efforts around these days that seem to think just being over the top with violence and language is enough, especially films involving zombies. Tommy Wirkola’s hilarious low budget Nazi zombie flick Dead Snow came out of nowhere in 2009, and armed with a much bigger budget, he thankfully did not rest on his laurels or get complacent with Red or Dead. It is a sequel that is certainly gorier and even funnier; with a solid plot, characters to genuinely care about (including one of the zombies) and some refreshing new twists on the genre.

To read my review, click here

1. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge in the studio

Whenever a successful comedy series makes the move to the big screen I always expect the worst, and when I learnt that one of my favourite TV characters would make his feature length debut I genuinely quaked with fear. Yes, naturally if you are not a fan of Partridge you will not like the film and perhaps the humour may not translate overseas, but for the rest of us it was a seamless transition, as the formula that made Alan one of the most endearing and hilarious comedy characters on TV was diligently kept to a 90 minute narrative and has produced for me what is by far the funniest film of the last few years.

To read my review, click here

Other honourable mentions to films that made me laugh, either with or at;

Wild Tales (with), Of Horses & Men (with), Pompeii (at), Kingsman: The Secret Service (apart from at Samuel L. Jackson, with), St. Georges Day (very much at), This is the End (with), Sightseers (with), Gone Girl (at, even though I still believe that David Fincher was in on the joke!), Mad Max: Fury Road (at and with), Birdman (with), Fast & Furious 6 & 7 (predominantly at), Seven Psychopaths (mostly with, but at the incredibly lazy writing) – Reviews of all of these can also be found on here.

I expect many, many, many disagreements – if you disagree, then please tell me (as long as you are nice about it).

About MoodyB

An extremely passionate and (semi) opened minded film reviewer, with a hint of snobbish.
Gallery | This entry was posted in All Film Reviews, Rants, The Best of 2013, The Best of 2014, The Best of 2015, The Burford Top 10s and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to THE BURFORD TOP 10S: THE FUNNIEST FILMS OF THE LAST FEW YEARS

  1. Mr. Movie says:

    Some great stuff on this list! Glad to see ‘Red or Dead’ made the cut, it was the funniest film of 2014 hands down!

    • MoodyB says:

      Thank you. I completely agree, ‘Red or Dead’ is a film I always recommend to everyone I speak to. It is a great example of how to get the notoriously difficult horror-comedy genre exactly right.

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