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Comedy Movies 2016 – Guide

Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Method Man, Gabrielle Union, Will Forte
Director: Peter Atencio
Out: 22 April 2016

After their kitten, named Keanu, is stolen by a street gang, two friends (Key and Peele) hatch a plot to pose as gangster drug-dealers to infiltrate the criminal underworld and retrieve him. Method Man plays a murderous drug lord who believes the duo are a pair of legendary crims, while Gabrielle Union is Key’s wife. Will Forte plays a low-level pot dealer obsessed with black culture, though Peele is the only black person he knows. This is the first joint film project from Key and Peele, the comic duo who met on MAD TV and whose Comedy Central sketches have developed a strong viral following. ‘Keanu’ is helmed by a long-time director of their TV series. Key in particular has been showing up for years in small movie roles, typically stealing scenes and proving the funniest character involved (eg ‘Hell Baby’, ‘Let’s Be Cops’). The pair are extremely talented there’s little doubt this’ll be one of the year’s highlights. [Critics: 76%] [Public: 6.3] – Good

The Meddler
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons, Jerrod Carmichael
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Out: 22 April 2016

An overbearing mom (Sarandon) moves to L.A. from New Jersey to be in her daughter’s life (Byrne). She’s loving and caring but doesn’t realise when she’s overstepping boundaries, be it indiscreet open conversations about her daughter’s romantic strife or checking her daughter’s browsing history, it’s all because she wants to help. But when daughter takes a job elsewhere, she’s left to channel her foreful generosity into changing the lives of others and must come to terms with her husband’s passing… The writer-director helmed ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ and adapted ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’. For the first 25 minutes in particular this is an extremely well observed film (no doubt heavily based off the author’s parent). It’s not crass, over the top, or swinging for big laughs (see next year’s mother-daughter caper ‘Snatched’ for that), instead it’s subtly amusing, nailing the universal traits of most older moms. Then the daughter exits for New York and it goes a bit overboard as mom offers to pay for a near-stranger’s wedding and starts driving an apple store employee to night school. The romance with J.K. Simmons also moves center stage, and his wooing means her ‘meddling’ gets lost. It should have stuck with the mother-daughter relationship throughout, as that’s gold. [Critics: 84%] [Public: 6.3] – Good

Special Correspondents
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Eric Bana, Vera Farmiga, Kevin Pollak
Director: Ricky Gervais
Out: 29 April 2016 (Netflix)

A cocksure radio journalist (Bana) and his nerdy technician (Gervais) get in over their heads when they lose their passports and hide out across the street from their radio station in New York, pretending they made it to Equador to cover the dangerous rebellion they were meant to. Before long they’re faking that they’ve been kidnapped and it starts gathering huge public interest… Adapted and directed by Gervais, this is a remake of the not-terribly-well-reviewed French film ‘Envoyés très spéciaux”. Sitting somewhere between a theatrical release and a TV movie, ‘Special Correspondents’ is small-scale and a bit underbaked, sometimes meandering. It could have been a thought-provoking commentary on the quick spread of ‘truth’ in media today, and on social media appeals/crowdfunding, instead it just grazes those issues. It isn’t comedic enough either, Bana is a dramatic actor while Gervais is a brilliant standup but comes across in film as ‘himself doing some acting’ rather than a believable character. Nonetheless, it’s passably entertaining and there are a couple of laughs (“Oh God, jazz”). Do not watch if you work for the Ecuadorian Tourist Board. [Critics: 13%] [Public: 5.8] – Mediocre

– MAY –

The Lobster
Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, John C. Reilly
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Out: 13 May 2016

In an absurdist version of modern society, single people are taken to The Hotel, where they must pair with a romantic partner within 45 days or be turned into an animal. The newest arrival (Farrell) is soon among those suppressing his true self in order to couple up, before he breaks free to try living with the loners in the woods… The first English language film from the Greek director of ‘Dogtooth’, this won the Jury Prize at Cannes. It’s a desert dry comedy that mocks society’s obsession with everyone being in couples past a certain age, and the nature of those unions. As someone involved in the mad, sad scramble of late-30s coupling up – before the doom of being single in your 40s – it all struck a chord. The speech and mannerisms are stilted, boiling down the truths of this situation to ridiculously simple, often highly amusing, statements. It’s brilliant comic filmmaking, unique and thematically rich, but the humour and commentary have a tone that if you don’t tap into it you’ll simply find this puzzling, bleak and boring. [Critics: 90%] [Public: 7.1] – Excellent

The Nice Guys
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger
Director: Shane Black
Out: 20 May 2016

In 1970s L.A., a down-on-his-luck private eye (Gosling) and a hired leg-breaker (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a fading porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power. Keith David (‘They Live’) and Beau Knapp (‘Super 8’) play hitman partners, while Kim Basinger is a chief justice with dubious interests… Shane Black is one of the greatest living screenwriters, responsible for the likes of ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Monster Squad’. And ‘The Nice Guys’ feels like vintage Black, as good as ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ or ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, because it is – he wrote the first draft in 2001. Gosling and Crowe have terrific chemistry with Gosling in particular showing great comic timing. You’re never more than a couple of minutes from a sharp one liner (“You just took the Lord’s name in vain.” “No I didn’t Janet, I found it very useful.”). It may not be the most authentic depiction of the 70s, but it’s a lot of colourful fun. On the downside the villain’s motivation barely holds together, Basinger’s poor acting lets the side down and the expert hitmen are terrible shots. But ‘The Nice Guys’ is vibrant and unpredictable filmmaking that shows Black is still the king of buddy movies. [Critics: 92%] [Public: 7.4] – Excellent

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Moretz, Dave Franco
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Out: 20 May 2016
new comedy movies 2016

Things had returned to normal for the Radners (Rogen, Byrne), but when a rowdy sorority moves in next door, they’ll need to enlist their former nemeses from the fraternity (Efron, Franco) to help battle the raucous sisters… The sorority includes Chloë Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez, actress/singer Kiersey Clemons, and Beanie Feldstein (Jonah Hill’s real life sister). Otherwise the entire principle cast returns, as does Nicholas Stoller as director, and the same writing team. The original was good fun, and given that everyone’s back, it’s safe to assume this will be more of the same. [Critics: 62%] [Public: 5.8] – Good

The Do-Over
Starring: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Kathryn Hahn
Director: Steven Brill
Out: 27 May 2016 (Netflix)
new comedy movies 2016

A weary, bookish 40-something (Spade) meets his carefree old friend (Sandler) at a school reunion. After explaining his drab life, his friend determines he needs a do-over, so he fakes their deaths, taking the identities of two rich men he saw at a morgue. But the high-life is short-lived when the murderous group responsible comes after them… The director last worked with Sandler on ‘Mr Deeds’ and helmed last year’s ‘Walk of Shame’. This is the best Adam Sandler movie since 2009’s ‘Funny People’, though that’s not a particularly high bar. The generic script has a decent pace and some nice lines. Spade is watchable and sympathetic as the put-upon bank manager on the run. He has a nice relaxed chemistry which Sandler, forged way back in their SNL days 25 years ago. Most of the amusing moments come from Spade, including trying to deny his bank is part of a supermarket, being bashed around a speedboat’s toilet and his reaction to holding a key from a dead guy’s ass. It all feels rather ’90s, much like its stars. If you like these guys already you’ll have fun. [Critics: 5%] [Public: 5.7] – Mediocre

– JUNE –

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Starring: Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Andy Sandberg
Directors: Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer
Out: 3 June 2016
2016 comedy movies

Mockumentary about a rapper named Conner (Samberg) whose album bombs and is left with little career choice than to re-form his old boy band. Imogen Poots plays Conner’s girlfriend, while Tim Meadows (‘SNL’) will be his harassed manager, and Sarah Silverman his sarcastic publicist. James Buckley (Jay from ‘The Inbetweeners’) will make his U.S. comedy debut as a member of Conner’s entourage. It’ll take potshots at fluffy music documentaries such as ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’ and ‘Katy Perry: Part Of Me’. This is the second Lonely Island movie, this time co-produced by Judd Apatow. The trio (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone) made their name through viral music videos they produced for SNL, including ‘Dick in a Box’ and ‘I’m on a Boat’. Their last big screen group effort, 2007’s ‘Hot Rod’, got a mixed critical reception and flopped but has since become a cult favourite. Co-director Akiva Schaffer subsequently helmed the dreadful ‘The Watch’. But the music scene is The Lonely Island’s wheelhouse, their spoof albums and videos are hilarious, so this should be their most accomplished movie to date. [Critics: 77%] [Public: 6.8] – Excellent

June >

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  • gd smith said

    Keanu is obviously a play on the plot of John Wick transposed from a dead dog to suite the save the cat screen writing idea. So the title fits. Plus rather than confuse people it gives the movie a hook that will get it more exposure.

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  • dnwilliams said

    Top 5 Most Anticipated: Hail Caesar, Zoolander No. 2, Everybody Wants Some, Keanu, Conner4Real

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  • JP said

    The Dad’s Army remake intrigues me. The cast are undoubtedly superb (Toby Jones has been a shining light in TV performances recently – especially the Dectorists and Capital) but will they try to play the characters or play the original actors playing the characters? Is there much difference? This is one that could be great or grim.

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  • peter s. said

    Deadpool is by far the funniest comedy movie of 2016 so far. Ryan was born to play the role and it takes the pi** out of MArvel.

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  • Twishta said

    This list was bumming me out big time until I saw they are making Supertroopers 2 – now that is a sequel I can get behind! The first one was and still is awesome.

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  • carter said

    Kevin hart is so funny Ride Along 2 was awesome! top comedy movie in 2016 found myself laughing every 2 minutes in the show. Im hype about Central intelligence could not breathe while watching Fat Robbie!! XD

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  • Ahmed said

    Some real good movies in there, as always, thanks for the previews.

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  • President of F'rts said

    Louis Leterrier directing a comedy is weird. I think the best comedy movies of 2016 will be Neighbors 2 and Ghostbusters. Women are bringing it this year.

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  • Chelz Williams said

    Very nice movie. i loved it

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