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The Top 10 R-Rated Comedies of The Last Decade

Written by on July 30, 2009 

Funny People

By Merrill Barr + Dan Mecca

With the recent success of The Hangover, becoming the highest grossing R rated comedy in history, and with the release of Funny People only a day away, we’ve compiled a list of the best R-rated comedies of the last decade (2000-2009).

Honorable Mentions

Zack & Miri Make a Porno (Smith, 2008)

Role Models (Wain, 2008)

Hot Fuzz (Wright, 2007)

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Charles, 2006)

Old School (Phillips, 2003)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Stoller, 2008)

Read the rest of this list below

Top Ten

Clerks 2

10. Clerks 2 (Smith, 2006)

When die hard Kevin Smith fans first heard that the indie director was doing a sequel to his debut cult hit Clerks, many cried out in anger. But they were all silenced by the what came out his creative head. The sequel pays tribute to it’s predecessor while standing out on its own. It also illustrates how far Smith has come as a director, in both a technical sense as well as his story telling ability.

tropic thunder

9. Tropic Thunder (Stiller, 2008)

Ben Stiller’s war spoof is right up there with Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Even the Academy agreed on this (to an extent) when it gave Robert Downey Jr. a well-deserved supporting actor nomination for his role. This film is everything that is right about the spoof genre.

Shaun of the Dead

8. Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004)

Speaking of spoofs, this tight, witty and action-packed zombie film spoof brought the brilliant comedic minds of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (who offered up Hot Fuzz 3 years later) to the States in a big way. Thankfully, it looks as though they’re here to stay.

Royal Ts

7. The Royal Tenebaums (Anderson, 2001)

Arguably Wes Anderson’s best film and the definitive example of what film scholars will refer to as (and DO refer to as) a “Wes Anderson film.”

High Fidelity

6. High Fidelity (Frears, 2000)

The dark “John Cusack rom-com,” this Stephen Frears-directed study in relationships is one of the best films of the decade, comedy or drama. While Cusack’s Rob complains on his ill-fated conquests, Jack Black carves himself a career by making hysterical rock-related jokes.

Wedding Crashers

5. Wedding Crashers (Dobkin, 2005)

Wedding Crashers is an excellent romantic comedy. But it also provides just the right amount of dirty jokes to make it a pleasure for all that watch it. It is a laugh riot from start to finish, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn make a great team and I only wish they would do more movies together. The film also features Christopher Walken so you know it is worth checking out.

Knocked Up

4. Knocked Up (Apatow, 2007)

In Seth Rogen’s first lead comedic role, this Judd Apatow feature is pure gold. Similar to The 40 Year Old Virgin, it addresses a dilemma that many young adults face – unplanned pregnancy. While a serious issue, Apatow and co. tackle it with laughs and sentimentality, lightening the load of an extremely packed issue – for two hours at least.

The Hangover

3. The Hangover (Phillips, 2009)

While it’s only been out for a couple months in theaters, it has already become the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. It truly is a work of comedy art. It took everything right about all the other films on this list and multiplied it by 100, delivering a mammoth comedy that awards laughs to the masses.


2. Superbad (Mottola, 2007)

Superbad, written by comedy geniuses Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is everything that is right about the raunchy teen comedy. I would say that Superbad is this decade’s American Pie but on such a higher level of comedy and amusement in general. Anyone who is in or went to high school understands exactly what the characters are going through. This film should be (and by many is) held high with some of the classics and be used as an example of a great R-rated comedy.

The 40 Year Old Virgin

1. The 40 Year Old Virgin (Apatow, 2005)

In Apatow’s directorial debut we see both Seth Rogen and Steve Carrell break out into starring roles in perhaps the greatest R rated comedy ever. The story of what every virgin thinks about (what if IT never happens?) is truly one of the best comedies ever. It is packed with laughs and was a true sign of things to come for the Apatow team.

Do you agree with this list? Do you think Funny People will make the count?

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