The countdown continues with some movies that received considerable support (either several votes or one particularly high one), but not enough to make the official list. Our panel of 10 had a lot to like in this section. Tomorrow, the for-real-real top 25 begins.
Anyway, without further ado…
26) The 40-Year-Old Virgin (4 votes)
Chris: 2005 was a hell of a year for Steve Carell. We had already seen glimpses that he was very funny, particularly on the Daily Show, but then he firmly established himself with his spots as Michael Scott on The Office and his leading role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. And boy, what a premise: a wholesome, lovable guy who’s never gotten laid, surrounded by various pessimistic and terrible co-workers who try to fix that problem — and through it all, the movie manages to be both heartwarming and ruthlessly funny at times.
27) Office Space (5 votes)
Chris: The first of two near-misses that I think will be somewhat controversial, Office Space was like a personal anthem for anyone who’s ever been stuck in a cubicle, despising their job. I think the movie looks a little worse with the passage of time, and the reason I say that is that corporations have co-opted some of this subversive material and made it their own — and individuals have run some of the references into the ground (looking at you, “case of the Mondays”). Personally, I’m surprised this didn’t make the cut, although only two points and some tiebreakers separated #25 through #31.
28) The Lego Movie (4 votes)
Chris: Due in part to phenomenal voice acting performances and a second-half twist that I absolutely adore, The Lego Movie was a winner. It perfectly reflects the imagination you may have used when playing with Lego sets yourself (unless you were Dave, that is). I’m actually interested in the sequels as well, because I think there’s still plenty of ground to cover with the foundation they have so far.
29) This is Spinal Tap (1 vote)
30) Supertroopers (1 vote)
31) O Brother, Where Art Thou? (1 vote)
Chris: Rather than talk about these individually, let’s look at the trio as a whole, shall we? It’s a bit of a strange situation: all three received a first-place vote, but nobody else on the panel included them on their list. This also means that everything above this point had more than 100 points of support. Anyway, This is Spinal Tap is the quintessential mockumentary, Supertroopers turned a $1.2 million budget into a cult classic, and O Brother Where Art Thou is probably my favorite George Clooney movie, strangely enough.
32) Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2 votes)
Chris: I always enjoy the idea of playing around with existing tropes — and I like Alan Tudyk — so in retrospect, I regret not including Tucker and Dale on my personal top 25. You almost start to feel bad for these two guys who just want to enjoy their cabin, and instead have all these college kids running around and getting themselves killed. A ton of fun from start to finish.
33) Deadpool (3 votes)
Chris: As mentioned earlier in the list, we occasionally run into issues with recent releases when we put these together. Does Deadpool deserve to be this high? Should it be even higher? (We had simiilar issues with Inside Out in the animated list.) We’ll have to look back with the benefit of time and see, but I think this is a decent compromise for the lovable, fourth-wall-breaking merc with a mouth.
34) Pitch Perfect (3 votes)
Chris: I’m not sure that Pitch Perfect does anything new or unique, but the individual performances make the whole thing work, backed by a fun soundtrack from start to finish. One thing that stops me from aca-embracing this movie more: the two commentators, played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. I know they’re intentionally tone-deaf, awful human beings, but…their material makes me cringe waaaaay more often than laugh.
35) Ghostbusters (3 votes)
Chris: There’s no denying that Ghostbusters was a juggernaut. Consider: It was number one in the box office for several weeks, then regained the spot two more times after being dethroned (including an amazing two months after its release). I think the upcoming remake has the potential to be good as well, even if it could never approach those kind of heights in today’s crowded market.
36) Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2 votes)
Chris: I gave serious thought to leaving off everything after the colon, but then I figured that the title looking silly was a quick and easy referendum on the movie as well. Still, Borat deserves credit for its bold premise, essentially just sticking Sasha Baron Cohen in situations with people who have signed releases and letting him stir up trouble.
37) Back to the Future (1 vote)
Chris: If anything, Back to the Future improves with age. Christopher Lloyd just kills it as Doc Brown, and it’s difficult to imagine anyone else in the role of Marty McFly (man, what if they hadn’t pushed production twice to make room for Michael J. Fox?). Sure, the time travel details get a little wonky, but it’s worth it to me just to see Marty panic when his mom tries to make out with him in the car.
38) Inglourious Basterds (1 vote)
Chris: Considering some of the people involved in our panel, I’m actually surprised this didn’t finish higher. I assumed (incorrectly) that the mere presence of Michael Fassbender and Christopher Waltz in the same film was going to rocket this into the 20s somewhere. Anyway, once I got finished twitching at the spelling of the title, Basterds was a lot of fun.
39) Idiocracy (1 vote)
Chris: Idiocracy never made it into theaters, presumably because a movie executive looked at the premise and started having a seizure from not understanding it. Still, with some of the names involved in its production (Mike Judge, Luke Wilson, Terry Crews, Maya Rudolph), it’s not surprising that it became an underground hit.
40) Meet the Parents (2 votes)
Chris: The temptation here is to judge Meet the Parents solely by its current context — with a couple mediocre to bad sequels, and Robert De Niro’s subsequent career choices. But back in 2000, De Niro had barely dipped his toes into comedy (I’m ignoring Analyze This), and Meet the Parents had plenty of awkward humor to enjoy.
41) Superbad (3 votes)
Chris: A simple misunderstanding and a fake ID, and all hell breaks loose. There’s a lot to like about Superbad, particularly Hill and Cera in the lead roles and Hader and Rogen as the bumbling cops. It’s also a cautionary tale about the dangers of being turned down for sex or revealing embarrassing secrets while drunk.
42) The Waterboy (1 vote)
Chris: One of the funniest parts of The Waterboy is Bobby Boucher’s absurd strength when he’s angry, resulting in some hellacious tackles. It’s still funny, but…boy, the NFL’s ongoing issues with concussions have neutered that part of the game, haven’t they? Still, Henry Winkler makes this work for me.
43) Hot Fuzz (3 votes)
Chris: We have empirical evidence that Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do great work together, especially with this and Shaun of the Dead (which has not appeared yet, hint hint). Personally, this is my favorite — I love how absurd everything is, and Pegg’s reactions are on point. It’s also the most intimidating neighborhood watch you’ve ever seen.
44) Bridesmaids (3 votes)
Chris: No matter how funny you think his films are, there’s no question that Judd Apatow’s specialty is comedies. What’s more surprising to me, though, is that Bridesmaids did so well despite having a female-led cast. Now before you get your pitchforks out, understand that my surprise is due to the idiotic idea that women aren’t as funny as men are, even though there are plenty of examples (Pitch Perfect, A League of Their Own, Mean Girls, Clueless, etc., etc.) that should dispel it.
45) Shanghai Noon (2 votes)
Chris: Apparently the formula is simple: take Jackie Chan, pair him with somebody else who has comedic chops, and start counting your money! In seriousness, though, the setting and elaborate action sequences make this a lot of fun.
46) Spaceballs (2 votes)
Chris: There are a handful of movies in this #50-26 section that I imagine will upset some folks who would want them to be higher. Again, I would remind you that the average age of our panelists is something like 26-27. You can blame us damn millennials for not appreciating the classics, but you know what? I don’t think Mel Brooks is that funny. Come at me, bro.
47) Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1 vote)
Chris: I was fortunate enough to have an eclectic teacher in high school who loved this movie. It’s certainly different than just about everything else on this list, but…damn. Peter Sellers is all over the damn place (in a good way) and we’ll always have the iconic scene of Slim Pickens riding that bomb straight to hell.
48) Noises Off! (1 vote)
Chris: So here we are at number 48 with the final entry on this list I know virtually nothing about. Michael Caine was in it? It’s a play within a play? That’s about all I’ve got.
49) Rush Hour 2 (3 votes)
Chris: We talked about the first Rush Hour earlier, and I think one of the reasons the sequel might be funnier is that Tucker and Chan didn’t have to waste any time on the premise. It’s essentially just “these crazy partners are back together again, here goes,” except it’s set up with surprisingly personal stakes behind all the comedy.
50) Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2 votes)
Chris: Like a few of the other choices on our list, Walk Hard works because it essentially tackles an entire genre in the process — in this case, the biopic. I can accept this movie if for no other reason than people being cut in half in machete fights is somehow a recurring plot point.
PREVIOUS TOP 25s: