British Humor: The 20 Best British Comedies of Recent Years

English humor is considered to be intellectual, but the best British comedies of the 21st century, such as the cool films of Guy Ritchie, can make even gopniks who have not read all of Dickens laugh to tears. Filmed in the homeland of Winnie the Pooh and the Beatles, this selection of comedy films features both romantic and crime films with a distinct British humour, subtle, black and absurd.

Emma (2020)

The novelty of English cinema, where the star of the TV series “Queen’s Move” Anya Taylor-Joy played, is a modern interpretation of Jane Austen’s novel. The daughter of a British landowner, Emma Woodhouse, lives well with a rich loving father, and she is not going to marry in the near future. But the heroine of the comedy likes to unceremoniously arrange the personal lives of others, for example, her new girlfriend Harriet Smith. Imagining herself a connoisseur of human nature, Emma often gets into trouble and even quarrels with good friends. Will the charming but strict neighbor George Knightley be able to rein in the wayward beauty?

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

original name :
Emma

Actors:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Ex from the other world (2020)

The list of the best English comedies of recent years continues with an ironic and mystical film about the successful writer Charles Condomine, who lost his inspiration. For the sake of his return, the writer is even ready for a séance by the famous Madame Arcati to evoke the spirit of his late wife Elvira. The missus has always been Charles’ muse, and now he hopes for her help. But first, Condomine will have to deal with the love triangle that has arisen between him, the spirit of Elvira and the very real second wife Ruth.

Original title:
Blithe Spirit

Actors:
Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann, Judi Dench…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Yesterday (2019)

Fans of music and cinema should watch this nostalgic film comedy – a fantasy film about a provincial English musician who dreams of fame that never comes. After another failed performance, Jack decides to give up his creative career, but two accidents change his plans dramatically. Electricity goes out all over the Earth, and then the hero gets hit by a bus. He wakes up in a world where no one but him knows the songs of the Beatles. Not at a loss, the unfortunate singer begins to pass them off as his own, and turns into a celebrity, but at what cost?

Original title:
Yesterday

Actors:
Himesh Patel, Lily James, Joel Fry …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age Limits :
12+


Agent Johnny English 3.0 (2018)

Among comedies with purely English humor, it is worth paying attention to the film with the participation of the popular comedian Rowan Atkinson, the inimitable Mr. Bean. Here, his hero is the most clumsy agent of British intelligence, Johnny English, “canned” in the form of a school teacher. When hackers break into the intelligence database, Johnny’s finest hour comes. He has to complete an extremely difficult mission, having entered into a confrontation with a charming spy performed by a native of Berdyansk, model and actress Olga Kurylenko.

Original title:
Johnny English Strikes Again

Actors:
Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Kevin Eldon, Emma Thompson…

Country:
Great Britain, France, USA, China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
12+


You will die or we will refund your money (2018)

The beginning of this English comedy seems to be sad – the main character of the film, the young writer William, despaired of seeing his opuses published and decided to commit suicide. However, even in this case, he was unlucky and several suicide attempts failed. Determined to commit suicide, William hires an elderly hitman Leslie, ordering him himself. But soon he learns that his book is about to be published, meets the girl of his dreams, and changes his mind about dying. But Leslie is used to fulfilling contracts and is not going to make an exception for William.

Original title:
Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back)

Actors:
Tom Wilkinson, Aneurin Barnard, Marion Bailey …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Brothers from Grimsby (2016)

The film is based on the script of one of the best masters of comedy in the UK, Sacha Baron Cohen, where he plays the main role. The brothers from the fishing village of Grimsby were destined for different paths. Sebastian left his home to become a super agent in the service of the British government after hard training. Norman stayed at home and became a football hooligan and father of many children. Having learned that Sebastian lives in London, Norman goes to meet his brother and finds him in the midst of a secret operation, breaking all his plans.

Original title:
Grimsby

Actors:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Isla Fisher…

Country:
Great Britain, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Dream Vacation (2014)

The once-perfect couple of Douglas and Abby McLeod have a serious family crisis, and even the presence of three cute kids is not able to save their marriage. But the anniversary of Doug’s father is on the nose, and the whole Macleod family goes to Scotland, not wanting to upset the hero of the day with their strife. However, it is not possible to keep the impending divorce secret from relatives – their own children turn out to be too talkative, providing parents with many funny and awkward situations.

Original title:
What We Did on Our Holiday

Actors:
Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age Limits :
12+


Dance from here! (2013)

The authors of English films in the comedy genre do not get tired of rejoicing with unhackneyed plots with non-standard characters. A modest office clerk named Bruce doesn’t like his job and is ridiculed by his cheeky colleague Drew. The appearance of a charming new employee, Julia, only aggravates the conflict, forcing longtime opponents to fight for the girl’s attention as well. Fat Bruce has an unexpected advantage – in his youth he was engaged in ballroom dancing , so loved by Julia. Who will win the dance battle in the parking lot?

Original title:
Cuban Fury

Actors:
Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age Limits :
16+


Angels Share (2012)

The young criminal Robbie is so impressed by the birth of his son that right in the hospital he vows to start a new, honest life. But while the guy is facing forced labor, where he meets the overseer Harry, who offered to participate in a risky adventure. Harry teaches a repentant sinner to distinguish the aroma of expensive whiskey from everything else. Robbie’s “sniffing” talent, he intends to direct not at all to legal affairs, but to a grandiose scam with elite drinks.

Original title:
The Angels’ Share

Actors:
Paul Brannigan, Sivan Reilly, John Henshaw …

Country:
UK, France, Belgium, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Quartet (2012)

The action of the second directorial work of the magnificent Dustin Hoffman in the comedy genre takes place in England, in a nursing home for veterans of the opera stage. Despite the fact that everyone considers himself a star, it has its own traditions, the main of which is the annual gala concert for the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi. When the British opera diva Jean, performed by the inimitable Maggie Smith, arrives at Beecham House, colleagues reasonably count on her participation in the event. However, to persuade her is not at all easy, if not impossible.

Original title:
Quartet

Actors:
Maggie Smith, Tom Courtney, Billy Connolly …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Grabbers (2011)

After a meteorite falls into the sea off the coast of Ireland, alien monsters are found eating people. The first victims are local fishermen. The surviving inhabitants of the island understand that they have nowhere to run, and develop ways to protect themselves from monsters. Who would doubt that alcohol played an important role in this program, and, as it turned out, teetotalers-monsters can not stand alcohol.

Original title:
Grabbers

Actors:
Ruth Bradley, Richard Coyle, Russell Tovey …

Country:
Ireland, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


No hysterics! (2010)

Among British comedies with subtle humor, this film stands apart because of the spicy story about an English invention. A graduate of a medical school in the late 19th century, an aspiring physician , Mortimer Granville, becomes an assistant to Dr. Dalrymple, the luminary of medicine. Together with a mentor, Granville treats hysteria in women with an intimate massage. Mortimer soon realizes that there is not enough physical strength for all unsatisfied women, and decides to automate the process by patenting the first vibrator.

Original title:
Hysteria

Actors:
Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones…

Country:
UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Wild thing (2009)

English comedies with black humor have long been a hallmark of British cinema, and this film is in the top of the brightest representatives of the genre. The next target of the killer Victor Maynard, an intelligent aesthete and sissy, is a young swindler Rose. The girl should be punished for daring to fool a very influential businessman around her finger . But the middle-aged killer falls under her spell and turns from a pursuer into a defender, risking his life and career. Will the wayward English beauty appreciate his sacrifice?

Original title:
Wild Target

Actors:
Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint …

Country:
UK, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Easy Virtue (2008)

A sparkling illustration of the difference between American and English mentality on the example of a stiff British family, of which an emancipated US citizen became a member in the 1930s. The young aristocrat John Whittaker falls in love with the brave foreign racer Larita, marries her and brings her to meet relatives in Britain. The appearance of this girl without complexes causes the effect of an exploding bomb not only among John’s relatives, but also in the entire provincial English community.

Original title:
Easy Virtue

Actors:
Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth

Country:
Great Britain, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Like tough cops (2007)

The London policeman Nicholas Engel stood out too much for his zeal among his colleagues, which is why he was promoted, but exiled to the English province. In the quiet town of Sandford, there was no crime, and the local law enforcement officer Danny Butterman saw violations of the order only in the movies. But Angel’s sharp eye did not escape the similarity of several accidents to the result of malice. Will the provincial cops be able to become tough cops?

Original title:
Hot Fuzz

Actors:
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent…

Country:
Great Britain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Death at a Funeral (2007)

Despite its macabre title, this classic black comedy-style British film doesn’t leave a lingering aftertaste. Having gathered for the burial ceremony of an elderly relative, the aristocratic clan behaves according to the status – pompous and arrogant. But this guise quickly flies when a certain blackmailer announces obscene facts from the biography of the deceased, confirming them with documents. In order for the compromising material not to be made public, relatives will have to fork out, which not all of them like.

Original title:
Death at a Funeral

Actors:
Matthew McFadyen, Rupert Graves, Andy Nyman…

Country:
USA, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

A comedy with a specific British humor is an amateur film, among which, of course, there will be fans of the English science fiction writer Douglas Adams, the author of a book about galactic adventures. A simple earthling Arthur Dent learns that his friend Ford Prefect is an alien reporter. Moreover, Ford reveals to Arthur the plans of the Kindred to “demolish” the Earth in order to build a grandiose intergalactic path. The alien ships hovering over the planet are already ready to implement a plan to destroy the planet, and the two friends must hurry in order to have time to carry their feet.

Original title:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Actors:
Martin Freeman, Yassin Bey, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel, John Malkovich …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.7

Age Limits :
12+


A Zombie Named Sean (2004)

A funny English comedy with elements of a horror movie tells about an unremarkable employee of an electronics store, Sean. He spends his free time with friends in a pub or playing video games, depriving his girlfriend Liz of attention. Sean is so deaf to everything but his own pleasures that he misses the wake-up call of the start of the zombie apocalypse . When the guy realizes that those around him have become the living dead, he remains one of the few able to withstand a terrible scourge.

Original title:
Shaun of the Dead

Actors:
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield…

Country:
Great Britain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Real Love (2003)

The Christmas movie , a highly rated English comedy with a bunch of British A-list stars, takes place shortly before Christmas, when miracles are more possible than ever. Love suddenly overtakes all the characters, from a teenager and an immigrant to an aging singer and a prime minister. Nine separate romantic stories develop in parallel, eventually intersecting with each other, creating an indescribable feeling of celebration in the audience.

Original title:
Love Actually

Actors:
Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley…

Country:
UK, USA, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Big jackpot (2000)

The heroes of the cult crime comedy directed by English director Guy Ritchie are criminals and crooks trying to catch luck by the tail. A huge diamond falls into the hands of an assistant New York mafia , which he intends to deliver to the boss. But the reckless Russian killer and many more colorful characters claim the treasure, and among them is the charismatic gypsy played by Brad Pitt. All this motley company gets into funny and dangerous troubles, does things and says jokes that have become Internet memes.

Original title:
Snatch

Actors:
Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Brad Pitt …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.5, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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