Besties are generally thought of in terms of female friendships, but that doesn't mean guys can't have best mates, too!
Whether it's playing in treehouses as kids, smoking pot in basements as teens, or bar hopping as adults, best guy friends can spark with chemistry and instill us with appreciation for our own homies.
They might bicker and banter with each other, but close male friendships come from deep in the heart and it's great to see that love expressed. Here are my picks for the best movies with bromances!
18. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly
Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly
Comedy (1h 47m)
Most best friends work because they're either polar opposites or carbon copies. As you can guess from the title, the two idiots in Dumb and Dumber are two peas in a pod—but who's dumber?
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels star as two guys from Rhode Island who are blissfully ignorant of their stupidity. Their combined IQ would still be less than the average person's, which is why they get on so well. No one else is on their wavelength!
17. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
Directed by Stephen Herek
Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
Adventure, Comedy, Music (1h 30m)
When it comes to slacker duos—the kind who get stoned, play guitar, and flip burgers—there are lots to choose from in cinema.
Popular during the 1990s and and early 2000s, you have characters like Wayne and Garth, Jay and Silent Bob, Jesse and Chester, and Harold and Kumar who became emblems of the deadbeat stoner flick.
But Bill and Ted were the first of their kind, and for this reason they remain the best. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter play the dim-witted teenagers in 1980s California, who find themselves capable of time travel and yet call people like Napoleon "dude."
16. I Love You, Man (2009)
Directed by John Hamburg
Starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones
Comedy, Romance (1h 45m)
Guys aren't known for their gushing affections or emotional vulnerability, so adding "man" to the end of "I love you" makes it just macho enough for best buds to say it to each other on the big wedding day.
Sadly for Peter (played by Paul Rudd), he doesn't have a best man because he always chose girls over bros. That's why his family advises him to go on a "man date," which is how he ends up with a bestie named Sydney (played by Jason Segel) who's nothing like him.
The fact that I Love You, Man is the third collaboration between these two actors suggests they also have a bromance in real life!
15. Rush Hour (1998)
Directed by Brett Ratner
Starring Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Ken Leung
Action, Comedy, Crime (1h 38m)
In recent years, modern viewers have put Rush Hour under fire for its racial jokes, while others defend it as mutual fun that isn't motivated by malice. In fact, it's exactly the duo's mocking humor that forms the basis of their iconic friendship!
The identity clash between Lee and Carter (played by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, respectively) is what makes them so wholesome, memorable, and funny as they lay down the law in their own, vastly different ways across three whole movies.
14. Point Break (1991)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey
Action, Crime, Thriller (2h 2m)
Just a few years after playing the doltish teen Ted Logan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Keanu Reeves played one half of another movie bromance as FBI Agent Johnny Utah in Point Break.
This time, he's going undercover to infiltrate a gang of thieving... surfers? That's right! Who knew a laid-back surfer dude could be responsible for gang-related organized crime?
Surprisingly, Utah ends up becoming best pals with the blonde-locked ringleader Bodhi (played by Patrick Swayze), so much so that Utah decides to cross to the other side of the law. How's that for bromance?
13. Step Brothers (2008)
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen
Comedy (1h 38m)
Step Brothers features the ultimate hate-to-love couple... except this one isn't a romance but a bromance!
Although they're technically step brothers—obvious from the title—Dale and Brennan (played by John C. Riley and Will Ferrell, respectively) aren't blood-related, so we're counting their friendship for this list!
Step Brothers is one of the most popular comedies of the 21st century, shoving aside subtle, sophisticated humor in favor of slapstick gags and crude punchlines. As in Dumb and Dumber, these two men-children find a perfect match in their shared immaturity.
12. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Action, Adventure, Mystery (2h 8m)
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are two halves to an incredibly famous friendship, having moved beyond simple co-workers and into the realm of family in all but name.
Born from the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and adapted numerous times across cinema and television, the detective and doctor pair have cemented themselves as symbols of British fiction.
In Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law portray the collectively genius yet childish investigative pair, and their chemistry was so good that the three collaborated again for a sequel in 2011.
11. The Nice Guys (2016)
Directed by Shane Black
Starring Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice
Action, Comedy, Crime (1h 56m)
Ryan Gosling has proven his capabilities for both drama and comedy, with one of his standout comedic roles in The Nice Guys. Who knew Gosling had such a knack for comedic timing? His performance surely played a part in securing his role as Ken in Barbie.
In The Nice Guys, Ryan Gosling stars as a disheveled, drunk detective in a groovy 1970s Los Angeles alongside Russell Crowe as his deadly serious hitman competitor. Then, the old enemies-to-friends trope unfolds!
10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
Comedy, Drama (2h 41m)
Stunt doubles are usually background noise and far from the focus of a movie, but in Quentin Tarantino's ninth movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a courageous daredevil finally gets the spotlight—or, at least, shares it with the leading man.
Cliff Booth (played by Brad Pitt) doesn't mind sharing the attention with Western star Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), considering they're also best friends.
Rick may be the hero, but it's actually Cliff who's the strong and steady one, the shoulder to cry on when Rick dismays over being a has-been.
9. Pineapple Express (2008)
Directed by David Gordon Green
Starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole
Action, Comedy, Crime (1h 51m)
The bromance subgenre was already well-established by 2008, so David Gordon Green decided to switch things up and breathe new life into it by uniting bromance with stonerhood (i.e., the brotherly bond shared by fellow marijuana smokers).
In Pineapple Express, the bromance is shared between everyman Dale Denton (played by Seth Rogen) and his dealer Saul Silver (played by James Franco). A series of criminal mishaps force the two to bond beyond customer/dealer status and into true bromance.
Seth Rogen frequently appears alongside members of his real-life friend group in movies, and James Franco is one of his closest buddies.
8. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Directed by John Hughes
Starring Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
Comedy, Drama (1h 33m)
Only John Candy could make a character as annoying, ignorant, and loud as Del Griffith, yet still make us love him all the same. It takes Neal Page (played by Steve Martin) a little longer to warm up to Del, but that's only because he actually has to suffer his company.
When the two strangers get stuck traveling together for Thanksgiving, Neal must put up with Del's snoring, chatting, and constant mess for almost three days.
This does, however, teach him a lesson in tolerance, and we aren't sure how he managed to not cry during Del's "I like me" speech.
7. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
Directed by Martin McDonagh
Starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon
Comedy, Drama (1h 54m)
The Banshees of Inisherin is a rogue choice for this list as it explores the end of a bromance rather than the formation of one.
In desolate, rural Ireland of 1923, there aren't many friends to choose from. So, when Colm (played by Brendan Gleeson) suddenly ditches his lifelong drinking buddy Pádraic (played by Colin Farrell), Pádraic finds himself at a loss.
Gleeson and Farrell are the nation's favorite odd couple, having starred together in Martin McDonagh's other movie In Bruges. But here, we see what happens to a bromance during a rough patch as Colm threatens to cut off one of his fingers every time Pádraic speaks to him...
6. End of Watch (2012)
Directed by David Ayer
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
Crime, Drama, Thriller (1h 49m)
End of Watch is a documentary-style buddy cop movie that teeters on the edge of the found footage genre. Writer/director David Ayer blends drama, comedy, thriller, action, and crime together and successfully makes us think, laugh, gasp, and cry throughout.
Both tears and laughs come from the bromantic compatibility between Jake Gyllenhaal's Brian Taylor and Michael Peña's Mike Zavala, who give us a peek into the everyday lives of these two LAPD officers.
Stuck in a police car all day means partners are bound to become besties, which comes with all kinds of ups and downs on the job.
5. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield
Comedy, Horror (1h 39m)
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are a staple comedy pair of British cinema, especially highlighted in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy of films directed by Edgar Wright.
In each of these movies, the two of them play characters who end up in dangerous situations—whether it's a robot invasion or a sacrificial village cult or a zombie apocalypse—and get through them in comedic ways.
The first of the trilogy is Shaun of the Dead, in which two London losers who spend their time together either on the couch or on a bar stool are suddenly up against zombies, forcing both losers to put their heads together to make it through alive.
4. Superbad (2007)
Directed by Greg Mottola
Starring Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Comedy (1h 53m)
What's amazing about Superbad isn't just that it's genuinely hilarious, but the fact that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg started developing the script together when they were just 13 years old! That's why its depiction of high school life feels so authentic.
In Superbad, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera play two typical teenage boys (who are actually based on and named after the writers).
Seth and Evan are lairy, crude, and unpopular. In stereotypical tropish fashion, all they want is booze and girls—so they rely on their geeky friend Fogell (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to secure a fake ID. It doesn't go well. Oh, to be young again!
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
Action, Adventure, Fantasy (2h 58m)
One notable observation about the Lord of the Rings films is that men outnumber the women by quite a bit. You can read into that all you want, but here's one thing you can't overlook: the Lord of the Rings trilogy is basically one big bromance from start to finish.
Frodo (played by Elijah Wood) and Sam (played by Sean Astin) are two of the most important players in saving Middle-earth from Sauron's devastation, and they spend most of their journey isolated together away from everyone else (except for Gollum).
Their bromance is so strong that fans and non-fans alike often joke that their relationship is more romance than bromance!
Ultimately, the Fellowship of the Ring is basically a group of men who team up to save the world and learn the value of companionship. Hence bromantic quotes like: "I would have followed you, my brother, my captain, my King," and "What about side by side with a friend?"
2. Stand By Me (1986)
Directed by Rob Reiner
Starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
Adventure, Drama (1h 29m)
Stand By Me features one of the greatest kid friendship groups in cinematic history. Based on the 1982 novella by Stephen King, Stand By Me depicts a group of lads and their final voyage together before they split off into their own separate young adult lives.
Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell play the four boys who have starkly differing personalities, who decide to go on a hiking trip on Labor Day.
Where are they hiking to? A nearby town to find the dead body of a boy who went missing. What they don't expect is to learn so much about each other—and themselves—along their coming-of-age way.
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Directed by Frank Darabont
Starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
Drama (2h 22m)
Red (played by Morgan Freeman) and Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) have a different kind of bromance than most others. They aren't childhood friends or buddy cops... they only know each other because they got lumped together in the same high-security prison.
Red is a contraband smuggler who's already gotten used to his life sentence as the "only guilty man in Shawshank." The much younger Andy is a quiet newbie who was wrongly imprisoned for murder.
Together, they develop an iconic friendship that lays the foundation for what's often regarded as the greatest film ever made.