The 20 Best Sci-Fi Comedy Movies of All Time, Ranked

Want a heavy dose of laughter with your time travel, aliens, and space war plots? Check out these incredible sci-fi comedy movies!
The 20 Best Sci-Fi Comedy Movies of All Time, Ranked

If you buy something using our links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Do you love sci-fi? How about comedies? If you fancy both, then you'll absolutely love the variety offered by sci-fi comedy films.

Few things are as exhilarating and engaging as a sci-fi comedy done right. It's the silliest hybrid genre around. From wacky aliens to space opera parodies, nothing could be goofier—or better at lifting your mood.

Do you have a taste for the otherworldly, the coolest of futuristic tech, and the most hilarious of situations? Here are my picks for the best sci-fi comedy movies you should watch if you haven't yet!

Note: I'm not including any superhero films on this list because they'd take up too much room. Plus, superheroes aren't exactly what come to mind when you think "sci-fi," so... no superheroes!

20. Spaceballs (1987)

Directed by Mel Brooks

Starring Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 36m)

7.1 on IMDb57% on RT

Decades before Family Guy and Robot Chicken did their hilarious parodies of Star Wars, Mel Brooks had already riffed on the franchise with Spaceballs. There's a lot that doesn't hold up with this movie, but it's still a fun watch, especially for fans of the genre.

In fact, Mel Brooks pokes fun at just about everything in this tacky cult classic: The Wizard of Oz, Planet of the Apes, Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey... you know, all the sci-fi landmarks.

A purposefully over-expositional critique of mass consumption, Spaceballs is great for cinephiles and non-cinephiles alike. The satirical points elevate it to something more than just empty-headed entertainment!

19. Repo Man (1984)

Directed by Alex Cox

Starring Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter

Action, Comedy, Crime (1h 32m)

6.9 on IMDb98% on RT

Repo Man sums up the 1980s sci-fi era in a hilarious way, and it all circles around Emilio Estevez as Otto Maddox, a down-on-his-luck punk rocker who takes a job as a repo man.

Turns out, one of Otto's repossessions has radiation-emitting aliens in the trunk, and anyone who's exposed to that ends up meeting an 80s low-budget sci-fi end. (Like Spaceballs, Repo Man is an allegorical satire of consumerism beneath all its B-movie silliness.)

Director Alex Cox struggled to get his black comedy out there, especially with it taking place during the Atomic Age of the 1960s, but once he did, it was a surprising overnight hit.

18. Coneheads (1993)

Directed by Steve Barron

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Michelle Burke

Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 28m)

5.4 on IMDb35% on RT

Third to Wayne's World and The Blues Brothers, Coneheads is up there as one of the best movies based on an SNL skit that still holds up today!

Steve Barron's ridiculous extra-terrestrial comedy really embraces how weird its own concept is, and it doesn't waste any effort trying to appeal to conventional tastes.

In Coneheads, Dan Aykroyd (who also starred in The Blues Brothers) plays an alien stranded on Earth, who gives himself a human name and takes on a job as a repairman to fit in with people.

17. Mars Attacks! (1996)

Directed by Tim Burton

Starring Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker

Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 46m)

6.4 on IMDb56% on RT

What do you get when you combine a star-studded A-list cast (who had no business being in a movie this bad), a B-movie plot, and a big studio budget? You get the infamous Mars Attacks! movie.

Whoever had the foresight to greenlight this project was laughing in the end, as it's now super famous despite bombing at the box office.

Based on the Topps trading cards, Mars Attacks! is a one-of-a-kind film that's more like an experience than a movie. It made history for its absurd premise and not-so-special effects, depicting an alien invasion where humans are all gullible, foolish buffoons.

16. Paul (2011)

Directed by Greg Mottola

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 44m)

6.9 on IMDb70% on RT

British and American comedy collide in Greg Mottola's nerdy road movie Paul. A slightly less crude version of Ted from Ted, Paul is the name of a generic-looking, anthropomorphic gray alien (voiced by Seth Rogen).

Writers and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play geeky sci-fi lovers who stumble upon Paul while traveling to the US for a Comic-Con event. Other big names like Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Jesse Plemons also appear in contrast to our English protagonists.

Not so surprising is the fact that Paul is a parody of the sci-fi genre, specifically Steven Spielberg films. Mottola even draws attention to this by giving Spielberg his own voice cameo in a flashback to 1980!

15. Idiocracy (2006)

Directed by Mike Judge

Starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 24m)

6.5 on IMDb71% on RT

Idiocracy is just as its title states: stupid characters getting into even stupider situations. Except, its parodic message is actually pretty smart.

Joe Bauers (played by Luke Wilson) is the guinea pig for human hibernation in 2005, but he's accidentally put to sleep until 2505. This is the first of many mistakes, as Joe wakes up to a dystopian world where humanity has quite literally devolved into... well, idiots.

Due to technological advancements that rendered human intelligence unnecessary, humanity's atrophied brain muscles have collectively turned into couch potato sludge.

Not an entirely unrealistic outcome, which viewers found more eerily plausible with the election of Trump as President.

14. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Directed by Garth Jennings

Starring Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Sam Rockwell

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 49m)

6.7 on IMDb60% on RT

Some people criticize The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for not adhering strictly to the books, but don't listen to them! Because if you did, you would be missing out on a really good time. Not everything has to be so serious and perfectionist!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy perfectly captures the lighthearted, adventurous mood of the novels, giving Douglas Adams's written ideas a cinematic shape he'd likely be proud of.

Martin Freeman is the universe-surfing everyman Arthur Dent. He's just an ordinary British guy with his cup of tea and dressing gown, who's perpetually confused throughout his hyperspace adventures.

13. Don't Look Up (2021)

Directed by Adam McKay

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep

Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi (2h 18m)

7.2 on IMDb55% on RT

Don't Look Up has a point to make, and this message ended up dividing critics. Some found it timely and insightful, while others thought it was too on-the-nose. But the message is there.

It's clear that this apocalyptic black comedy was conceived in a post-COVID world, illustrating a society split between believers and nonbelievers as a disaster threatens Earth.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play the two astronomers who discover an incoming comet and embark on a media tour to warn mankind of the possibility of human extinction.

"Don't look up" is the political slogan of those who choose to ignore the impending threat and chalk it up to government conspiracy. (It's a catchphrase that brings to mind real-life anti-vaxxers.)

Its depressingly conceivable premise is emphasized through dark comedy more than drama, and who better to direct a political and societal commentary film than Adam McKay?

12. Men in Black (1997)

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino

Action, Adventure, Comedy (1h 38m)

7.3 on IMDb91% on RT

Men in Black is an undeniable sci-fi comedy classic. Funny thing is, it could have all ended up a little differently if director Barry Sonnenfeld hadn't stuck to his guns when it came to casting.

The producers wanted Chris O'Donnell and Clint Eastwood to play the lead roles, but thankfully Sonnenfeld got his way and we were all spared the disaster that this movie could've been.

Instead, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith headline as the suit-and-sunglass-wearing duo who work for the MIB, a secret organization that polices aliens and wipes them from the public's memory. Kind of like wizards hiding from muggles, but funnier.

11. Galaxy Quest (1999)

Directed by Dean Parisot

Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 42m)

7.4 on IMDb90% on RT

Galaxy Quest is the gold standard of Star Trek spoofs. But even if you aren't a Trekkie, there's a lot to enjoy in this movie! Dean Parisot pays homage to the Star Trek fandom while also poking fun at them.

Tim Allen sits in the captain's seat as Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, smack-bang in the middle of the starship. Or, rather, the set of a starship. Taggart is actually just a TV show character played by the attention-seeking Jason Nesmith.

When humanoid aliens ask for his help, he assumes they mean for promotional purposes—not that they're actual aliens asking him to face off an intergalactic warlord. Ha!

10. They Live (1988)

Directed by John Carpenter

Starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster

Action, Horror, Sci-Fi (1h 34m)

7.2 on IMDb86% on RT

In John Carpenter's They Live, alien overlords are controlling the masses through subliminal messages. The thing is, these alien overlords all look like regular people.

Roddy Piper plays the Los Angeles drifter Nada, who finds a pair of sunglasses that shows him which people are normal and which people are actually the aliens who are manipulating us to consume, breed, and conform. Like extra-terrestrial X-ray goggles!

Who knew a social commentary condemning Reagan-era consumerism could be so entertaining? They Live blends sci-fi, comedy, action, horror, and thriller into one, providing a potent allegory about mass media that's been sneaking its way into pop culture ever since.

9. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Directed by Stephen Herek

Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Adventure, Comedy, Music (1h 30m)

6.9 on IMDb82% on RT

There are three installments in the Bill & Ted movie franchise, but of course I have to go with the first one! Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter play dimwitted besties who will turn the world into a musical utopia, provided that they pass history class...

Rufus (played by George Carlin) is sent back in time from the year 2688 to ensure that neither of them fails. He does this by time-hopping between different time periods and giving them real-life inspiration from folks like Napoleon to Abraham Lincoln.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is the quintessential slacker comedy—easily mistaken for a stoner film due to its laid-back, brain-dead teenage protagonists—and a hallmark of 80s cinema.

8. Asteroid City (2023)

Directed by Wes Anderson

Starring Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks

Comedy, Drama, Romance (1h 45m)

6.5 on IMDb75% on RT

Asteroid City isn't just Wes Anderson's most recent movie as of this writing, but it also has one of the biggest ensemble casts of any of his films. Most of the stars didn't even get paid much—they simply did it for the joy of being in an Anderson movie.

Asteroid City is the auteur's first sci-fi entry, unfolding as a metanarrative about a mythical UFO sighting in a Southwestern desert.

Minimal dialogue, pastel colors, retrofuturism, and gorgeously symmetrical cinematography. You don't even need me to tell you it was directed by Wes Anderson!

Sure, it's far from his most acclaimed work, but Asteroid City is still a mile better than any lazy mainstream sci-fi flick. It had a lot to live up to compared to Anderson's prestigious filmography.

7. The World's End (2013)

Directed by Edgar Wright

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine

Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 49m)

6.9 on IMDb89% on RT

Director Edgar Wright has described The World's End as "a boys night out movie, gone wrong." That's an understatement, given all the crazy sci-fi shenanigans that happen throughout it!

Simon Pegg stars as Gary King, a 40-year-old man who drags his old friends back to their hometown to complete the pub crawl they failed to finish 20 years prior. They resolve to see it through this time, and nothing's going to get in their way—not even aliens.

The World's End is a fun and contemplative conclusion to Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy that started with Shaun of the Dead, each one also starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

6. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Directed by Boots Riley

Starring LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy (1h 52m)

6.9 on IMDb93% on RT

Sorry to Bother You starts out as a fashionable tale of institutionalized racism, in which Cash (played by LaKeith Stanfield) must use his "white voice" to make telemarketing sales.

As his fake, whitewashed identity allows Cash to climb to the top floor, his relationships and integrity slowly deteriorate.

The thing is, Sorry to Bother You is a red herring movie that's best suited for those who have an open mind and a love for the bizarre. When the sci-fi elements kick in, you'll be seriously floored.

In fact, it's so weird that it wouldn't surprise me if viewers walked out of theaters when the characters starting snorting dupe cocaine and turning into "Equisapien" horse people who are begging for mercy in the bowels of the Earth (as a metaphor for capitalist labor). Yeah, it's weird...

5. About Time (2013)

Directed by Richard Curtis

Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy (2h 3m)

7.8 on IMDb70% on RT

About Time is technically a comedy-drama and the only pick on this list that will probably make you cry. But it's also funny in that quaint British, Hugh Grant kind of way. (It is, after all, a Richard Curtis film!)

None of the romance in About Time is sappy or clichéd. Rather, Tim Lake (played by Domhnall Gleeson) is a hopeless romantic living in an idyllic coastal family home in Cornwall, and the whole story is brimming with genuine heart and warmth.

About Time is more than just about finding love, which he does do with Mary (played by Rachel McAdams). Tim's father (played by Bill Nighy) reveals that all the men in his family have time-traveling abilities, which comes with various pitfalls and lessons we can all learn from.

4. Ghostbusters (1984)

Directed by Ivan Reitman

Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver

Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 45m)

7.8 on IMDb95% on RT

Ghostbusters is the ultimate sci-fi comedy, right down to its core. There are lasers, supernatural entities, Bill Murray... and it was made in the 1980s! It doesn't get any more classic than that.

When a paranormal event occurs, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! The detective organization made up of dismissed parapsychology professors, played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis.

As one of the first-ever blockbusters, Ghostbusters became hugely popular and influential. It has since spawned four sequels and reboots, most of which feel like flogging a dead horse. The original remains the best of the franchise and one of the best sci-fi comedies ever.

3. Poor Things (2023)

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe

Comedy, Drama, Romance (2h 21m)

8.4 on IMDb93% on RT

Poor Things isn't a movie to watch if you're easily freaked out. Nominated for multiple Oscars, Poor Things is about a baby's brain that gets implanted into a woman's body (played by Emma Stone).

You can't say Poor Things isn't original. The lavish set designs that combine the past with the futuristic (and the colorful with the black-and-white) feel like magical paintings come to life, pulling us from Victorian London to Lisbon to Alexandria.

The implantation is conducted by the mad scientist-looking surgeon Godwin Baxter (played by Willem Dafoe), who records Bella's progress from infant to prostitute to socialist intellectual.

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Starring Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis

Action, Adventure, Comedy (2h 19m)

7.8 on IMDb93% on RT

Science fiction allows filmmakers to push the boundaries of imagination and come up with all sorts of wild concepts. In Everything Everywhere All at Once, this means verse-jumping across timelines to save the world from being destroyed by an Everything Bagel.

For all its absurdist comedy and surreal cinematography, Everything Everywhere All at Once is actually a super heartfelt introspection into the human heart and mind.

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert explore themes of generational trauma, spirituality, presence, existentialism, sexuality, neurodivergence, and shared ethnic identity.

The small team behind this complex and grand production is shocking—and they were no doubt shocked by winning Best Picture, too!

1. Back to the Future (1985)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi (1h 56m)

8.5 on IMDb93% on RT

Back to the Future came together almost supernaturally perfect. Making a film this good is as hard as trying to capture a bolt of lightning, and in the words of Dr. Emmett Brown: "Unfortunately, you never know when or where it's ever going to strike."

The Spielberg-esque adventure was actually directed by Robert Zemeckis, who conceived the idea with Bob Gale. Both longed for a successful collaboration, and man did they get it!

Michael J. Fox stars as the skateboarding teenager who accidentally travels back in time to the 1950s, where his own mother falls in love with him. The sequels that followed were good fun, but they don't hold a candle to this pinnacle of blockbuster and sci-fi cinema history.