Jason Bateman is a force in Hollywood whose has spanned nearly 40 years. He first gained attention when he starred in the sitcom, Silver Spoons. He then went on to star as David Hogan in The Hogan Family, which cemented his place as a teen idol. In 2003, he appeared in the comedy series Arrested Development, which was a huge success and further demonstrated his success in comedy.
After the success of the show, Bateman embraced his success in the comedy genre, appearing in a string of successful comedy films that were all very well received and established him as a comedy actor. Up next, Bateman is set to star in the superhero comedy Superworld, which, per Slash Film, is set in a world where everyone has superpowers. In other related ventures, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Bateman will move behind the camera and direct John Cena in an upcoming Netflix action comedy. Details are scant on this film, so, until then, here’s a look at Bateman’s best comedy movies, ranked.
7 Thunder Force
Thunder Force was released on Netflix in 2021 and is a superhero comedy movie written and directed by Ben Falcone, starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer in leading roles. The film also features performances by Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff, and Taylor Mosby. The plot follows two childhood friends who invent a way to become superheroes in a world where criminals have developed superpowers. Bateman plays a supporting role as Jerry/The Crab and his performance is enjoyable.
6 Couples Retreat
Couples Retreat was released in 2009 and was directed by Peter Billingsley, marking his directorial debut. The film stars Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Kristin Davis, Malin Åkerman, Kristen Bell, and Jean Reno. The story centers around four couples who all come to a tropical island and are in very different places in their marriages. They have to participate in couples therapy for their place on the island, which results in some hilarious scenes. Bateman plays Jason, who is married to Bell’s character, Cynthia; they are experiencing extreme difficulties in their marriage. The film did not perform amazingly with critics, but was a success with audiences.
5 Office Christmas Party
Office Christmas Party is a 2016 Christmas-themed comedy film that was directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, featuring an ensemble cast including: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry, Kate McKinnon, and Jennifer Aniston. The film features Jennifer Aniston as a CEO who is trying to close her brother’s corporate branch, and he and his technical officer (Bateman) must throw a Christmas party to secure their future job. The film is thoroughly enjoyable and perfect for the festive season.
In 2011, the sci-fi comedy movie Paul was released and featured a collaboration between actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as well as a performance by Seth Rogan alongside Bateman. The film focuses on two English comic book fans who are traveling the US and encounter an alien outside of Area 51. The alien is interested in alcohol and cigarettes, and this makes for some comical scenes between the characters. Bateman plays Special Agent Lorenzo Zoli, who is hell-bent on capturing Paul. The film nods to several other alien-themed films and is a unique and hilarious experience.
3 Bad Words
Bad Words featured Bateman’s directorial debut when it was released in 2013. He stars as a middle-aged eighth-grade dropout who enters a national spelling bee through a loophole in the system. The film received mixed reviews, however, Bateman’s talents both as director and leading actor feel strong here, and his character is hilariously inappropriate throughout, making for very funny scenes.
2 Game Night
Game Night was released in 2018 and stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as a married couple (Annie and Max) who attend a game night with their friends, with this quickly descending into a real-life mystery after one of them is inexplicably kidnapped. Bateman received widespread acclaim for this performance and even received nominations from the Critics Choice Awards as well as the San Diego Film Critics Society, both of which praised his comedic tone. There is also discussion of a sequel which fans are hopeful for.
1 Horrible Bosses
Horrible Bosses was directed by Seth Gordon and released in 2011. The film features performances from Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. The film follows a trio of friends who decide to murder their abusive bosses, which creates some hilarious, over the top, and still relatable moments. The film received positive reviews and was a huge box office success, eventually landing a sequel film, Horrible Bosses 2, which was also successful.