Saturday Night Live Stars on the Big Screen

by | September 26, 2014 | Comments

Saturday Night Live celebrates the premiere of its 40th season this weekend, and to celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of critically-acclaimed films featuring SNL alums. The movies listed here aren’t necessarily the best or the best-reviewed movies from these stars; rather, we wanted to give a sense of the range and versatility of the not-ready-for-primetime players. Featuring those who rose to prominence during their time on the show (Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Kristin Wiig) and a few you may have forgotten about (Robert Downey Jr., Julia Louis-Dreyfus), our list is a testament to SNL‘s continuing relevance as an incubator for some of the entertainment world’s brightest talents.


Adventureland
89%

Full of humor and nostalgia, and featuring wry supporting turns by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, Adventureland is a sweet, insightful coming-of-age comedy that will resonate with teens and adults alike.


Best in Show
94%

A fine example of writer-director-star Christopher Guest’s gift for improv comedy, Best in Show boasts an appealingly quirky premise and a brilliantly talented cast.


Bridesmaids
90%

A marriage of genuine characters, gross out gags, and pathos, Bridesmaids is a female-driven comedy features star-making performances from Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph.


City Slickers
90%

With a supremely talented cast (led by Billy Crystal) and just enough midlife drama to add weight to its wildly silly overtones, City Slickers uses universal themes to earn big laughs.


Elf
84%

A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell’s funny and charming performance as one of Santa’s biggest helpers.


Enough Said
95%

Wryly charming, impeccably acted, and ultimately quite bittersweet, Enough Said is a grown-up movie in the best possible way, and it offers a chance to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus play an intriguingly complex character.


48 Hrs.
93%

Marking an auspicious feature film debut for Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs. is a briskly paced action comedy that succeeds largely due to the outstanding chemistry between its two leads.


Ghostbusters
97%

An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, Ghostbusters derives many of its biggest laughs from Bill Murray’s hilarious deadpan wit and Dan Aykroyd’s enthusiastic geekiness.


God Said, Ha!
86%

God Said, Ha! plumbs poignant depths, but Julia Sweeney’s sharp, graceful wit makes this one-woman monologue a wise, big-hearted burst of uplifting — and perhaps therapeutic — entertainment.


Good Hair
95%

Funny, informative, and occasionally sad, Chris Rock’s Good Hair is a provocative look at the complex relationship between African Americans and their hair.


Groundhog Day
96%

Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Bill Murray’s dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.


Innerspace
82%

A manic, overstuffed blend of sci-fi, comedy, and romance, Innerspace nonetheless charms, thanks to Martin Short’s fine performance and the insistent zaniness of the plot.


Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
86%

Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and a spot-on comic performance from Robert Downey Jr. in this dark, eccentric film noir homage.


Mean Girls
84%

Sharper and darker than the average teen comedy, Mean Girls benefits from refreshing honesty and a terrific cast that includes Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Tim Meadows.


National Lampoon’s Animal House
90%

The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live‘s irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.


National Lampoon’s Vacation
93%

Blessed by a brilliantly befuddled star turn from Chevy Chase (as well as strong supporting work from Randy Quaid and a young Anthony Michael Hall), National Lampoon’s Vacation is one of the more consistent — and thoroughly quotable — screwball comedies of the 1980s.


Nebraska
91%

Elegant in its simplicity and poetic in its message, Nebraska is boosted by a poignant, bittersweet dramatic performance by Will Forte.


Obvious Child
90%

Tackling a sensitive subject with maturity, honesty, and wit, Obvious Child serves as both a showcase for Jenny Slate and a promising debut for writer-director Gillian Robespierre.


Punch-Drunk Love
79%

Odd, touching, and unique, Punch-Drunk Love is also delightfully funny, utilizing Adam Sandler’s comic persona to explore the life of a lonely guy who finds love.


School of Rock
91%

Full of high spirits and loads of heart School of Rock into a hilarious, rocking good time, thanks in part to sharp supporting work from Joan Cusack and Sarah Silverman.


Shrek 2
89%

Topical humor and exuberant vocal performances from Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy help to make Shrek 2 a funny, smart animated tale for audiences of all ages.


The Skeleton Twins
86%

Led by powerful performances from Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, The Skeleton Twins effectively mines laughs and tears from family drama.


This Is Spinal Tap
95%

Smartly directed, brilliantly acted, and packed with endlessly quotable moments, This Is Spinal Tap is an all-time comedy classic, and represents a high water mark for stars Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer.


Trading Places
88%

Featuring deft interplay between Eddie Murphy and Dan Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places is an immensely appealing social satire.


The Truth About Cats and Dogs
85%

Sharp, witty, and charming, The Truth About Cats and Dogs features a standout performance from Janeane Garofalo.


Wayne’s World
84%

An oddball comedy that revels in its silliness and memorable catch phrases, Wayne’s World is also fondly regarded because of its endearing leads — played with infectious goofiness by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.


Whip It
84%

Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches — and it features fine supporting performances by Kristen Wiig and Jimmy Fallon.

Tag Cloud

Arrowverse independent Funimation thriller video Super Bowl award winner classics Mary Tyler Moore comic books news VH1 rom-coms Shudder Animation Lifetime dogs Sony Pictures Spectrum Originals Television Academy based on movie cartoon Lifetime Christmas movies First Look politics talk show TCA Winter 2020 Kids & Family true crime anthology Disney Plus nature Star Trek Anna Paquin Warner Bros. sitcom golden globe awards child's play cancelled television Ghostbusters Vudu Tumblr stoner Sundance Now Red Carpet Family canceled zombies Western Columbia Pictures political drama Paramount Network Spike 2016 crossover Walt Disney Pictures romantic comedy Reality The CW hispanic singing competition Superheroes Mindy Kaling unscripted Adult Swim sequel critics Marvel Studios Oscars CBS All Access GoT hollywood Mudbound 99% technology Sundance TV 45 PBS Discovery Channel obituary Premiere Dates sequels Travel Channel zero dark thirty HBO Infographic versus IFC Valentine's Day DC Comics FXX facebook BBC Polls and Games franchise Syfy comics Set visit BET comic a nightmare on elm street Star Wars quibi adventure fast and furious dark Video Games ESPN Turner SDCC video on demand Freeform Character Guide DC Universe films YA Emmy Nominations ID Nickelodeon binge Binge Guide Lucasfilm A&E Black History Month 24 frames CW Seed composers casting halloween dragons Hallmark sag awards latino Winners PaleyFest spanish language aliens Music Ellie Kemper Crackle First Reviews christmas movies Extras OneApp Amazon Studios animated trailers doctor who dramedy Amazon Prime Pirates movies kids Countdown television cancelled TV series green book superhero ViacomCBS dc Showtime concert Disney+ Disney Plus Comedy cats robots stand-up comedy scorecard Musicals Fall TV cars comedies Trophy Talk finale historical drama Teen Box Office game of thrones james bond YouTube harry potter indie E3 adaptation Martial Arts Shondaland worst movies reboot Podcast asian-american 71st Emmy Awards Best and Worst tv talk toy story social media blaxploitation Paramount Plus justice league E! nfl Avengers SXSW Rock Endgame 2018 Tomatazos Apple TV+ LGBTQ VICE Paramount Peacock Hulu Hallmark Christmas movies universal monsters football Emmys ABC Family Quiz LGBT The Walking Dead DirecTV foreign boxoffice 20th Century Fox Musical name the review science fiction Amazon Prime Video TCA Awards Sneak Peek psycho TruTV renewed TV shows TIFF Holidays SundanceTV Film biography Captain marvel 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards teaser indiana jones ghosts parents San Diego Comic-Con ITV canceled TV shows reviews TNT miniseries Certified Fresh USA romance children's TV spanish Comedy Central series die hard Hear Us Out Winter TV chucky Calendar vampires discovery MCU serial killer Summer police drama directors American Society of Cinematographers crime drama Black Mirror ratings See It Skip It Christmas Trivia batman what to watch supernatural australia Tubi Year in Review Election Acorn TV El Rey Classic Film sports Reality Competition space FX spider-man crime thriller YouTube Premium Cannes deadpool Rocky TV renewals Heroines The Arrangement french Comics on TV 72 Emmy Awards movie TCA 2017 Marvel Television joker National Geographic hist Fantasy The Academy halloween tv festivals Marathons zombie 2015 streaming A24 Rom-Com Apple Awards Tour FX on Hulu book rotten movies we love game show GLAAD TV Cosplay jamie lee curtis Holiday nbcuniversal DC streaming service 2019 Netflix Christmas movies Masterpiece mockumentary Stephen King Lionsgate Country Epix black X-Men diversity cooking Apple TV Plus Universal theme song Interview VOD psychological thriller ABC Signature south america revenge Crunchyroll war witnail Drama mutant Alien MTV pirates of the caribbean 007 ABC RT21 golden globes best Pixar Sundance CBS satire TCA Dark Horse Comics IFC Films documentary Song of Ice and Fire 2017 Thanksgiving OWN Action Mary poppins TV Land Watching Series APB Pet Sematary twilight rotten breaking bad CMT HBO Go Opinion period drama Biopics GIFs dceu scary movies spain Fox News Women's History Month HBO Max President TLC 21st Century Fox Cartoon Network screen actors guild rt archives Mystery Turner Classic Movies boxing TV One Television Critics Association free movies 2020 strong female leads RT History japanese Nominations documentaries Disney streaming service stop motion laika Creative Arts Emmys all-time Brie Larson Writers Guild of America anime toronto disaster BET Awards NBC emmy awards remakes Mary Poppins Returns Comic Book cancelled cops medical drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt History Disney mission: impossible The Witch comiccon AMC Academy Awards Food Network WarnerMedia criterion The Walt Disney Company Britbox CNN Netflix MSNBC YouTube Red BAFTA Trailer Chernobyl Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Baby Yoda archives cinemax slashers WGN BBC America crime The Purge Rocketman Grammys USA Network spinoff Photos NYCC Pop Bravo Nat Geo Logo Pride Month cults richard e. Grant natural history Awards PlayStation Marvel TCM New York Comic Con Sci-Fi cancelled TV shows Disney Channel 4/20 DGA Toys Starz Amazon Film Festival worst Esquire BBC One FOX Pop TV werewolf spy thriller elevated horror TBS Elton John travel blockbuster Fox Searchlight Tarantino italian Superheroe docudrama transformers festival Ovation jurassic park Schedule Spring TV fresh Horror venice screenings