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
88%

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
87%

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
87%

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

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