4 best Melissa McCarthy movies on Netflix to watch (and 2 to skip)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Melissa McCarthy attends the Australian premiere of "The Little Mermaid" at State Theatre on May 22, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Melissa McCarthy attends the Australian premiere of "The Little Mermaid" at State Theatre on May 22, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage) /

Ever since the world came to know and love Melissa McCarthy from her breakout role as quirky chef Sookie St. James in Gilmore Girls, the actress and comedian slowly but surely took over the big screen with her next-level sense of humor.

There’s a reason McCarthy’s best blooper reels continue to go viral every few months, and it’s because she’s just as good in the scenes that are cut as she is in the scenes that make the movie. And oh, does she ever make every movie she’s in all the better for it.

In October 2023, two of McCarthy’s most popular comedy movies from about 10 years ago began streaming on Netflix. Identity Thief and Tammy both shot straight through the top 10 ranking on Netflix with fans rediscovering her classics. But out of the six Melissa McCarthy movies currently on Netflix, which ones are must-watches and which ones are skips?

HOLLYWOOD, CA- JUNE 30: Actress Melissa McCarthy arrives at the ‘Tammy’ – Los Angeles Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 30, 2014 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage) /


Watch! Released back in June 2014, Tammy stars McCarthy as the titular hot mess. After getting fired and finding out her husband cheated on her with their neighbor, she hits the open road with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon). Upon release, Tammy earned mostly negative reception from critics but still managed to pull over $100 million worldwide against an estimated $20 million budget. It’s one of McCarthy’s most underrated movies and truly one of her best comedy performances since Bridesmaids. Watch it while it’s on Netflix!

Identity Thief

Watch! In 2013, McCarty teamed up with Jason Bateman for the comedy movie Identity Thief, which critics didn’t love but audiences sure did. And that love came back around 10 years later when the movie landed on Netflix. McCarthy plays a con woman who steals Bateman’s straight-laced character’s identity, resulting in a cross-country chase with unexpected results. It’s truly a laugh-out-loud funny movie that will hit every time and deserves every bit of the attention it’s receiving a decade removed from its initial release.

Thunder Force

Skip! No movie had so much going for it than the Netflix original superhero comedy Thunder Force starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. Two Oscar-caliber actors joining forces… What could go wrong? Well, everything. Apart from some laughs care of McCarthy’s obvious improv, Thunder Force wasn’t quite a force as much as it was a disappointment. While it’s still worth a watch for its leading stars and quirks, you won’t miss much if you opt to skip.

Best Netflix movies - Thunder Force - movies on Netflix

St. Vincent

Watch! The same year she released Tammy, McCarthy also starred in comedy-drama film St. Vincent alongside Bill Murray and Naomi Watts. Since breaking out with Bridesmaids, the quaint dramedy was her first more “serious” role, and she shines just as bright. The movie centers on a single mother who leans on the assistance of her rough-around-the-edges older neighbor to watch her 12-year-old son. Murray and the film itself both earned Golden Globe nominations, but McCarthy fans will definitely want to watch this one on Netflix.

The Starling

Skip! McCarthy’s second Netflix original movie arrived mere months after Thunder Force dropped in 2021, but The Starling wasn’t much better. The fantasy dramedy follows parents grieving the loss of their young daughter as the mother is visited by a starling bird that helps pull her out of the depths of her grief. The movie didn’t earn very positive remarks from critics, though the performances of McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd were praised. If you like tearjerkers, feel free to give it a watch, but if you’re looking for a belly laugh, skip The Starling.

The Happytime Murders

Watch! Most people would consider The Happytime Murders a skip because it’s a weird, crude puppet movie that’s still a puzzling piece in McCarthy’s filmography. But who else would dare to star in an R-rated movie with puppets and somehow make it work other than Melissa McCarthy? Sure, it was a box office bomb that wasn’t well-reviewed, but she’s so funny in The Happytime Murders, even if it isn’t particularly good or her best movie. Give it a try on Netflix at your own risk.

Next. 53 best Netflix movies to watch (and 21 to skip). dark