Top 10 Greatest Movie Satires
#10 - AMERICAN PSYCHO [2000]

—"Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?"

—"They're OK."

—"Their early work was a little too New Wave for my tastes but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor . . . In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to Be Square," a song so catchy, more people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends, it's a personal statement about the band itself."

#09 - American Beauty [1999]
American Beauty [1999] Image

—"Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go fuck himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus."

—"Your father seems to think this type of behavior is something to be proud of."

—"And your mother seems to prefer I go through life like a fucking prisoner while she keeps my dick in a mason jar under the sink."

#08 - Fight Club [1999]
Fight Club [1999] Image

"Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you."

#07 - The Great Dictator [1940]
The Great Dictator [1940] Image

"Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you . . . who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder . . . You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!"

#06 - Duck Soup [1933]
Duck Soup [1933] Image

"If any form of pleasure is exhibited, report to me and it will be prohibited! I'll put my foot down, so shall it be . . . this is the land of the free! . . . If you think this country's bad off now, just wait till I get through with it! The country's taxes must be fixed, and I know what do with it. If you think you're paying too much now, just wait till I get through with it!"

#05 - A Clockwork Orange [1971]
A Clockwork Orange [1971] Image

"You needn't take it any further, sir. You've proved to me that all this ultraviolence and killing is wrong, wrong and terribly wrong. I've learned me lesson, sir. I've seen now what I've never seen before. I'm cured. Praise God!"

#04 - This Is Spinal Tap [1984]
This Is Spinal Tap [1984] Image

—"Do you feel that playing rock 'n' roll music keeps you a child? That is, keeps you in a state of arrested development?"

—"No. No. No. I feel it's like, it's more like going, going to a, a national park or something. And there's, you know, they preserve the moose. And that's, that's my childhood up there on stage. That moose, you know." 

—"So when you're playing you feel like a preserved moose on stage?"


#03 - M*A*S*H [1970]
M*A*S*H [1970] Image

"Attention. Tonight's movie has been M*A*S*H. Follow the zany antics of our combat surgeons as they cut and stitch their way along the front lines, operating as bombs . . . operating as bombs and bullets burst around them, snatching laughs and love between amputations and penicillin."

#02 - Network [1976]
Network [1976] Image

"There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today . . . We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since men crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that . . . perfect world . . . in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused."

#01 - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [1964]
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [1964] Image

"Sir! I have a plan! Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!"


User Comments - Add a Comment
Tom - 2009-04-02 08:12:00

I'm not quite sure how American Psycho, Fight Club, and A Clockwork Orange count as satires. They may have some social commentary in them, but they aren't really satirical movies in general. One satirical, sarcastic, and/or scathing line does not qualify a movie as satire. The rest were great choices, though. Especially Duck Soup.

Matt - 2009-04-02 23:12:44

Tom, you're a moron. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Allie - 2009-04-27 00:35:28

I second Matt's response. If you can't see the blatantly satirical content in those movies, then you're obviously just the type the satire is about.

Walt - 2009-05-10 08:22:26

Geez, ou missed the best AP quote of all... Patrick: You're telling me you've never gotten it on with a girl? Elizabeth: No. I'm not a lesbian. Why would you think I'd be into that? Patrick: went to Sarah Lawrence.

whokebe - 2009-07-05 21:18:08

I agree. Tom, you are an idiot.

Dillon - 2009-07-13 14:24:04

A sharp migraine came over me as a predicament suddenly presented itself. Under normal circumstances I would feel compelled to stand-up for a Tom, and side with the underdog. But this conflicted with a rage that wass growing in me. A hatred towards his exclusion of such modern classics that should unquestionably make up the film category that is satire. No. I won't respect his prejudice against fresh humor, cloaked in the guise of personal preference. "Tom.. you're an idiot. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return some video tapes."

Jordan - 2009-08-30 07:02:08

To everyone that isn't Tom- Satire: I do not think it means what you think it means

Not Tom - 2009-09-19 16:31:57

choose your battles wisely young grasshopper

Doug - 2009-10-01 02:50:48

Jordan is right. So is Tom. A satire is, by definition, a comedy, and a comedy is, by definition, a drama where all conflicts are brought to a satisfactory, and often, but not always, feel-good conclusion. in other words, unambiguous Are fight club, clockwork orange, and american psycho great social commentaries? yes. are they satire? uhhhhno

K - 2009-11-13 05:33:49

What definition are you using? Is it the wrong definition? I think it is. From Wiki: [1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.

Dave - 2009-11-14 23:09:10

Going by that (accurate) definition of satire, then fight club is most defiantly of a satirical nature.

Tonio - 2010-04-21 13:16:51

@dillon: I wouldn't exactly call this fresh humor- every word ripped from the lines of movies ten years old or more.

xxxx - 2011-02-08 12:08:10


Oh Dear Lord - 2011-06-06 21:43:28
I'm glad to see Dr. Strangelove made it, and it's #1, how appropriate.
Ernie - 2013-09-21 21:49:21

Re "Network": That movie is like a lot of Chayefsky's work, in that it accurately predicts things that were to come in our society that many at the time of its production could not see. That and "The Hospital" speak directly to people of today because of those movies' depictions of what would have been considered bizarre situations in their time, but as we can plainly see, they predicted events to come for our nation. For example, every time I hear of a friend's problems with the medical establishment, I hearken back to "The Hospital" and imagine Paddy Chayefsky somewhere laughing at us and saying "See? I told you assholes, but you just thought it was a clever plot device! You wouldn't listen!" Or when I see ads for the insipid mess that is reality TV and how TV is saturated with that type of programming, I think about "Network" and its statements about 1970s TV, and see how closely he predicted our viewing habits 30 or more years later. The man was amazing.