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Top 10 British Spoof and Satire Movies

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Rob Palin These movies are taking the mick. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today, we’ll be counting down our picks for Top 10 British Spoof and Satire Movies. For this list, we’ll be focusing on films that poke fun at specific genres, themes or historical figures and events. All of today’s entries boast strong British ties, be that through production companies, directors or cast members - so unfortunately the likes of Austin Powers won’t feature; he’s totally groovy but also an American creation. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Spoof and Satire Movies


These movies are taking the mick. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today, we’ll be counting down our picks for Top 10 British Spoof and Satire Movies.

For this list, we’ll be focusing on films that poke fun at specific genres, themes or historical figures and events. All of today’s entries boast strong British ties, be that through production companies, directors or cast members - so unfortunately the likes of Austin Powers won’t feature; he’s totally groovy but also an American creation.

#10 “Johnny English” (2003)

Let’s make a sophisticated start, with a secret agent caper crammed with slapstick gags, and a very British storyline. Rowan Atkinson takes the title role, as Johnny English is tasked with saving the United Kingdom from a rogue Frenchman, who’s aiming to overthrow the Queen. A witty and worthy pastiche of the super-spy genre, the screenwriters for this movie also worked on some of the James Bond films - so they sure know their stuff. And who could be better to spoof 007 than the man behind Mr Bean!

#9 “The Death of Stalin” (2017)

Set in the 1950s at the time of Soviet dictator Stalin’s death, this dark political satire boasts a stellar comedic cast, with everyone engaged in endless plotting and scheming. While the movie’s set during a notoriously harsh era in Russian history, defined by death, suffering and civil unrest, director Armando Iannucci skews the subject matter with his unique style and comic timing. Iannucci also created (or co-created) TV shows such as “I’m Alan Partridge” and “The Thick of It”, and fans of either series will recognise a familiar, farcical feel in this movie.

#8 “Hot Fuzz” (2007)

This police-drama spoof sees hot-shot London bobby, Nicholas Angel, relocated to the seemingly sleepy town of Sandford. But when a series of grisly ‘accidents’ occur, Angel suspects that something sinister is afoot. As Simon Pegg’s character has only his incompetent colleagues as back-up, an often-hostile community to question, and a dangerous swan on the loose, the film’s full of hilarious moments. And the spoof was so convincing, that during shooting Pegg and Nick Frost were often mistaken for real coppers.

#7 “Mike Bassett: England Manager” (2001)

With Ricky Tomlinson at the helm, this sporty spoof follows the unprecedented rise of an unconventional football boss, all the way into the international team. Of course, there are hiccups along the way, and Tomlinson’s Bassett cuts a frustrated figure at times, but with Rudyard Kipling as his guide and football cliches at his fingertips, he’s a good bet to succeed. The mockumentary style perfectly highlights the pain, passion and ridiculousness of the beautiful game, with every pinpoint parody hitting the back of the net.

#6 “Four Lions” (2010)

Though this film tackles a controversial topic, “Four Lions” is one of director Chris Morris’ finest comedy films. Following a group of would-be-terrorists in England who plot an attack but can’t decide how, when or where to stage it, the movie’s main themes are uncomfortably dark and serious - but this makes the lighter moments stand out even more. The characters’ constant bickering, general incompetence and all-out stupidity combine for a film quite unlike any other.

#5 “In the Loop” (2009)

Next up, another entry for Armando Iannucci. This acclaimed political farce follows British and American operatives trying to prevent the breakout of war. With Peter Capaldi’s foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker leading the line, it’s a standalone spin-off from “The Thick of It”, and it’s full of stumbling politicians trading increasingly impressive insults. If the inner workings of global politics are really like this, then now’s the time to worry. Straight up satire from start to finish, it’s tense at times but funny as hell, from the first f-word to the last.

#4 “Borat” (2006)

Starring the master character actor, Sacha Baron Cohen, this cringey comedy takes the mockumentary style to a whole new level. With an array of ever-quotable moments, “Borat” follows a Kazakh reporter’s investigative quest to discover what makes America tick. Although the film employed a very small lead cast, it managed to seriously upset most of Kazakhstan. And Baron Cohen even admitted to fearing for his life while filming the rodeo scene, where he reworks “The Star-Spangled Banner” into a fake Kazakh national anthem. All upstanding, please.

#3 “Shaun of the Dead” (2004)

One of the ultimate zombie spoofs, this film centres on the lives of Shaun and Ed, as they try to survive an undead apocalypse. With zombified friends, neighbours and loved ones appearing left, right and centre, it’s packed with iconic imagery and memorable lines. From Shaun’s white shirt (with red on it) to that famous showdown with Queen as soundtrack, it’s trademark Edgar Wright, and an endearing advert for the supposed safety of the humble pub.

#2 “Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

This Stanley Kubrick classic still stands as one of film’s finest satires of war and international diplomacy. Peter Sellers stars, playing a range of characters including the title role, as the movie somehow creates a lighter side to the threat of nuclear war. Such was Dr. Strangelove’s influence, it even inspired changes to real-life international policies, prompting a governmental rethink regarding the accessibility of nuclear warhead access codes. Talk about conveying a powerful message!

#1 “Monty Python's Life of Brian” (1979)

This biblical belter tells the story of one man, Brian, and his ongoing frustration as he’s forever mistaken for the Son of God. Riffing the Good Book in every conceivable way, “Life of Brian” touted serious controversy when it was released, and in fact it very nearly wasn’t made at all. EMI pulled out of the production days before shooting began, so ex-Beatle George Harrison set up his own production company and funded the film himself. It’s a story straight out of the bright side of life.
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