50 Greatest Comedies of the 21st Century

From rom-coms to raunch-coms, 'Anchorman' to 'Wet Hot American Summer' – the funniest movies of the new millennium so far

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'School of Rock' (2003)
Andrew Schwartz/Paramount/Scott Rudin Prods./Mfp/New Century/Sor Prods./Kobal/REX/Shutterstock25/50

25. 'School of Rock' (2003)

There were always hints of Jack Black's potential greatness in the acoustic-metal grandiosity of Tenacious D and the record-clerk pomposity of High Fidelity – but it took Richard Linklater to get a full-service performance out of him. The comedian's passion for the guitar gods of yesteryear made him the only choice to play a would-be rocker who fakes his way into a fifth-grade substitute teaching gig and turns his musically gifted students into his backing band. The jam sessions and "rock appreciation and theory" classes find Black perfectly in his element, but little touches make the difference, too: His poor, rumpled approximation of what a teacher is supposed to sound like; his little shimmy toward Joan Cusack to Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen": and his tender treatment of a young singer with stage fright. Play this comedy loud. ST

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