5 best Netflix comedy movies to stream on the 4th of July

A man and a woman look at each other in Set It Up.

Happy Fourth of July! Hopefully, you get the day off from work for a little rest and relaxation. Your day will likely be spent outside as you enjoy Fourth of July activities, from hot dogs and fireworks to barbecues and beaches. After a long day, we can’t think of a better activity than firing up Netflix and watching a movie.

Since the Fourth of July is a time for celebration, comedy is the perfect genre to cap off a great day. Netflix’s selection of comedies is elite, with many classics and originals ready to stream with the push of a button. Though many of these comedies have nothing to do with America, they will provide solid vibes and countless laughs. Consider watching these five comedies on the Fourth of July. Our picks include a legacy sequel for an iconic character and the perfect adventure movie from the 1980s.

Need more recommendations for the holiday? Then check out the best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on Max.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (2024)

Eddie Murphy smiles at Paul Reiser in "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F."

The Fourth of July is typically a popular date for studios to release new movies. Not every high-profile movie has to premiere in a theater. Thanks to streaming, Netflix has arguably the buzziest release of the week in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, the fourth film in the iconic Beverly Hills Cop franchise. It’s been nearly 30 years since audiences have seen Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley, but the fast-talking detective is back in the 90210 for a new case.

Axel’s estranged daughter, Jane (Taylour Paige), is a criminal defense attorney in Beverly Hills. After a threat on Jane’s life, Axel leaves Detroit for Beverly Hills to investigate. Axel can’t do this alone, so he calls upon his old friends Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton), and a new cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to protect his daughter. Axel F is one of the rare nostalgia sequels that improves upon the previous entry in the franchise.

Stream Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F on Netflix.

Set It Up (2018)

Glen Powell and Zoe Deutch in Set it Up
Treehouse Pictures

Glen Powell is having his movie star moment with Hit Man, Netflix’s excellent romantic dramedy from director Richard Linklater. For some, Hit Man is their first experience with Powell as a leading man. However, real fans knew Powell had the goods in this genre after 2018’s Set It Up.

Harper Moore (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie Young (Powell) are overworked and underappreciated assistants. Harper works for Kirsten Stevens (Lucy Liu), an editor of an online sports publication. Charlie’s boss is Rick Otis (Taye Diggs), an unstable venture capitalist. After a chance meeting in a lobby, Harper and Charlie have an epiphany. If Harper and Charlie can set up their bosses on dates, the two assistants will have more time for their personal lives. As Kirsten and Rick get closer together, so too do Harper and Charlie, blurring the lines between friend and romantic partner.

Stream Set It Up on Netflix.

Back to the Future (1985)

Marty, Jennifer, and Doc Brown in the Delorean in "Back to the Future."
Universal Pictures

If you’re looking for a perfect movie from start to finish, good luck finding one better than Back to the Future. Quentin Tarantino agrees. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a teenager living in 1985. While working on an experiment with his friend and scientist, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), Marty accidentally winds up in 1955 after riding in a time-traveling DeLorean.

Stuck in the 1950s, Marty links up with Doc to figure out how to return to 1985. Without plutonium, the duo must channel a lightning strike to power the DeLorean and send Marty into the future. However, it’s not that simple once Marty meets the younger versions of his parents, Lorraine (Lea Thompson) and George (Crispin Glover). To make matters worse, Lorraine falls for Marty instead of George. Now, Marty must make his parents fall in love before returning to 1985, or he will cease to exist. Great Scott, this is going to be difficult.

Stream Back to the Future on Netflix.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Daniel Craig stands and ponders in a scene from Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Like the party in the film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a crowd-pleasing mystery perfect for watching in big groups, i.e., a Fourth of July gathering. Tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his five friends — Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), and Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.) — to his Greek private island for a murder-mystery party.

Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) mistakenly receives an invite, too, but Miles allows the detective to remain on the island. After staging a fake death for the party, Miles and his guests are stunned when a real murder occurs. Who did it? Luckily, a real-life detective is on the scene to solve the crime.

Stream Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix.

Shrek (2001)

Shrek talks down to Donkey in Shrek.
DreamWorks Pictures

Choosing an animated adventure might be your best bet if you’re watching with young kids. Shrek is the rare animated movie to satisfy adults and children. In this hilarious fairy tale, we meet Shrek (Mike Myers), an angry ogre who wants to be left alone. When a group of fairy-tale creatures shows up on his doorstep, Shrek throws a tantrum and heads to Duloc to speak with Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow).

Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad. If Shrek rescues Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a tower guarded by a dragon, then Farquaad will remove the creatures from his swamp. With the talkative Donkey (Eddie Murphy) by his side, Shrek sets out to liberate the princess. Saving Fiona is only half the battle, as a dark secret threatens the deal.

Stream Shrek on Netflix.