Picking the best Will Ferrell movie is a bit like picking your favorite kid (I’d imagine if I had kids). You like them all for different reasons, you know? Will Ferrell went on an absolute tear throughout the 2000s, releasing some of the most popular and beloved comedies of the modern movie era. There are so many options that if someone named their favorite Will Ferrell movie, you could probably agree with almost any of them. But let’s go ahead and get the answer out of the way. The answer is Step Brothers and here’s why.
So, to take on this titanic task, you have to cycle through all of those classic Will Ferrell roles and make sure to give credit where credit is due. A Night at the Roxbury definitely took his SNL fame and put it to good use, starting his long streak of top-notch comedy efforts. But to call it his best movie might be a little bit of a stretch. Zoolander was a great role for Ferrell, but that was more of a Ben Stiller showcase. Now, the first big hurdle in the Ferrell lineup is definitely Old School. This could be the favorite Ferrell choice of many. After seeing that movie, is it possible to hear “The Sound of Silence” without thinking of Ferrell in a pool? Finally, when you come down to it, you have to pick between what I’d argue are Ferrell’s heaviest hitters — Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Step Brothers. When it came down to it, Step Brothers was the only choice for me.
Now, if you caught me on a different day, I could probably be convinced to choose Anchorman or Talladega Nights. In addition to Step Brothers, these movies all have Will Ferrell front and center, doing what he does best. Playing a ridiculous character and delivering lines with perfect goofball energy and timing. But Step Brothers makes the smart choice of giving Ferrell a co-star who is every bit his comedic equal in John C. Reilly. Sure, Anchorman has the great ensemble of the Channel 4 news team and John C. Reilly is Ferrell’s best friend/partial nemesis in Talladega Nights, but in Step Brothers, the two share the screen equally and it’s perfection. If you tried to pair any other two actors as massive man-children and gave them the same premise and lines, it wouldn’t have landed nearly as well as Step Brothers did. Joke for joke, Step Brothers is just the best of the bunch. It’s also just a little bit weirder than the other entries, which I think gives it more longevity. Now, do the critics agree with me that Step Brothers is the best Will Ferrell movie?
Nope! The Rotten Tomatoes critic score for Step Brothers is sitting at a 55%. The audience score is better, at a 69%. But hey, the critic score for Anchorman is only 66% so what do they know? As for the box office, the movie did just fine. It brought in over $128 million worldwide. But it’s a Will Ferrell comedy released at the peak of his powers, so this isn’t too surprising. But hey, you can’t base your choice for the best Will Ferrell movie on how much money it makes or if the critics loved it. You just have to answer the question — did it make you laugh?
While the immature humor might be grating for some people, it’s going to be pitch-perfect for others. With Step Brothers, your mileage really may vary. But for me, the movie is filled with quotables and hilarious moments. And really, isn’t that what the best Will Ferrell movie should be? The fact is, we don’t really get too many Will Ferrell roles like this anymore, as his movie roles are less frequent and he tends to do more producing nowadays. But Step Brothers is a Will Ferrell comedy you can come back to time and time again and have a good laugh. The fact is, Step Brothers is so funny, the last time I saw it I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur. And I really can’t give a more ringing endorsement than that.