Movies Like 'Spaceballs' to Watch Next

Looking to laugh with more parody films like 'Spaceballs'? Look no further!
by Taylor Freitas — 

Rick Moranis (third from left) in 'Spaceballs'

Courtesy of YouTube

Set in a distant and fictional galaxy, Spaceballs is a sci-fi comedy directed, produced, and co-written by Mel Brooks that parodies the Star Wars series and other space-set franchises, including Star Trek and Alien.

The film follows a group of evil characters — led by Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) — from the planet Spaceball on their quest to steal breathable air from their neighboring planet of Druidia. As part of their mission, the Spaceballs decide to kidnap Druidia's Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) in hopes that her father, King Roland (Dick Van Patten), will provide them with a secret code in exchange for her release.

The plan is foiled when Vespa escapes, prompting Roland to send his mercenary, Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), after her. Setting out in a Winnebago spaceship with his half-man, half-dog sidekick Barf (John Candy), Lone Starr successfully rescues Vespa, which then makes them the target of Dark Helmet and the Spaceballs.

Released in June 1987, Spaceballs celebrates its 35th anniversary this month. To mark the occasion, Metacritic has compiled this list of similar movies to queue up next. Although their plots vary, all of the films on the list fit into the parody/spoof genre. They're set in various places and time periods, including medieval Britain (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), wartime Germany (Top Secret!), and 1980s America (This Is Spinal Tap). We've also included a few more movies from Brooks (including Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety) in case you enjoyed his directorial style in Spaceballs.

Here are 10 movies like Spaceballs to watch next, listed by Metascore.


'This Is Spinal Tap'

Embassy Pictures

This Is Spinal Tap

Metascore: 92
Best for: Fans of musical mockumentaries
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 82 minutes

Directed by Rob Reiner, This Is Spinal Tap is a mockumentary that follows fictional British rock band Spinal Tap on their 1982 tour of the United States. The band's key members include vocalist David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), three often-clueless rock stars trying to make a comeback after a series of mishaps. It also features Reiner as Marty Di Bergi, the filmmaker who chronicles Spinal Tap's exploits on the road. McKean, Guest, Shearer, and Reiner are set to reprise their roles in the recently-announced This Is Spinal Tap sequel (due in 2024).

"A heady flow of brilliant stupidity." — Jay Carr, The Boston Globe


'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'

Columbia Pictures

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Metascore: 91
Best for: Fans of history-themed parodies
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
Runtime: 91 minutes

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 parody of King Arthur's search for the Holy Grail. In the film, King Arthur (Graham Clapham) leads a group of knights on a quest across Europe, where they encounter a series of hilarious obstacles at every point of the journey. Monty Python and the Holy Grail marks the feature film directorial debuts of Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, who also play several characters in the movie. The film attained universal acclaim from critics and audiences and later served as the inspiration for Spamalot, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that debuted in 2005.

"A medieval-on-your-ass laff-riot." — Rob Fraser, Empire


'Young Frankenstein'

20th Century Fox

Young Frankenstein

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of comedic monster movies
Where to watch:

Runtime: 106 minutes

Young Frankenstein stars Gene Wilder as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the scientist who created the notorious monster. Hoping not to be associated with his infamous grandfather, Frederick changes the pronunciation of his last name and pursues a medical career in the United States — until he's called back to Transylvania to inherit his family's property. While there, he explores his grandfather's laboratory and ends up creating a monster of his own. Directed by Brooks and co-written by Brooks and Wilder, 1974's Young Frankenstein received Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound.

"Mel Brooks is home with Young Frankenstein, his most disciplined and visually inventive film (it also happens to be very funny)." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times



Paramount Pictures


Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of slapstick-heavy parodies
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 88 minutes

Released in 1980, Airplane! is a spoof on several air crash disaster movies that came before it. The film revolves on an ill-fated trip from Los Angeles to Chicago, where the crew and passengers get food poisoning from the in-flight meal. With the pilots unable to fly the plane, it's up to former fighter pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) to take over, with the help of his on-again, off-again flight attendant girlfriend, Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty). Airplane!, which was directed by Jim Abrahams and brothers David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, was nominated for a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe.

"The spoof that launched a thousand parodies – this is the one that's 100% funny." — Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle


'Blazing Saddles'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Blazing Saddles

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of Wild West comedies
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes, , Vudu
Runtime: 93 minutes

Brooks and Wilder team up again in Blazing Saddles, the Oscar-nominated comedy that parodies the Western film genre. In the movie, Cleavon Little stars as Bart, a railroad-worker-turned-sheriff who works to prevent his town of Rock Ridge from being taken over by greedy railroad big-wigs. He's joined by Jim (Wilder), a heavy-drinking sharpshooter known as the "Waco Kid," who helps him hatch a plan to defend Rock Ridge with the help of the local townspeople. After its 1974 release, Blazing Saddles received three Academy Award nominations (including Best Film Editing and Best Song) and two BAFTA Award nominations.

"One of the funniest awful movies ever made." — Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader


'Galaxy Quest'

Dreamworks Pictures

Galaxy Quest 

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of space-set comedy flicks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Paramount+, Vudu
Runtime: 102 minutes

Galaxy Quest is a 1999 sci-fi comedy directed by Dean Parisot, featuring Tim Allen as former TV star Jason Nesmith. The film follows Jason and his co-stars Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), Fred Kwan (Tony Shalhoub), and Tommy Webber (Daryl Mitchell), as they travel to conventions and meet fans of their TV series (also called Galaxy Quest). At one event, Jason is abducted by aliens who believe that the show is based in reality. While aboard their ship, he's forced to jump into action and protect himself, his colleagues, and his extraterrestrial captors from an external enemy.

"The wisecracks fly fast and furious." — Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post



Columbia Pictures


Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of military-themed comedies
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 106 minutes

Stripes follows down-on-his-luck cab driver John Winger (Bill Murray), who decides to join the U.S. Army with his best friend Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis). After enlisting, they're sent to basic training, where they quickly annoy their superior, Sergeant Hulka (Warren Oates), and meet their romantic interests, Stella Hansen (P.J. Soles) and Louise Cooper (Sean Young). Eventually, John and Russell are sent to Italy, where their shenanigans continue and put their entire platoon at risk. Released in 1981, the Ivan Reitman-directed Stripes includes some of the first film performances from up-and-coming actors lincluding Bill Paxton and Judge Reinhold.

"Stripes is an anarchic slob movie, a celebration of all that is irreverent, reckless, foolhardy, undisciplined, and occasionally scatological." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


'Top Secret!'

Paramount Pictures

Top Secret!

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of music-focused parody films
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 90 minutes

Top Secret!, an action-comedy directed by Abrahams and the Zucker brothers, offers a lighthearted take on several film genres, including Cold War and World War II spy movies and Elvis Presley-fronted musicals. It follows Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer), an American musician who visits East Germany, where he ends up joining a resistance movement — and falling for one of its leaders, Hillary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge). In addition to acting in the film, Kilmer also performs several songs on the Top Secret! soundtrack, including "Skeet Surfin'," which is a parody of multiple songs by The Beach Boys.

"A bunch of scattered laughs." — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune


'Team America: World Police'

Paramount Pictures

Team America: World Police

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of satirical action flicks
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes, , Vudu
Runtime: 98 minutes

Created by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Team America: World Police is an action-adventure comedy that pokes fun at American foreign policy, blockbuster action flicks, and left-wing celebrities. Both Parker and Stone lend their voices to several characters in the film (all of whom are portrayed by puppets). It depicts a fictional police force called Team America, which is tasked with defeating terrorism around the globe — through whatever means necessary. One of the squad's most critical missions involves taking down North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, who is intent on destroying America.

"This is all terrifically nasty and shocking stuff." — Hank Stuever, The Washington Post


'High Anxiety'

20th Century Fox

High Anxiety

Metascore: 55
Best for: Fans of horror-comedies and Brooks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 94 minutes

Brooks directed and stars in High Anxiety, a 1977 comedy that spoofs several Alfred Hitchcock movies, including Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo. He plays Dr. Richard Thorndyke, a psychiatrist who assumes a leadership role at the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous — and later learns that the last person in the job died under strange circumstances. From there, things continue to unravel until Richard is accused of murder and begins to suffer from a mental illness known as "high anxiety." During casting, Brooks tapped several of his frequent collaborators to appear in the film, including Madeline Kahn and Cloris Leachman

"As with all great spoofers, you can feel the love the director has for Hitchcock…Perhaps, he was too devoted, the film lacks daring." — Ian Nathan, Empire