Movies Like 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story' to Watch Next

Looking for more larger-than-life parodies and fake biopics? These spoofy movies will scratch your itch.
by Amber Dowling — 

'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story'


Not everyone knew what to expect heading into Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. But as anyone who has ever heard an Al Yankovic cover knows, it was bound to be spoofy. 

Sure enough, the Daniel Radcliffe-starring project has received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising the movie for its parody of traditional music biopics, with a story that leans into made up moments in the performer's life for laughs.

It's a unique role for Radcliffe, who plays Yankovic in all seriousness despite the silly situations he finds himself in. His commitment to the character is part of what makes the whole movie work. He isn't the only one who goes for it though: Evan Rachel Wood is a maniacal version of Madonna, Toby Huss is Yankovic's scary, salesman-beating and accordion-hating father, and Rainn Wilson is the ultimate strange artist, Dr. Demento.

The entire project began as a Funny or Die sketch conceptualized by director Eric Appel, and is co-written by Yankovic himself. Leading up to the premiere the artist didn't shy away from his disdain towards typical music biopics in the press, revealing they include too many made-up moments for dramatic effect. So, he figured, why not go for it and just have everything completely unravel in his own film?

It's not the first time a movie has used satire and comedy for a bigger social commentary, nor will it be the last. But if you dug what Weird was selling and want to take a deeper dive into the fake biopics and movie parodies that have hit with critics over the years, read on to discover 10 movies, ranked by Metascore, to watch next. 


'A Hard Day's Night'

United Artists

A Hard Day's Night

Metascore: 96
Best for: Beatles fans
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 87 minutes

Director Richard Lester pulls out all the stops for this comedy musical doc, which follows two days in the life of the Beatles. George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul McCartney, and Ringo Starr all appear as they prepare for an upcoming performance, working together to keep McCartney's grandfather out of trouble in the process. The film was nominated for best writing and best music at the 1965 Academy Awards, and has earned plenty of critical praise over the years, easily catapulting it to the top of this list. 

"Still a marvel of verve and bone-dry wit, the movie has been treated kindly by time." — David Segal, The Washington Post


'This Is Spinal Tap'

Embassy Pictures

This Is Spinal Tap

Metascore: 92
Best for: Fans who are the most metal ever 
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 82 minutes

Director Rob Reiner and a team of top parody writers (including Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer) got together for this 1990s gem, which delivers the fictional band Spinal Tap. The film follows England's loudest band and film director Marty DiBergi (Reiner) as they embark on a memorable tour. Guest, Michael McKean, and Shearer star as the metal trio in question. Fast forward to today and the film is so legendary that everyone involved is talking about doing a sequel to celebrate the 40th anniversary in 2024.

"Screamingly funny. Few films, if any, can match Spinal Tap for consistent laughs. Every scene is a classic." — William Thomas, Empire


Sacha Baron Cohen in 'Borat'

20th Century Studios

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of crude humor, political satire and democrats
Where to watch: 

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Runtime:  84 minutes

Sacha Baron Cohen plays the fictional Kazakhstan reporter Borat in this satirical "documentary," in which the character travels to the United States to meet his dream wife, Pamela Anderson. Along the way, he looks at what makes America great, offending pretty much everyone he meets. The character sits down with scene partners who don't look so great on camera after opening up about their true beliefs, making this an unexpected comedy that also exposes bigotry, sexism, and racism. The film was nominated for an Oscar in the writing category, and Cohen presented a follow-up film, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm in 2020, which also earned two Oscar nominations.  

"Indeed, the man who invented Borat is a masterful improviser, brilliant comedian, courageous political satirist, and genuinely experimental film artist. Borat makes you laugh but Baron Cohen forces you to think." — J. Hoberman, The Village Voice


Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy in 'Best in Show'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Best in Show

Metascore: 78
Best for: Dog lovers and people who miss Schitt's Creek
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 90 minutes

Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy co-wrote this fictional tale of characters at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show in Philadelphia, pulling back the layers of show dogs and the people who own them. The mockumentary stars Levy and Catherine O'Hara as a couple competing with their pooch, as well as several other character-actor couples played by an impressive array of actors including Michael McKean, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey, and John Michael Higgins. Guest also directs the AFI Movie of the Year winner, which by the closing moments puts a whole new spin on the very real world of dog shows.   

"In general, the dogs-as-mirrors theme — the crazy things people do with and in relation to their pets — is what keeps this going, and the laughs are sporadic but genuine." — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Reader


'What We Do in the Shadows'

Madam Entertainment

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of the TV show, those who are into vampires and vampire culture
Where to watch: 

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Runtime: 86 minutes 

Five years before the Emmy-nominated TV show debuted, it was inspired by this Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi movie. In the mockumentary, cameras capture the lives of three immortal vampires — Viago (Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Clement) — and follows the flatmates as they deal with modern-day struggles. Many critics agree the film is successful for its deadpan character approach, which is void of camp and only adds to the overall satire.

"Clement and Waititi are intimate with the conventions of vampire movies and reality TV and must have had a crazy-great time blending the unblendable in the best SCTV tradition. But it's the absence of camp that I keep coming back to. They scale it down and play it real. They're undeadpan." — David Edelstein, Vulture


Christopher Guest in 'Waiting for Guffman'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Waiting for Guffman

Metascore: 71
Best for: Guest aficionados
Where to watch: 

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Runtime: 84 minutes

Another Guest-directed film that's co-written by Levy, this parody of a small town celebrating its 150th anniversary also stars the duo alongside O'Hara, Fred Willard, Posey, David Cross, and Michael Hitchcock. The story revolves around an aspiring director and the citizens who are starring in his tour de force theater production. When the crowd learns an actual Broadway theater critic is supposedly attending the show's opening night, things quickly go off the rails. It's a literal theater of the absurd, with plenty of criticisms about ego and the need for praise and validation from others. 

"A very funny, very unusual ensemble comedy that falls somewhere between slapdash and brilliant, an improvised comedy with more hits than misses. It's also an oddly touching tribute to the joys of show biz." — Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail 


Tim Robbins in 'Bob Roberts'

Paramount Pictures

Bob Roberts

Metascore: 70
Best for: Political junkies, people who like to root for the bad guys
Where to watch:

Runtime: 102 minutes

This fictional biography of a conservative folk singer who tries his hands at politics may be one of Tim Robbins' most important works. He writes, directs, and stars as the title character, after all. When Bob Roberts decides to run for the US Senate, he's not above dirty tricks and smear campaigns to get the ultimate advantage. The movie is as much a commentary about the nature of campaigns and politicking as it is a look at the power of celebrity. It's also prolific, if you consider some of the famous actors and personalities who have gone on to make a name for themselves in politics in the years following Bob Roberts' release. 

"Audacious, bracing, uncommonly timely, Bob Roberts would seem almost impossible to pull off. So it is very much to Robbins' credit as a filmmaker that he manages to do so while rarely getting preachy and never neglecting the importance of movement and excitement in keeping an audience involved." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times


Lonely Island in 'Popstar'

Universal Pictures

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Metascore: 68
Best for: Lonely Island fans, Saturday Night Live aficionados
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 87 minutes

Another musical "biography" to add to the list, this Lonely Island comedy is one of the trio's most ambitious offerings. Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone co-wrote and co-starred in the film, which follows a former boy band member whose solo album is a disaster. When he finally admits the hard truth to himself, he pivots and does whatever he can to maintain celebrity status. The film has drawn some comparisons to Justin Bieber, while others inevitably compare it to This Is Spinal Tap

"Samberg and company are keen observers of pop culture and every facet of its insanity, doing their very best to out-size that which already feels larger than logic. They don't always succeed, but when they do, it's more than worth it." — Dan Mecca, The Film Stage


Albert Brooks in 'Real Life'

Paramount Pictures

Real Life 

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of reality television
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 99 minutes

Long before social media made everyone a star, there was the 1973 reality series An American Family, which is said to be the first ever reality show. This Albert Brooks directed and starring film is a parody of that project — a movie in which a film crew sets out to record a year in the life of an average family. Of course, things quickly go wrong and a series of events follow in which the filmmaker tries to make the family be something they're not for the sake of the project. In hindsight it's a dark look at where reality television would go, but as a film of its time it is also considered an ambitious and funny spoof.

"It's astonishing, and a bit sad really, how prescient Real Life was in retrospect. In 1979, Albert Brooks had already predicted and skewered the contrived inauthenticity of reality television with this biting mockumentary, yet we've gone ahead and given over much of our entertainment hours to the format anyway." — Josh Larsen, Larsen on Film


'Fear of a Black Hat'

The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Fear of a Black Hat

Metascore: 62
Best for: Rap lovers… and critics
Where to watch:

Runtime: 88 minutes

Writer-director Rusty Cundieff's rap-inspired mockumentary follows the rise and fall of NWH, a controversial hip-hop group that isn't particularly talented or bright, yet they briefly resonate with fans at the right time. Cundieff also stars in the project alongside Larry B. Scott and Mark Christopher Lawrence, offering a satirical look at the rap industry that draws inevitable comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap.

"Fear of a Black Hat, which treats rap with the same droll dubiousness that This is Spinal Tap provided for heavy metal, is not as fearless and sharp-edged as it could be — but it provides a lot of laughs, and barbecues a few sacred cows." — Rober Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times