Skip to main content

The Best Kate McKinnon Movies And How To Watch Them

Kate McKinnon dressed as Elsa from Frozen 2 on Saturday Night Live.
(Image credit: Saturday Night Live/ NBC)

Kate McKinnon had a relatively abrupt Saturday Night Live debut, having joined the cast very late into its 37th season in April 2012. However, her final curtain call at Studio 8H was anything but abrupt since the two-time Emmy winner became one of the the sketch comedy series’ most renowned and extremely popular talents, with an impressive number of notable big screen credits to show for it.

The star and creator of Peacock’s Joe vs. Carole rarely leads in any of her films so far, but might as well have for how brilliantly she has managed to steal the show from her top-billed co-stars. Allow us to show why we believe our recommendations for the best Kate McKinnon movies truly deserve to be called “Kate McKinnon movies” in the following list, complete with tips of where to find them available on streaming, for digital rental, or purchase on physical media. 

Kate McKinnon on Sisters

(Image credit: Universal)

Sisters (2015)

Reunited by their parents’ request to help clean their childhood home before it goes on the market, a divorced nurse (Amy Poehler) and her older, but far less responsible, sibling (Tina Fey) seek to recapture their youth by throwing a wild party that quickly proves to be quite a bit more more wild than they had initially intended.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: While she was still something of a Saturday Night Live legend in-the-making, Kate McKinnon shared the screen with established SNL legends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in one of the funniest party movies, Sisters, as one of the more scene-stealing guests at their house rager.

Buy/Rent Sisters on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Sisters on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

The Rough Night cast

(Image credit: Sony)

Rough Night (2017)

An engaged politician (Scarlett Johansson) reunites with her four best friends from college (Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, and Ilana Glazer) to let loose for her bachelorette party getaway in Miami, until it takes a horrifying turn when the stripper they hire suddenly dies.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Kate McKinnon puts on an over-the-top Australian accent to steal the show from Johansson (a Marvel movies star and future wife of a Saturday Night Live cast member) and the rest of the all-star cast of Rough Night - another fun, female-driven comedy about recapturing one’s youth, but with a much darker twist.

Buy/Rent Rough Night on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Rough Night on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Kate McKinnon and T.J. Miller in Office Christmas Party

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Office Christmas Party (2016)

The manager of a tech company’s struggling Chicago branch (T.J. Miller), his chief technology officer (Jason Bateman), and the head of Research and Development (Olivia Munn) try to save their jobs by hosting an unimaginably extreme “non-denominational holiday mixer” in hopes of striking a business deal with a sought-after client (Courtney B. Vance).

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Ironically, Kate McKinnon plays the, initially, least rowdy partier (uptight Human Resources representative, Mary) in what could, arguably, be the finest of her party movies, Office Christmas Party - another star-studded romp that technically counts as a raunchy holiday movie, but it is really a good enough time to warrant a viewing at any time of the year, if you ask me.

Buy/Rent Office Christmas Party on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Office Christmas Party on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

The Ghostbusters (2016) cast

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Ghostbusters (2016)

A pair of disgraced paranormal researchers (Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy), an eccentric nuclear engineer (Kate McKinnon), and a passionate life-long New York Cty citizen (Leslie Jones) team up to protect Manhattan from evil apparitions terrorizing the city.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Kate McKinnon saved her most uproarious energy in 2016 to play Dr. Jillian “Holtz” Holtzmann (essentially her own version of Harold Ramis’ Dr. Egon Spengler) in director Paul Feig’s all-female remake of Ghostbusters, which may have been met with a polarizing reception, but not for McKinnon’s undeniably hilarious dedication to her role.

Buy/Rent Ghostbusters on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Ghostbusters on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Kate McKinnon and Zach Galifianakis in Masterminds

(Image credit: Sony)

Masterminds (2016)

In the hope of winning the heart of his attractive co-worker (Kristen Wiig), a guard for an armored truck company (Zach Galifianakis) agrees to help her pull off a huge bank robbery for her conniving lover (Owen Wilson), who ends up betraying him by hiring a bumbling hitman (Jason Sudeikis) to do away with him.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Another time that Kate McKinnon shared the screen with fellow SNL stars Wiig and  Jones in 2016 was when she played Jandice, the inhumanly calm wife of  Galifianakis’ character, in Masterminds - an irreverently comedic dramatization of one of the most profitable heists in U.S. history, from Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess.

Stream Masterminds on Hulu (opens in new tab).
Buy/Rent Masterminds on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Masterminds on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Kate McKinnon in The Angry Birds Movie

(Image credit: Sony)

The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

A community of flightless birds - including the cynical Red (Jason Sudeikis), the super fast Chuck (Josh Gad), and the literally explosive Bomb (Danny McBride) - are forced to band together and fight back against an organization of disgusting green pigs who arrive, threatening to take over their secluded, serene island home.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Another time that Kate McKinnon shared the screen with fellow SNL star Jason Sudeikis in 2016 was when she leant her voice to play two different roles (Stella and Eva) in The Angry Birds Movie - the epic, big screen adaptation of one of the most popular mobile gaming apps in history.

Stream The Angry Birds Movie on Tubi.
Rent/Buy The Angry Birds Movie on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get The Angry Birds Movie on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

John Cena and Kate McKinnon in Ferdinand

(Image credit: Disney)

Ferdinand (2017)

After he is mistaken for a wild beast and forcibly brought to a camp for bullfight training in Spain, an imposing, yet friendly and gentle, bull (John Cena) enlists the help of his new friends to help him escape and reunite with his human family.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: One of Kate McKinnon’s even funnier and more prominent voice acting roles was as a neurotic, elderly goat named Lupe, who befriends’ John Cena’s titular goat hero in Ferdinand - a sweet, animated adaptation of writer Munro Leaf and illustrator Robert Lawson’s beloved children’s book, and one of the best movies by Blue Sky Studios in more recent years.

Stream Ferdinand on Disney+ (opens in new tab).
Buy/Rent Ferdinand on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Ferdinand on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in The Spy Who Dumped Me

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

After she goes through a painful break-up with her boyfriend (Justin Theroux), who ended things with a text message, a woman (Milano Kunis) discovers that her ex was actually a secret agent, which leads her and her best friend (Kate McKinnon) to become embroiled in an international conspiracy and forces them to go on the run in Europe.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: One of McKinnon’s funniest and most prominent live action movie roles was as (no joke) Morgan Freeman, a free-spirit who is full of surprises in The Spy Who Dumped Me - a thrill-a-minute, laugh-a-minute hybrid of romantic comedies, buddy cop movies, and espionage thrillers directed by Booksmart co-writer Susanna Fogel.

Buy/Rent The Spy Who Dumped Me on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get The Spy Who Dumped Me on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Kate McKinnon in Yesterday

(Image credit: Universal)

Yesterday (2019)

A young, hopelessly struggling musician from England (Himesh Patel) finally achieves the success he has always dreamed of, but by peculiar means: he has suddenly woken up in an alternate reality in which The Beatles never became famous and begins passing off their groundbreaking hits as his own creations.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Kate McKinnon gives, just about, the most hilarious performance in Yesterday - the inventive, musical fantasy dramedy from writer Richard Curtis and Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle - as Ed Sheeran’s demanding, brutally honest manager, Debra Hammer, who meets Himesh Patel’s character, Jack, and makes him into a star.

Buy/Rent Yesterday on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Get Yesterday on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Kate McKinnon in Bombshell

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Bombshell (2019)

A bright, young journalist (Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie) lands her dream job at Fox News, only to fall prey to the sexual advances of CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), which inspires her to join high-profile correspondents Megyn Kelly (nearly unrecognizable Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman) in a plot to expose Ailes for the toxic environment he has created behind the scenes.

Why it’s one of Kate McKinnon’s best movies: Kate McKinnon gives, without question, the most hilarious performance in the Bombshell cast in director Jay Roach’s otherwise disturbing, Oscar-winning dramatization of scandalous activity at the country’s most popular conservative media outlet as a Fox News employee with a few secrets of her own who is actually a composite character inspired by first-hand accounts of the events that inspired the film.

Stream Bombshell on Freevee through Amazon Prime (opens in new tab).
Get Bombshell on DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Real-life scandal is also the driving force of one of Kate McKinnon’s other biggest projects - the aforementioned Peacock exclusive limited series Joe vs. Carole, which offers a dramatized account of the the events that inspired the hit Netflix docuseries, Tiger King. She has also leant her voice to DC League of Super-Pets alongside Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, and of course, her best Saturday Night Live sketches - in which she is also known to poke fun at Fox News personalities like Laura Ingraham with spot-on impersonations - are available to stream on Hulu or Peacock. 

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.