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Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan ... see more see more... , Jay Baruchel , Danny McBride , Brandon T. Jackson , Bill Hader , Brandon Soo Hoo , Reggie Lee , Trieu Tran , Eric Winzenreid , Matthew McConaughey , Valerie Azlynn , Tom Cruise , Matt Levin , Amy Stiller , David Pressman , Dempsey Silva , Justin Theroux

Ben Stiller's satirical look at Hollywood, Tropic Thunder concerns the production of an epic Vietnam War film that quickly derails thanks to the giant egos of everyone involved in the production. Stil... read more read more...ler stars as Tugg Speedman, an action hero trying to segue out of that genre. Jack Black plays Jeff Portnoy, a drug-addicted fat comic also attempting to change his image by taking on such a serious film. They star alongside Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), one of the world's most awarded actors, and a man who insists on immersing himself totally in a role. In this case, that means Lazarus has had his skin dyed in order to portray an African-American soldier. After their outrageous behavior lands the film's director, Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan), in very hot water with producer Les Grossman (Tom Cruise), Cockburn takes the advice of grizzled Vietnam vet Four Leaf Tayback (Nick Nolte); in order to gain control of his performers, Cockburn drops the actors off in the jungle, planning to film the movie guerrilla-style with hidden cameras. When the group stumbles upon a heroin production camp, the actors are unaware that they are in very real danger. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Flixster Users

70% liked it

292,545 ratings


83% liked it

229 critics

DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

Stats: 33,549 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (33,549)

  • January 12, 2009
    This is the normal Ben Stiller fare. Throw in Jack Black and this is what you get. Downey I liked as the black sgt who is australian but really into his role. Other than that it really did seem like another Stiller flick. Same ol same ol.
  • February 16, 2013
    A group of jumped up actors are making a big-budget movie. The actors end up in the real jungle in Vietnam where they are kidnapped for ransom. Great cast. Tom Cruise steals the show with his dodgy dance moves and makeup. The ads before the movie are hilarious.
  • January 10, 2013
    Funny... but not as funny as some may say.
  • August 8, 2012
    A very unique movie with an unforgettable performance by Robert Downey Jr. The whole cast does a great job, but Downey's Oscar worthy performance elevates this movie to another level. The odd dialogue requires a sharp ear to follow, but is absolutely hilarious if you keep up.
  • August 7, 2012
    Hysterical. This is easily one of the best words to describe this film. The first time I watch this, some of the opening adverts I actually believed to be real films. However, some jokes go too far, like with Simple Jack. The over the top violence is funny, but some parts feel un... read morenecessary. With wacky yet superb performances from Robert Downey Jr. and *SPOILER REMOVED*, this is my most favoured Ben Stiller movie.
  • fb729949618
    August 6, 2012
    Was skeptical going into watching this because I'm not the biggest Stiller fan, but I was really surprised how clever and good this movie was. Could have done without Jack Black though; like usual, he brings nothing to the table (just my opinion). Downey Jr was hilarious and easi... read morely my favorite, mix that along with the Tom Cruise have a pretty funny movie here.
  • fb1442511448
    August 6, 2012
    A colorful and obscene cast with obscene laughter and action. Stiller's Vietnam-War-based parody does push the envelope without bursting it. Providing a sleek script along with action/comedy and gaudy dialogue for a select audience. 4.5/5
  • July 12, 2012
    Blissfully (whining the whole time) unaware of the danger they face, this diverse assemblage of talent stumbles their way through the jungle in this satiric tribute to 80s Vietnam films. It's a clever idea: the cast of a war movie accidentally become involved with real thugs, and... read more hilarity ensues. All actor and production stereotypes are skewered here. It's a broad parody, like the Spinal Tap of war movies, at times too outrageous for its own good.

    Ben Stiller's sense of humor is on full display, this time enhancing the concept. I like him in roles like this; Starsky and Hutch, Dodgeball, and Zoolander also come to mind. His put-upon everyman, e.g. Meet The Parents and maybe Along Came Polly are getting stale. Surprisingly great are the characters created by Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise. They're more unusual and memorable than I expected, and Nick Nolte is pretty good too. Cruise's ham-fisted tycoon is a real departure for him and uncanny, creepy realism. Others, like Jack Black and Danny McBride, just fill out the cast- but funny also.

    I'll always remember, "What do you mean, you people?" and when Stiller goes "full retard." Never go full retard.
  • May 6, 2012
    So Ben Stiller wants to be in a Nam flick, OK sure, shame he missed the boat for that era, and this is why he made this film im guessing? why? well we all know the outfit of the average grunt in Nam films looks cool, the easy, laid back, dont give a shit style with ammo belts and... read more guns hanging of everyone. Just check all the classic war flicks of the time...being in a Nam film was a cool thing and that's the only reason Stiller and co have made this because there's just no other reason for it.

    Its poor, not funny and just pointless, the film looks good location wise but that's it, the cast is impressive but who cares, Stiller isn't funny, Downey is shit in all his personalities, McConaughey is his usual slimey, embarrassingly bad self and Tom Cruise is just terrible...simply awful. Black is the only person with some decent funny bits but we're only talking SMALL bits.

    The plot is a total rip of the much funnier and classic 'The Three Amigo's', 'TT' doesn't even compare to Martin, Chase and Short, 'Amigo's' was cheaper and tacky yet its leagues better than this. You never have any real idea where Stiller and co are in the world, who the guerilla's in the jungle are and why, why a child leads them and frankly you dont really care, the film is made in such a way that it comes across as a serious action flick but then remembers its a comedy and throws in some stupid gag or just resorts to mindless swearing hoping that will suffice.

    The ending is crap and isn't explained (someone just pops up and saves the day) and basically it isn't funny...ever. Tom Cruise cannot do comedy, even in silly makeup...embarrassing ain't the word.
  • March 24, 2012
    A genuine american hardcore film with the actors having no idea, which creates many good laughs, and jack black addicted to crack.

Critic Reviews

Tom Charity
October 18, 2008
Tom Charity,

Though some of the caricatures wear thin, some of the acting rises to a high level. Full Review

Joe Williams
October 18, 2008
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tiptoes to the fine line between irony and insight and blows it to smithereens. It's hilarious. Full Review

Rene Rodriguez
October 18, 2008
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Cruise and particularly Downey are something to behold: They give this Thunder its lightning.

Ben Walters
September 19, 2008
Ben Walters, Time Out

But its better moments of self-referential snark, such as an ace cameo from Tom Cruise as an obnoxious studio exec, have the feel of a superior end-of-term revue. Full Review

Christopher Orr
September 18, 2008
Christopher Orr, The New Republic

For years now, onscreen and off, [Tom] Cruise has seemed like a bottle of barely contained crazy; now we know what happens when the cork comes out. Full Review

Richard Roeper
August 18, 2008
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

Some of it is very funny, some of it is too broad.

Anthony Lane
August 18, 2008
Anthony Lane, New Yorker

After the dazzle of the early scenes, something droops and flags in Tropic Thunder. Full Review

Peter Rainer
August 15, 2008
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Tropic Thunder passes for "daring" in a movie era notably short on risk-taking. In the case of Downey, that daring is earned. Full Review

Joanne Kaufman
August 15, 2008
Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal

A gleeful, bumptious send-up of big-budget movies, big Hollywood egos. Full Review

Scott Foundas
August 14, 2008
Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly

Almost everything about the movie sounds sharper, funnier and smarter than it turns out to be. Full Review

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    • Kirk Lazarus: I'm a lead farmer mother fucker!
    • Kirk Lazarus: You went full retard man, never go full retard.
    • Tugg Speedman: I was wrong! Blow the bridge! Blow the fucking bridge!
    • Alpa Chino: Hell nah, I ain't pee on nat girl. No no listen, here's the story she was in the way when I was peeing she walked past.
    • Kirk Lazarus: I don't read the script. The script reads me.
    • Les Grossman: Shut the fuck up & let me do my job!

Tropic Thunder : Watch Free on TV

Tropic Thunder Trivia

  • Name the actress: The Brady Bunch Movie Zoolander Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story License to Wed Tropic Thunder  Answer »
  • Who among the following is not present in the movie, TROPIC THUNDER  Answer »
  • In which movie Robert Downey JR says:I'm a dude playing a dude,disguised as a another dude.  Answer »
  • Tropic thunder: Jack Black's character, Jeff Portnoy, is partially based on Chris Farley.  Answer »

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