Tropic Thunder (2008)



Critic Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.

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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. Stiller 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
R (for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Jack Black
as Jeff 'Fats' Portnoy
Ben Stiller
as Speedman
Robert Downey Jr.
as Kirk Lazarus
Jay Baruchel
as Kevin Sandusky
Steve Coogan
as Damien
Brandon T. Jackson
as Alpa Chino
Nick Nolte
as Four Leaf Tayback
Bill Hader
as Studio Executive Rob Slolom
Tom Cruise
as Les Grossman
Reggie Lee
as Byong
Eric Winzenreid
as chopper pilot
Valerie Azlynn
as Damien's assistant
Matt Levin
as cameraperson
David Pressman
as First assistant director
Dempsey Silva
as special effects assistant
Justin Theroux
as Jan Jurgen
Amy Stiller
as script supervisor
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Critic Reviews for Tropic Thunder

All Critics (234) | Top Critics (50)

No excerpt available.

November 16, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

April 22, 2009
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | November 26, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

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

October 18, 2008
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

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

October 18, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tropic Thunder


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.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer


Funny... but not as funny as some may say.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

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.

Sanjay Rema
Sanjay Rema

Super Reviewer

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