Tropic Thunder (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tropic Thunder2008

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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Movie Info

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

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Jack Black
as Jeff 'Fats' Portnoy
Ben Stiller
as Speedman
Robert Downey Jr.
as Kirk Lazarus
Jay Baruchel
as Kevin Sandusky
Nick Nolte
as Four Leaf Tayback
Bill Hader
as Studio Executive Rob Slolom
Tom Cruise
as Les Grossman
Eric Winzenried
as chopper pilot
Valerie Azlynn
as Damien's assistant
Matt Levin
as cameraperson
Amy Stiller
as script supervisor
David Pressman
as First assistant director
Dempsey Silva
as special effects assistant
Justin Theroux
as Jan Jurgen
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Critic Reviews for Tropic Thunder

All Critics (254) | Top Critics (69)

The bulk of this movie, alas, comes down to weak sketches held together by ridiculous action, vast explosions and more or less everything else it should be parodying.

January 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Given the incoherence of its satirical aspirations (the film does end with a suggestion that everyone involved still loves this business we call show), and finally too scattershot to really make it as parody, Tropic Thunder is best appreciated as a goof.

December 13, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The tension between what the film says and what the film does helps support one of a dozen (or so) layers of snarky, self-aware humour.

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…

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

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

October 18, 2008 | Rating: B+

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

October 18, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Tropic Thunder


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

Apart from the hilarious first scene and a few others that work very well, there is little else in this film other than stupid, offensive jokes mixed with a lot of tiresome big action scenes - which seem to be there only to entertain those unable to understand the obvious satire.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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

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