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Tropic Thunder 2008

Critics score:
83 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

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. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: In the end Tropic Thunder is an expensive goof about an expensive goof, and the results are very impressive and fancy-looking....Too impressive, really, to fully unleash the humor in the situations. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The Ben Stiller action-film parody Tropic Thunder is all over the map, but it's worth enduring the botched gags, formula plotting, and even the racism to marvel at the genius of Robert Downey Jr. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: The rest of the movie never lives up to the hilarity of the opening, partly because the large-scale production smothers the gags but mostly because those gags are so easy to smother. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: A gleeful, bumptious send-up of big-budget movies, big Hollywood egos. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Tropic Thunder is too much promise and not enough delivery. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Where Stiller the actor seems outmatched by the more expressive talents on display, Stiller the co-writer and director contributes a lively, layered comedy packed with cheap but hilarious goofs on Hollywood Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Stiller, Black and Jackson are all fine. Downey is great -- no surprise. Jay Baruchel, as a newcomer, holds the strained plot threads together, playing the only actor not so narcissistic that he can't see what's going on around him. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: The movie feels like a consciously happy accident whose offenses are roughly balanced by actors gouging out their own narcissism. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Though it certainly has a plot, Tropic Thunder is best approached as a series of skits stretched out to feature length, a film easier to appreciate for its clever parts than for any kind of coherent whole. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller's extravaganza of a Hollywood satire, couldn't be any more 'inside-baseball' if it contained references to the infield fly rule and Rule 5 draft picks. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: At its best, Tropic Thunder skewers impotent directors, fascist producers, prima donna stars and classic scenes from the camo-fatigues genre. Read more

Tom Charity, Though some of the caricatures wear thin, some of the acting rises to a high level. Read more

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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: At its best, mouth-agape moments, Tropic Thunder offers some insanely incandescent riffs on performance. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Tropic Thunder will have you laughing much of the time, but it may also leave you wondering: Couldn't this have been done a bit better? Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: This is Stiller's Hellzapoppin' Apocalypse Now -- the ultimate fighting machine of comedies-about-the-making-of-movies. It's raunchy, outspoken -- and also a smart and agile dissection of art, fame, and the chutzpah of big-budget productions. Read more

Laremy Legel, Tropic Thunder is the funniest film of the year. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Tropic Thunder is an assault in the guise of a comedy -- watching it is like getting mugged by a clown. Read more

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News: Tropic Thunder is more consistently entertaining, and its best moments burn much brighter than those of Pineapple Express. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Ben Stiller has here accomplished three stupendous feats: Van Damme muscles, his first funny movie since Zoolander, and his first brilliant movie ever Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: Almost everything about the movie sounds sharper, funnier and smarter than it turns out to be. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Gory, vulgar and wickedly funny. Easily the summer's best comedy. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Tropic Thunder is the funniest movie of the summer -- so funny, in fact, that you start laughing before the film itself has begun. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: After the dazzle of the early scenes, something droops and flags in Tropic Thunder. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It is often very funny, and wittily on-target about the fine madness of moviemaking. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: The steady spray of jokes ricochets with machine-gun force, hitting dozens of worthy targets. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Tropic Thunder is all over the place, but it's hard to get too tough on a Hollywood satire that in the end loves Hollywood so much that it's just not going to take any prisoners. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Stiller rounded up a cast of A-listers, took them to Hawaii and blew up $90 million worth of stuff. He made a movie about making a movie that no movie-maker should ever have made. And it's a riot. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Tropic Thunder is raunchy, raucous and riotously funny. But so acutely self-conscious that the effect is one of a stand-up comedian furnishing color commentary on his own act. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The film isn't perfect, but in an environment where things like The Love Guru and Step Brothers pass for worthwhile entertainment, Tropic Thunder puts a lot of comedy pretenders to shame. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: It's the kind of summer comedy that rolls in, makes a lot of people laugh and rolls on to video. It's been a good summer for that. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Tropic Thunder is ridiculous and deeply enjoyable, but it also flashes a mercilessly polished mirror at the "prestige" products that the movie business so glibly feeds us in order to reflect glory back on itself. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: Combines elements of There's Something About Mary ..., The Player and Team America: World Police, and yet almost nothing in Tropic Thunder is predictable or cliched. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Anyone walking into Tropic Thunder looking to be offended by Downey's minstrel turn will soon find that the movie is two steps ahead. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Tropic Thunder works double duty. It's both a sharp satire of filmland's bigger-is-better mind-set and a prime example of the heavyhanded era it stands in. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Tiptoes to the fine line between irony and insight and blows it to smithereens. It's hilarious. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: What keeps everything from imploding are Downey and Cruise, who are willing to push every audience button and damn the politically correct torpedoes. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: A parody of war movies and a pinprick in the helium balloon of Hollywood egos. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

David Fear, Time Out: Tropic Thunder is nothing but mild vulgarity mixed with explosions and entitlement, a piss take on Hollywood excess that doubles as an example of it. Read more

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. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: There are some wildly funny scenes, a few leaden ones and others that are scattershot, with humorous satire undercut by over-the-top grisliness. Still, when it's funny, it's really funny. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A smart-alecky sendup of Hollywood in general and action films in particular, Tropic Thunder undeniably provokes quite a few laughs, but of the most hollow kind. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: When it isn't tossing softballs at the studios, Tropic Thunder is the very thing it parodies: a wall of noise engulfed in flame. Read more