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Tropic Thunder (2008)

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Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
532 ( 37)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cameraperson - Vietnam Crew
First Assistant Director - Vietnam Crew
Amy Stiller ...
Script Supervisor - Vietnam Crew
Dempsey Silva ...
Special Effects Assistant - Vietnam Crew


Action movie star Tugg Speedman is on the downslide of his professional career. He wants to be considered a serious actor, but his latest serious role as the title character in "Simple Jack" resulted in negative reviews and ridicule. Comedian Jeff Portnoy is best known for his leading roles in sophomoric comedies, and may be less well known for his rampant drug use. Five time Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus is a serious method actor, who immerses himself in whatever the role. On location in southeast Vietnam, they are the stars of "Tropic Thunder", based on Vietnam war veteran 'Four Leaf' Tayback's memoirs of his rescue during the war, that rescue which was considered a near suicide mission for the assigned army force and resulted in him losing both hands. For his role, Caucasian Australian Lazarus even went through a controversial surgical skin dying procedure so that he could convincingly play a black man. Production is not going well since rookie director Damien Cockburn is unable to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Action | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violent content and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

13 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una guerra de película  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$92,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,812,796 (USA) (15 August 2008)


$110,416,702 (USA) (7 November 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The water buffalo that Jack Black's character rides was pregnant. The cast and crew found out when they came to the set one morning and found her nursing a newborn calf. See more »


During the hostage negotiations, Les Grossmans beard changes thickness. At one point it is 2 days growth most of the time it is 4-5 days worth. See more »


Kirk Lazarus: Action Jackson can't cry, that's what's going down.
Tugg Speedman: You know what Kirk, I'm ready to do the scene!
Kirk Lazarus: What scene? The scene is about emotionality. Where is it? Now it's time to flip the script! We'll get to Chinese New Year waitin' for my man to cry.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tom Cruise (as Les) dances and the end credits start. Scenes from the movie are mixed in. See more »


Sometimes When We Touch
Written by Dan Hill & Barry Mann
Performed by Dan Hill
Courtesy of McCauley Music Ltd. Masters
Administered by Bug
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ben Stiller and company hit the comedic mark with "TROPIC THUNDER."
1 August 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Advanced screening: Toronto (July 31, 2008) Tropic Thunder is a film I've anticipated (from it's trailers/ Downey Jr's "Blackface" controversy) for quite awhile, but knowing Ben Stiller's hit (Reality Bites) or miss (Zoolander) directing filmography, I kept my expectations relatively lukewarm. Luckily that wasn't necessary because it's Stiller's best effort as a director to date as well as one of the best comedies of the year.

Starting with the best fake-trailers this side of Grindhouse, TROPIC THUNDER develops into the most uniquely wacky blend of satire/action/ and gross-out I've ever seen. At first it appears to be a straight-up spoof on popular war films, then it becomes a film within a film, then an attack on Hollywood and the film industry in general. Also present are some rather shocking (and hilarious) sight gags (exploding film-crew members, the brutal slaughter of an endangered species) that managed to catch everyone off guard (yet not offend them).

The main reason TROPIC THUNDER works so well though is it's stellar ensemble cast. You have the likes of Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Jay Baruchel, Steve Coogan, and Nick Nolte all turning in terrific comedic performances that they obviously had fun with. Tom Cruise gives the extended cameo of the year as a studio executive, while Tobey Maguire and a slew of other actors make notable appearances. Ultimately it is Downey Jr. who steals almost every scene as the platoon's very white, African-American squad leader.

Rude, witty, and ballsy, TROPIC THUNDER is a great time at the movies. It's hard finding worth-while large budget comedies these days, but DIRECTOR Ben Stiller, supported by a strong cast and a great premise, has proved himself to be the right man for the task. 8/10

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