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Tropic Thunder (2008)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy  |  13 August 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 290,108 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 569 user | 310 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

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 »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 37 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


A film crew is in Southeast Asia filming a Vietnam-war memoir. It's early in the shooting, but they're already behind schedule and over budget. On the day an accident befalls the novice director, the cast and crew are attacked by a gang of poppy-growing local drug dealers, except the cast and crew don't realize these aren't actors who are stalking them. The thugs kidnap Tugg Speedman, an actor whose star seems on the decline, and it's up to the rest of the ragtag team to band together long enough to attempt his rescue. But will Tugg want to leave? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Ben Stiller first came up with the idea for this film while working on Empire of the Sun (1987). He has said in interviews that at the time he had friends who were actors in Platoon (1986) and Hamburger Hill (1987) and they would go on about the intense "boot camp" preparation and simulation of war these projects involved and how it made them feel like real soldiers. Stiller found this funny because he thought that being an actor in a war film was nothing like being a real soldier in a real war. See more »


Towards the beginning on the movie when the character gets disemboweled with a bayonet in the stomach, when the attacker removes the rifle (supposedly with the bayonet attached) it is obvious there is no bayonet attached to the rifle. However, since this scene is part of a mega-budget movie being filmed, they probably planned to add in a CGI bayonet. See more »


Tugg Speedman: There were times while I was playing Jack where I felt...
Tugg Speedman: ...retarded. Like, really retarded.
Kirk Lazarus: Damn!
Tugg Speedman: In a weird way I had to sort of just free myself up to believe that is was ok to be stupid or dumb.
Kirk Lazarus: To be a moron.
Tugg Speedman: Yeah!
Kirk Lazarus: To be moronical.
Tugg Speedman: Exactly, to be a moron.
Kirk Lazarus: An imbecile.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie begins with advertisement and fake trailers where the "actors" appear. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.26 (2011) See more »


Movin' On Up
Written by Ja'net DuBois (as Janet Dubois) & Jeff Barry
Performed by Ja'net DuBois (as Janet Dubois)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Best Comedy in Years!
13 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Tropic Thunder is a film that understands biting satire. It sets out to villainize the very people that made the film possible. It understands parody and it understands good comedy and delivers consistent laughs throughout. It starts out with a promising bang and from there, continues to revel in its absurdity and wit. The script is sharp and provides a great basis for the humor that spurs the film on, however, it's truly the actors that take it to the next level. Robert Downey Jr's performance as the lost Australian actor is perhaps one of the most standout performances in a comedy. Not only that, but Tom Cruise's Les may just be the engine that brings this film home. Its both ridiculous and a furnace of hilarity. But in all truth, the chemistry within the rest of the cast is undeniable. I would have to caution viewers, this film may not be what you're expecting. Ben Stiller's previous films and even his own written "Zoolander" are quite different from the tone and the visuals of Tropic Thunder. And its not just in the profanity or utter gore, its within the concepts behind the film. It dares to go into areas that are politically incorrect and what say may even find on the offensive side. Its not afraid to traverse the areas outside of hands-off comedy. Like I said, this could be satire at is very best, and its got the cast and the laughs to prove it. If you're a fan of balls- to-wall, brazen comedy that isn't afraid of the lines, this will be your cup of tea. You'll be laughing from start to finish and reveling in the ride. It's fresh and that originality carries it somewhere great. There is a total lack of predictability and its shies away from the clichés and THAT is something I think a lot of films haven't been ballsy enough to do." -another critic

219 of 393 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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