'Tropic Thunder' and 19 More of the Funniest R-Rated Comedies of Last 10 Years
There might have once been a time when studios were reluctant to go the adults-only route with blockbuster comedies, but not anymore. In honor of the tenth anniversary of "Tropic Thunder," here are 20 great comedies that succeeded by striving for that R-rating.
'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' (2008)
Even if you're not normally the type to gravuitate towards romantic comedies, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is worth a look. This film combines relationship drama with a healthy dose of raunchy comedy. It also served as a strong showcase for Jason Segel as he evolved from supporting character in Judd Apatow comedies to leading man in his own right.
'Pineapple Express' (2008)
If you like your stoner comedy mixed with a bit of gratuitous violence, then "Pineapple Express" is the movie for you. Seth Rogen and James Franco make for an unlikely but entertaining pair of heroes in this action movie parody, one which gets surprisingly dark before the end.
'Tropic Thunder' (2008)
The general premise of "Tropic Thunder" is memorable enough, with a group of actors stranded in a jungle and forced to adapt when their fictional war movie becomes all too real. But it's really the performances that put this one over the top, whether it's the main trio of Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr., and Jack Black. But out favorite comes from an unrecognizable Tom Cruise, playing a very eccentric, overweight Hollywood executive.
While not the box office smash that director Greg Mottola's "Superbad" was two years earlier, "Adventureland" may arguably be the better film. It's a more grounded, understated look at a college kid finding love and perspective while working a lousy job in a run-down amusement park. This film helped establish Jesse Eisenberg as the next Michael Cera, while at the same time showcasing Eisenberg's much wider range.
'The Hangover' (2009)
Few comedies in the past decade have struck as big a chord as "the Hangover." The premise is dead simple, with three groomsmen trying to track down the wayward groom after a night of drunken debauchery. Between the constantly escalating hijinks and the strong chemistry among the main trio, it's little wonder this comedy inspired a whole franchise.
'I Love You, Man' (2009)
We're always up for another collaboration between Jason Segel and Paul Rudd, and this one didn't disappoint. This one features Rudd as a soon-to-be wedded man who realizes he doesn't have anyone in his life to serve as his best man. Cue Segel, who arrives to both solve that dilemma and potentially drive a wedge between husband and wife.
From "Adventureland" to "Zombieland," Jesse Eisenberg had quite a journey in 2009. This comedy serves as a clever, entertaining send-up of the zombie genre and its familiar tropes. It's also notable for having what may be the single funniest celebrity cameo (Bill Murray!) in Hollywood history.
'Hot Tub Time Machine' (2010)
With so many raunchy comedies hitting theaters these days, you really need a clever twist to stand out. That was no problem for "Hot Tub Time Machine," which features a quartet of middle-aged losers being dragged back to the '80s by their paranormal hot tub. The laughs come fast and furious, but the movie also offers a sobering look at the struggles of getting older.
While ostensibly a movie about what happens when ordinary people try to become costumed vigilantes, "Kick-Ass" generally works better as a wacky, spandex-filled romp. As such, the real stars of the show aren't geeky teens like Aaron Johnson's Dave, but father/daughter killing squad Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. At long last, Nic Cage got the chance to play a superhero worthy of his unique talents.
After so many years of male-centric raunchy comedies, audiences were more than ready for a movie showcasing women getting into mischief. "Bridesmaids" more than lived up to the standard set by "The Hangover," with a great comedic lineup and some truly outrageous situations.
'Horrible Bosses' (2011)
This is one of those comedies where the premise matters less than the raw comedic talent gathered together. You can't go wrong with a cast that includes the likes of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jamie Foxx. Day alone steals practically every scene in which he appears.
'Young Adult' (2011)
"Young Adult" reunited Juno director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody for an equally memorable comedy about a misanthropic female lead. Charlize Theron has rarely been more mesmerizing than playing a divorced allcoholic who pens young adult novels and seems trapped in eternal adolescence.
'21 Jump Street' (2012)
Sometimes it seems like there's no franchise Hollywood won;t reboot. But when the results are as clever and hilarious as this, why not? Channing Tatum and JOnah Hill proved to be one of the most amusing buddy cop duos ever as they played two bumbling cops forced to go undercover as high school students.
It wouldn't be a Seth McFarlane comedy without a wisecracking animal sidekick. Fortunately, "Ted" proved there's plenty of water left in that well after shows like "Family Guy" and "American Dad." What might have been a thoroughly generic plot about a man choosing between his best friend and his girlfriend is made much more interesting by the dynamic between Mark Wahlberg and his talking teddy bear sidekick.
'This Is the End' (2013)
It's tough to argue with the sheer amount of comedic talent assembled for this film. "This Is the End" features a who's who lineup of popular American comedians, all playing themselves as they grapple with the impending Armageddon. But beneath all the spectacle and zaniness is a surprisingly earnest story about two friends growing apart.
'World's End' (2013)
2013 was a great year if you like movies about famous comedians dealing with the end of the world. "World's End" also serves as a cap to the "Cornetto" trilogy of films, proving once again that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are among the most dependable comedic duos around.
Amy Schumer established herself as a new comedic force in Hollywood thanks to this romantic comedy. Though it's not just the core dynamic between Schumer and co-star Bill Hader that makes "Trainwreck" stand out. It also made excellent use of several professional athletes-turned-actors, including LeBron James and John Cena.
"Deadpool" marked the first time an X-Men movie veered into hard-R territory, and that gamble more than paid off. This film uses the lead character's love of fourth wall-breaking humor to full effect. It's a wildly inappropriate superhero epic with a surprisingly sweet romantic core tying the whole thing together.
'The Big Sick' (2017)
Authenticity is a crucial ingredient when it comes to romantic comedies, so the fact that writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon drew so heavily from their own relationship definitely helped. Nanjiani shines as a struggling comedian dealing with his own personal woes and the fact that his ex-girlfriend has developed a life-threatening illness. The film is also a great reminder of what comedic giants Ray Romano and Holly Hunter can be. This movie deserved its Best Screenplay nod.
'Girls Trip' (2017)
"Girls Trip" was pretty much a guaranteed hit based on the strength of its cast alone - Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith. But it also managed to take a well-worn road trip premise and spice it up with some clever wrinkles and a heartwarming story of friendship and empowerment. It's little wonder this turned out to be one of the biggest comedy hits of 2017.