From There’s Something About Mary to Meet the Parents and from Madagascar to Night at the Museum, there’s just something about Ben Stiller that makes us laugh and come to his movies again and again.
Now I’m not going to go in depth about what exactly is special about the guy cause that would probably require effort on my part. What I can do instead is compile a top 10 list of the most successful films starring him and give you my two cents on each. Because Ben Stiller is after all a worldwide star, I’m going with those numbers.
10. Tropic Thunderr (2008) $188.1 million – Probably one of the most quotable films of the last 10 years, in my opinion, Tropic Thunder is a blast to watch with a group. Robert Downey Jr. absolutely steals the show as a “dude playing a dude disguised as another dude”. Among Ben Stiller’s comedies, Tropic Thunder is definitely one of my favorites.
9. Little Fockers (2010) $310.7 million – This is not one of my favorites, actually I think it’s just a stupid and pointless cash-grab that almost destroys the memory of a great original and a decent sequel.
8. Meet the Parents (2000) $330.4 million – Another one of Ben Stiller’s best (for me), always a good time to watch. Unfortunately success is more often than not a curse for some films. In this case Meet the Parents was just too popular for Universal to not want a sequel out of it.
7. There’s Something About Mary (1998) $369.9 million – The Farrelly Brothers just don’t make films like this anymore. I loved There’s Something About Mary back in its day and I can still recommend it today, which says something about the quality of the humor on display here. Now if you’re expecting something earth-shattering, skip it, but anyone up for an absolutely hysterical comedy should not miss this gem.
6. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) $413.1 million – What is it with Ben Stiller and crappy unwanted sequels? Ok, maybe this one ain’t so bad, at least Amy Adams is great to look at. Besides that, Battle of the Smithsonian is nothing but a silly film with much of the original’s charm gone, oh and Amy Adams in very tight pants (about the most memorable part of the entire flick).
5. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) $490.7 million – This animation’s box office run is still pretty far from the end so expect Europe’s Most Wanted to finish a lot higher, maybe even as high as the #1 spot. On to the actual film, Madagascar 3 is considered among the rare 3rd parts that are superior to the 2nd one. The penguins are still there as awesome as always.
4. Meet the Fockers (2004) $516.6 million – Bigger doesn’t always mean better and while there are some nice additions to the cast here (Dustin Hoffman and Barbar Streisand), Meet the Fockers fails to match the original and instead ends up re-treading much of the same ground. The jokes aren’t as funny this time around because we heard them before and the only real saving grace is the stellar cast that are just fun to watch in their silly yet entertaining parts.
3. Madagascar (2005) $532.7 million – There’s quite a lot of Madagascar to be had in this top 10 as you can see. Here being the very first entry in the series and probably still the best (for me). Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria are four very different animals that escape from their home, the New York Zoo. With the help of four mischievous penguins they all end up on the island of Madagascar. From that point on their new objective will be to get back home, not exactly easy to accomplish as we’ll see in the other two sequels.
2. Night at the Museum (2006) $574.5 million – Probably most of you have been at least once in your life to a museum. As a kid, did you ever wonder what it would be like if that museum somehow came to life? Well wonder no more because Night at the Museum is here for you. I know it’s not exactly a great movie and it doesn’t even try to be that. But for what it sets out to do, Night at the Museum more than delivers and that’s why I will always recommend this to both kids and parents alike.
1. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) $603.9 million – The animals are back and this time they get to Africa on their way back to New York. It was a pretty good sequel, maybe not on the same level as the first or third films. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted will probably overtake Escape 2 Africa sometime in the next few weeks.
Beyond all those wonderful or crappy films up there, Ben Stiller was also in a few less popular movies that didn’t make the list. I know I laughed a lot while watching Zoolander (there’s a sequel planned for 2014), Duplex and Starksy & Hutch so I think you would too so definitely give them a try.
So what’s your favorite Ben Stiller film?