…in comedy, context is everything. “Tropic Thunder”… doesn’t risk simply offending; at times the picture is almost appalling in its tastelessness — I watched parts of it agape. But Stiller and his ensemble… understand that comedy is anarchy. As much as we want our lives to be stable and manageable, comedy demands that we relinquish our sense of orderliness, sometimes even our better judgment. Respectful comedy is dull comedy. In the early ’90s, when Robert Mapplethorpe’s sexually explicit photographs were causing a flap about the public funding of art, I recall seeing people wearing buttons decreeing, “Art can’t hurt you.” But if it can’t cut into you, deeply or at all, what good is it?

from Salon review of Tropic Thunder.