The best films that parody showbiz, including ''Tropic Thunder,'' ''Ed Wood,'' and more

By Chris Nashawaty
February 20, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

What Just Happened may not be a classic showbiz send-up, but these five films are.

The Player (1992)
Robert Altman’s bruise-black comedy about a callow, paranoid studio exec (Tim Robbins) remains the alpha and omega of all Tinseltown satires.

Ed Wood (1994)
You could say the guy behind Plan 9 From Outer Space is too talentless to spoof. But Johnny Depp lovingly laughs at, and with, the hack auteur.

Get Shorty (1995)
What’s the difference between a Hollywood producer and a bagman for the Mob? John Travolta finds out in this wicked Elmore Leonard-based yarn.

Bowfinger (1999)
Steve Martin, plus Eddie Murphy (and a nerdy dude who looks an awful lot like Eddie Murphy) in a sci-fi epic called Chubby Rain? Yes, please!

Tropic Thunder (2008)
Robert Downey Jr.’s Kirk Lazarus questions the wisdom of going ”full retard” to win an Oscar in Ben Stiller’s bull’s-eye parody of action tropes.