Ben Stiller is an award-winning comedian, actor, producer, director, writer and philanthropist. He was born on November 30, 1965 in New York City. His parents, Anne and Jerry Stiller, were also in the entertainment business (actresses and comedians, respectively), which greatly influenced Ben’s career choices. He has an older sister, Amy, who is also an actress and has acted in a few Ben Stiller films.
Stiller is reportedly worth between $120 million to $200 million, and he made most of his fortune from his billion-dollar box-office films. And while he’s had a glittering career, there have been a few who haven’t fared as well in terms of box office or overall output. Here is a list of 12 films that Ben Stiller has directed throughout his impressive acting career, ranked from best to worst.
Ben Stiller Movies – Best to Worst
1. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
The 2012 film, produced by Dreamworks Animation, is a 3D animated film in which Ben Stiller plays the voice of Alex, a lion. He leads his friends – Marty (a zebra by Chris Rock), Gloria (a hippopotamus by Jada Pinkett-Smith), Melman (a giraffe by David Schwimmer) and King Julien XIII (a lemur by Sacha Baron Cohen) in search of Monte Carlo to find her friends – the penguins and chimpanzees. Her failed attempt to rescue her friends prompts the casino owners to seek out Animal Rescue to get rid of the loose animals. The leader of the animal rescue team has vowed to add Alex’s head to the row of animal heads on her wall. Alex must evade the animal rescue team and manage to get his friends home safely.
The film grossed $747 million at the box office, with a budget of $145 million to make it one of the top ten films of 2012 and a 79 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes, the film aggregation website. The film was directed by the trio Conrad Vernon, Eric Darnel and Tom McGrath.
2. Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa (2008)
This movie is the sequel to the above Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Young Alex (originally named Alakay) was captured by poachers and during transport his crate fell into the ocean and drifted to New York. He meets his friends – Marty, Gloria, Melman and the others – and they vacation in Madagascar, where they find their watering hole has dried up and set out to find the bottom.
The main characters of this film remain the same as listed above. It grossed $604 million at the box office on a budget of $150 million and was directed by duo Tom McGrath and Eric Darnel.
3rd Night at the Museum (2006)
This film stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a divorced father who applies to be a night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and then discovers that the exhibits, animated by a magical Egyptian artifact, come to life at night. 20th Century Fox released the film on December 22, 2006, and earned $574 million on a budget of $150 million.
The film was directed by Shawn Levy and is based on The stars include Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, Amy Adams as Tess, Robin Williams as Theodore Rosevelt, Owen Wilson as Jedediah, etc.
4. Madagascar (2005)
Set in Madagascar, this is the first installment of the Madagascar franchise, it’s Marty’s birthday and after getting bored with his daily routine he wanted more for his special day; So he tried to escape from the zoo with the penguins and chimpanzees. Alex, Gloria and Melma try to convince Marty to return to the zoo with them, but a series of unfortunate events land them in Madagascar. You must brave the elements and find a way to return home safely.
The film was directed by Tom McGrath and Eric Darnel and grossed approximately $533 million at the box office on a budget of $75 million.
5. Meet the Fockers (2004)
This 2004 American comedy film tells the story of a couple who decide to meet each other’s parents, but find out that the two parents have very sharp opposing ideas about family life. Once they meet, their contrasting lifestyles threaten to tear them apart.
The film was directed by Jay Roach and he grossed $516 million at the box office on a budget of $80 million. The cast includes Ben Stiller as Gaylord Focker, Robert De Niro as Jack Byrnes, Dustin Hoffman as Bernard Focker, Barbara Streisand as Rozalin Focker, Terri Polo as Pam Focher, Blythe Danner as Dina Brynes.
6. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
When Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz) asks Ted to go to prom with Stroehmann (Ben Stiller), his dream of dating the girl of his dreams would come true; but Ted has an injury and couldn’t get the date. Then he lost contact with Mary. Thirteen years later he still loves Mary and is trying to reconnect with her, but he is caught up in a web with other guys who also fall in love with Mary, each with their lies and schemes. He must do everything to win Mary over.
This 1998 American comedy film was directed by the Farrelly brothers (Bobby and Peter). The film was produced on a budget of $23 million but grossed $370 million at the box office.
7th Night at the Museum: Mystery of the Tomb (2014)
This is the concluding part of the Night at the Museum series (others include Night at the Museum (2006) and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009). Ben Stiller plays the role of Larry Daley, night watchman of the American Museum of Natural History, who knows about it that the magic tablet of Ahkmenrah, whose magical powers bring the museum to life at night, corrodes and loses its powers. Larry turns to Ahkmenrah’s parents at the British Museum to restore the magic tablet’s powers.
The film’s star-studded cast is the same as listed above. Directed by Shawn Levy, this film grossed $363 million at the box office on a budget of $127 million.
8. Meet the Parents (2000)
In this film, Ben Stiller plays Greg Focker, who intends to propose to his girlfriend, Pam. Pam’s sister is getting married and they decided it would be a good opportunity to meet Pam’s parents at their house, where Greg plans to officially propose to Pam. Pam’s father, Jack, isn’t a fan of Greg and thinks he’s not a good match for his daughter. Greg does everything he can to impress Jack, but a series of mishaps and accidents further convince Jack of Greg’s unsuitability for Pam. Jack later changes his mind and accepts Greg as part of his family.
The film, which is a sequel to 2004’s Meet the Fockers, was directed by Jay Roach. It had a budget of $55 million and grossed well over $330 million at the box office.
9. Along Came Polly (2004)
It stars Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston in the 2004 American rom-com. Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller), who works as a risk analyst at an insurance company, is not a risk taker. On his honeymoon with wife Lisa Kramer (Debra Messing), he catches her in bed with diving instructor Claude (Hank Azaria) and returns home without her.
He later met Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston) and they began a relationship that would expose him to everyone he chose to stay away from. As his relationship with Polly deepens, Lisa (his ex-wife) returns and wants his forgiveness. Ruben has to decide which woman he wants to be with between Polly and Lisa.
The film was directed by John Hamburg and grossed around US$173 million on a budget of US$42 million.
10. Tower Heist (2011)
Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), the billionaire tenant of the apartment that Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) manages, recently embezzled $2 billion and was placed under house arrest. Josh invested his pension fund and that of his colleagues in Shaw’s company and lost it all. During an altercation with Shaw, Josh and some of his friends are fired from their jobs. They have a plan to recover some of the money Shaw stole, but their plan didn’t go to plan.
This film was released in 2011 and directed by Brett Ratner. It had a production budget of $85 million and grossed $153 million at the box office. Some other cast members include Eddie Murphy as Darnell Davis, Casey Affleck as Charles Gibbs, Tea Leoni as Claire Denham.
11. Tropic Thunder (2008)
This Ben Stiller Movie is an American action comedy movie that was produced under a budget of $92 million. It tells the story of a group of actors who went into hiding in the middle of a jungle to make a lifelike film. Little do the cast and crew know, however, that they’ve gone underground in the middle of the Golden Triangle, the stronghold of the heroin-producing Flaming Dragon gang. The actors still naively believe they are filming under controlled circumstances with special effects, but things start to get very fast as the gang close in on them.
The film was directed by Ben Stiller and grossed about $188 million at the box office. There were celebrity cast members like Ben Stiller as Tugg Speedman, Jack Black as Jeff Portnoy, Robert Downey Jr. as Kirk Lazarus, Nick Nolte as Four Leaf Tayback, etc.
12. Zoolander (2001)
On this list of Ben Stiller movies, this seems to be the least. Ben Stiller plays the role of a sinister supermodel, Derek Zoolander, whose career is in decline. However, he is recruited and brainwashed by an evil fashion czar, Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrel), into killing the visiting Malaysian Prime Minister, who is opposed to child labor in his country (which had made Mugatu’s “business” in the region difficult). Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor) and Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson), after fulfilling Mugatu’s plans, must stop Derek from assassinating the visiting Prime Minister and stopping Mugatu.
Ben Stiller directed this film and it grossed $61 million at the box office on a budget of $28 million.