- Adam Sandler is best known for comedies like “The Waterboy” and “50 First Dates.”
- Films like “The Meyerowitz Stories” and “Uncut Gems” received rave reviews from critics.
- His lowest-rated movies include comedies such as “Jack and Jill” and “The Ridiculous 6.”
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Summary: In the family drama “The Meyerowitz Stories,” three siblings — Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller), and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel) — vie for the affection of their father, Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman).
Critics praised “The Meyerowitz Stories” for its painstaking attention to detail, sharp dialogue, and talented ensemble cast.
“A hilarious and poignant portrayal of a broken family, ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ is truly sublime,” Louise Burrell wrote for One Room With a View.
Summary: In “Uncut Gems,” New York jeweler and gambling addict Howard Ratner (Sandler) finds himself in hot water when a series of delicately stacked debts come tumbling down in the span a few days.
Critics were impressed by the directing prowess of Benny and Josh Safdie coupled with Sandler’s mesmerizing lead performance.
Christie Lemire reported for FilmWeek, “Adam Sandler doing the absolute best work of his career. Really, truly when given the challenge, he more than rises to it.”
Summary: Sandler took the stage everywhere from underground comedy clubs to massive concert halls as he brushed up on his stand-up smarts in the comedy special “Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh.”
Though the special failed to reach the titular rating of “100%” on Rotten Tomatoes, critics applauded the actor for returning to his stand-up roots and putting on a solid show.
“What ultimately wins the audience over … is the very same thing that’s behind Sandler’s occasionally stunning film performances: his earnestness,” Christopher Hooton wrote for the Independent.
Summary: In “Top Five,” high-profile comedian Andre Allen (Chris Rock) feels complacent in his career and his relationship with his fiancée Erica Long (Gabrielle Union). So when brutally honest journalist Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson) enters his life, he sees her as a breath of fresh air.
In the film, Sandler made a brief cameo appearance as himself.
Critics praised “Top Five” for providing laughs as well as creating a surprisingly heartfelt romance at its core.
“Chris Rock approaches directing with the same fizzing energy that he brings to his stand-up comedy,” Wendy Ide wrote for The Times.
Summary: In the dramatic comedy “Punch-Drunk Love,” Barry Egan (Sandler), a small-business owner with seven sisters and a short fuse, faces extortion from a phone-sex operator. Amidst the chaos, Barry wonders if he can ever find true romance.
A film as quirky as its oddball protagonist, “Punch-Drunk Love” was generally liked by critics who thought the film wore its heart on its sleeve and rightfully put Sandler’s performance front and center.
“Paul Thomas Anderson has done the impossible; he has written a romantic leading role for Adam Sandler that functions well on a dramatic level,” wrote film critic Cole Smithey.
Summary: “I Am Chris Farley” examines the life of late comedian Chris Farley, from his work on “Saturday Night Live” to films like “Tommy Boy” (1995). Sandler was interviewed alongside David Spade, Molly Shannon, and others who were close to Farley.
Critics called “I Am Chris Farley” a sweet and meditative documentary that served as a reminder of a life that was lost far too soon.
“A bittersweet salute, appraisal, and explanation of the early-nineties ‘Saturday Night Live’ troupe mainstay,” Brad Wheeler wrote for The Globe and Mail.
Summary: In “Funny People,” stand-up comedian George Simmons (Sandler) receives a cancer diagnosis and is told that he has less than a year to live. After taking on a struggling stand-up named Ira (Seth Rogen) as his personal assistant, they form a close friendship.
With a plethora of talented comedians filling out the cast and a surprisingly deep script, “Funny People” was praised by most critics as a mature directing effort for Judd Apatow.
“Despite its flaws, this film has a beguiling candour and reflectiveness which is new for Apatow and Sandler,” Sandra Hall wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Summary: Set in 1985, the romantic comedy “The Wedding Singer” explores the relationship between struggling rock-musician turned wedding singer Robbie Hart (Sandler) and a waitress named Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore).
Overall, critics called “The Wedding Singer” a gentle, feel-good romantic comedy that benefited from the natural chemistry between Barrymore and Sandler.
“A sparkling romantic comedy, the kind of picture that glides by so gracefully and unpretentiously that it’s only upon reflection that you realize how much skill, caring and good judgment had to have gone into its making,” Kevin Thomas wrote for the Los Angeles Times.
Summary: In “Reign Over Me,” when Charlie Fineman (Sandler) loses his entire family to a tragic event, his life begins to unravel. But a chance encounter with his old college roommate Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) offers him a glimpse of hope.
Although the drama wasn’t unilaterally praised by critics, the central relationship between Sandler and Cheadle had a profound effect on many viewers.
David Jenkins wrote for Time Out, “Director Mike Binder has twigged on to the fact that if you root Sandler’s genially churlish moron act into a more sober foundation, a vulnerable, believable and even lovable character can begin to emerge.”
Summary: In the animated comedy “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” Dracula (voiced by Sandler) takes his extended family of monsters — including his daughter Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) and her husband Johnny (voiced by Andy Samberg) — on a fun-filled cruise.
Critics said the highest-rated film in the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise was chock-full of light and colorful fun.
“It’s Adam Sandler’s voice talent as Dracula who steals the movie,” Wendy Shreve wrote for Featuring Film. “Never has Dracula been more alluring or funny.”
Summary: In the animated tale inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” an alcoholic is stuck doing community service over the holidays. Sandler voiced a variety of characters from disgruntled protagonist Davey Stone to his elderly mentor, Whitey Duvall.
Between low-quality animation, unoriginal plotting, and bizarre creative choices, “Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights” left critics unenthused.
“Adam Sandler’s goal may have been to provide a holiday movie with Chanukah as the central celebration, but it’s not suitable for children and not entertaining to most adults,” Cheryl DeWolfe wrote for Apollo Guide.
Summary: In the comedy “Grown Ups,” Lenny Feder (Sandler) and his five childhood best friends take their families to a lake house to reminisce about their golden years and mourn the passing of their beloved basketball coach.
Slim on jokes and thin on plot, “Grown Ups” was seen by most critics as less of a film and more of an elaborate excuse for Sandler and his real-life friends to take a group vacation.
Tim Robey wrote for The Telegraph that watching “Grown Ups” was “like being sat on by all your least favourite school bullies.”
Summary: Set on Christmas Eve, “Mixed Nuts” centers on the employees of an overworked crisis hotline as their boss Philip (Steve Martin) learns they’re facing eviction on Christmas Day.
Sandler made an appearance in the film as Louie Capshaw, a local neighbor.
Critics said that the farce felt too forced and was bursting with cartoonish characters that bordered on exhausting.
“Every character shines with such dazzling intensity and such inexhaustible comic invention that the movie becomes tiresome, like too many clowns,” Roger Ebert wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Summary: “The Cobbler” centers on Max Simkin (Sandler), the disillusioned owner of a shoe-repair shop in the middle of New York City. Everything changes when Max realizes that he has the magical ability to literally step into the shoes of other people and adopt their lives.
Despite a somewhat promising premise, “The Cobbler” proved to be a boring viewing experience for most critics.
“A top-of-the-range supporting cast makes this grindingly dull experience almost bearable,” Tom Huddleston wrote for Time Out.
Summary: In the comedy “The Do-Over,” old friends Max Kessler (Sandler) and Charlie McMillan (Spade) decide to fake their deaths on the 25th anniversary of their high-school graduation for a fresh start in life.
Brimming with raunchy humor and unlikeable characters, “The Do-Over” overstayed its welcome, according to many critics.
“Surely this movie must be almost over, you think, as you jab the pause button on your remote — only to find you are at the 50-minute mark with another 58 to go,” Jordan Hoffman wrote for The Guardian.
Summary: In the comedy sequel “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” Deuce (Rob Schneider) goes overseas to raise money for his manager’s legal defense after he’s accused of murder.
In addition to serving as an executive producer on the film, Sandler also appeared as off-screen character Robert Justin.
Critics panned the film for lacking genuine laughs and stringing together endless scenes of shallow, gross-out humor.
“‘Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo’ is the cinematic equivalent of a bunch of 13-year-old boys in a locker room, repeating dirty phrases they’ve just learned,” Richard Roeper wrote for Ebert and Roeper.
Summary: In “Bulletproof,” a police officer named Rock Keats (Damon Wayans) goes undercover to befriend drug-runner Archie Moses (Sandler) so that he can take down an infamous drug lord.
With bombastic action sequences and paper-thin characters, the action-comedy gathered a lot of criticism.
“The film’s action elements are so preposterous that the sequence of events seems almost improvised,” Stephen Holden wrote for The New York Times.
Summary: Lenny (Sandler) and his friends’ families plan to reunite at the start of summer in the comedy sequel “Grown Ups 2.” But first, they have to get their kids through the last day of school.
A needless sequel of a film that was largely panned, “Grown Ups 2” only increased critics’ ire for the franchise.
“I still don’t understand why they made the first one, much less a sequel,” Lisa Watson wrote for Ladue News.
Summary: In “Jack and Jill,” advertising executive Jack Sadelstein (Sandler) and his wife Erin (Katie Holmes) endure a visit from Jack’s insufferable twin sister Jill (also Sandler) once a year on Thanksgiving weekend.
A blended mixture of fart jokes, unrelatable characters, and a nonsensical plot, “Jack and Jill” was mercilessly panned by critics.
“It could easily have been a single-joke poster shot in a deleted scene from ‘Funny People,'” Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian. “Only it is less funny and less interesting.”
Summary: In the Western comedy “The Ridiculous 6,” six strangers — Tommy (Sandler), Chico (Terry Crews), Herm (Jorge Garcia), Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner), Ramon (Schneider), and Danny (Luke Wilson) — band together when they realize that they share the same father and a common mission.
Critics ripped “The Ridiculous 6” apart and called it an unfunny and borderline offensive film that failed as both a comedy and an homage to Western films.
“It’s like someone put ideas for Western-themed sketch comedy on a board and then Sandler threw darts at it to determine its order. The film has no flow, no rhythm, and absolutely no reason to be 119 minutes,” Brian Tallerico wrote for RogerEbert.com.
Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical scores were not included.