Adam Sandler has been a fixture on television and movie screens since the mid-'90s. After breaking into the public consciousness on "Saturday Night Live," Adam transitioned into film and has never looked back. To celebrate his 51st birthday on Sept. 9, 2017, Wonderwall.com is looking back at some of the actor's most memorable films and ranking them. Keep reading to see where some of his hits and flops ended up…
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20. "Little Nicky"
"Little Nicky" was the first of Adam Sandler's box office bombs, and it's easy to see why. The story goes like this: The Devil has three sons. Two of the sons escape hell and head to Earth to pillage and plunder. Satan sends Nicky, his mild-mannered son (Adam), to get the other two back to hell. We'd love to tell you the rest of the film, but we turned it off after a few minutes… just like everyone else.
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19. "Grown Ups 2"
"Grown Ups 2" was pretty insufferable. Let's be honest though, the first "Grown Ups" wasn't that stellar either. But then again, both movies broke the bank, so the production studio was happy (oh yeah, Adam owns the production studio). "Grown Ups 2" picked up where its predecessor left off. In this one, Adam Sandler's Lenny Feder moves back to his hometown after spending years in Los Angeles — and craziness ensues. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of the film. Watch at your own risk.
Although "Pixels" did well at the box office, it's fair to say no one liked it. Yeah, there aren't many repeat customers here. The plot is weird and not great, and the acting leaves a lot to be desired. In "Pixels," Adam stars as Brenner, who needs to save the world. From what, you ask? Well, aliens have misinterpreted video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, so they attack Earth in the form of video games. So the president of the United States, who is Brenner's childhood friend (because why not!), enlists the help of arcade champions to defend the world. This one should have been game over before it even reached theaters.
17. "You Don't Mess With The Zohan"
"You Don't Mess With The Zohan" is a film many people forget about (for good reason), but it was a huge success financially, taking in more than $200 million. The plot is bizarre and sounds fairly humorous: Zohan, Adam Sandler's character, is an Israeli counterterrorist army commando who fakes his own death so he can become a hairstylist in New York City, which is his dream. The humor all lies in that sentence, as the film just didn't deliver — although it did line Adam's (already deep) pockets. Still, "You Don't Mess With The Zohan"…the key word here being "mess."
16. "That's My Boy"
Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg together — what could go wrong?! Turns out, a lot. In "That's My Boy," Adam stars as Donny; Andy plays his son, Todd. Donny raises Todd while his mother is in prison. Todd goes out on his own as an adult, as he's embarrassed by his low-life, alcoholic father. Things are going great for Todd and he's even engaged to an attractive and wealthy girl. But then Donny shows up just before the nuptials under false pretenses (he needs money). Todd has told everyone his parents are dead, so he introduces Donny as his longtime friend. This one is just a disaster. It had such promise with two "Saturday Night Live" favorites in the cast, but audiences hated it too, as it lost money at the box office.
15. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" had a great message in the end — equality for everyone is important — but it took a really long time to get there… and there were plenty of painful moments along the way. After Larry's (Kevin James) wife dies, he runs into trouble naming his kids as his life insurance beneficiaries. He then decides to go the fraud route and enters into a civil union with best friend Chuck (Adam Sandler). Chuck, you see, owes Larry a huge favor for saving his life. Adam is a playboy, but he has to change his ways when he moves into Larry's house to pull off the hoax. Both men find it difficult to pretend that they are gay and in a committed relationship — because they're not. In the end, equality wins! It's a happy ending, but it takes about 114 minutes for it to get there.
When we all heard that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were teaming up again in "Blended," there was excitement. Then, unfortunately, everyone saw the movie. In "Blended," Jim Friedman and Lauren Reynolds (Adam and Drew's characters) are set up on a blind date and it's terrible. Like, next-level awful. One thing leads to another (we won't bore you with the details) and they end up on an African vacation together with their families (Jim is raising three girls and Lauren is raising two boys). The family is now blended… get it? Sadly, this one lacks the Adam and Drew magic we're accustomed to seeing.
13. "Grown Ups"
Let's all admit it, "Grown Ups" wasn't good. The plot wasn't great, nor was the acting. The film's about a group of high school basketball players who get together for a holiday weekend after learning of their old coach's death. That's basically the movie. In the end, though, it's Adam Sandler who gets the last laugh — the film turned a profit of nearly $200 million.
12. "Just Go With It"
"Just Go With It" was a huge success by many measures — 215 million measures, to be exact. In the film, Adam stars as playboy Danny Maccabee, a plastic surgeon who meets Palmer, played by Brooklyn Decker. He quickly falls in love with her but begins lying about his life and has to enlist the help of his assistant, Katherine Murphy (played by Jennifer Aniston), to keep the charade going. It's the classic story: Boy meets girl, boy lies to girl, boy gets assistant to lie for him, boy then develops feelings for assistant while on a vacation with another girl. Like we said, a classic story. Luckily, this film shows off Jen and Brooklyn's insane bodies, saving it from being a real clunker.
How is it that Adam Sandler's films continue to crush the box office? "Click," not his best, not his worst, took in $237 million at theaters. Basically, any film not named "Star Wars" would be over the moon with those numbers. The film is billed as a comedy, but it's really much more somber. In "Click," Adam stars as Michael, a workaholic whose marriage is suffering. Michael acquires a universal remote that enables him to fast-forward, rewind and pause parts of his life. He can even adjust the volume! As expected, this is a godsend for him early on, but then it becomes troublesome.
10. "Big Daddy"
"Big Daddy" ranks as Adam Sandler's highest grossing non-animated movie. The plot is somewhat humorous: A young boy, whose father is believed to be Adam's roommate, is dropped on their doorstep. Sonny Koufax, played by Adam, is incredibly lazy. In fact, he's so lazy that his girlfriend leaves him for being too immature. Sonny sees the kid as the ultimate way of proving her wrong, so he starts raising the kid as his own (and he makes many questionable decisions, which adds to the humor). The film earned $235 million at the box office, which was almost seven times its $34.2 million budget.
9. "The Longest Yard"
"The Longest Yard" was a decent enough film. Then again, it was a remake and you typically don't remake bad films. Adam Sandler starred as Paul Crewe, a disgraced NFL quarterback who get tossed in prison. While incarcerated, he's forced to form a team to play against the guards. It's a pretty standard film — nothing terribly surprising happens, but it's certainly not a terrible movie.
8. "Mr. Deeds"
"Mr. Deeds" is another movie that wasn't terribly bad. It's also another movie that was a remake. Adam Sandler stars as Longfellow Deeds, an aspiring greeting card writer who inherits millions from a long-lost uncle he's never met. Longfellow heads to New York City, far away from his comfort zone in Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire. In the Big Apple, Longfellow discovers that some people can be devious and conniving, but others can be sweet and kind. While Adam is the star, John Turturro steals the show as Longfellow's uncle's longtime butler.
7. "The Waterboy"
Bobby Boucher cared about two things: water and his mama. But it turns out that Bobby, played by Adam Sandler, had a mean streak that worked well on the football field. Really well, actually (he just couldn't tell his mama that he was actually playing football — or "foosball," as she called it). In addition to being the team stud, Bobby was the team's water boy. "The Waterboy," like many of Adam's films, was somewhat mindless, but you had to chuckle through most of it. Hell, he managed to wrangle Kathy Bates to star in it, so even she saw its potential.
6. "Reign Over Me"
"Reign Over Me" is one of Adam Sandler's better films, and one of his least known films too. It also stars Don Cheadle, who typically doesn't take bad projects. "Reign Over Me" is a story of love and loss: Adam's character, Charlie, loses his wife and daughters on 9/11. The film is set five years after the terror attacks, but the tragedy has continued to encompass Charlie and has led the once social dentist down a road of loneliness and depression.
5. "Punch-Drunk Love"
"Punch-Drunk Love" showcases, by far, Adam Sandler's best acting work. He was even nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the film (no kidding!), which isn't one of his most popular, by any stretch, plus it lost money. In it, Adam plays a lonely man who becomes smitten with Lena Leonard (Emily Watson). The film is part comedy, part romance, part drama. It's actually a great film — critics loved it, but fans never gave it a chance.
4. "50 First Dates"
Henry, played by Adam Sandler, never had trouble getting women. But things wouldn't be so easy with Lucy, played by Drew Barrymore, in "50 First Dates." Prior to meeting Henry, Lucy got into a car accident and lost her short-term memory. Everything that happened before the accident, she remembers clearly. Everything after, though, she forgets overnight. Despite having breakfast together every day, Lucy can't remember Henry. So he has to re-win her heart every single day. All together now: Awwww!
3. "Billy Madison"
Adam Sandler held down starring roles in other films, but it was 1995's "Billy Madison" that really sent his career into another orbit. Sure, it was a sophomoric movie, but it was oh-so funny. Billy's a rich kid whose life revolves around sunbathing, drinking beer, passing out and looking at "nudie magazines." He goes back to school (starting with kindergarten) as part of a bet to win over his dad's multi-million-dollar company. There are a lot of hijinks, love and some unforgettable lines. "T-T-T-Today, Junior!"
2. "The Wedding Singer"
As far as romantic comedies go, "The Wedding Singer" is about as good as it gets. Adam Sandler stars as Robbie Hart, a wedding singer who falls in love with Julia Sullivan, a waitress played by Drew Barrymore. As with most romances, not everything goes according to plan, since both of them are in other relationships. But, like most romantic comedies, it ends up exactly like you'd hoped. It was also the first time Adam and Drew teamed up, but it wasn't the last.
1. "Happy Gilmore"
The price was right with this one. A lot of Adam Sandler's movies are beloved, but "Happy Gilmore" takes the cake for a lot of people. Seriously, how many times have we all quoted this film? "Are you too good for your home?" "Somebody's closer!" and "Grizzly Adams had a beard." This was the story of a hockey player who took up golf, but the film took up a place in everyone's hearts. Happy only joins the golf tour to win money so that he can help out his grandma. Happy is beloved by the fans, who see his golf tournaments like frat parties. Along the way, he fights Bob Barker, falls in love and accidentally kind of kills his beloved one-handed golf instructor. Like his name, this film made everyone happy… except Shooter McGavin.