Adam Sandler is a classic funny guy with a sizable comedy catalog that's always fun to revisit. From his early slapstick films like "Billy Madison" and "Happy Gilmore" to more serious fare like "Punch-Drunk Love" and "Uncut Gems," his movies truly run the gamut and we love them all! In celebration of his 54th birthday on Sept. 9, 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at his best movies to stream. Keep reading for more…
"Uncut Gems" on Netflix & Amazon Prime Video
In 2020's "Uncut Gems," Adam Sandler stars as Howard Ratner, a jeweler based in New York City's Diamond District who has a serious gambling addiction. The film, which marked Adam's first collaboration with brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, chronicles Howard's experiences as he attempts to appease his family and clients while risking everything for a high-stakes bet. In addition to being selected by the National Board of Review as one of 2019's top 10 films of the year, the movie also set a record as distributor A24's highest grossing domestic film thanks to earnings of $50 million. Critics regarded this as one of Adam's best portrayals to date. At the 2020 Critics' Choice Movie Awards, he even earned a nod for best actor.
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"The Wedding Singer" on YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
Another one of Adam Sandler's best, 1998's "The Wedding Singer," is a testament to the incredible chemistry between the funnyman and Drew Barrymore. The film takes places in the '80s and follows Robbie Hart, a wedding singer from New Jersey who falls in love with waitress Julia Sullivan, played by Drew. The kicker: Julia is engaged to unfaithful jock Glenn. But all's fair in love and war in this predictable yet well-done film, with Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer denoting a 67% fresh rating and an Audience Score of 80%. Drew told People magazine that it took some convincing to get Adam to believe in their potential as an on-screen romantic duo. She explained what happened after they met up one day: "We looked like the worst blind date you've ever seen. I showed up with purple hair and a leopard coat and he was in his classic cargo pants. [But] I said [to him], 'I really believe that you and I could get together and do something meaningful.'"
"Click" on Hulu, YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
In 2006's "Click," Adam Sandler stars as Michael, an overworked architect who acquires a universal remote that enables him to fast-forward through the less enjoyable parts of life, which ultimately ends up teaching him a bigger life lesson. Kate Beckinsale plays Donna, his wife. Critic Roger Ebert gave the film 2 of out 4 stars for misrepresenting itself as a comedy when it's really pretty melancholy. It's definitely not your typical Sandler film!
"The Meyerowitz Stories" on Netflix
The 2017 film "The Meyerowitz Stories," which was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, chronicles an estranged group of siblings who reunite in New York City in celebration of their father's artistic career. Adam Sandler stars as Danny Meyerowitz, the unemployed, musically talented and recently separated son of Harold (Dustin Hoffman). Adam received widespread acclaim from critics for his work in the film, with Peter Debruge of Variety writing, "With no shtick to fall back on, Sandler is forced to act, and it's a glorious thing to watch — even for those fans who like him best in perpetual man-child mode (don't worry: the character is a full-grown variation on that familiar Sandler prototype)."
"Billy Madison" on Hulu, YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
In "Billy Madison," Adam Sandler stars as the titular character, a spoiled man-child and heir to a Fortune 500 company who's challenged by his father to go back to school to prove that he can take over the family company. Billy sings in the 1995 movie, "Back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool" and ends up falling in love with a pretty teacher before eventually proving himself to be a sort-of responsible guy with a better outlook on life. A critic at Rotten Tomatoes said, "As one might suspect, 'Billy Madison' is not for every taste; Sandler fans will laugh from start to finish; others beware." Billy Mowbray of "Film4" gave the flick a positive review, writing: "When you get that Sandler's comedic persona is meant to be annoying, like Beavis and Butthead or Cartman, the laughs come thick and fast." If you love Adam, it's a given you'll love "Billy Madison."
"Just Go With It" on Amazon Prime Video & YouTube
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston? This is a duo we didn't know we needed. Based on the 1969 film "Cactus Flower," 2011's "Just Go With It" stars Adam as Danny Maccabee, a successful plastic surgeon who convinces his assistant, Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston), to pretend to be his wife, from whom he's almost divorced, in an effort to capture the affection of a young teacher (Brooklyn Decker). Of course, as time progresses and their lie deepens, so do their real feelings for one another. While the film feels like your prototypical romantic comedy, it's elevated by the chemistry between Adam and Jennifer. The film was also considered a major box office success — it earned $215 million on a $48 million budget!
"Murder Mystery" on Netflix
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston teamed up again for the comedic 2019 Netflix whodunnit "Murder Mystery." They play Nick and Audrey, a New York police officer and his hairdresser wife who accidentally get caught up in a homicide investigation on a billionaire's yacht while vacationing in Europe for their 15th anniversary. Critics didn't love it, but fans did: It won the favorite comedic movie prize at the 2019 People's Choice Awards.
"Happy Gilmore" on Hulu, YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
Now we're getting to the real classics that made Adam Sandler, well, Adam Sandler. "Happy Gilmore" stars Adam as the titular hapless hockey player who discovers that he might actually have a talent for playing an entirely different sport: golf. When Happy hears that his grandmother is about to lose her home to the IRS, he joins a golf tournament to try to save the day. The 1996 film was praised by Alex Orner at Common Sense Media who wrote, "Second only to 'Billy Madison,' 'Happy Gilmore' stands out as one of Adam Sandler's best works."
"Anger Management" on Hulu & Amazon Prime Video
In 2003's "Anger Management," Adam Sandler stars as Dave Buznik, a generally mild-mannered man who, after an unsettling incident on an airplane, is forced to attend anger management classes to avoid jail time. There, he meets Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), an unconventional teacher who decides to move in with him in an effort to correct his behavior. The film, which earned $195.7 million on a $83.5 million budget, was also turned into a television series — "Anger Management" premiered on 2012 and starred Charlie Sheen as Dr. Charlie Goodson (a version of Jack's role). The series ran for two seasons until 2014.
"50 First Dates" on Hulu, YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
Who doesn't love an Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore collaboration? In 2004's "50 First Dates," Adam stars as Henry Roth, a womanizing veterinarian who falls in love with Drew's character, Lucy, a lovely woman suffering from short-term memory loss. The movie received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes writing, "Gross-out humor overwhelms the easy chemistry between" its stars. It's not Adam's best film, but it's definitely worth a watch, if only for this kindred duo's charm.
"Reign Over Me" on Amazon Prime Video
"Reign Over Me" is a lesser-known Adam Sandler film also starring Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland. The 2007 movie tells a tale of love and loss through a narrative about Adam's character, Charlie, who loses his wife and daughters in the 9/11 tragedy. The film received a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 81% Audience Score.
"Big Daddy" on Hulu, YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
This heartwarming Adam Sandler comedy is one of his greatest movies. "Big Daddy" tells the story of lazy law school graduate Sonny Koufax, who finds purpose by adopting a ridiculously cute 5-year-old boy, Julian. The movie, which also stars Leslie Mann, Jon Stewart, Joey Lauren Adams and Steve Buscemi, is both humorous and endearing, zeroing in on that emotional-yet-funny sweet spot. The film won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy in 2000, though the late film critic Roger Ebert ragged on the movie for having a "predictable story arc." It has a 74% fresh Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
"Blended" on YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
This one makes us so nostalgic! 2014's "Blended" marks the third and most recent collaboration between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (they previously co-starred together in 1998's "The Wedding Singer" and 2004's "50 First Dates")! The film follows a recent divorcée and a widowed father who, after going on a terrible blind date with one another, find themselves sharing the same vacation package while at a South African resort! As a result, these two strangers, who assumed they'd never have to see each other again, are forced to go on a a series of family excursions with their respective children. The film, however, wasn't a critical success despite earning $128 million on a $40 million budget. Truthfully, Drew and Adam's chemistry is reason enough to give it a watch.
"Spanglish" on YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
The characters don't disappoint in the 2004 comedy-drama "Spanglish." The film follows a strained married couple whose lives change forever when a housekeeper and her daughter move in with them. Starring Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni and Paz Vega, the film's narrative received mixed reviews, but its acting was praised. Rotten Tomatoes wrote, "Paz Vega shines, and Adam Sandler gives a performance of thoughtfulness and depth."
"The Waterboy" on Amazon Prime Video & YouTube
Adam Sandler stars as Southerner Bobby Boucher, a kid with a speech impediment, in the 1998 sports comedy "The Waterboy." He acts alongside Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler in a story about a waterboy who loves his job and is fired for no reason other than that he's a clumsy guy and an easy target. Rotten Tomatoes wrote, "This is an insult to its genre with low humor and cheap gags." Still, a lot of people love it and consider the film a Sandler classic.
"Punch-Drunk Love" on Hulu & HBO Max
"Punch-Drunk Love" is an Adam Sandler dark comedy. The 2002 film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson centers around Adam's character, Barry Egan, a socially awkward small-business owner with seven manipulative sisters who, after some trials and tribulations, eventually finds love with Emily Watson's character, Lena. The critics at Rotten Tomatoes liked it: "Odd, touching, and unique, 'Punch-Drunk Love' is also delightfully funny."
"Funny People" on Hulu & Amazon Prime Video
"Funny People" is a 2009 comedy directed, written and produced by Judd Apatow. The film follows a famous comedian who's diagnosed with a terminal disease and attempts to patch up all the relationships in his life. This emotional yet funny film is stacked with a killer cast that includes Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill. The late critic Roger Ebert awarded the flick 3.5 stars out of 4 and called it "a real movie."
"Little Nicky" on HBO Max & YouTube
Not everyone's a fan of "Little Nicky" humor, but the 2000 film has developed a strong cult following over the years. Adam Sandler stars as Nicky, one of Satan's three sons who attempts to save his father from dying and prevent his brothers from taking over on Earth. The film received a 22% fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 56% Audience Score. If a lazy Sunday presents itself and you have a few hours to spare, you'll likely have some laughs with this one!
"Grown Ups" on Hulu & YouTube
This one's a comedy to remember! 2010 marked the year in which Adam Sandler co-starred in "Grown Ups," a film about five former best friends and teammates who reunite 30 years later during a Fourth of July weekend after finding out about the sudden passing of their beloved basketball coach. The movie, which starred Adam as talent agent Lenny Feder, earned a whopping $271.4 million on a $80 million budget and spawned a 2013 sequel.
"The Longest Yard" on YouTube & Amazon Prime Video
In 2005's "The Longest Yard," Adam Sandler stars as dishonored football quarterback Paul Crewe who, while in jail, ends up overseeing the inmates' football team. He becomes the quarterback and leader of the team as they prepare for a game against the prison guards, who unfortunately will stop at nothing to cheat their way to victory. "The Longest Yard" was considered a box office success: It made $190.3 million on a $82 million budget.