Adam Sandler certainly has had an interesting career in the movie industry. After getting his start on Saturday Night Live, he moved into the film world in a big way, becoming one of the biggest stars to come out of that legendary show. While he is mostly known for his juvenile and critically-panned comedies, Sandler has also shown he's full of surprises.
Though the occasional one of his comedies lands with critics, it is his dramatic work that often wins him acclaim. This varied career has led to Sandler adding more than a few celebrated films to his filmography. Here are Adam Sandler's best films according to Rotten Tomatoes.
10 Happy Gilmore (61%)
Sandler debut one of his most beloved characters in Happy Gilmore. Sandler stars as the titular man-child who dreams of becoming a hockey player but possesses little skill. However, Happy soon discovers he is a surprisingly talented golfer, quickly becoming the hottest and most unorthodox star of the sport.
Some critics naturally found the movie to be an immature and unfunny slog. However, a lot of critics found something to enjoy in Sandler's antics. Though not praised as high art, they considered it a fine comedy.
9 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (62%)
Though some of his movies can be a little vulgar, Sandler embraced his kid-friendly side with the Hotel Transylvania franchise. In the third film in the series, Sandler returns as Dracula as he and his friends set out on a summer cruise, unaware that it is a trap set up by Van Helsing.
For the third film in the series, critics mostly agreed that the movie delivered on what was expected at this point. The animation was engaging and the film was filled with fast-paced and funny gags throughout.
8 Reign Over Me (64%)
Reign Over Me represents the first instance on this list of Sandler playing against his usual type in a more dramatic role. The drama stars Don Cheadle as a family man who reconnects with an old friend (Sandler) whose life has fallen apart after losing his family on 9/11.
Cheadle and Sandler were both praised for giving powerful and compelling performances. The film itself was called a moving and effective story that dealt with difficult subjects like loss and friendship.
7 The Wedding Singer (68%)
Sandler's characters don't always seem like the most romantic kind, but he is capable of pulling off the occasional romantic comedy. The Wedding Singer is an 80s-set comedy that stars Sandler as a popular wedding singer who is getting over a broken heart when he meets a charming waitress (Drew Barrymore).
The movie was called uneven and sappy by some of its harsher critics, but a majority of them were charmed by the rom-com. Sandler and Barrymore made for a great team and the movie packed a lot of heart and laughs.
6 Funny People (69%)
Sandler reunited with his former roommate Judd Apatow for this dramedy set in the world of stand-up comedy. Sandler stars as a famous but abrasive comedian who finds out he is dying and decides to mentor a young, struggling comic (Seth Rogen).
Critics called the film Apatow's most mature film to date, dealing with death and regret. However, they also acknowledged the movie was hilarious as it dealt with the heavy subject matter and Sandler was praised for a vulnerable performance.
5 Punch-Drunk Love (80%)
Sandler first showed audiences that there was a lot more to his talents in this unique romantic comedy from Paul Thomas Anderson. Punch-Drunk Love stars Sandler as a lonely and awkward businessman who struggles with his own emotions as he meets and falls in love with a woman (Emily Watson).
Sandler was hailed for his nuanced and subtle performance in a role that utilized his popular comedic persona in unexpected ways. Anderson was also given credit for crafting a sweet, beautiful and odd romance.
4 Top Five (86%)
Sandler is known for bringing a lot of his friends into his movies, and occasionally, he pops up in some of their movies as well. Top Five is one of the rare times that has resulted in a good movie. Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in this romantic comedy as a stand-up comedian dealing with professional and personal struggles while being shadowed by a reporter for the day.
Rock was praised for his best work as a filmmaker to date in a simple story that was infused with his razor-sharp stand-up wit.
3 Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh (90%)
Sandler returned to his stand-up comedy roots for this epic concert film. The movie follows Sandler through several shows ranging from massive stadium concerts to intimate comedy club sets, to a busy subway platform. Sandler performs new stand-up material as well as a number of original songs.surprisingly emotional moments stood out.Sandler was praised for bringing an immense amount of energy and heart to each of the performances, showing new sides of himself. The inventive structure of the film was also exciting and the
2 The Meyerowitz Stories (93%)
Sandler and Ben Stiller starring in a movie together as brothers might sound like the kind of goofy comedy they're known for, but The Meyerowitz Stories is a much quieter film than that. The Noah Baumbach film centers on an estranged family of adult children who gather together to celebrate their artist father (Dustin Hoffman).
The movie's outstanding cast was given a lot of love from critics with Sandler getting singled out by many of them. The story made for a funny, heartfelt and bittersweet family saga that was endlessly entertaining.
1 Uncut Gems (94%)
Sandler's most recent film appears to be his best according to Rotten Tomatoes. Uncut Gems is a crime film from the Safdie brothers which stars Sandler as a charismatic New York City jeweler who risks everything on a potentially life-changing score.
The film is already being called one of the best of the year with Sandler giving a career-best performance. The wild story makes for an anxiety-inducing ride that keeps the audience hanging on until the very last second.