Adam Sandler’s Best Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes

Adam Sandler first came to fame as a goofy and sometimes inappropriate comedian. He’s now been in the public eye for over three decades. Naturally, in the years since he first appeared on Saturday Night Live, he’s grown and developed as an actor.

Rotten Tomatoes listed his best-reviewed movies, and it shows just how talented he is. However, if you look at the box office returns, his fans don’t always seem to appreciate his most nuanced work.

Adam Sandler’s highest-rated movies

With at least 63 movies to his name, Sandler has a large body of work to consider. According to Rotten Tomatoes, there are four films that rise to the top. Based on a wide range of movie critics’ reviews, these four are his best work, with scores that fall into the site’s highest category, known as “Fresh”. 

‘The Meyerowitz Stories’

Dustin Hoffman grabs Adam Sandler's tie during the screening of Netflix's "The Meyerowitz Stories
Actors Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler of The Meyerowitz Stories | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

This 2017 drama/comedy is about Harold Meyerowitz, an artist in New York who is being recognized for his work. Sandler plays one of his adult children who gather for the event and struggle with old family problems.

‘Hustle’

Sandler plays Stanley Sugarman in this 2022 drama about an NBA scout with dreams of becoming a coach. He discovered a troubled but talented streetball player.

‘Uncut Gems’

Released in 2019, this movie is a mix of comedy, mystery, and thriller that captivated the audience with its tension-filled plot. Sandler played a jeweler who places a high-stakes bet that could make or break him in dramatic ways. 

‘Punch-Drunk Love’

This comedy/romance features Sandler as Barry, a lonely, timid man who has occasional violent outbursts. He’s looking for love, but he runs into an embarrassing complication. 

Sandler has depth in dramatic roles

Although Sandler is better known for his broad slapstick and sometimes crude comedies, a glance at Rotten Tomato’s list will tell you that he’s a strong actor in serious roles. According to Entertainment Weekly, that truth is easy to see when you dig into his past work. 

The article mentions The Meyerowitz Stories and Punch-Drunk Love as some of his best work but also points out some of his other roles in less-serious movies that demonstrate the range of his acting talents.

For example, his role in The Wedding Singer showcased his ability to display sincere, vulnerable romantic feelings. In Spanglish, he’s “capable of a softness where one voice can crack a viewer’s heart.” Despite Sandler’s dramatic abilities, audiences don’t always seem to agree with the critics. 

The box office disagrees with the critics

According to ScreenRant, critical praise for his movies doesn’t always match up to how well they do at the box office. None of his highest-rated movies can be found on the list of his 15 most successful films. Instead, they’re much more likely to opt for his lighthearted movies, such as Just Go With It, 50 First Dates, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (one of his worst-reviewed movies ever). 

In fact, when you look at his work that made the most money, the movies sitting in the top spot are the Hotel Transylvania series. Although the animated franchise is generally considered a fun option in kids’ entertainment, it hardly demonstrates his full range of dramatic capability. 

It’s a shame more of his fans aren’t lining up to see his serious roles. As one reviewer put it when writing about Hustle, “Adam Sandler is a man of many talents and there are many facets to his acting skills.”

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