10 Best Adam Sandler Films Ranked

Adam Sandler Movies

Adam Sandler had an estimated net worth of $480 million in 2022, and signed a further three-movie deal with Netflix worth over $350 million.

After failing to receive the Academy Award nomination that most felt his performance in Uncut Gems deserved, Adam Sandler is once again the subject of critical acclaim thanks to his performance in the Netflix film, Hustle.

The Sandman is back in a big way

Now that Sandler has reminded the world that he’s much more than just a comedic actor, it seems the perfect time to comb through his four-decade-long career to find the best and most beloved films the comedian has starred in. Adam is a regular at showbiz events and loves to get on the red carpet.

‘Men, Women & Children’ – 6.6

Men, Women & Children was a polarizing film. Audiences enjoyed the film, which follows a group of high schoolers and their parents as they explore how the internet has changed love, communication, and self-image. However, critics dismissed the film almost entirely.

Sandler starred opposite Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, and Kaitlyn Dever in the Jason Reitman directed film. The cast and their committed performances were considered by most to be the best part of the film, whereas the somewhat predictable plot and melodramatic issues were what many felt most disappointed by.

’50 First Dates’ – 6.8

50 First Dates is an absolute delight. It’s everything audiences want from a rom-com. It’s emotional, moving, and, most of all, a laugh-a-minute. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have incredible chemistry, bouncing off one another with ease while fully convincing audiences of their feelings for one another.

Boosted by a fantastic supporting cast featuring Sean Astin and Dan Aykroyd, 50 First Dates shows a sweeter side of Sandler in the way that he cares for Barrymore’s Lucy. It’s no surprise that the film is considered one of Sandler’s best.

‘The Wedding Singer’ – 6.9

It looks like we’ve got ourselves an Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore double bill. Six years before they fell in love in Hawaii, the actors starred together in the 1998 classic, The Wedding Singer. The film follows Sandler’s Robbie and Barrymore’s Julia, who are both engaged to the wrong people.

Eventually, fate intervenes and pushes them together, but are they brave enough to take the leap? The film features a sensational soundtrack and some hilarious one-liners, in addition to the natural chemistry that flows between Sandler and Barrymore, making it clear why they chose to work together on two other projects in the years that followed.

‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ – 6.9

Written and directed by renowned filmmaker Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories follows an estranged family who gathers in New York to attend an event celebrating the artistic work of their father. The film was appreciated by critics and audiences alike and is considered to be one of the best films Baumbach has made thus far.

Sandler stars alongside Ben Stiller, Adam Driver, and Emma Thompson in the powerful family drama. His character Danny acts as the glue, desperately trying to hold his family together, and this role allows Sandler to showcase his dramatic prowess and natural charisma.

‘Happy Gilmore’ – 7.0

Happy Gilmore is delightfully absurd. Sandler plays the titular character Happy Gilmore, a man who, after being rejected by the local hockey team, begins playing golf to raise the money needed to save his grandma’s house. The film is Sandler at his silliest, going toe-to-toe with a clown-themed mini-golf hole, killing his trainer, and even wrestling a crocodile.

The laughs are big, and the supporting cast, featuring Julie Bowen and Carl Weathers, embrace the film’s whimsical tone and slapstick comedy. Where Adam Sandler comedies are concerned, this is definitely one of the best.

‘Hotel Transylvania’ – 7.0

Adam Sandler may have left the franchise before Hotel Transylvania: Transformania landed on Amazon Prime, but his distinguished voice helped launch the franchise in the first (and best) installment. Hotel Transylvania was a wholly original animated film, following Dracula (Sandler) as he opens a high-end resort for monsters but becomes concerned when a human boy falls for his teenage daughter.

Many of Sandler’s usual collaborators rejoined the Sandman on this, including Andy Samberg, Kevin James, and David Spade, meaning the film is full of everything we’ve come to expect from Adam Sandler comedies. Entertaining for both parents and children, Hotel Transylvania is an animated film that really is for the full family.

‘Punch-Drunk Love’ – 7.3

Punch-Drunk Love was a bit of a turning point in Sandler’s career. After over a decade of being the leading man in a series of beloved comedies, Sandler decided to take on a much more dramatic role in the Paul Thomas Anderson directed film. Though his trademark wit carries over into his performance, Punch-Drunk Love introduced audiences to a softer side of Sandler.

His performance as Barry Egan, a man beaten down by his life, is sweet, honest, and, most of all, vulnerable. Punch-Drunk Love is an exceptional film and the first project to really showcase Sandler’s range as a leading man, and it’s no surprise it’s considered one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s best films.

‘Reign Over Me’ – 7.4

The tagline for Reign Over Me reads ‘let the unexpected in,’ and the film itself certainly is an unexpected delight. It tells the story of a man who, in the wake of losing his family in the 9/11 tragedy, reunites with his old college roommate. It explores whether this rekindled friendship is enough to help him through his grief.

Related: Adam Sandler’s Crooked Version of Himself Saves Funny People

Sandler’s nuanced performance opposite the eternally great Don Cheadle makes the film utterly captivating. Director Mike Binder leaves room for the cast to shine and handles the September 11 connection with sensitivity and respect, telling a story that exists because of those events but never leaning too heavily on it.

‘Hustle’ – 7.4

Adam Sandler’s love of basketball is apparent in most of his films; remember the third act basketball game in Grown Ups, but never has his love of the sport shone through more brightly than in his most recent film, Hustle. The film, which sees Sandler act opposite several of the best basketball players in the world, follows Sandler’s talent scout as he discovers an unbelievably talented street basketball player in Spain and tries to get him the chance he deserves.

Sandler’s passion for the sport shines through in every scene, resulting in a sweet, funny, and wholesome performance. Hustle is the perfect mix of comedy and heart, and it’s exactly these types of films that we want to see Sandler make more of going forward.

‘Uncut Gems’ – 7.4

It’s been three years since Uncut Gems was released, and we still haven’t come to terms with the fact that Sandler didn’t deserve the Academy-Award nomination that his iconic performance deserved. Sandler played Howard Ratner, a fast-talking New York City jeweler whose gambling addiction has left his family and career in shambles. Howard thinks he’s found his way out in the form of an uncut opal from Ethiopia, but things aren’t that simple. This was one of the first time’s in his career that Sandler has played a somewhat despicable character.

Ratner is a shady, untrustworthy man whose selfish desires have hurt all of those around him. Benny and Josh Safdie craft a stylized New York City for Sandler’s Howard to con and beg his way through. He may not have earned the awards his performance deserved, but Uncut Gems will live long in the memory of all who see it, not least because of Sandler’s phenomenal performance.

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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