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While we might’ve gone on the record a couple of times saying that after thirty years as a comedic actor, polio has brought more laughter than Adam Sandler, a more thorough look at his filmography makes us reconsider that stance. Slightly. Although he indeed made some movies that are touted as crimes against cinematography and humor, the good Adam Sandler movies list can still be made. It’s probably all the Zohans and Jack and Jills that tainted the career of Sandler so much that it’s generally OK to hate on him.
His career started that way as is first movie Going Overboard (1989) has the IMDB rating of 1.9, despite starring Billy Zane and Billy Bob Thorton as well. Adam also went on the cusp of “full retard” a couple of times with Billy Madison (1995), The Waterboy (1998), and even one on the list of his good movies, irritating the critics and boring the audience with the sheer volume of the almost identical, unwatchable movies. Yet he has atoned himself with several quality films he made throughout his career.
Image: Columbia Pictures
Everyone had the fantasy about being able to manipulate time, stopping it to cheat on a test, fast forwarding the boring parts, and a movie about it was inevitable. Adam Sandler gets the universal remote that should help him simplify his life, and it’s great to see your time-bending fantasies played out on the screen, confirming that it would be as fun as we’ve imagined. In the end, it’s surprising how a movie with physical, sometimes childish humor can turn around and deliver an important, undeniable message.
Somewhat a forgotten comedy movie despite having a strong lead and supporting cast, Sandler plays another dimwitted character, only this time he’s in a rock band with Steve Buscemi and Brandan Fraser. And since their band couldn’t get air time on the radio, they decided to take drastic measures, infiltrate the building and demand the host to play it while pointing fake guns at his face. Things get out of hand and the movie is as fun as the premise promises.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
The most critically acclaimed Adam Sandler movie, it almost wins this by default since it is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. A story which is too weird for any synopsis to do it justice, but what can be said is that Sandler surprised people firstly by getting the role, and secondly by the performance he delivered. The movie challenged him to do so, as a romantic comedy-drama was the perfect slate for Sandler to showcase his acting.
Happy Gilmore (1996)
Image: Universal Pictures
The ’90s were the decade of Adam Sandler, thanks to his comedies with wacky premises, and Happy Gilmore was the one that drained every bit of potential it had. A story about turning a gentlemen’s, highbrow game of golf into the people’s sport by spicing it up with a former hockey player boasting a serious rage problem ended up having a considerate laugh per minute ratio. And unlike in his less successful movies, the characters are wild but believable. Too bad that Sandler really lets people down on the comedic aspect in the 21st century.
Reign Over Me (2007)
While many might think that Punch-Drunk Love is the most liked Adam Sandler movie, actually it’s the far less known Reign Over me that has better ratings by the audience on both IMDB and RottenTomatoes. And it’s a straight-up drama! Adam co-stars with Don Cheadle, and shows deep emotions and wide range while playing a man who lost his family and parts of his mind, while reconnecting with his college roommate. Probably not something you expected from this good Adam Sandler movies list.
Big Daddy (1999)
Mixing the innocence of a child with the common idiotism, immaturity, and anger of Adam Sandler characters really made the difference for this movie. Similarly to Happy Gilmore, this flick also manages to be an inch deeper than the recent Sandler comedies, which is absolutely enough when the humor is on point like it is here. It’s the heart of the story and the reliability to the terrors of finally growing up that made Big Daddy a success.
Let out all your anger in the comments Happy Gilmore style if you think there any other flicks you would’ve put on the good Adam Sandler movies list.