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Unless you’ve just been introduced to comedy, you’re likely already acquainted with Adam Sandler. The exceptionally talented actor and comedian has ruled the Big Screen for about three decades now. In most Adam Sandler movies, the comedian plays an innocent half-witted, under-accomplished middle-aged man who can also degenerate into a naughty troublemaker at the slightest opportunity he can find.
The following is a rundown of the top 15 Adam Sandler movies you should consider watching today.
1. Airheads (1994)
When you’re a group of accomplished heavy metal musicians, it’s only natural that you receive your fair share of airplay at your local radio stations. But what if the local radio stations don’t seem to appreciate your talents?
Well, according to Adam Sandler, you overrun the stations and take everyone hostage, demanding airplay. But since you’re all airheads, you didn’t give your plan enough consideration and now you risk being guests of the state.
2. Happy Gilmore (1996)
Two years after releasing Airheads, and even before his fans had feasted their eyes enough on the comedy-packed film, Adam Sandler went ahead to release yet another sensational comedy movie. In Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler plays a failed, ill-tempered hockey player who has decided to take his chances on professional golf.
He has set his eyes on winning a PGA tournament. The idea is a welcome career change, but the juvenile’s bad attitude offends everyone on the golf course, including the country club elites. But amidst all the intrigues, his talent at hitting the ball down the fairway at supersonic speeds is simply unmissable.
3. The Wedding Singer (1998)
The Wedding Singer isn’t just one of Adam Sandler’s top comedy hits. It’s also one of the most emotionally moving films. The incorporation of fun musical elements adds more color and character to the entire plot. The movie chronicles the struggles of a sweet, funny, but heartbroken wedding singer known as Robbie (Sandler), and a perky waitress.
4. Big Daddy (1999)
In many of his films, Adam Sandler doesn’t epitomize the ideal parent. In fact, he is mostly portrayed as a depressed loser who is constantly battling with mid-life crisis. We might have expected that in Big Daddy, where Sandler plays an ill-tempered tollbooth attendant who has abandoned all adult responsibility.
However, the 30-year old bachelor’s life takes a sudden twist when he finds himself taking care of a 5-year old whose mum succumbed to cancer. True to form, Adam Sandler turns the movie around from its grim setup to a sweet and comic masterpiece.
5. Punch Drunk Love (2002)
Punch Drunk Love is deep and odd, but it’s also delightfully hilarious movie. And the fact that Sandler was cast in a straight role makes the movie even more sobering. The dark comedy film revolves around Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), a socially-impaired, desperately lonely owner of a small distribution business, whose life falls apart after calling into a phone sex line. Well, somewhere down the road, he actually finds love.
6. Anger Management (2003)
Anger Management is unarguably one of Adam Sandler’s best performances in the early 2000s. An even-tempered businessman, Dave Buznick (Adam Sandler), is involved in a series of strange misunderstandings when on an airline flight.
He later faces accusations of air rage, for which a judge recommends that he undergoes anger management therapy. Though he is in the care of a celebrated therapist, Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), Dave comes face to face with truly disturbed patients at the facility.
7. 50 First Dates (2004)
After the Wedding Singer garnered critical acclaim and commercial success, Adam Sandler once again teamed up with Drew Barrymore in yet another great romantic comedy hit – 50 First Dates.
The script is a bit different. In the movie, Drew Barrymore is a woman with a mental condition that wipes out her entire memory every morning. No man would dare date a woman who can’t recall how great the night before was. Well, no man except Adam Sandler.
8. The Longest Yard (2005)
This film is actually a remake of the 1974 classic by the same title. After successful years as a professional footballer, Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) falls into alcoholism. At some point, he is arrested for committing a serious traffic accident. He is convicted and sentenced to a jail term at Allenville Penitentiary, where he meets an unlikely gang of convicts.
9. Click (2006)
Click ranks among the most creative fantasy-comedy films starring Adam Sandler. Sandler plays a workaholic named Michael Newman, who was determined to secure a great future for his family, the very family he never had time for.
He is frustrated in his job, though he is not about to give up his dreams of a happy and successful family. Michael receives a magical remote from a Bed Bath & Beyond employee, which offers him more control over his life and future. As it turns out, he drifts even further apart from his family.
10. Reign Over Me (2007)
Reign Over Me is a tale of friendship, grief, and loss. Following the September 11th attacks, a man lost his entire family and has been completely shattered by the ordeal. Tormented by the post-traumatic grief, the downtrodden widower attempts to commit suicide, something that sees him condemned to an insane asylum. Fortunately, he begins to piece his life together after moving in with his in-laws.
11. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008)
What happens when an Israeli counter-terrorist agent decides to become a hairstylist? Maybe the first real question should be, ‘how do you even climb down from a Mossad agent to a New York hairstylist?’ This is one of Sandler’s high-concept movies that portray what men and women can get up to in their quests for personal fulfillment.
12. Funny People (2009)
Honestly, Adam Sandler should have adopted this title for his earlier movies because they’ve always been about funny people anyway. But Funny People isn’t all about humor and rib-cracking jokes. There’s reasonable emotional depth in it as well.
A famous stand-up comedian named George Simmons learns that he has a terminal illness, with less than a year to live. As you may expect, he isn’t about to sit back, fold his hands, and wait for his appointed day of kicking the proverbial bucket.
13. Just Go With It (2011)
Here’s another one of Adam Sandler’s rom-com films on this list. Danny (Sandler) uses an old wedding ring as a pawn to garner the sympathy of women he is interested in having sex with. He makes up stories about failed marriages where he’s apparently the good guy who simply feel victim to a cheating partner. His aim is to use his next date to fake yet another relationship.
14. The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
The Meyerowitz Stories features an ensemble of actors, including Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, and Emma Thompson. The movie illustrates how resentment, just like love, can draw miserable people to one another. It’s a recommended watch if you’re looking for a movie that captures the intrigues of a family that’s held together in bittersweet relationships.
15. Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems portrays the dramatic side of Adam Sandler that seldom shows in most of his films. A charismatic, fast-talking New York City jeweler decides to push his luck by making a bet of his lifetime. If he wins, his life changes forever. But if he loses, he could lose everything he has worked for.
Adam Sandler remains one of the most talented comedians alive. He has starred and featured in scores of critically acclaimed movies, and the list above only scratches the surface of that.