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The best Adam Sandler movies, ranked by the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer

Published Aug 31st, 2023 6:03PM EDT
Hustle on Netflix
Image: Scott Yamano/Netflix

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Adam Sandler is on a tear these days, with his most recent movies for Netflix earning him the kind of plaudits one doesn’t usually associate with the actor’s slacker brand of humor. I’ve always found him to be one of those love-him-or-hate-him kinds of performers, but not only does he have the #1 Netflix movie in the US right now (as well as one of the Top 3 in the world this week). Two of his most recent films for the streaming giantHustle, as well as You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah — have near-perfect critics’ scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

That’s as good an excuse as any to take a closer look at what critics regard as the best movies in his filmography to date, a roundup for which we’ll rely on the Rotten Tomatoes “Tomatometer.” Sandler’s latest movie, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, is very much a family affair, with Sandler’s real-life wife and daughters included in the cast. It’s racked up 12.3 million views around the world since its release last Friday. Meanwhlie, how many of these other Adam Sandler gems have you seen — and do you agree with critics that these are his best movies?

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

Tomatometer score: 97%

Summary: Sandler’s newest film, oddly enough, tops the list of his best movies as ranked by their Rotten Tomatoes critics’ scores. Based on the 2005 YA novel of the same name by Fiona Rosenbloom, this film is a coming-of-age story focused on two lifelong best friends who have a particular thing in common: They’ve always dreamed of “epic” bat mitzvahs. Things go hilariously wrong, though, when outside factors start to come between the two besties — factors ranging from Hebrew school drama and teenage crushes.


Tomatometer score: 93%

Summary: In this 2022 Netflix original film, Sandler plays a basketball scout who’s down on his luck and who recruits an overseas phenom with a rocky past without his team’s approval. It’s a rousing, feel-good story about two hustlers fighting the odds to prove they’ve both got what it takes to make it.

The cast includes Juancho Hernangómez, playing the Spanish baller that Sandler recruits. It’s a role that came naturally to him, given that offscreen, he spent seven seasons in the NBA.

The Meyerowitz Stories

Tomatometer score: 92%

Summary: Per the official Netflix synopsis, “From writer/director Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is the emotional, and comic intergenerational tale of adult siblings (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel) contending with the long shadow their strong-willed father (Dustin Hoffman) has cast over their lives.”

Uncut Gems

Tomatometer score: 91%

Summary: This 2019 crime thriller, for me, is the film that belongs at the very top of any list of the best Adam Sandler movies.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for gritty crime dramas — and in this film from the Safdie brothers that unfolds in Manhattan’s Diamond District, and which also includes a luminescent Julia Fox in a supporting role as the girlfriend of Sandler’s character, Sandler himself plays Howard Ratner. He’s a gambling addict and jeweler who’s scrambling to pay off his debts by recovering an uber-valuable gem.

Punch-Drunk Love

Tomatometer score: 79%

Summary: This final Adam Sandler gem takes us all the way back to 2002, to this absurdist rom-com from director Paul Thomas Anderson that wowed critics while nevertheless bombing at the box office. Sandler plays an entrepreneur with crippling anxiety who falls in love with a co-worker of his sister.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.