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Best Adam Sandler movies ranked | Image: Man of Many

15 Best Adam Sandler Movies Ranked

Love him or hate him – or perhaps you sit somewhere firmly in between – Adam Sandler has come a long way from his Saturday Night Live days, carving out a successful career in both comedy and drama. Originally famed for his humorous and often over-the-top characters, he’s surprised us all over the years with his ability to handle more serious and complex roles. With the launch of his new Netflix film Spaceman imminent, we’ve put together a list of the best Adam Sandler movies to sink your teeth into – from laugh-out-loud comedies to compelling dramas, this list underscores Sandler’s serious versatility as a film actor. 

Best Adam Sandler Movies at a Glance

Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in ‘Punch-Drunk Love’
Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in ‘Punch-Drunk Love’ | Image: Columbia Pictures

1. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

  • Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3
  • Run Time: 1 hr 36 min​​​​

In what we think is the best Adam Sandler film overall, Punch-Drunk Love stars Sandler as Barry Egan, an awkward owner of a novelty plunger business, whose life is a blend of loneliness and peculiar habits. When he meets Lena Leonard (Emily Watson), sparks fly in the most unexpected ways. Throw in a blackmailing phone sex operator, and you have a recipe for a rom-com with a twist. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this film beautifully blends dark humour with romance, showcasing a side of Sandler that’s both endearing and intriguingly complex.

Adam Sandler and Carl Weathers in ‘Happy Gilmore’
Adam Sandler and Carl Weathers in ‘Happy Gilmore’ | Image: Universal Pictures

2. Happy Gilmore (1996)

  • Director: Dennis Dugan
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen
  • IMDb Rating: 7.0
  • Run Time: 1h 32m​​​​

Adam Sandler brings his explosive humour to the golf course in Happy Gilmore. Happy, a highly-strung wannabe hockey player, discovers a surprising talent for golf. Motivated by the need to save his grandmother’s house, he joins the professional golf tour. This mash-up of sports and comedy directed by Dennis Dugan is filled with humour, unexpected sportsmanship, and a truly memorable fight scene with Bob Barker. A must-watch for those who need convincing of Sandler’s comedy chops. 

Adam Sandler in ’Uncut Gems’
Adam Sandler in ’Uncut Gems’ | Image: Netflix

3. Uncut Gems (2019)

  • Director: Josh and Benny Safdie
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian
  • IMDb Rating: 7.4
  • Run Time: 2h 15m​​​​

In his best performance, Uncut Gems sees Sandler transform into Howard Ratner, a charismatic jeweller with a gambling addiction. Directed by the Safdie Brothers, this movie is a relentless thrill ride through New York’s gritty streets. Howard struggles to juggle family, his enemies, and fortune, all while chasing the ultimate high-stakes win. It’s a heart-pounding, nail-biting experience that shows Sandler’s skill in creating dramatic tension.

Adam Sandler and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in ‘Billy Madison’
Adam Sandler and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in ‘Billy Madison’ | Image: Universal Pictures

4. Billy Madison (1995)

  • Director: Tamra Davis
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Darren McGavin, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras
  • IMDb Rating: 6.3
  • Run Time: 89 minutes

In Billy Madison, Adam Sandler brings to life the character of Billy, a 27-year-old, immature but well-meaning heir to a vast fortune. But first, he must complete all 12 grades within 24 weeks to prove himself capable of handling his inheritance. Directed by Tamra Davis, this film masterfully combines humour with a heartwarming storyline, showcasing Billy’s growth from a carefree man to a more responsible adult. Despite mixed reviews from critics, Billy Madison has secured its place as a fan-favourite among Sandler fans.

Adam Sandler in ‘Hustle’
Adam Sandler in ‘Hustle’ | Image: Netflix

5. Hustle (2022)

  • Director: Jeremiah Zagar
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah, Juancho Hernangomez
  • IMDb Rating: 7.3 
  • Run Time: 117 mins 

Hustle sees Adam Sandler trade his usual comedy chops for a gritty, heart-pumping role in the world of basketball. Sandler plays Stanley Sugerman, a down-on-his-luck basketball scout who discovers a once-in-a-lifetime talent in Spain. More than a sports movie; it’s a high-stakes, emotional drama that shows Sandler in a new light. From the back alleys of overseas basketball courts to the glossy hardwood of the NBA, Hustle is a slam dunk of drama, determination, and dreams. Sandler’s performance is a testament to the underdog spirit and suggests that sometimes, the long shot is worth taking.

Adam Sandler in ‘You Don't Mess with the Zohan'
Adam Sandler in ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’ | Image: Columbia Pictures

6. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008)

  • Director: Dennis Dugan
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui
  • IMDb Rating: 5.6
  • Run Time: 1h 53m​​​​

Arguably one of his most iconic early-2000s films, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan stars Sandler as an Israeli commando with dreams bigger than his biceps – he dreams of being a New York hairstylist. His transition from super-soldier to scissor-wielding stylist is a whirlwind of comedic chaos, especially when his past comes knocking. Directed by Dennis Dugan, this film is a wild blend of action and absurdity, proving that dreams can come in all shapes and sizes.

Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans in ‘Bulletproof’
Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans in ‘Bulletproof’ | Image: Universal Pictures

7. Bulletproof (1996)

  • Director: Ernest Dickerson
  • Starring: Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler
  • IMDb Rating: 5.8
  • Run Time: 1h 24m​​​​

In Bulletproof, Adam Sandler’s Archie Moses partners up with Damon Wayans’ Jack Carter in a buddy cop comedy with a dramatic twist. This rollercoaster ride directed by Ernest Dickerson, is filled with all the good makings of a great cop movie: action, betrayal, and unexpected camaraderie. Watch as a small-time thief and an undercover cop turn a mess of a situation into a wild adventure, showing that sometimes, the most unlikely pairs make the best teams.

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in ‘The Wedding Singer’
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in ‘The Wedding Singer’ | Image: New Line Cinema

8. The Wedding Singer (1998)

  • Director: Frank Coraci
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9 
  • Run Time: 95 mins 

The Wedding Singer is undoubtedly one of Adam Sandler’s most beloved rom-coms. Sandler shines as Robbie Hart, a wedding singer with a heart of gold and a life in shambles. After being left at the altar, Robbie meets Julia (Drew Barrymore), who’s engaged to the wrong guy. What ensues is a series of hilarious misadventures and sweet moments. This flick is a nostalgic trip down memory lane; a feel-good, laugh-out-loud comedy about finding love in the most unexpected places. With a soundtrack that’s like a love letter to the ’80s, The Wedding Singer, and Sandler, hits all the right notes in comedy and romance.

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in ’50 First Dates’
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in ’50 First Dates’ | Image: Columbia Pictures

9. 50 First Dates (2004)

  • Director: Peter Segal
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore
  • IMDb Rating: 6.8
  • Run Time: 1h 39m​​​​

Another Adam Sandler cult classic, 50 First Dates stars Sandler as commitment-phobe marine veterinarian Henry Roth. He unexpectedly meets his match in Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore), whose short-term memory loss makes every date a first date. Set against Hawaii’s stunning backdrop, this romantic comedy directed by Peter Segal is as beautiful as it is funny. It’s a story of endless love and daily re-discovery. 

Adam Sandler in ‘Big Daddy’
Adam Sandler in ‘Big Daddy’ | Image: Columbia Pictures

10. Big Daddy (1999)

  • Director: Dennis Dugan
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart, Rob Schneider
  • IMDb Rating: 6.4
  • Run Time: 93 minutes

Another iconic Adam Sandler film, Big Daddy follows the journey of Sonny Koufax (Sandler) – a lazy law school graduate who adopts a kid (played by the Sprouse twins) in an attempt to win back his girlfriend. What starts as a ploy turns into a hilarious journey of diapers, bedtime stories, and unexpected paternal love. It’s a story that hilariously proves growing up isn’t just for kids.

Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Lobo Sebastian, Bob Sapp, and Dalip Singh in ‘The Longest Yard’
Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Lobo Sebastian, Bob Sapp, and Dalip Singh in ‘The Longest Yard’ | Image: Paramount Pictures

11. The Longest Yard (2005)

  • Director: Peter Segal
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, James Cromwell
  • IMDb Rating: 6.4
  • Run Time: 113 minutes

In this modern remake of the 1974 classic, The Longest Yard stars Adam Sandler as a former professional quarterback whose glory days are behind him. Finding himself in prison, he’s offered a chance at a reduced sentence but there’s a catch – he must form a football team comprised of fellow inmates to take on the guards. This gritty, yet humorous take on the original film blends Sandler’s comedic talent with the high stakes of an underdog sports story.

Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson in ‘Anger Management’
Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson in ‘Anger Management’ | Image: Columbia Pictures

12. Anger Management (2003)

  • Director: Peter Segal
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei
  • IMDb Rating: 6.2
  • Run Time: 106 minutes

Anger Management follows the journey of Dave Buznik, a businessman who unexpectedly finds himself in a wildly unconventional anger management program. Led by a therapist (Jack Nicholson) whose methods are as bizarre as they are hilarious, the film is one of Sandler’s most memorable. As Buznik struggles to navigate this absurd new world, the therapy sessions spiral into comedic chaos, making for an entertainingly unpredictable journey.

Adam Sandler as Conde Drácula in ’Hotel Transylvania’
Adam Sandler as Conde Drácula in ’Hotel Transylvania’ | Image: Sony Pictures

13. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

  • Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Andy Samberg
  • IMDb Rating: 7.0
  • Run Time: 91 minutes

In this animated hit directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Sandler voices Dracula, not just the king of vampires but also a devoted dad to Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez). Hilarity ensues in Dracula’s monster haven when a human backpacker unexpectedly drops in and catches Mavis’ eye. It has a good blend of funny and heartfelt moments, all wrapped in a tale of acceptance and family. With a stellar voice cast, Hotel Transylvania is one for Adam Sandler fans both young and young at heart.

Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser, and Steve Buscemi in ‘Airheads’
Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser, and Steve Buscemi in ‘Airheads’ | Image: 20th Century Fox

14. Airheads (1994)

  • Director: Michael Lehmann
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi
  • IMDb Rating: 6.2
  • Run Time: 92 minutes

Starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and a young Adam Sandler, Airheads is an absolute riot. This 1994 comedy follows three aspiring rock musicians who, in a desperate bid for fame, hijack a radio station to get their demo played. A series of hilariously absurd events follow, proving that fame isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially for a band with more enthusiasm than talent.

Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen in ‘Funny People’
Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen in ‘Funny People’ | Image: Universal Pictures

15. Funny People (2009)

  • Director: Judd Apatow
  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann
  • IMDb Rating: 6.3
  • Run Time: 146 minutes

Adam Sandler shines in Funny People as George Simmons, a comedy superstar who has everything, except someone to share it with. Enter Seth Rogen as Ira, a budding comedian who becomes George’s, right-hand man. It’s a wild ride of jokes, heartaches, and life’s big questions. Add in Leslie Mann who brings a sprinkle of charm to this tale and you’ve got the recipe for a great Adam Sandler flick. 

How MoM Chose This List of Best Adam Sandler Movies

Our approach to choosing the best Adam Sandler movies is simple: we scoured loads of reviews from both critics and fans to get a balanced view of his work. Our criteria focused on movies with IMDB ratings of 6 or above (it’s a tough life for Adam Sandler – critically speaking, his movies don’t get heaps of love). For true Adam Sandler fans, the IMDB score doesn’t matter – it’s all about his classic, memorable films. For more information on our editorial policy, head here

Alternatives to Best Adam Sandler Movies

In the mood for something else? We’ve got tonnes (and we mean tonnes) of movie recommendations. From romance to horror, sci-fi to superhero, here are some of our faves organised into handy lists for you:

Best Adam Sandler Movies FAQs

What is Adam Sandler’s most successful movie?

Adam Sandler’s highest-grossing film is Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) which grossed an impressive $528 million (AU $787,977,168). The third and final instalment of the series, where Sandler voices Dracula, stands as his most commercially successful project to date.

Who is Adam Sandler’s real wife?

Adam Sandler’s better half is Jackie Sandler. They met back in 1999 on the set of “Big Daddy,” where she had a small role, and it’s been a sweet Hollywood love story ever since. Jackie’s also often spotted in cameos in Adam’s films.

Are Adam Sandler movies kid-friendly?

When it comes to family movie nights, Adam Sandler has a bunch of films that are perfect for all ages. You’ve got the likes of Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy, and of course, all three Hotel Transylvania movies too. Many of his films are for grown-ups, however, so it is always best to check the ratings first.