Adam Sandler has a filmography like no other. First breaking out in Billy Madison, the actor's career has kind of followed suit. A film hated by critics but enjoyed by fans has been a regular pattern for the former Saturday Night Live comedian in Hollywood for almost three decades.
What's been most interesting about Sandler's movie trajectory is his occasional experiments with drama, starting with Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love. While that was back in 2002, the last five years in particular have seen more deviation in this genre, resulting in some of his best work to date. Many of which can be found on Netflix.
Enter the Sandlerverse! A partnership between Happy Madison Productions and Netflix that has seen well over a dozen films land exclusively on the streamer since the two joined up in 2014. Not all of these have been good enough to land in our best Netflix movies list, by any stretch, but he's done some great and fun work, no question. The latest release will be the musical comedy Leo on November 21st, 2023.
Alongside this, Netflix has licensed plenty of the comedian's hits (and misses) over the years, so what better time to talk about which ones to watch? With that, here are our picks for five Adam Sandler movies to stream now on Netflix.
If anyone ever questions whether Adam Sandler can act, point them in the direction of Uncut Gems. This tense two-hour-plus crime thriller tells the story of Howard Ratner, a once-successful jeweller in the heart of New York's Diamond District whose gambling addiction has destroyed his life. Now his debts have caught up to him and the only way to solve it is by retrieving a $1 million gem. Made by the Safdie brothers, Sandler is cantankerous and infuriating to watch in an unrecognisable role that you don't dare take your eyes away from.
Adam Sandler has made a lot of so-called 'comedies' for Netflix but one that actually delivered is Murder Mystery, a fun whodunit that sees him reunite with fellow Just Go With It star Jennifer Aniston. The two play a long-time married couple who finally go on their honeymoon, only to get caught up in a murder investigation on a billionaire's yacht. It's a simple by-numbers plot, nonetheless, does have its charm and some genuine laughs, making it an easy, likeable watch. There's a sequel too, but the less said about that the better.
Another drama role sneaks onto this list with Hustle, a polar opposite of Uncut Gems with an amazing feel-good factor about it. As a down-and-out basketball scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, Stanley Sugerman discovers an unearthed talent in Spain and together they head back to the United States to prove they can both make it in the NBA. What makes this work is the chemistry between Sandler and Juancho Hernangómez (who actually is a professional basketball player for the Panathinaikos) as the once-in-a-lifetime talent, Bo Cruz.
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
If we were ranking based on nepotism, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah would be up at the top, since half of the cast is made up of Sandler's own family – and yet, that doesn't stop this coming-of-age drama from being very endearing. It's also rare to see the actor in a supporting role, letting his daughter, Sadie – who carries the film effortlessly – take the main role. Based on the novel by Fiona Rosenbloom, the story is nothing to write home about but it's the family that is found at that home that makes this joyous.
The Meyerowitz Stories
Noah Baumbach – the man behind Marriage Story and co-writer of Barbie – assembled an all-star cast for this underrated comedy-drama. Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Marvel, and Emma Thompson accompany Sandler in a story about siblings trying to reconnect with their estranged father. It plays out like lots of short stories with an emphasis on the difficulties of dealing with elderly parents and the relationship dynamics that come from this. At the heart is Sandler's Danny, who walks the tightrope between humor and sadness, delivering a performance not many expected. In fact, The Meyerowitz Stories earned Sandler a Critics' Choice award for Best Actor in a Comedy.
Jack and Jill
No, just kidding. We wouldn't dare put you through this car crash. [Hot take: Pacino is good in this – Ed]
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Matt is a full-time freelance journalist who specializes in arts, culture and tech – be that movies, TV, video games, or otherwise. He's also turned his hand to everything from mattresses to motorbikes as a journalist. Prior to this, Matt headed up the games and entertainment section at T3.com, alongside being published across TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64.