Adam Sandler has never been a critical darling (even his kids aren’t fans), but reviews for his films have been especially unkind since 2010. He’s starred in 12 live-action movies since then, only one of which (Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children) has a Rotten Tomatoes score over 30 percent. Even the best of his three Netflix movies, Sandy Wexler, is only at 28 percent.
Sandler is unquestionably talented, as anyone who’s giggled their way through Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore or marveled at his stunning performance in Punch Drunk Love knows, but he’s too often content with mediocrity, at best, or doesn’t care, at worst. But when he does try, look out.
Sandler is receiving career-best reviews for his role in Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night. The Netflix comedy-drama, which also stars Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman, is about an estranged family of New York intellectuals getting back together. According to the Hollywood Reporter, it “received an enthusiastic standing ovation… clocking in at four minutes.” Sandler, in particular, is being praised by nearly every critic who saw the film.