Ever since his debut on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s, Adam Sandler has been a bona fide household name. Having appeared in countless hit movies over the years, he has developed a reputation as a funny man who will do the most outrageous of stunts for a laugh. With such an extensive filmography, it is inevitable that Sandler has made countless classics, enough that could be named for days. But as this list only calls for five films, I will follow suit. Without further ado, here are the top 5 best Adam Sandler films of all time!
5. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (2008)
In this film, Adam Sandler portrays the titular Zohan, a feared Israeli commando who would prefer to style hair, rather than take down terrorists. After feigning his death, he escapes to the United States and fulfills his dream, but things get complicated when his enemy “the Phantom” also arrives in America. When an even larger threat emerges, can the two foes put aside their differences to save the neighborhood?
Zohan is hilarious from start to finish and at times feels like a cross between a typical Sandler comedy and a superhero movie. It has great action sequences, great humor and overall is a lot of fun.
4. Click (2006)
Sandler has been known in recent years for appearing in movies that are not straight comedies. Click is a solid example of one, blending the usual Sandler laughs with a surprisingly thoughtful tone. In Click, Sandler plays Michael Newman, an overworked architect who buys a universal remote that can control his surroundings. He uses it to improve his life, from scoring a promotion at work to strengthening his relationship with his family. But when the remote starts to control Michael’s life without his consent, he must learn the hard way of the dangers of controlling one’s environment.
Click is a solid genre blend of comedy, fantasy, and drama. None of the three feel out of place and the message is powerful without feeling at all heavy-handed.
3. Anger Management (2003)
It’s safe to say that Sandler is known for playing childish hotheads in his movies, but what if this wasn’t played entirely for laughs? That’s just what happens in Anger Management, in which Sandler portrays Dave Buznik, a man with repressed anger problems. After an incident on a plane, he’s forced to go to therapy with Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), an unconventional therapist who can’t help but drive Dave even crazier. Can Dave get a grip on his temper?
Comedy often works best when the two leads are polar opposites. The feisty and hotheaded Dave and the collected and calm Buddy play well off of each other, which leads to many great laughs. As such, Anger Management is a classic.
2. Billy Madison (1995)
One of the first films to feature Sandler in a starring role, Billy Madison stars Sandler as the titular character, the dimwitted heir to his father’s company. After concerns are raised that he can’t manage an entire corporation, Billy suggests he return to school and in this case, he means public school. Will Billy hit the books and make his father proud, or will he remain a drunken screw-up?
As one of the first movies to star Sandler, Billy Madison is a runaway success. It at times feels like a sketch on Saturday Night Live that has been extended to 80 or so minutes, but that’s part of its charm. It’s unabashedly silly and sometimes, that’s all a movie needs to be.
1. Happy Gilmore (1996)
Behold, here is the best Adam Sandler film! Billy Madison may have made Sandler a star, but it’s Happy Gilmore that solidified him as one. This time around, Sandler portrays the titular Happy Gilmore, a budding hockey player who just can’t seem to make the big leagues. After a dare from a repossession agent, Happy decides to try his hand at golf. But with his bad temper and poor putting skills, is Happy destined to be thrown off the tour, or can he go big?
Happy Gilmore is easily the funniest Sandler film. The plot is fairly run of the mill by today’s standards, but with a protagonist as eccentric as Happy, this doesn’t matter as seriously as it would otherwise. All in all, Happy Gilmore is a total delight.