Adam Sandler’s on Netflix: Here are his worst ever movies
Last year, Adam Sandler (property of Netflix) released The Week Of – the final installment in the first of his four-picture deals with the company. Last March, in a move that caused an audible groan to be heard across the globe, the streaming giant announced a new deal which would extend his contract to produce another four movies.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos promised to “keep the entire world laughing” (only by “the entire world” he means me, and by “laughing”, he means rolling around in Scrooge McDuck-sized piles of gold.)
To commemorate the halfway point of Sandler’s current contract (until it is inevitably renewed again and again, forever), we’re going to throw the numbers on the board – Rotten Tomatoes scores, that is.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of terrible Sandler that didn’t make it onto the list – mostly older stuff like Little Nicky and Airheads – simply because his current output is so bad that it immediately plummets way, way down in the rankings.
No more holding back: it’s time to plug your nose, roll your pants up, and brace yourself for an onslaught of fart jokes, dick jokes, and moderate racism. Here are the lowest-scoring Adam Sandler flicks of all time.
Special mention: Going Overboard (1994)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
IMDB score: 1.9
First of all, a very special mention. Going Overboard features a young Sandler in his pre-Saturday Night Live days. He plays Shecky – a waiter on a cruise ship who aspires to be a successful comedian. Much like Shecky, the movie aims to be a zany screwball comedy with a heavy dose of absurdist humor, but it sinks under the weight of its ridiculous script, filled with lame, predictable jokes and dumb stereotypes.
10. Pixels (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
IMDB score: 5.6
Sigh. Admittedly, the premise for this one is pretty great – when aliens take the form of classic video game icons to wage war on planet Earth, a former joystick champ must rise up to defeat them all and save the day.
While its kid-friendly tone stops it from being the most offensive thing he’s ever done, Pixels failed to please audiences and critics alike. The jokes fall flat, the concept quickly wears thin, and Sandler looks strangely disinterested for most of it. I wonder why.
9. Blended (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
IMDB score: 6.5
In two of his more tolerable outings – The Wedding Singer and Fifty First Dates – Sandler proved he could wring something resembling on-screen chemistry from his co-star Drew Barrymore.
Unfortunately, Adam & Drew paired up once more for this 2014 dud, proving that third time is not always the charm. The movie is shockingly careless in its approach to comedy, storytelling, and (most worryingly of all) to the native African characters it portrays.
8. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
IMDB score: 6.0%
Sandler attempts to defy the critics who have long condemned his movies for their outdated, mocking depictions of gay people by making a movie that pretends to be progressive while wearing those very clichés on its sleeve.
Sandler and frequently bumbling co-star Kevin James (Here Comes the Boom) play a pair of macho firefighters who pretend to be in a same-sex union so that one of them gets to keep his pension. The pro-tolerance message carelessly stuffed in at the end (and delivered by Dan Aykroyd) isn’t enough to save Chuck & Larry from the preceding 110 minutes of truly awful gay stereotypes.
7. Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
Rotten Tomatoes: 12%
IMDB score: 5.3
One of the sweetest moments in Sandler’s long career is “The Hanukkah Song”, penned as a quirky, irreverent antidote to the distinct lack of pop music celebrating the Jewish holiday. In clear opposition to the rest of this list, it also has a sheen of genuine warmth and festive spirit.
Sandler attempted the same thing again with Eight Crazy Nights. However, the charm and irreverence of his original SNL tune is nowhere to be seen, banished to a disant and frozen wilderness from which it will never return. Surely Hanukkah deserves better than this.
6. Grown Ups (2010) & Grown Ups 2 (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes: 10% and 7%
IMDB scores: 6.0 and 5.4
Grown Ups proved a massive hit with audiences back in the summer of 2010, somehow racking up over $270 million in profits. Unfortunately, the film is a shitshow of random hijinks that unfold around Sandler and his cavalcade of SNL goons. Seriously, it feels more like an excuse for him to hang out with his old friends again and hand over a few bloated paychecks.
5. The Cobbler (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
IMDB score: 5.8
The Cobbler is an altogether different kind of Sandler disaster, from writer-director Tom McCarthy (who somehow followed this up with the thrilling journo procedural Spotlight). Sandler is clearly trying to put on a serious face and flex some of his dramatic muscles (which fared very well for him in the gorgeous Punch-Drunk Love).
But, like a flimsy shoe, it just doesn’t hold together once it gets moving. It’s hard to enjoy the movie as a comedy, as a drama, or as a whimsical fantasy, but it has elements of each that ultimately feel misplaced.
4. Bulletproof (1996)
Rotten Tomatoes: 8%
IMDB score: 5.8
In an attempt to recapture the fist-bumping box office triumphs of Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs., Midnight Run, and The Blues Brothers, this derivative buddy action-comedy flopped hard. While it’s not as juvenile or fart-tastic as his later fare, there’s not an ounce of originality to be found in Bulletproof.
Movies like Bulletproof were a dime a dozen in the 90s, as producers strived to resurrect the big-bucks formula of the previous decade. Unfortunately, your buddies need natural chemistry to make it work.
3. The Do-Over (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes: 5%
IMDB score: 5.7%
Sandler rehashes the buddy action-comedy formula that worked so spectacularly well in Bulletproof for this convoluted mess, pairing him up with David Spade (Tommy Boy) as they fake their own deaths and assume the identities of two now-deceased criminals.
Compared to your typical Sandler, this movie becomes surprisingly hard to follow – not just because you’ll spend most of it with your eyes rolling back in your head, but because it’s dragged down by a punishing series of tired plot devices in the second half.
2. Jack and Jill (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes: 3%
IMDB score: 3.4
Jack and Jill is one of the most loathsome and unpopular cinematic turds of recent times. Speaking of which, does anyone remember the scene in which Jill (Adam Sandler in frumpy drag) overdoes it on the Mexican food and develops a scorching case of diarrhea? Perfect analogy.
Sandler’s penchant for cruel jokes and lazy stereotyping are in full swing here; particularly embarrassing highlights include the tone-deaf treatment of women, Latinos, and Al Pacino (Scarface).
1. The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes: 0%
IMDB score: 4.8
Following a string of disappointing box office performances and a lack of critical support for his dramatic turn in Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children, Sandler decided to write a farcical Western spoof and it’s a total disaster.
The Ridiculous 6 is a miserable affair for everyone involved – some of the actors and extras walked off the set in protest of the film’s many racist gags (naming Native American characters things like “Never Wears Bra” and “Beaver’s Breath” is not one of Sandler’s most culturally endearing moves). He might have been aiming for Blazing Saddles, but he doesn’t even reach A Million Ways to Die in the West.