Adam Sandler’s movie history is paradoxical. It features massive box-office smashes and an assortment of duds, beloved classics and films long forgotten and Academy Award-worthy performances as well as cringe-worthy turns.
The comedian’s debut feature film arrived with 1989’s Going Overboard, where Sandler played Shecky Moskowitz, a cruise-ship comedian who outsmarts a band of terrorists with the power of laughter. Billy Zane, Billy Bob Thornton and Milton Berle also appeared in the movie, which was made on a reported budget of $200,000. The direct-to-VHS film was widely panned and has even appeared on numerous “worst movies of all-time” lists. It certainly didn’t seem like such a vehicle would feature a future box-office king in its cast. Yet, years later, that’s exactly what Sandler was.
In the decades since Going Overboard, movies featuring Sandler have earned more than $5 billion at the worldwide box office. The comedian has become one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, even as critics continue to mercilessly rip apart his films.
Even as fads and pop culture continue to change, Sandler’s popularity remains remarkably strong. Netflix thought so highly of the actor that they signed him to an unprecedented production deal in 2014. Since then the streaming giant has renewed the deal twice — most recently in 2020 — in clear response to the star’s long-lasting drawing power.
We combed through Sandler’s filmography, looking at the hits, misses and even the overlooked films that fans may have forgotten for the below list of Top 10 Adam Sandler Movies.