Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 233 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Paul Thomas Anderson's fourth film features Sandler as a lonely man with serious emotional issues. As he concocts a scheme involving frequent flier miles and copious amounts of pudding, he finds himself both falling prey to a phone-sex scam and falling in love with his sister's colleague.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. With its feverish, percussive soundtrack and bravura cinematography, is like a bolt from the blue, chock-full of unexpected delight.
  2. 90
    Something we haven't seen before: a manic-depressive romantic comedy that aspires to the soul of a musical. It's a new-fashioned love song.
  3. An Adam Sandler movie with class, and if that sounds like an oxymoron, so be it. The movie is a happy nightmare of silly-smart movie comedy that defies category - and challenges expectations involving Sandler and his pictures.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Punch-Drunk Love is one dark, strange-tasting sorbet, its sweetness shot through with startling, unexpected flavors. It’s a romantic comedy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
  5. 80
    It's funny, too, though marked by an uneasy humor that's usually difficult to achieve. Anderson handles it with expert ease: At this point in his career, he moves the camera like a skilled dance partner, investing the smallest gesture with significance.
  6. One of the most inventive offerings so far this season.
  7. 25
    Essentially a weird series of nonsequiturs. I'd rather be watching a sequel to the much-maligned "Little Nicky" -- a Sandler film that was at least trying to do something interesting -- than this failed experiment in fusing high and low culture.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 119
  2. Negative: 41 out of 119
  1. Sep 21, 2012
    Another masterpiece from PTA makes Punch-Drunk Love one of the best romance movies ever made. Sandler is flawless as a lonely man struggling with anger and the pressure put on him by his sisters. This film is heartbreaking and often funny surprisingly sometimes at the same time. Paul Thomas Anderson and Christopher Nolan are the film artists of the 21`st century both uncompromising their visions to make only masterpieces. Expand
  2. TristanM.
    Jun 14, 2007
    Everybody who hates this movie keeps complaining about how disjointed the script was, how terrible they think the dialogue was, the jarring music, how nothing makes sense, blah blah blah blah blah. How ignorant can you get? People are too afraid to step outside the box and see things from a different perspective because they are too used to being spoon-fed the same formulaic Hollywood garbage where everything has to be explained and make sense. The reason why most of the professional critics gave the film such good reviews (and why P.T. Anderson won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this movie) is because they're used to seeing a variety of movies, some which strive to be different, others that don't. If all you allow yourself to see is the typical Hollywood film (including typical Adam Sandler comedies), then of course you're not going to recognize and appreciate the beauty of this film. Start watching movies from other countries (or more American independent cinema) and you'll quickly see that there are THOUSANDS of movies out there that don't make sense, that don't explain everything, and don't rely on dialogue. Hollywood films rely on dialogue; you can more or less tell what's going on in the movie just by listening, without even having to see it. Punch-Drunk Love (and other examples of art cinema) are usually more concerned with the visual look than they are with dialogue or plot, since cinema is a VISUAL medium. Look at the shots and editing in Punch-Drunk Love. If you don't remember what they looked like, then you weren't paying attention. Go back and watch the film again and note how the color and cinematography and editing are different than a typical Hollywood film. Do you think it's easy to make a film like that, to rely on less editing like P.T. Anderson does? Anybody who has experience making movies knows that it's much harder to shoot a film using long takes and a moving camera than the safer, easier to manipulate rapid editing of a typical Hollywood film. Watch the movie again with an open mind and think about that. And watch more non-Hollywood movies; after a while, you'll start to see why somebody might love this movie so much. Expand
  3. DrewD.
    Jan 10, 2009
    It is really a testament to the sadness of America that half of them cannot appreciate a film like this. Most of them just think it is dumb--they say it is "disjointed" or that the leads have "no chemistry". This is what doing nothing but watching TV and standard Hollywood films does to your brain: you can't understand real human relationships (which are not "explainable" and are in fact "random", at least for most of us), you can't empathize with those who clearly have some sort of disorder, and can't figure out the unity of an actually pretty straightforward film, by artistic cinematic standards. Then, perhaps even worse, there are a group who recognize that they can't understand the film, but are too proud to admit it and accuse the film of being "pretentious" and full of "fake symbolism". I am not surprised though, that those who were expecting a standard Adam Sandler film, where you are supposed to laugh at someone who is different, didn't like this film, where you are supposed to feel for someone who is different. A shame. Expand
  4. Sep 25, 2013
    The first time I saw this movie I absolutely loved it. After seeing it a couple of times after the effect isn't as strong but I still love it. Any doubters on Adam Sandler and his acting ability haven't seen this film. This would have to be the best performance I've seen from him. Not much happens in the first half hour but after that it becomes so interesting. It's not always funny but there are some very funny bits. The romance between the two I loved so much, they get along so well and they're not the perfect specimens. This isn't Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence these are two average and kinda weird people. Paul Thomas Anderson has some really interesting cinematography and music. I can understand why people wouldn't find it that great or if they didn't get it at all but I really enjoyed it. Expand
  5. Mar 5, 2014
    It's queer, on the borderline of hipster. But what really makes this film noticeable is how Adam Sandler actually displays some raw talent, both comical and dramatic. The whole script has this creativity to it, that makes both question and enjoy the film. Again, loved the Philip Seymour Hoffman scenes. If only Sandler could do more of this kind of cinema. Expand
  6. Oct 9, 2014
    Nearly as strange and offbeat as it is warm and endearing, Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch Drunk Love" succeeds as a funny and character driven dramedy.
  7. RyanG.
    Apr 26, 2006
    Worst Movie Adam Sandler Ever Made.

See all 119 User Reviews


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