Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic 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. 100
    Anderson orchestrates a comic romance like no other. The effect is intoxicating. Sandler and the movie will knock you for a loop.
  3. 100
    Through this miasma of pain and suffering, love may not flicker more strongly than a dim lamp. But it's the only beacon to consider. Can Barry find his? Thanks to Anderson's assured picture, a symphony of cinematic textures, that disarmingly simple question becomes incredibly compelling.
  4. 91
    Anderson delivers a satisfyingly quirky, cinematically masterful valentine that contains more seeds of truth about the human heart than a hundred big fat Greek comedies.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    I found it exquisite. In part I responded out of sheer amazement: I've never seen anything like the sequences in which Sandler, in his boxy, sea-blue suit, charges around his warehouse to the rhythm of Brion's harsh drums.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Entirely unpredictable and marked by audacious strokes of directorial bravado.
  8. 88
    The film is exhilarating to watch because Sandler, liberated from the constraints of formula, reveals unexpected depths as an actor.
  9. 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.
  10. 88
    It's a small victory, but Punch-Drunk Love knows how to reap epic delight from the most precious of details.
  11. Whether Adam Sandler can actually act is not actually answered in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love. But he's great in it.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Despite its title, Punch-Drunk Love is never heavy-handed. The jabs it employs are short, carefully placed and dead-center.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's a honey of a performance: controlled, achingly human, and funny in the deepest ways.
  14. No film this year has offered quite the cerebral tickle, weird invention and slaphappy gusto.
  15. Deeply rich and strange new romantic comedy.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 231 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 119
  2. Negative: 41 out of 119
  1. JacintaG.
    Nov 16, 2003
    I'm all for slow, quirky films- but this was a complete bore. It's a crap movie. There was a peep or brilliance shining through at some point, but was squashed flat by the non-existent a plot. Don't waste your money. Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2013
    After watching this movie I thought to myself what is Adam Sandler doing. This guy can really act granted Paul Thomas Anderson is brilliant, but Sandler gives an outstanding performance. I connected in so many ways with Barry and that's a credit to Sandler. I so hope one day after he is done making the likes of Jack and Jill and Grown Ups 2, he might get another shot at making something meaningful. Full Review »