Punch-Drunk Love

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 274 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 274

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 19, 2013
    9
    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 somethingAfter 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. Expand
  2. TristanM.
    Jun 14, 2007
    10
    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 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. TimK.
    Oct 26, 2002
    9
    The lousy reviews by fans tell why sandler is cashing checks off the ridiculousness of such as little nicky and the waterboy. if you have the attention span of an 8 year old and think sit coms are great, then no this isn't the movie for you. but if you appreciate intelligent humor and depth in a film, then this movie is amazing.
  4. Apr 22, 2011
    9
    Trained to value mediocre plots like safety blankets, whose purpose is to explain everything in order to divorce movies from the random, surreal beauty of life, many Americans are unable to recognize the virtuosity displayed in Punch-Drunk Love. PT Anderson is the most talented filmmaker born in this country since Robert Altman. This is his fourth film and he has done the impossibleTrained to value mediocre plots like safety blankets, whose purpose is to explain everything in order to divorce movies from the random, surreal beauty of life, many Americans are unable to recognize the virtuosity displayed in Punch-Drunk Love. PT Anderson is the most talented filmmaker born in this country since Robert Altman. This is his fourth film and he has done the impossible again: a mediation on Godardian cinema served up burger and fries style. Adam Sandler and Anderson's camera provide the meat and potatoes while Emma Watson's cool dreaminess round off the meal like cold cream. Expand
  5. Mar 5, 2014
    8
    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.
  6. DrewD.
    Jan 10, 2009
    10
    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 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
  7. Jun 16, 2012
    10
    If you didn't like this move you probably shop at wal-mart, loved transformers, and probably don't have much depth. This is probably one of Adam Sandlers best performances as an actor and will always be one of my favorites. "Hey Barry, remember when we used to call you Gay Boy?" hahaha, great film.
  8. Sep 11, 2013
    10
    Whimsical, Nietzschean, Beautiful. Jon Brion's score is the perfect complement to this story of a man coming into his own. Paul Thomas Anderson has an eye for shots and cinema all his own. Loved it.
  9. TheCurseOfGilbertMulroneycakes
    Dec 6, 2002
    9
    Lucy L: you didn't see it from the start, nimrod. Everyone else who gave it a yellowred score I imagine would be previous Sandler fans angry that he's decided to make a subtle, intelligent movie aimed at more than him and his friends. Hey, I respect Sandler - I don't like his work, but many many do, and he makes them all happy in a wierd sort of way, so kudos. Also he seems Lucy L: you didn't see it from the start, nimrod. Everyone else who gave it a yellowred score I imagine would be previous Sandler fans angry that he's decided to make a subtle, intelligent movie aimed at more than him and his friends. Hey, I respect Sandler - I don't like his work, but many many do, and he makes them all happy in a wierd sort of way, so kudos. Also he seems a lovely, wonderfully self-deprecating sort of a bloke - but the rut of dumb gross-out after dumb gross-out had to be broken sooner or later. And it has been, with the help of Paul Thomas the Anderson. It's not quite his third masterpiece (after Boogie Nights and the ultra-Sandlerfan-alienating Magnolia) but it's close. And Sandler's great. Shame he made Mr Deeds and Eight (sigh) Crazy Nights immediately afterwards. Still, at least he has this. At least we know he can do it. Expand
  10. Sep 25, 2013
    9
    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 butThe 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
  11. DaveF
    May 19, 2005
    10
    A giddy, surreal tapestry of anxiety, weirdness, rage and love. Funny and startling, even on repeat viewings. Satisfying, both intellectually and viscerally. Neither the avant-garde bits nor the overloud background music can detract from this singular experience. My favorite film.
  12. MauroG.
    Oct 13, 2005
    10
    Increible!!! Indescriptible!!!
  13. tonybob
    Nov 10, 2005
    10
    I loved this movie. i was a little hesitant about buying it based on the reviews given but am so i happy i did. i didnt see one thing about it not a boring seen i wonder if people have seen the same movie as me because i didnt see one imperfection about it. this movie was brilliant funny and everything you could ask for in a movie.
  14. StephenQ.
    Jul 28, 2006
    10
    A dark romantic-comedy about love and how everyone deserves it, even the neurotic. This isn't Billy Madison, this is a dark, gritty and surprisingly uplifting romance. I think of it as a lesser Tony Takitani (another great indie flick). If you've ever felt Napoleon Dynamite-ish and been depressed, this is the movie for you.
  15. JeffH.
    Oct 19, 2002
    10
    Believe it or not, this could be picture of the year.
  16. Josh
    Dec 13, 2002
    10
    Scott, if you use a -10 then I'll use a +10!! Another brilliant movie from Anderson! I agree with you Dirk, I hate Sandler but somehow Paul Thomas Anderson made him look brilliant. Emily Watson was wonderful as usual. I also loved Luis Guzman, a great Anderson regular. And who could forget the most brilliant actor alive today, Philip Seymour Hoffman!!! Each of his characters are Scott, if you use a -10 then I'll use a +10!! Another brilliant movie from Anderson! I agree with you Dirk, I hate Sandler but somehow Paul Thomas Anderson made him look brilliant. Emily Watson was wonderful as usual. I also loved Luis Guzman, a great Anderson regular. And who could forget the most brilliant actor alive today, Philip Seymour Hoffman!!! Each of his characters are unique but sooooo honest. I'm sorry if people didn't make sense of the movie but who said there was anything wrong with that. Expand
  17. PatrickB.
    Apr 16, 2003
    9
    Romance in film is not dead! A wonderful if definitely referential (see Jacques Tati) hymn to human frailty and the all conquering power of love - the best American movie of 2002 just ahead of Far From Heaven.
  18. MaryC.
    Oct 27, 2002
    10
    This was the greatest film I have seen in the theatre in months. It was moving, it was different, it was funny, it was romantic, it was great. PT Anderson always amazes me. I think I will go see it again right now.
  19. JeffM.
    Nov 5, 2002
    9
    Defies any expectations based on Sandler's last few crap movies and Anderson's overrated Magnolia -- this film had disaster written all over it. Surprise, surprise -- the two got together and made a weird and funny gem. I want to see it again.
  20. CamK.
    Oct 12, 2002
    10
    Purely heroic.
  21. AlexK.
    Nov 25, 2002
    10
    Congratulations to all those who gave Punch-Drunk Love a 0 or 1: You've proved to be as ignorant as you are plentiful. As a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan, I believe PDL is an expectedly brilliant follow-up to Magnolia. It is witty, poignant, and quite innovative in terms of use of sound and music. To all those who hate it simply because it is different and not a typical Sandler flick: Congratulations to all those who gave Punch-Drunk Love a 0 or 1: You've proved to be as ignorant as you are plentiful. As a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan, I believe PDL is an expectedly brilliant follow-up to Magnolia. It is witty, poignant, and quite innovative in terms of use of sound and music. To all those who hate it simply because it is different and not a typical Sandler flick: Buzz off. I'm sure you'll just love "8 Crazy Nights." Expand
  22. Dirk
    Nov 28, 2002
    10
    Finally! An Adam Sandler movie worth seeing! All of his enfant-terrible characters from his prior 'movies' finally get realized by Paul Thomas Anderson.
  23. MichaelM.
    Nov 2, 2002
    9
    This was very nice change for Adam Sandler. He is definitely a good actor when he needs to be. I do not see why people give this movie below a 5.
  24. LemonP.
    Nov 5, 2002
    8
    I like Adam Sandler. I like a lot of his movies, though having them all be PG-13 is a mistake. Punch-Drunk love is his first R rated film, but it's also not a vehicle for him to do his trademark comedy. But who cares, because the film is good. Like Rushmore, there are going to be a lot of people who won't appreciate Punch-Drunk Love. Not all of those people are complete and I like Adam Sandler. I like a lot of his movies, though having them all be PG-13 is a mistake. Punch-Drunk love is his first R rated film, but it's also not a vehicle for him to do his trademark comedy. But who cares, because the film is good. Like Rushmore, there are going to be a lot of people who won't appreciate Punch-Drunk Love. Not all of those people are complete and utter idiots... Some of them are just dumb and impatient. Expand
  25. DanielT.
    Nov 6, 2002
    10
    I suspected this movie would be good (it's directed by P.T. Anderson, after all), but I wasn't sure it would be funny. Fortunately, it was hilarious, and everyone I saw it with--a group of about 15 people--thoroughly enjoyed it. Adam Sandler's character is absolutely amazing to watch as he fluctuates from calm and impassive to furiously violent and then back again. This I suspected this movie would be good (it's directed by P.T. Anderson, after all), but I wasn't sure it would be funny. Fortunately, it was hilarious, and everyone I saw it with--a group of about 15 people--thoroughly enjoyed it. Adam Sandler's character is absolutely amazing to watch as he fluctuates from calm and impassive to furiously violent and then back again. This movie is alternately funny, exciting, tragic, uplifting and beatiful. Truly a brilliantly made film, probably the best I've seen this year. I HIGHLY recommend it. Expand
  26. Pat
    Nov 4, 2002
    10
    Wow, that movie was amazing. I would see it 10 more times if it didn't cost som much to get in to the theater. You people who say it's dumb just don't understand good movies. You people are idiots.
  27. ChadS.
    Nov 9, 2002
    10
    "Punch-Drunk Love" is the best American film of 2002. It's a brand-new world when you emerge out from your local neighborhood cineplex. It's a world where we have to drop the asterisk from actor when we think about Adam Sandler's contribution to the planet. The last hold-outs will be won over when he berates his sister from a Waikiki pay-phone. The pay-phone is a nice touch "Punch-Drunk Love" is the best American film of 2002. It's a brand-new world when you emerge out from your local neighborhood cineplex. It's a world where we have to drop the asterisk from actor when we think about Adam Sandler's contribution to the planet. The last hold-outs will be won over when he berates his sister from a Waikiki pay-phone. The pay-phone is a nice touch because his character probably doesn't have enough friends to make the cell-phone a worthwhile purchase. Sandler is amazing but he gets a lot of help from his co-star Emily Watson. She has an interesting role here. This stellar British actress plays a character who nurtures an underdog, while at the same time, as actors, she helps elevate Canteen Boy to respectability. As for the director Paul Thomas Anderson, he has my everlasting admiration for making outstanding use of Hawaii and its music in a lovely protracted scene where the couple walks back to their hotel room. "Punch-Drunk Love" will get under your skin. The damn thing is alive. Expand
  28. ScottH.
    Jun 25, 2003
    9
    Hey guys guess what? Actors don't have to give the exact same type of performance over and over again. Sandler shines in this touching, TENSE, and beautifully shot movie. Kudos for using music from Popeye!
  29. JenniferM.
    Oct 27, 2002
    9
    I think part of the reason so many people below gave this movie such a poor rating, is that they may have been expecting another typical Adam Sandler comedy. I had no such expectation, as I was aware that this was more of an "art film" with more depth and seriousness (and did not expect it to be a comedy at all). I absolutely loved this movie- I thought Sandler was outstanding and very I think part of the reason so many people below gave this movie such a poor rating, is that they may have been expecting another typical Adam Sandler comedy. I had no such expectation, as I was aware that this was more of an "art film" with more depth and seriousness (and did not expect it to be a comedy at all). I absolutely loved this movie- I thought Sandler was outstanding and very touching as a pathetic, disturbed, desparately isolated man. What could be more touching than two desparate souls finding each other despite their flaws and problems? Expand
  30. CJD
    Oct 18, 2002
    8
    After seeing this movie I don't know what to think for sure, but 3 adjectives come to mind: Musical, magical, and thoughtful. What is amazing is director Paul Thomas Anderson's ability to create a movie that is thoroughly musical while creating a movie that is -- strictly speaking -- not a musical. The film is marked by an unpredictability and serendipity that give the viewer After seeing this movie I don't know what to think for sure, but 3 adjectives come to mind: Musical, magical, and thoughtful. What is amazing is director Paul Thomas Anderson's ability to create a movie that is thoroughly musical while creating a movie that is -- strictly speaking -- not a musical. The film is marked by an unpredictability and serendipity that give the viewer both paranoia and optimism. Strange and scary things happen at the beginning, but these events magically seem to set the characters off on an uplifting journey. Don't go to see it for the comedy: When many of the humorous parts occur -- as with the brother-in-law and phone-sex call -- there is a sense of seriousness and pity which seems to make laughter inappropriate. Certainly one of this year's most imaginative and best made films. Expand
  31. MegD.
    Nov 17, 2002
    8
    It was weird, I just saw the movie, and I'm not sure I understand what just happened, but I think I liked it.
  32. CharlieM.
    Nov 9, 2002
    10
    This is a great movie. Adam Sandler gave a brillant performance and Emily Watson gave a pretty good performance. It is an off beat movie. The plot line is really twisted and the directing is amazing. All and all it is a great movie.
  33. RayW.
    Nov 26, 2002
    10
    One of the best movies in a long time. PT Anderson has more guts and glory than any recent director that I know of. His love of the medium is powerful and very sincere. For all you who didn't get this movie...all I can say is that I'm not surprised. A movie this daring is bound to be misunderstood as pretentious by those who seek the usual predigested experience. To explain what One of the best movies in a long time. PT Anderson has more guts and glory than any recent director that I know of. His love of the medium is powerful and very sincere. For all you who didn't get this movie...all I can say is that I'm not surprised. A movie this daring is bound to be misunderstood as pretentious by those who seek the usual predigested experience. To explain what you are missing would take me years. My best advice is to give up your expectations. BUT you probably don't even know what your expectations are if you haven't already done this. You've been too conditioned by years of same-old cinematic narrative that you can't see the forest for the trees. You probably don't even know what I'm talking about... Expand
  34. MaxL.
    Nov 1, 2002
    7
    Very good movie about love and what it does to one even as 'freakish' as Adam Sandler character. Not the usual Sandler movie. Very entertaining. Kooky at times but worth the ride. Emily Watson is still great even if this role doesn't push her much.
  35. KelR.
    Jul 1, 2003
    10
    This movie really moved me, I'm sorry to those who feel differently. The movie tapped into elements of action, romance, and humor much better than anything before (that I know of) yet, best of all it works on emotions, to those who rated the movie low probably have a hard time relating to the character, Barry, but those who rated high felt empathetic towards him. The movie shows how This movie really moved me, I'm sorry to those who feel differently. The movie tapped into elements of action, romance, and humor much better than anything before (that I know of) yet, best of all it works on emotions, to those who rated the movie low probably have a hard time relating to the character, Barry, but those who rated high felt empathetic towards him. The movie shows how love can take even the most "pathetic" individual and change their life completely. It's pure genius! Expand
  36. JeremyS.
    Oct 14, 2002
    9
    A strange and wonderful movie that continues to resonate with me days after seeing it. Anderson keeps the viewer guessing whether the story is based in fantasy or reality, constantly juxtaposing the mundane and the bizarre, in a style that frequently reminded me of the Cohen brothers. But this is fundamentally the sort of movie that only Anderson could make, thanks to his compulsive, A strange and wonderful movie that continues to resonate with me days after seeing it. Anderson keeps the viewer guessing whether the story is based in fantasy or reality, constantly juxtaposing the mundane and the bizarre, in a style that frequently reminded me of the Cohen brothers. But this is fundamentally the sort of movie that only Anderson could make, thanks to his compulsive, perfectionist urge to abscribe some kind of cosmic significance to nearly every scene he films. Anderson's familiar themes appear here: personal choices that first seem inexplicable but take on an inescapable logic; the undeniable strength of love; the power of family, whether constructive or destructive; the fact that our lives are always subject to transformation due to the unforeseeable and unexpected. What is most amazing about Punch-Drunk Love is that it, along with the excellent and overlooked Hard Eight, constitute Anderson's "small" movies when compared to the sprawling Boogie Nights and Magnolia. Most directors and writers today could never dream of making a movie like this, which is a shame. Expand
  37. EricS.
    Nov 19, 2002
    10
    Lately, I've been getting kinda annoyed with myself for the slew of "10" ratings I'm giving films when posting at metacritic.com. Looking back on some of my comments, I wish I'd known how good "Punch-Drunk Love" was before I hastily dished out so many tens. This year has been better than most as far as movie quality (I loved "Signs," "Road to Perdition," "Moonlight Mile," Lately, I've been getting kinda annoyed with myself for the slew of "10" ratings I'm giving films when posting at metacritic.com. Looking back on some of my comments, I wish I'd known how good "Punch-Drunk Love" was before I hastily dished out so many tens. This year has been better than most as far as movie quality (I loved "Signs," "Road to Perdition," "Moonlight Mile," "Minority Report" and "Bowling For Columbine.") But Anderson's film here is better than anything I've seen not only this year, but, ironically, since his last feature, "Magnolia." Adam Sandler's pain and heartbreak are a perfect picture of depression and complete misery. Even Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant as the personification of torment and oppression. Though filmed on a very low budget and absent of special effects, the acting and orchestration are so good that the film achieves a kind of out-of-body experience. I cannot name an out-of-place scene. A complete success--if you think you've seen a better movie this year, tell me. I'll promptly explain why you're lying. Expand
  38. PhilT.
    Jan 7, 2003
    9
    I feel as if people aren't giving this film the credit it deserves. It was a unique film that displayed the layers of sorrow and torment that can be found manifested inside someone and then how love is the intoxicating panecea (PTA uses the loopy colors and dream-like music portraying the intoxication love brings to wonderful effect). Adam Sandler is actually acting! Emily Watson is I feel as if people aren't giving this film the credit it deserves. It was a unique film that displayed the layers of sorrow and torment that can be found manifested inside someone and then how love is the intoxicating panecea (PTA uses the loopy colors and dream-like music portraying the intoxication love brings to wonderful effect). Adam Sandler is actually acting! Emily Watson is again underused, yet charming (if only she could star in another Breaking the Waves). While many of you are giving this film a zero (which surpasses inanity), you fail to give us all a cogent argument as to why you feel such bitter animosity. If one gave this film the proper attention and observed the wonderful vision of PTA, i think the scores might be a bit higher. Thank you Paul Thomas Anderson for indroducing a hollywood audience to a romantic comedy with intelligence (even if they weren't very receptive). Oh and did i mention how unbearably funny Philip Seymour Hoffman is. He just strikes offbeat comedic gold. Expand
  39. KarenS.
    Aug 9, 2003
    10
    Brilliant.
  40. BitBurn
    Jul 3, 2003
    9
    I really enjoyed that movie. Sandler is simply amazing! No Mr.Deeds crap here! The storyline is simple and entertaining. Very original. Powerful. Colorful. Dark & Mysterious!!! A beautiful love story. Punch, Drunk is great.
  41. MaxInLA
    Oct 11, 2002
    9
    Outstanding! A nuanced, touching, challenging film.
  42. JoeW.
    Aug 21, 2003
    9
    Look at the ratings, either 10s or 0s. The 0s like movies such as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore - movies that are dumb and unintelligent and frankly not funny. Go figure, just like the viewers.
  43. Bear
    Jun 24, 2003
    10
    Some people liked it. some people didn't. if you haven't seen it, watch it. if you don't like it, that's ok, too. i love it. it's one of the best movies i've ever seen in my life, and i wouldn't change a thing about it. everyone responsible for this movie should be given treasure chests of gold. lots of love went into punch-drunk love...it showed. :)
  44. DaveS.
    Aug 7, 2003
    9
    Notice how most people that rated this movie a zero are big fans of Adam Sandler's previous films. Could it be that these people are too intellectually vacant to appreciate his only good role to date?
  45. Jane
    Dec 2, 2002
    10
    Oh, this movie was wonderful! In the most bizarre of ways it worked wonderfully and kept me laughing and sighing and smiling the whole way through. A reviewer below commented "what a disaster" and ended with a question mark, as if he wasn't sure. True, it's definitely not for all tastes, but it is definitely for PT Anderson fans. The same people that hated Magnolia will likely Oh, this movie was wonderful! In the most bizarre of ways it worked wonderfully and kept me laughing and sighing and smiling the whole way through. A reviewer below commented "what a disaster" and ended with a question mark, as if he wasn't sure. True, it's definitely not for all tastes, but it is definitely for PT Anderson fans. The same people that hated Magnolia will likely hate this. But for those of us who like to savor the unexpected and indulge in the hilariously bizarre, Punch-Drunk Love is the movie of the year for you. Expand
  46. AaronL.
    Nov 12, 2002
    8
    This is an excellent film, but not for everyone. The audience I saw it with in my small town was having a hard time. Moans and groans and audible "huh?" 's were heard throughout the film. And when I went to see it a second time in a much larger city, there was a sign at the box office saying "There are no refunds for Punch-Drunk Love if you do not like the film." Wow! Is it that This is an excellent film, but not for everyone. The audience I saw it with in my small town was having a hard time. Moans and groans and audible "huh?" 's were heard throughout the film. And when I went to see it a second time in a much larger city, there was a sign at the box office saying "There are no refunds for Punch-Drunk Love if you do not like the film." Wow! Is it that offbeat and cerebral? I don't think so. It it a totally fascinating character study with excellent acting, writing, and direction. I just think that marketing it as a romantic comedy was wrong. People were expecting a Julia Robert's-type comedy and this is not even close. But regardless of the average movie goer reaction, it's a strong, wonderful film and another winner for Paul Thomas Anderson. Expand
  47. BertR.
    Jun 30, 2003
    9
    Excellent screenplay and directing. Unpredictable and interesting plot and characters.
  48. JosiahQ.R.
    Oct 28, 2002
    10
    Understanding, or "getting" this movie is quite simple. Sandler is the everyday insecure dork that, if we were honest (And some are more than others), we all are. The heroic rush of finally finding love in spite of what feels like overwhelming internal and external odds is what this movie is all about. And what (including its clever filming) this movie is all about.
  49. DanF.
    Feb 23, 2003
    10
    In setting his sights on a smaller scale picture, Anderson has come up with his most complete film to date. A performance of real calibre from Sandler is augmented by that of Guzman and Seymour Hoffman and the superb score. But most of all, this is a triumph of cinematography as story telling. From start to finish, dull urban settings are made beautiful, poignant and hilarious, as In setting his sights on a smaller scale picture, Anderson has come up with his most complete film to date. A performance of real calibre from Sandler is augmented by that of Guzman and Seymour Hoffman and the superb score. But most of all, this is a triumph of cinematography as story telling. From start to finish, dull urban settings are made beautiful, poignant and hilarious, as Anderson's camera sensitively slides the viewer into the mind of Barry Egan. Expand
  50. JimJ.
    Oct 19, 2002
    10
    Another PT Anderson masterpiece. The man takes more chances with every project, and for my money, they pay off. Of course, lots of props to Adam Sandler and Emily Watson for what you would call nuanced performances. The trio managed to play with my feelings in unexpected ways. Exquisite film-making.
  51. RyanM.
    Oct 25, 2002
    8
    Though the direction and cinematography add to the intoxicating toxin, it's really all on Mr. Sandler who shows us that not only that he can really act, but that he deserves some major consideration for an Oscar in March.
  52. KyleJ.
    Nov 23, 2002
    10
    Oh, c'mon, all you ignorant moviegoers who always look for action over characterization, sound over poignant silence, and sense over brilliance. To all you people giving this 1's and 0's, I say what I sometimes want to say to you all: "It's a great movie. Duh."
  53. BethC.
    Nov 14, 2003
    10
    I thought this movie was brilliant, and I'm even an Adam Sandler fan. I loved seeing him in a role that wasn't the norm for him. He pulled it off beautifully.
  54. KevenB.
    Oct 28, 2003
    10
    Brilliant... But before you see this movie, ask yourself.. Have you ever seen a Paul Thomas Anderson movie before (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) and if so, did you like it... Cuz here is not an Adam Sandler's movie. Movies are rarely about actors. Here, we have an excellent P.T. Anderson movie, deep, funny & luvy yes, but most of all, strange. You'll feel weird cuz story is weird, Brilliant... But before you see this movie, ask yourself.. Have you ever seen a Paul Thomas Anderson movie before (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) and if so, did you like it... Cuz here is not an Adam Sandler's movie. Movies are rarely about actors. Here, we have an excellent P.T. Anderson movie, deep, funny & luvy yes, but most of all, strange. You'll feel weird cuz story is weird, cuz the way it is directed is weird... Some long shot at the beginning, you don't quite understand what the doolidoo is happening... but it is still very intelligible, characters are just more complex than nearly every other regular movie around.... deeper... definitely when we compare to Sandler's previous films. It is simply different... Think of it like a movie from the dude who made American Beauty, it's more comparable. You'll love it more than thinking about the simple fun Sandler's films normally gives ya... Expand
  55. JaredSS
    Oct 15, 2003
    10
    Easily the best film of 2002, and without question a work of pure genius! The simple pleasures that are uncovered through this film gives you a sensation that's nearly impossible to describe. Beautifully written, brilliantly directed, gorgeously photographed, wonderfully acted, what more could you ask for? To me, this shows love in the true sense of the word. I guess most people Easily the best film of 2002, and without question a work of pure genius! The simple pleasures that are uncovered through this film gives you a sensation that's nearly impossible to describe. Beautifully written, brilliantly directed, gorgeously photographed, wonderfully acted, what more could you ask for? To me, this shows love in the true sense of the word. I guess most people didn't see that because they didn't f*ck each other right off the bat. Expand
  56. RobertA.
    Jan 23, 2004
    10
    I am a fan of adam sandler. audio in this film is mind collapsing. love is too confusing for some people. Some people may not understand this movie. but i do. this is love in its darkest color.
  57. DamienC.
    Apr 8, 2004
    10
    The most weird and disturbing love film I have ever seen in my life. P.T. Anderson shows us that it's possible to make a romantic movie without falling into the trap of classic Hollywood codes. It's violent, romantic, funny, sad. Emily Watson and Adam Sandler are fantastic. Pictures and music make me fly, travel and feel so many different emotions at the same time. Two options The most weird and disturbing love film I have ever seen in my life. P.T. Anderson shows us that it's possible to make a romantic movie without falling into the trap of classic Hollywood codes. It's violent, romantic, funny, sad. Emily Watson and Adam Sandler are fantastic. Pictures and music make me fly, travel and feel so many different emotions at the same time. Two options for this film: you hate it or you love it. For me, one of the best films ever. Expand
  58. E.K.
    Apr 13, 2004
    9
    Expectations can sometimes be the curse of a good movie. Although I realize that all viewers bring their own experiences and opinions with them, I never assumed this movie would be like Adam Sandler's others, or even P.T. Anderson's previous. To allow an actor, a director, a writer, or whomever, the freedom to challenge, explore, test, push, and change can be understandably Expectations can sometimes be the curse of a good movie. Although I realize that all viewers bring their own experiences and opinions with them, I never assumed this movie would be like Adam Sandler's others, or even P.T. Anderson's previous. To allow an actor, a director, a writer, or whomever, the freedom to challenge, explore, test, push, and change can be understandably uncomfortable for some people who want the routine and safety of a sure thing. I enjoy a sure thing every once in a while also. But the pain of the movie is something I am not scared to feel, as real as it is. Not every movie resonates with every movie-viewer. To those who didn't enjoy this film: one day perhaps your world will open up to what those who loved the film can see. To those who enjoyed the film: love the fact that you can appreciate the beauty of this gem. Expand
  59. Oct 31, 2010
    9
    ADAM SANDLER FANS READ:

    Well, the very fact that most of Sandler's movies are childish incoherent blurs of unrealistic character portrayal was an early indication that I wouldn't like this movie. I was wrong. This is the only good Sandler movie and his only amazing performance. PT Anderson's genius shows here, creating a masterpiece while at the same time moulding Sander into a socially
    ADAM SANDLER FANS READ:

    Well, the very fact that most of Sandler's movies are childish incoherent blurs of unrealistic character portrayal was an early indication that I wouldn't like this movie. I was wrong. This is the only good Sandler movie and his only amazing performance. PT Anderson's genius shows here, creating a masterpiece while at the same time moulding Sander into a socially inept character, telling the kind of love story that only pt anderson fans and semi-intelligent film fanatics can funny comprehend. ACTING: Amazing, Sandler should quit the crap that he does now and start realacting. All characters, even minor ones, were brilliant.

    DIRECTING. PT Anderson: Enough said.

    PLOT: It would be a simple plot, but the strange elements make this movie what it is, and turns it from a simple romantic comedy into a kind of surreal love tale with comedic parts included.

    CINEMATOGRAPHY: The best thing about this film. Anderson knows what he's doing and again, proves why most Sandler fans don't like this movie, as they aren't used to such a complex piece of genius.

    CHARACTERS: Almost like Magnolia in the way that all characters tell their own story. You feel sorry and embarrassed for Barry Egan, and then your opinions of him drastically change as the accomplished the feats during the film. Final note: If your a Sandler fan don't waste your time reviewing, you don't know what your talking about, this isn't his usual corny junk film. Watch if you are a fan of the strangely artistic film maker (Kubrick for example) and are tired of the same old repetitive romance. This is something to behold.
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  60. Dec 9, 2010
    10
    this film is entangled with depth. Its not pretentious, there isnt any symbolism, its jsut connecting the dots through a few watches. I love that. The charecters work in a juxtapostion because they dont, despite faults and flaws. Its a relativaly 'xero to hero' story but under the wing of one of the finest directors alive whom makes it his own. Just accept it for what it is, perfectleythis film is entangled with depth. Its not pretentious, there isnt any symbolism, its jsut connecting the dots through a few watches. I love that. The charecters work in a juxtapostion because they dont, despite faults and flaws. Its a relativaly 'xero to hero' story but under the wing of one of the finest directors alive whom makes it his own. Just accept it for what it is, perfectley acted, shot, ran, and ...SOUND??? obviously, notice how the music builds up to represent stress and when in hawaii its completey different. Just watch it again doubters, please, it will be worth it, its just good. Expand
  61. j30
    Nov 11, 2011
    10
    Beautiful movie by one of the best directors today. You can hardly believe that this is Adam Sandler playing the title role. He plays Barry Egan, a lonely, socially awkward man who falls in love with one of his sisters co-workers. His character has more depth than any character he's played up to this point, combined! You can't take your eyes off of the screen.
  62. Jul 14, 2012
    8
    Another excellent film from Paul-Thomas Anderson, i thought the chaos and awkwardness of the lead was developed excellently leaving me feeling his pain and anxiety. The chemistry between the two leads was good, however i didn't think the chances of Barry actually getting the girl were realistic. Overall a great film.
  63. Sep 12, 2012
    7
    A very interesting character study into the psyche of a man who has some flaws that he is fully aware of and trying to repress and deal with. Good work by Sandler, the scene of his character dancing in the middle of the grocery aisle while his employee is stocking up on the goods that will get him to his destination, is poignant, priceless, and ultimately the scene that will stick with meA very interesting character study into the psyche of a man who has some flaws that he is fully aware of and trying to repress and deal with. Good work by Sandler, the scene of his character dancing in the middle of the grocery aisle while his employee is stocking up on the goods that will get him to his destination, is poignant, priceless, and ultimately the scene that will stick with me when I think back on this film. This is one of those films where multiple viewings would be enjoyable and helpful. Anderson is doing so much with these characters but also visually with the framing and color throughout that there is a lot to take in. Not enough here for me to put it in my upper tier of movies, but more than enough for me to continue to enjoy and remember this movie for years to come. Expand
  64. Sep 21, 2012
    10
    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 theirAnother 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
  65. Nov 7, 2012
    8
    Paul Thomas Anderson, conquering a genre new for him, succeeds brilliantly. I don't think Anderson is humanly capable of making a bad movie.
  66. Dec 2, 2012
    7
    Without doubt the best performance I
  67. Apr 22, 2013
    10
    This is no Adam Sandler movie. This is a work of art. Punch-Drunk Love was a very engaging movie to watch. Watching Adam Sandler go from his brain-dead comedies to giving a tremendous performance as Barry Egan still amazes me today. That right there is one of the biggest reasons why this movie is just tremendous. Adam really gives you the performance of a lifetime. Also, the storylineThis is no Adam Sandler movie. This is a work of art. Punch-Drunk Love was a very engaging movie to watch. Watching Adam Sandler go from his brain-dead comedies to giving a tremendous performance as Barry Egan still amazes me today. That right there is one of the biggest reasons why this movie is just tremendous. Adam really gives you the performance of a lifetime. Also, the storyline works together beautifully. Plus, alongside Adam's outstanding performance is Philip Seymour Hoffman who once again gives a great performance in P.T. Anderson movie. The story also has some great screenplay. Honestly, i didn't think the movie was going to be half as good as I thought it was going to be, but boy was I wrong. Overall, it's underrated P.T. Anderson and Adam Sandler movie that needs more recognition. Expand
  68. Sep 24, 2013
    10
    Protip: don't watch this movie expecting a traditional Adam Sandler movie. If you can understand this bit, you'll "get" the movie, and you probably also understand why the reviews are so heavily divided. While this movie is definitely goofy, awkward and a little cringe-inducing at times, it's also simultaneously adorably sweet, hilarious, and immensely stressful. It's not a brain-bender orProtip: don't watch this movie expecting a traditional Adam Sandler movie. If you can understand this bit, you'll "get" the movie, and you probably also understand why the reviews are so heavily divided. While this movie is definitely goofy, awkward and a little cringe-inducing at times, it's also simultaneously adorably sweet, hilarious, and immensely stressful. It's not a brain-bender or an heart-wrencher, but you'll probably want a cigarette afterwords.

    Just watch it and forget any notion of an Adam Sandler movie. Seriously. Just absorb everything in: the characters, palette, plot, dialogue, everything. It's completely gorgeous.

    9.5/10; my only real criticism is in regards to Adam Sandler's acting in a few spots. He definitely stepped up his game (for this movie), and he is by no means a poor actor (in this movie), but there are just a few parts where he's a bit too unbelievable (which is completely forgivable).
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  69. Mar 1, 2014
    9
    Adam Sandler is something to behold in this movie. Watching this, you could imagine him in Robin Williams roles. He has darkness and obsession that not every actor can reach.
  70. Oct 9, 2014
    7
    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.
  71. Sep 19, 2015
    10
    A beautifully lit and shot film with a surprisingly brilliant and amusing performance from Adam Sandler. "Punch-Drunk Love" is dark, funny, sweet, and very, very charming to watch. It also has some of the best acting I've ever seen in a movie.
  72. Apr 5, 2016
    8
    Adam Sandler's (Yes, it's even better than Happy Gilmore) ONLY great film that's ACTUALLY worth watching. (If one doesn't count Top Five, the Hotel Transylvania movies, or Reign Over Me).
  73. Jun 30, 2016
    7
    Punch Drunk-Love is a bit slow initially, but the movie has a good graceful, romantic and dramatic conclusion, Sandler playing the role of the depressive one it contributes the only humor that has the movie.
  74. Jul 7, 2016
    7
    This is the fourth feature-fim of Paul Thomas Anderson and it was brilliant. For those who don't know, Adam Sandler has been known for being an unfavorably appalling actor with atrocities such as "The Waterboy," "Jack and Jill," "That's My Boy," etc. However, in the well-crafted, romantic "Punch-Drunk Love" he manages to surpass all the bad performances and brings a character who is anThis is the fourth feature-fim of Paul Thomas Anderson and it was brilliant. For those who don't know, Adam Sandler has been known for being an unfavorably appalling actor with atrocities such as "The Waterboy," "Jack and Jill," "That's My Boy," etc. However, in the well-crafted, romantic "Punch-Drunk Love" he manages to surpass all the bad performances and brings a character who is an emotionally distressed business man with realism and great chemistry with his love interest. It's all because of Anderson's outstanding direction that made this sum-what miracle happen before our very eyes.

    Rating: 7/10

    A+ = 10
    A = 9
    A- = 8
    B+ = 7
    B = 6
    B- = 5
    C+ = 4
    C = 3
    C- = 2.5
    D+ = 2
    D = 1.5
    D- = 1
    F = 0
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  75. Aug 17, 2016
    9
    The fourth film by Paul Thomas Anderson is easily my favorite rom-com, and the only one in the genre that I can honestly say I enjoyed. Adam Sandler, who has been spiraling downward further into a state of mediocrity, ought to take hints on writing and acting from this film, which is easily one of his best.

    The story follows Barry Egan, a lonely, emotionally unbalanced man who juggles
    The fourth film by Paul Thomas Anderson is easily my favorite rom-com, and the only one in the genre that I can honestly say I enjoyed. Adam Sandler, who has been spiraling downward further into a state of mediocrity, ought to take hints on writing and acting from this film, which is easily one of his best.

    The story follows Barry Egan, a lonely, emotionally unbalanced man who juggles selling toilet plungers with his accident-prone workers, putting up with his seven overbearing older sisters, and late-night phone sex. Yeah, that last one doesn't work out so well for him, as when the company (operated out of a Utah mattress store) attempts to extort him for more money they stalk his work phone and send thugs after him, from whom he runs on foot on a deserted street while they pursue in a pickup truck. All of this is coincidentally happening while he's trying to strike a connection with a co-worker of his sister's...Can't a guy get a break? Regardless, Barry navigates these difficulties to the best of his abilities with alternating calm, slightly worried submissiveness and outright brutal rage. The switch is pretty entertaining to watch.

    Now upon viewing this film, all of the jokes might not be immediately evident, as they shouldn't; this isn't the kind of cheap, gag-reliant humor you find in most mainstream comedy films these days. The laughs have a tendency to sneak up on you--the jokes are more subtle and non-conventional (Anderson somehow finds a way to make a car crash and random abandonment of a harmonium close to the beginning of the film hilarious) in a way that not many people can appreciate anymore. This is intelligent humor, rather than the tired garbage populating Sandler's more recent attempts (looking at you, "The Do-Over").

    As an added bonus, this film gives Sandler the opportunity to show off his true acting range, and rather than being the one-trick pony we're used to seeing him as he is at once darkly serious, inanely goofy, and instantly likable, and the ease with which Sandler goes from push-over to the one doing the shoving will make you need to do a double-take. The relatability of Barry is one of the most appealing things about his character; we've all had high and low points during romance, as well as loves so strong we thought we'd run follow that person to Hawaii if that's what it took (Oh, wait a second...). The supporting roles are played with brilliance and both support and complement the lead role, whether it be Philip Seymour Hoffman (a frequent Anderson collaborator until his untimely demise) as the mobster-esque owner of the Provo mattress store, Luis Guzman as Barry's dedicated second-in-command Lance, or Emily Watson as Lena, the object of Barry's affection who's given much more to do and say in this film than she was in "Equilibrium".

    The time spent on character development is one of my favorite things about this movie; when we first meet Barry, he's a lonely workaholic who seems frightened and confused by the world outside the safety bubble of his garage workstation, so awkward with Lena in their first discussion that he can barely maintain eye contact with her. By the end of the film his confidence has markedly improved, and indeed he seems like a new man, displaying a skill with the discarded harmonium (which he decided to take) that he had previously kept hidden. So deeply has Lena affected him that he, slowly but surely, begins making major changes in his life: he acts on impulse rather than retreating to the safety of his office, stands up to his sister (at least one of them) and follows the former on a business trip using enormous quantities of frequent flier miles amassed from buying pudding (one of Anderson's signature side-plots to keep your interest when things seem to be getting slow).

    The completely oddball nature of Barry and Lena's romance makes it noticeably different than the ones found in many rom-coms: it's fresher, more unique and original, and is a breath of fresh air into the genre. Paul Thomas Anderson has yet to make a bad movie, and in his collaboration with Adam Sandler he finds just the right mix of drama, humor, and sweetness that will soften the heart of even the coldest movie-goer. 9/10
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Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. 75
    Quirky and stylish, but not in a manner that comes across as overly artsy or pretentious.
  2. 70
    The strangest thing about writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's unusual romantic comedy is how much of it is based on a true story.
  3. Whether Adam Sandler can actually act is not actually answered in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love. But he's great in it.