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Generally favorable reviews- based on 233 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 233

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  1. 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.
  2. Apr 6, 2014
    This was just not for me. I enjoy Paul Thomas Anderson's films and his direction here was great as expected. I also really enjoyed Adam Sandler in this film, he really embodies this entirely psychologically off character and his final confrontation with Philip Seymour Hoffman (who was also great here) was both funny and intense. The added element of the pudding, with it being something from real life was also very interesting. However, my main problem here was it was just too quirky and weird for me. I somewhat enjoyed the pudding thing, but it really added a lot to this problem. The awkwardness and quirkiness in every scene was overbearing at times and really sapped any enjoyment this one could have provided for me, to the point where it felt like nails on a chalkboard. It was awkwardness overload. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. Mar 1, 2014
    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.
  5. 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
  6. Sep 24, 2013
    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 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).
  7. Sep 11, 2013
    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.
  8. 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. Expand
  9. Apr 22, 2013
    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 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
  10. Dec 2, 2012
    Without doubt the best performance I
  11. Nov 7, 2012
    Paul Thomas Anderson, conquering a genre new for him, succeeds brilliantly. I don't think Anderson is humanly capable of making a bad movie.
  12. 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
  13. Sep 12, 2012
    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 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
  14. Jul 14, 2012
    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.
  15. Jun 16, 2012
    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.
  16. BKM
    Jan 21, 2012
    Punch-Drunk Love is a bit of a tricky film to figure out, but I think that it is ultimately worth the effort. Adam Sandler gives one of his most nuanced and mature performances as a man who is barely in control of his emotions and is out of step with society. Emily Watson plays the woman who ultimately provides him with a sense of strength and stability by simply loving him. It's a bit too quirky and artsy to be a fully satisfying viewing experience, but its hard not to admire its off-kilter heart. Expand
  17. j30
    Nov 11, 2011
    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.
  18. Apr 22, 2011
    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 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
  19. Dec 9, 2010
    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, 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
  20. Oct 31, 2010

    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.
  21. Oct 18, 2010
    Punch Drunk to say. Well, I will say that Adam Sandler was the best thing in this film and this is coming from a guy who trys to find faults within Sandler for some reason. Now that thats out of the way...Punch Drunk Love in one word is...weird. I finished the movie and literally had no idea what the point was. I mean I guess you could say the typical romance ending as in he got with the girl after getting rid of his problems, which while true and a valid point, just wasn't supported by the rest of the movie I feel. It seemed the storyline was pretty random and random events just happened (beginning scene and the random flashes of color to be a few). Also, the characters weren't all the likable. I mean Sandler was and his love interest was as well but the other major characters (aka his sisters) were terrible and actually almost ruined the whole movie for me and did end up tarnishing it for me in a way. Anyways, 3 out of 5. Interesting at least but randomness is it's downfall.

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. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    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.