Punch-Drunk Love

Punch-Drunk Love Image
Metascore
78

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

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 262 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.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    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.
  3. 88
    It's a small victory, but Punch-Drunk Love knows how to reap epic delight from the most precious of details.
  4. A startling achievement, but its lack of psychological dimension prevents it from making much human contact with us. It ends where it begins: in a state of shock.
  5. 80
    The movie winds up being his sunniest, for Anderson takes care to keep their love sweet, daffy and punch-drunk. This is a film in which that modern obsession, frequent-flier mileage, becomes proof of fidelity, and true intimacy is portrayed by a man telling his lover, "I'm sorry I beat up the bathroom."
  6. 75
    Quirky and stylish, but not in a manner that comes across as overly artsy or pretentious.
  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: 71 out of 120
  2. Negative: 41 out of 120
  1. 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 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. Collapse
  2. 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 hisThis 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
  3. 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 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
  4. 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 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
  5. 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 andAdam 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. Expand
  6. 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 feelingAnother 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. Expand
  7. RyanG.
    Apr 26, 2006
    1
    Worst Movie Adam Sandler Ever Made.

See all 120 User Reviews

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