Punch-Drunk Love

Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) -- a bathroom supply salesman prone to paroxysms of destructive rage -- finds his life refreshed when he meets Lena Leonard (Emily Watson), who falls in unconditional love with him. Meanwhile, Egan tries to escape constant harassment from his seven sisters as well as three thugs who have implicated him in a phone sex extortion scam. Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) writes and directs.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.0
NYT Critics' Pick
Loser's path to true love strewn with obstacles. Giddy, sweeping, wild and sweet. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 79%
Critics' score: 79   Audience score: 72   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

It's a romantic comedy on the verge of a nervous breakdown. full review

David Ansen, Newsweek

It is quite a vision. full review

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The journey toward redemption feels more like a cinematic experiment than a full-blown movie.

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

Despite its title, Punch-Drunk Love is never heavy-handed. The jabs it employs are short, carefully placed and dead-center. full review

Mike Clark, USA Today

In the end, Punch-Drunk Love is one of those films that I wanted to like much more than I actually did. Sometimes, that's enough. full review

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

Easily one of the best and most exciting movies of the year.

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

[Anderson] uses a hit-or-miss aesthetic that hits often enough to keep the film entertaining even if none of it makes a lick of sense. full review

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle

It's wacky. It's unpredictable. It's sure to give pause to Sandler fans and, smaller in number but every bit as dedicated, to Watson admirers too. full review

Susan Stark, Detroit News

Director Paul Thomas Anderson hasn't reinvented Sandler; he's just allowed those of us who tired very quickly of his innocent naif shtick to see how effectively it can be put in the service of something to care about. full review

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

Everything about Punch-Drunk Love works in a Being John Malkovich sort of way save one. Sandler. When your star doesn't work, it's hard to get us to buy into the rest of a movie as unusual as this. full review

Steven Rosen, Denver Post

In Punch-Drunk Love, Adam Sandler doesn't so much discard his old persona as illuminate it, breathing life into the cardboard characters that populated his earlier films.

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic

How odd that a tribute to a wildly theatrical presence should turn out so dull and prosaic.

Rex Reed, New York Observer

It is already apparent that Punch-Drunk Love will not be everyone's cup of tea, but nonetheless Mr. Anderson has found a way to fashion a passionate romance out of the materials of postmodern chaos. full review

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

A weird, arresting little ride.

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Sandler is quite winning, but he doesn't stretch so much as deepen the same character he always plays. full review

Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle

The film is exhilarating to watch because Sandler, liberated from the constraints of formula, reveals unexpected depths as an actor. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

[Sandler] plays Barry just as he would any of the comic dolts who've made him rich but this time all the panicky sadness is out where we can see it. It's a honey of a performance: controlled, achingly human, and funny in the deepest ways. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Even if he turns around and makes Mr. Deeds 2, [Sandler] has shown that his range goes beyond mindless fisticuffs and easy laughs. full review

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

In this movie, you'll see Sandler like you've never seen him.

Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Manages to be both heartbreaking and happy, while managing to look like nothing you've ever seen before. full review

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News
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