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® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all Punch-Drunk Love Reviews

It's a romantic comedy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
David Ansen, Newsweek  full review
It is quite a vision.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution  full review
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.
Mike Clark, USA Today  full review
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.
Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle  full review
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.
Susan Stark, Detroit News  full review
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.
Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press  full review
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.
Steven Rosen, Denver Post  full review
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.
Andrew Sarris, New York Observer  full review
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.
Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
The film is exhilarating to watch because Sandler, liberated from the constraints of formula, reveals unexpected depths as an actor.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
[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.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe  full review
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