The best Adam Sandler movies on Netflix

Image via Netflix

Love him or hate him, Adam Sandler is one of the most prolific and profitable comedians in the entertainment industry. Since getting his start on Saturday Night Live, first as a writer and then as a performer, Sandler went on to write, star, and direct a sizable number of films and became a constant presence in cinema for decades. While many of his films are critical and commercial bombs, this hasn’t stopped Sandler from amassing a dedicated fanbase who turn up to watch his many movies — his cinematic works have grossed over $2 billion and in 2020, he signed a new deal with Netflix to the tune of $250 million. It’s clear something about the Sandler formula works.

Not all of Sandler’s Netflix creations have been hits — The Ridiculous 6 comes to mind as especially horrible — but recent productions have received favorable reviews from critics and general audiences alike. This critical success and recognition like The Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Award for American Humor have some of us revisiting his films with fresh eyes. Luckily, in the streaming era, it’s easier than ever to watch many of Sandler’s greatest (and not-so-great) hits.

While no streaming platform has the rights to Sandler’s entire filmography, Netflix has a good amount of original films and theatrical release on their library. If you’ve been wanting to watch some Sandler films, here’s our current 10 favorites streaming on Netflix right now. Disclaimer: this is not a list of the best Sandler films but the best Sandler films on Netflix right now. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get into it.

10. Murder Mystery 2 (2023)

One of the few Sandler films to get a sequel, Murder Mystery 2 sees Sandler and Jennifer Aniston reprising their roles as a mystery-solving married couple. After the events of the first movie, Nick and Audrey Spitz have started their own full-time private investigation firm and are having trouble getting steady clientele. The couple fly to a luxurious island to celebrate their friend the Maharaja’s wedding but are shocked to find the groom is kidnapped during the ceremony. Don’t expect a Glass Onion-level heist, but Murder Mystery 2 is a fun watch if you just enjoy it for what it is. Aniston and Sandler have worked on multiple films together, and their familiarity lends itself to an easy-going chemistry that makes this movie better than it should be.

9. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

The second entry in a very popular animated children’s franchise, Hotel Transylvania 2. Sandler returns as an iteration of Dracula, the famous vampire, and spends the majority of the movie trying to teach his grandson how to be a proper monster. After the first movie, his vampire daughter Mavis has married the human Johnny and when their son Dennis hasn’t yet sprouted vampire fangs by his fifth birthday, Dracula worries the child hasn’t inherited Mavis’ vampirism. Scared his daughter and son-in-law will leave Hotel Transylvania to give Dennis a normal life in California, Dracula tries to incite a vampire transformation in the young child. It’s a silly watch and it’s definitely a kid’s movie, but it’s a cute watch.

8. Murder Mystery (2019)

In the first Murder Mystery, Nick Spitz is a New York cop who goes on a trip to Europe with his wife Audrey in order to reignite some passion in their relationship. After meeting a billionaire on their flight, the couple are invited to his yacht for a celebration for his elderly uncle’s recent engagement. During the party, Nick and Audrey end up involved in a murder investigation and quickly become the prime suspects. In order to prove their innocence, the couple set off to find the true culprit and chaos ensues. It’s wacky, predictable, and a little stupid but sometimes it feels good to turn your brain off for a couple hours and watch some improbable action unfold.

7. Big Daddy (1999)

In this ‘90s classic, Sandler plays Sonny Koufax, a 32-year-old law school graduate who refuses to grow up; a toll-booth attendant who survives off the settlement he received after a minor accident, Sonny still hasn’t taken the bar exam and refuses to take on more responsibility, much to his girlfriend Vanessa’s dismay. After Vanessa leaves him for a much older man, Sonny looks for a way to win her back, and when chance brings young Julian (played by the Sprouse brothers of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody fame) into his life, he takes care of the boy to prove just how responsible he can be. It’s cheesy, it’s corny, and it’s dumb — but somehow, Big Daddy packs one nostalgic punch for many who grew up watching this film.

6. Hubie Halloween (2020)

In Hubie Halloween, Sandler plays a funny-voiced Hubie Dubois, the laughingstock of Salem, Massachusetts. Hubie is the town’s Halloween monitor, a self-appointed job Hubie takes very seriously. Unfortunately, Hubie has annoyed the majority of the town with his antics and when a true threat comes to Salem on Halloween night, nobody believes him when he cries wolf. Is Hubie Halloween a silly movie that Sandler made as an excuse to hang out with his famous friends? Yes, and the plot is just as formulaic as you’re imagining. All things aside, the underdog story and cute Halloween setting make this an enjoyable, if not thought-provoking, watch.

5. Spanglish (2004)

Some of Sandler’s best work is when he leaves the comedy behind in favor for more nuanced performances. Spanglish stars Sandler as John Clasky, a devoted father and acclaimed chef whose relationship with the emotionally volatile Deborah is tested as they endeavor to raise their children. When Flor Moreno, a single mother from Mexico comes to Los Angeles for a better life for her and her daughter Cristina, she becomes the Clasky family’s housekeeper. The story is narrated by Cristina, ostensibly as a very-convoluted college personal statement, and there’s not much of a plot outside of the two families mixing and ultimately separating. Although not perfect, Spanglish features some great performances — we especially enjoy the scene where an enraged Flor uses her daughter as a translator while she tells John exactly what she thinks of his family.

4. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

The first Hotel Transylvania was a huge success, and children and their parents flocked to movie theaters in droves. In the first film, we learn about the eponymous Hotel Transylvania, a place where all the creatures that go bump in the night can let their hair down and be safe from the prying eyes of the human world. Count Dracula, voiced by Sandler, hosts a special party to celebrate his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) on her 118th birthday. Mavis is ready to spread her bat wings so to speak, a point of contention between her and her father who believes she isn’t ready to leave the nest. Things change when a human traveler named Jonathan stumbles across the hotel, Dracula must “protect” Mavis from falling in love with the human and protect the hotel’s reputation from being ruined by news of a human on the premises. The first Hotel Transylvania is the best and has jokes for children and adults sprinkled throughout.

3. Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh

We are treated to some of Sandler’s best jokes in this Netflix stand-up comedy special, cheekily titled Adam Sandler 100% Fresh. Sandler openly references his reputation for receiving some truly awful Rotten Tomatoes scores — even giving a shout out to his wife for hating on the reviewers to make him feel better — but he doesn’t need to worry here; while it might not have a perfect score, critics have given Adam Sandler 100% Fresh a 90%, making it one of his highest critical scores. It’s well-deserved; Sandler’s in full-form in the special, especially when he performs musical comedy. From a trap track about bringing his essential “Phone, Wallet, Keys” with him when he leaves the house to a song about a smelly Uber ride, Sandler is clearly having a good time. What truly makes the special worth-watching, is Sandler’s touching tribute to his late friend Chris Farley. There are no jokes and no gimmicks while the comedian earnestly sings a ballad about his friend. It’s this vulnerability that makes Adam Sandler 100% Fresh so memorable.

2. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)

In The Meyerowitz Stories, Dustin Hoffman plays family patriarch Harold Meyerowitz, a sculptor and retired art professor who has three adult children whom he’s neglected in various ways. Sandler stars as Danny Meyerowitz, a recently-divorced and unemployed father who feels like a failure compared to his father and siblings. Feeling like a failure is something the family members have in common; Danny’s half-brother Matthew, played by Ben Stiller, is a successful financial planner but bemoans not inheriting his father’s artistic talent, while sister Jean is the odd one out as the girl of the family, and longs to feel truly listened to. The dysfunctional family comedy-drama is considered one of Sandler’s best films, and is worth a watch.

1. Hustle (2022)

Not just Sandler’s best film on Netflix, Hustle might just be his best film to date. In Hustle, Sandler is Stanley Sugarman, a talent scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. After a long seemingly dead-end career, Sugarman is feeling burnt out and farther away from his dream of being an NBA coach than ever when his search for a talented player leads him Spain. There he finds Bo Cruz, played by professional basketball player Juancho Hernangomez, a promising athlete stuck working a construction job for his family. Both Sandler and Hernangomez are fantastic in this film, giving nuanced performances of their respective underdogs. Even though Hustle isn’t anything groundbreaking — it hits a lot of the beats one would expect in a sports movie — it’s one of the best of its genre.

About the author

Staci White

Staci White

Since the moment she listened to her first Britney Spears CD at the tender age of six, Staci has been a lover of all things pop culture. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors in Linguistics and somehow turned her love of music, movies, and media into a career as a freelance writer. When she’s not writing for WGTC, she’s busy fulfilling her own pop star dreams as a singer/songwriter or hanging out at her local coffee shops.