Adam Sandler Explains Why Negative Film Reviews Don't Bother Him

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh
(Image credit: Netflix)

Adam Sandler has been charming audiences for three decades now and has delivered a number of beloved films in the process. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy are only a few of the classic comedies that have managed to remain with the cultural lexicon. Though general audiences seem to enjoy the work that Sandler puts out, critics aren’t usually as receptive to the films. Sandler is, of course, more than conscious of the reactions and, quite frankly, he remains unbothered by them. The comedian explained his rationale for that and did so amid a very auspicious occasion.

Adam Sandler was recently awarded the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Following a number of tributes and remarks from colleagues, the star gave an acceptance speech (which was shared to YouTube), in which he detailed his professional journey and thanked his family and friends. When discussing his vast body of work, he addressed the less-than-positive reviews that a number of his movies have received. And his reason for not caring about them has to do with the people that are in his personal and professional orbits:

People always would ask me, ‘Those bad reviews you get, how does that make you feel? Does it make you feel like fucking shit?’ And I’d say, ‘Nah, it really doesn’t.’ I think the reason I get to say that didn’t hurt me is because so many of you guys in this room made me feel great about what we’ve done together. All my fellow comedians, actors, writers, collaborators, crew members, people on the streets, my family, my kids, my forever girl Jackie all make me feel like the critics didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

I mean, when you have the admiration and respect of those who know and love you the most, it's honestly difficult to care what others think. Plus, there’s also the fact that a great deal of the Saturday Night Live alum’s features have raked in some serious cash at the box office. I’d say the actor should be pleased with himself, and you can hear that sense of pride emanating from him while he gives his speech. You can check out the entirety of his gracious sentiments by way of the video down below:

This isn’t the first time Adam Sandler has discussed the negative reviews his movies get. Last fall, the star opened up about it, noting that the reactions do sting “sometimes.” He also recalled how he felt when Billy Madison and his other early flicks got harsh reviews. When speaking on the subject last year though, he doubled down on the notion that he “doesn’t get too shook up” about it and revealed that he looks to his late father as an example of how a person should handle criticism.

Let’s not forget, however, that the 56-year-old actor does have some critically acclaimed “gems” in his filmography. One of those is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love, which earned him rave reviews. And in recent years, he wowed moviegoers with his frantic turn in the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems (for which he should’ve received an Oscar nod, I think.) He also gave a winning performance in the sports dramedy Hustle, which was also praised. Make no mistake, the actor still loves comedy, though he’s admitted to enjoying the influx of dramas that’s come his way.

In addition to celebrating his Mark Twain Prize, Adam Sandler is also looking forward to the release of his latest movie, Murder Mystery 2, which allowed him to reteam with good friend Jennifer Aniston (who was also present at the ceremony). A smile comes to my face when I think of all of the love Sandler has gotten as of late and, and regardless of what critics may think of his films, chances are that fans will continue to hold his movies in high regard.

Check out his comedy stylings in Murder Mystery 2 when it becomes available for Netflix subscription holders starting March 31.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.