It has only been recently that we learned Murder Mystery actually topped the list of most popular Netflix programs in 2019. The news is coming when another Adam Sandler project, Uncut Gems, is having a bit of a moment in theaters, breaking all kinds of records for parent studio A24. Ultimately, 2019 was a big year for Adam Sandler.
Adam Sandler is mostly known for doing comedies where he and his friends get to take some sort of vacation to an exotic locale and crack jokes while doing that. This isn’t to say some of the jokes aren’t funny or that he never takes roles outside of stuff like Grown Ups or Blended, but in general, this is how he’s often perceived.
This is particularly true given some of the other critically acclaimed projects he’s made in recent years have flown a little under the radar. I’m talking his work in stuff like Top Five or The Meyerowitz Stories. It’s more likely you saw or at least heard of Pixels right?
This year that’s not quite as true. Murder Mystery, unlike some of Adam Sandler’s other Netflix movies, is pretty good. And I’m not just saying that because Jennifer Aniston was enticed to sign on for it. It legitimately has a fun whodunit plot and characters you can root for. I’m not saying it made my Top 10 list this year, but if you are looking at the movies Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company has made for Netflix, Murder Mystery is at the top of the pile.
It’s the crème de la crème of Adam Sandler Netflix movies and it’s easy to see how it is the #1 Netflix original of 2019. Although it’s worth pointing out Netflix’s metrics for its list involved the number of subscribers who watched the first two minutes of a series or movie special in its first 28 days on the subscription streaming service.
Then, we get to Uncut Gems, which is a bit more complicated. For one, Adam Sandler has been gaining acclaim for his portrayal of Howard ‘Howie’ Ratner and the movie has broken records at the box office, both for the biggest opening weekend for A24 and also for best per screen average.
This success has come after Adam Sandler earned some buzz for the role on the awards circuit earlier this year, but while a wider audience is seeing Uncut Gems than, say, the Safie brothers' last movie Good Time, a lot of average moviegoers don’t like it and have been open in forums like Cinemascore and on audience reviews for the movie.
Regardless of how you personally feel about Uncut Gems – and a lot of people here at CinemaBlend loved it – Adam Sandler has once again found himself to be a major topic of conversation in Hollywood, and that’s never a bad thing for a person’s career. I really hope he continues this trend and finds a few more Awards Consideration types of roles over the next few years, because Sandler is best when he’s mixing stuff like 50 First Dates with Spanglish.
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Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.