The Adam Sandler phenomenon: Netflix's unlikely star

With a new film on the streaming site and more on the way, the actor continues to defy critics

Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler at the premiere of Netflix's The Do-Over
(Image credit: Jason Kempin / GETTY)

It seems Netflix can't get enough of Adam Sandler - and according to the streaming service, neither can its viewers, even if the critics do pan his films.

This month saw the release of the actor's latest outing, Sandy Wexler, his third film made exclusively for the site as part of a lucrative deal.

It follows parody Western The Ridiculous 6, which was widely condemned for stereotyping Native Americans, and The Do-Over, an action comedy that received so-so reviews.

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So far, Sandy Wexler hasn't fared any better.

Once an A-list film star with hits such as The Waterboy and Big Daddy to his name, Sandler's career has flagged after poor reviews and falling box-office takings.

However, he has received a boost from his team-up with Netflix - despite the indifference and disapproval of many critics – and according to Variety, has signed up to make a further four films for the site.

Sandler says: "Love working with Netflix and collaborating with them.

"I love how passionate they are about making movies and getting them out there for the whole world to see. They've made me feel like family and I can't thank them enough for their support."

So why does Netflix love Adam Sandler so much?

Recently released figures from Netflix show that from December 2015, users have streamed more than half a billion hours of Sandler's films, reports Kaitlyn Tiffany on The Verge.

Considering that nobody pays to see him in the cinema, she adds, and that The Ridiculous 6 scored a zero on Rotten Tomatoes, the figures seem like "the end of reason".

However, for Netflix, Sandler is a solid investment who will literally pay off, which could be seen as "uplifting, and encouraging".

David Sims in The Atlantic thinks it is good news that indicates "a revolution in the movie-star system".

Sandler is "a proven star with the kind of algorithmic appeal [Netflix] has extensively cultivated", writes the critic.

He also argues that the partnership indicates a "revival of the mid-budget studio" film, which has all but disappeared in an age of blockbusters.

Sandler's films might not appeal to everyone, concludes Sims, but "the new streaming-studio paradigm reminds viewers of a time when movies weren't expected to".

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