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Happy Gilmore Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Adam Sandler stars in a one-joke Caddyshack for the blitzed and jaded.

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  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Tells the story of a violent sociopath. Since it's about golf, that makes it a comedy.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Several strokes short of a respectable finish.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Slap Happy. [16 February 1996, p.D4]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Adolescent humor at its best/worst. Lots of profanity.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the biggest red flag for this movie is the cursing and violent behavior of Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler). His short fuse results in a number of skirmishes, including an extended (comic) fight scene with Bob Barker. The two brutally pound on each other until Gilmore is eventually knocked unconscious. Another scene has Gilmore threaten another golfer with the shards of a broken beer bottle. The profanity shies away from sexual comments, and is comprised mostly of the F word and the S word. Kids will enjoy Sandler's over-the-top and abrasive humor, as well as the ongoing joke of a golfer's handicapped hand that had been eaten by an alligator.

  • Families can talk about Sandler's character. His best friends in the film include a physically challenged ex-pro golfer, a homeless man, an amiable public relations woman, and his sweet grandmother. In addition, Gilmore earns a lot of money through his golf tournament wins with the goal of saving his grandmother's house. Do these sweet-natured friendships and altruistic deeds make up for his violent behavior? Is it the humor or the violence that makes Adam Sandler films so popular?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Protagonist is violent and uses a lot of profanity, but has a good heart.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Violence is portrayed in a comic manner. A couple of fistfights, protagonist threatens another person with a broken bottle.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Masturbation references, protagonist has fantasy of a woman in lingerie.

  • language false4

    Language: Lots of profanity.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Continuous references to Pepsi and Subway, but it's used more as a jab to commercialism than promoting commercialism.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: For the most part minimal, but there are a couple scenes of golf spectators chugging beer.