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11,033 Ratings

Punch-Drunk Love

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
United States, 2002
Comedy, Romance, Drama


A socially impaired small-business owner leading a mundane life, that includes constant berating by his seven sisters, finds romance and solace with a mysterious woman. But the romance is threatened when he falls victim to an extortionist.

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Punch-Drunk Love Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2002 | Winner: Best Director

Village Voice Film Poll

2002 | 2nd place: Best Director

2002 | Nominee: Best Film

My favorite part of the movie is when Barry goes to Hawaii. He suddenly realizes he can just go to her, even without the frequent-flier miles. This is also my favorite thing in life: the sudden understanding that you aren’t condemned to sadness, that you can simply walk toward the thing you want.
November 16, 2016
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The camerawork trades the elegant Steadicam long takes that made Anderson famous for jittery, whip-pan motions and compositions that isolate Barry in the frame even when he is surrounded, making other people the bars in the prison he has erected in his mind. Anderson makes objective, distanced shots pulse with nervousness.
November 15, 2016
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To a jaded soul, something like Mon Oncle is not what most moviegoers of 2002 would consider “real entertainment.” But in its time and place, it was, and at repertory theaters still is; find any of Tati’s features playing at a cinematheque, and they’ll play to their audience. So would Punch-Drunk Love. Its pleasures are its own, and Anderson remains one of the few filmmakers of his generation for whom no new direction should be a surprise. His instincts have yet to land him in anyplace boring.
November 14, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    I don't like Adam Sandler, and even though he is competent in this film, I can think of other actors who would have been better. But this is such a weird film, I had to like it. Also featuring Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    Watching this in theaters, it seemed part of a continuum of films in which commercial actors ventured into arthouse fare (see: Robin Williams' "One Hour Photo"). But almost 20 years later, I cherish the film for how unique it is; as not only one of Sandler's best performances, but the rare effort from PTA that feels, dare I say, personal. It's Anderson's dark and idiosyncratic take on the classic screwball romance.

  • J. O.'s rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    Inexplicably, I slept on this for a long time. A decade and a half later, after having the urge to take it in, I am not overly impressed. On an aesthetic level, this is beautiful. Lean, stripped bare – stark cinematography complimented by a lilting harmonium-laced score. Further than that? Conventional rom-com plot slammed against a more charming and unique extortionist plot. Enjoyable, but also kind of irritating.

  • Jason's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    PUNCH-DRUNK clearly invokes the time and place of its own making in a fascinating way; it is a movie that is outside of history, or only indexes movie history (as was not uncustomary at the time), but it is essentially 'all spirit.' Early colour cinema was clearly 'punch-drunk' w/ its own possibilities. PUNCH-DRUNK is the same kind of 'punch-drunk.' The contact high is still strong w/ this one, these many years aft.

  • Scorpio Velvet's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    It has been a long time since I have watched PTA's little masterpiece, but seeing it again was a huge blessing. Who would ever imagine Sandler having a dramatic role (added with some comic)? He was bit more angry than in HAPPY GILMORE I would say. The film is beautifully shot by Elswit (his regular) and features a strange soundtrack by Brion. Both darkly comic and romantic - one of PTA's that must not be overlooked.

  • Thomas's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    Intriguing film, there are so many shifts in its tone and structure that it held my attention from sheer curiosity alone. Emily Watson is a breath of frsh air in what is essentially a fairy tale-esque story of a man child who, through discovering love and a reason for living beyond his own existence, becomes an adult. Quirky, unexpected and handled in an highly original and delicate way.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    An unexpected PTA masterpiece - one of his shortest films, nothing is extraneous. A romantic comedy drama like no other. Stands the test of time with a profound purpose. Sandler, Watson and Seymour-Hoffman shine. The troubled protagonist remains one of the most compelling in contemporary cinema, thanks to an idiosyncratic mundane intensity. PTA's cinematography is divine.

  • Lucas Granero's rating of the film Punch-Drunk Love

    Como una screwball hollywoodense de los 40's en plena fase cocaínomana, Punch-Drunk Love es una película que pasa de la hiperactividad a una cierta calma amenazante, para luego volver a hacer tambalear todo. En su película mas anomala y riesgosa, PTA parece haber hecho un cine de cocktails explosivos, de formas imparables que se cruzan, chocan, se enamoran y crean nuevos tonos de azules y rojos y vidrios que estallan

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