‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ reviews: Adam Sandler ‘excels’ in Noah Baumbach’s Netflix comedy

After a run on the festival circuit — including Cannes and New York — “The Meyerowitz Stories” was released on October 13 simultaneously in select theaters and streaming on Netflix. It’s the latest film from acclaimed writer-director Noah Baumbach, who earned an Oscar nomination for his script for “The Squid and the Whale” and also received acclaim for “Greenberg,” “Frances Ha,” and “Mistress America.” Netflix is still trying to get on the map at the Oscars, challenging the paradigm of theatrical distribution in ways that have already ruffled feathers, But an established and respected filmmaker like Baumbach could be the kind who changes the status quo.

As of this writing “The Meyerowitz Stories” has a score of 82 on MetaCritic, which is his highest rating for directing a fiction film since “The Squid and the Whale.” It also has 90% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. Baumbach’s work here is being described as “generous and insightful.” His writing is “rapid” and “garrulous,” which makes the film a “total comedic delight.” It “ranks with the best” of his work.

His cast is also receiving abundant praise, especially Adam Sandler for his role as a man who lives in the shadow of his sculptor father (Dustin Hoffman) and financially successful brother (Ben Stiller). Sandler “has not been this well utilized since ‘Punch-Drunk Love.'” He “excels, both riotously and poignantly,” while co-star Emma Thompson is “hilarious,” Elizabeth Marvel is “note-perfect,” and Stiller is “reliably and appealingly neurotic.” So could this also be a vehicle for multiple acting nominations in addition to its potential for Baumbach’s work behind the camera?

Check out some of the reviews below, and join the discussion on this and more with your fellow movie fans in our forums.

Emily Yoshida (Vulture): “There are shades of … Baumbach’s own ‘The Squid and the Whale.’ But it’s incredible what a difference 12 years makes: Baumbach is an altogether more generous and insightful filmmaker here than he was the last time he told this story … Sandler, who plays Danny, the less-successful son of sculptor Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman), has not been this well utilized since ‘Punch-Drunk Love.'”

Erin Whitney (ScreenCrush): “‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ might sound like a bummer, but it’s a total comedic delight thanks to Baumbach’s rapid, garrulous writing style … The raw emotion here elevates ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ above Baumbach’s previous work. It may slight some of its more compelling character relationships, but it’s still a bittersweet delight.”

Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times): “Funny, moving and psychologically complex, ‘The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)’ is the latest examination by writer-director Noah Baumbach (‘The Squid and the Whale,’ ‘While We’re Young’) of the intricate paradoxes of dysfunctional family dynamics, and it ranks with the best.”

Glenn Kenny (New York Times): “With this film, Mr. Baumbach has achieved a near-perfect balance between engagement and discomfort … As is customary in Mr. Baumbach’s pictures, the acting is spectacular. Ms. Thompson is hilarious, Ms. Marvel applies her customary note-perfect execution of character … And while Mr. Stiller’s Matthew is both reliably and appealingly neurotic, it is Mr. Sandler who excels, both riotously and poignantly.”

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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