"What Anderson and his equally unlikely stars, Adam Sandler and Emily Watson, have managed is to stretch the boundaries of the romantic comedy genre to their extreme outer limits. Charming and outlandish by turns, this misfit love story of disconnected people trying to find one another in an antagonistic world is a comedy of discomfort and rage that turns unexpectedly sweet and pure...There is probably no one but Sandler who could so convincingly play Barry's combination of genuine innocence with ramped-up hostility." --Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"This is the fourth film by Paul Thomas Anderson, the pretentious, long-winded writer-director who brought us the 12-inch plastic penis in 'Boogie Nights' and the apocalyptic rain of frogs that destroyed the San Fernando Valley in the numbing 'Magnolia.' His films consist of pointless ideas strung together with technically innovative camera tricks, neither of which contribute to any kind of coherent narrative." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"Any film that can discover so many avenues of joy and any film that can bring Adam Sandler to the New York Film Festival must be touched by some kind of magic...Ms. Watson has a smart, quiet oddness that plays beautifully off Mr. Sandler's somersaulting bipolarity...It might have been interesting if Mr. Sandler had departed from his usual doofus man-child persona, but what he does within that persona--infusing it with a vulnerable, off-kilter humanity that recalls such great film comedians as Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati--turns out to be even better...'Punch-Drunk Love' goes far beyond pastiche. What Mr. Anderson wants to do is recapture, without nostalgia, the giddiness and sweep of old movies, and his mastery of the emotional machinery of the medium is breathtaking. --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Unsatisfying as it often is, it's still the kind of oddity that could only come from a real talent...'Punch-Drunk Love' isn't a dark comedy, exactly. There's no smirk or satire in it. It's more like a piece of anarchic whimsy punctuated by jet-black outbursts... a startling achievement, but its lack of psychological dimension prevents it from making much human contact with us. It ends where it begins: in a state of shock." --Peter Rainer, New York

"Watching 'Punch-Drunk Love,' one is more convinced than ever that Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaker with prodigious gifts. One is just as convinced that he doesn't quite know what to do with them yet...for all the incidental pleasures and anxious romanticism, 'Punch-Drunk Love' still feels skimpy, if not hollow...One comes away from the movie impressed, but still waiting for Anderson's mind to align with his undeniable talent." --Gene Seymour, Newsday