Billy Madison (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Billy Madison (1995)



Critic Consensus: Billy Madison is typical early immature fare from Adam Sandler, even if it finds moments of inspired lunacy.

Movie Info

Master of infantilism Adam Sandler stars as the title character, an overgrown rich kid who wiles away his days poolside, swilling kegs of beer and appreciating fine nudie magazines such as "Drunk Chicks" -- that is, until his father (Darren McGavin) decides to test his mettle as future head of the family business by posing a challenge: retake and pass grades K-12 in 24 weeks or watch control of the business pass to the requisite conniving underling (Bradley Whitford). Forced into action, Billy vows to change his drunken ways. He enrolls in kindergarten, makes new friends, pelts pint-sized kids with playground balls and develops a love interest in a pretty teacher (Bridgitte Wilson). The action culminates in an academic showdown between Billy and the purportedly Harvard-educated underling for the future of the family enterprise -- no small feat for a man fresh out of the first grade. There's gross, moronic, off-color low humor galore in Billy Madison, particularly in one subplot involving a romantically forward elementary school principal (Josh Mostel, son of theater great Zero Mostel) and his secret former life as a professional wrestler; another scene includes the hypertense school bus driver (Chris Farley, in a typical over-the-top cameo) lying in the meadow with a hallucinatory penguin. As one might suspect, Billy Madison is not for every taste; Sandler fans will laugh from start to finish; others beware. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for language and crude humor.)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Rich Wilkes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 2, 2002
MCA Universal Home Video


Adam Sandler
as Billy Madison
Darren McGavin
as Brian Madison
Bradley Whitford
as Eric Gordon
Josh Mostel
as Max Anderson
Larry Hankin
as Carl Alphonse
Dina Platias
as Miss Lippy
Jack Mather
as Ted 'Old Man' Clemen...
Christopher Kelk
as Rollo the janitor
Marc Donato
as Nodding 1st Grader
Keith Cole
as Penguin
Chris Mei
as Penguin
Conor Devitt
as O'Doyle (Grade 1)
Jared Durand
as Scotty Logan (Grade ...
Jessica Nakamura
as Tricia Labonte (Grad...
Helen Hughes
as 2nd Grade Teacher
Justin Williams
as 3rd Grader
Jacelyn Holmes
as 2nd Grader
Chris Farley
as O'Doyle the Bus Driv...
Claire Cellucci
as Attractive Lady
Al Maini
as Chauffeur
Jared Cook
as Ernie (Grade 3)
Christian Matheson
as O'Doyle (Grade 3)
Austin Pool
as Dan (Grade 3)
Stacey Wheal
as Jennifer (Grade 3)
Shanna Bresse
as Susan (Grade 3)
Gladys O'Connor
as Tour Guide
Marcia Bennett
as 4th Grade Teacher
Tim Herlihy
as Architect
Joyce Gordon
as Lunch Lady
Robert Smigel
as Mr. Oblaski
Melissa Korzenko
as Nancy Connors
Colin Smith
as O'Doyle (Grade 9)
Tex Konig
as Crazy Persons
Eduardo Gómez
as Crazy Persons
Tanya Grout
as Joyce (Eric's Sercet...
Benjamin Barrett
as Tenth Grader
Matthew Ferguson
as Tenth Grader
Sean Lett
as O'Doyle (Grade 12)
Michael Ayoub
as Drama Teacher
Gino Veltri
as Rock Singer
James Downey
as Principal
Bob Rodgers
as Mr. O'Doyle
Margo Wladyka
as Mrs. O'Doyle
Marcel Jean Gilles
as Haitian Gardener
Suzanna Shebib
as High School Girl
Steve Buscemi
as Danny McGrath
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Billy Madison

Critic Reviews for Billy Madison

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (5)

Those unfamiliar with Sandler's antics may...begin to find him annoying sometime between the appearance of the Universal logo and the end of the opening credits.

Full Review… | June 1, 2008
Top Critic

If you've ever had a yen to relive the third grade, this must be the next best thing.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Director Tamra Davis and screenwriters Sandler and Tim Herlihy scatter the bad jokes like fertilizer. Nothing sprouts.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

As one character tells Billy in the finale: "Everyone in this room is dumber for having listened to you."

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

This is Adam Sandler at his best, and his latest films are cheap grabs at what once came so easily to him.

Full Review… | August 26, 2013
7M Pictures

It's refreshing to revisit the jester in his screen infancy, when all he wanted was to boogie to a Culture Club hit, carry on conversations with hair care products, and sit on a sprinkler.

Full Review… | June 13, 2011

Audience Reviews for Billy Madison

Though its jokes are of stupidity and grade-school humor, Billy Madison is a decent comedy from the creation of Adam Sandler. The film is immature and has memorable quotes/scenes that die-hard Sandler fans will remember. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Childish and immature - but then again, what Sandler comedy isn't? I've seen better by him, like Click and Happy Gilmore, but I've also seen a lot worse like Grown Ups and The Waterboy. As long as you can cope with its stupidity, it's pretty fun and enjoyable. Nothing that will make it into my film collection, but not a bad way to spend the evening. Worth seeing just for the hilarious cameo by Steve Buscemi.

Mike S

Super Reviewer



One of the earliest Adam Sandler comedy vehicles is the highly over rated Billy Madison. To put it simple, it's a childish comedy with the occasional morsel of charm and a few good laughs. It's at best, mildly amusing because the film gets sillier at every turn rather than getting any funnier. I prefer Happy Gilmore because the character suited Sandler better and the film itself was a little less moronic, smarter, had a lot of memorable scenes and was more ambitious. Billy Madison at times, because of it's stupidity, is just uncomfortable to watch.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Billy Madison Quotes

– Submitted by Adam G (2 months ago)
– Submitted by Ian D (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Ian D (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Kelly E (2 years ago)

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