Critics Consensus

Paz Vega shines, and Adam Sandler gives a performance of thoughtfulness and depth, but Spanglish is ultimately undermined by sitcommy plotting and unearned uplift.



Total Count: 167


Audience Score

User Ratings: 200,911
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Movie Info

Married couple John and Deborah Clasky has their mundane lives forever changed when a fiery new housekeeper, Flor, and her intelligent daughter step into their home. Although Flor and John do not share a common language, Flor speaks only Spanish and John speaks only English, they soon find themselves romantically attracted to each other. This connection acts as a catalyst for both John and Flor to reevaluate their lives and motivates them to solve their respective family problems.


Adam Sandler
as John Clasky
Téa Leoni
as Deborah Clasky
Paz Vega
as Flor Moreno
Cloris Leachman
as Evelyn Norwich
Shelbie Bruce
as Cristina
Sarah Steele
as Bernice
Ian Hyland
as Georgie
Victoria Luna
as Cristina (age 6)
Ricardo Molina
as Flor's Husband
Thomas Haden Church
as Mike the Realtor
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News & Interviews for Spanglish

Critic Reviews for Spanglish

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (79)

  • There are signs that a lot has been cut, and in trimming his film Brooks may have squeezed too tight: his movie needs breathing space.

    Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • This is Hollywood liberal humanism as muted join-the-dots melodrama, all carefully calculated colouring, broad outlines, and no room for fruitful digression.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Vega radiates effortless strength and charm in her first Hollywood role, and Sandler proves to be a gratifyingly unpredictable leading man, self-effacing one moment and hilariously emphatic the other.

    Sep 26, 2005

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Brooks' championing of good old-fashioned family values feels hopelessly nave and frankly unconvincing.

    Feb 22, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The film gets better as it goes along ... and all the characters, including Deborah, become more interesting and appealing as we get to know them better.

    Jan 13, 2005 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • Brooks, fumbling around with too many characters and too many issues, can't find the heart of the story or give heart to the part of it he chose to focus on.

    Dec 21, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Spanglish

  • Sep 03, 2016
    Guising itself as a family comedy, Spanglish is an incredibly offensive film that promotes prejudice and intolerance against white America. The story follows a Mexican single mother who comes to America (illegally) with her daughter and takes a job as a housekeeper to a rich, white family in LA; but she soon becomes concerned that her job is leading her daughter to become Americanized. The not so subtle message being, don't accept help from the white man and resist integration with American culture. The mother is portrayed as heroic for tearing her daughter away from her white friends and for rejecting a scholarship for her daughter to attend a private school. Meanwhile the white family is shown to be debaucherous; with fat, lazy children, a cheating wife, and a weak-willed husband. Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni, and Paz Vega lead the cast and play their roles well-enough; but the film fails them, as the characters are written to serve the heavy handed political messages. Propagandist tripe, Spanglish is shameless and insulting.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2012
    I don't get the hate for this film, but one for certain is that I love it. The story is about a struggling mother (Paz Vega) and her daughter moves to America in California in hopes of having financial security. She ends up living with a Wealthy couple. One is insecure (Tea Leoni) and spends her time in a mental hospital, and one is a chef (Adam Sandler), and his career turns upside down after his restaurant received a 4 star review. The plot was well-written from start to finish. Although I'm not really a big fan of Sandler, he did prove all of us wrong about him being the worst actor. If only he acted this way in most of his movies, then everyone will think of him as a genius. Perhaps he should quit producing and stick to acting. Paz Vega did a terrific job on her part, and she deserved that Gloden Globe. Tea Leoni did pretty well just like in most of the movies she had been in. This movie is underrated and deserved to top the box office, but I guest the movie has to be more "entertaining" in order to be well-known for the world. It may not be entertaining, but at least it's a well-developed movie with a well-detailed story, well-performed actors, and everything else for that matter. Funny but also heartwarming as well.
    Giovanni C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 12, 2011
    a comedy mixed with taste and laughs of it's own! James L. Brooks has crafted a terrific comedy that is hillarious, yet with a sense of heartbroke. adam sandler is terrific and hillarious, as usual. a comedy full of flare, taste, language, humor, heartbroke, and a special technique in feeling! James L. Brooks has done it again of crafting yet another perfect comedy! A+
    Juan C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2010
    "Spanglish" is the lesser of James L. Brooks' directorial efforts mainly because he is trying so obviously for cultural commentary. His films are better when he is showing a character's nuance objectively ("As Good As It Gets"). While "Spanglish" is not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, it just does not go as far as it should. It's narrative is hindered by the way it's delivered and it unfortunately keeps us at a bit of an arms length from the characters. I enjoyed all the performances, especially Tea Leoni for being so aggressively unlikable, but in the end, you never have much to truly tether yourself to.
    Steven C Super Reviewer

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