The Masters: 30 Best Paul Thomas Anderson Actors

From 'Hard Eight' to 'Inherent Vice,' we've ranked the MVPs of PTA's movies

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8. Adam Sandler

Here's what's so great about Sandler's performance in Punch Drunk Love: It asks him to stretch to an almost superhuman degree, even as it fits into his usual character profile. Barry Egan feels like the collective residue of Sandler's other, more popular comedy parts. He's mired in uncertainty and self-loathing — almost clinically so — and his cringe-worthy shyness is offset by a terrifying, destructive rage. These are all hallmarks of the usual, goofball Sandler type, but director and actor weave it all together beautifully; for all of Barry's weirdness, he comes across as a living, breathing person. And what a marvelous, endlessly complex performance (and movie), the kind where you see something new in it every time you watch it.

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