The actor presented Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie with the Best Director prize for the acclaimed production, and joked about his own past experiences with poor reviews.
"All you critics, I know what you have said about me over the years," Sandler said. "It's fine. I have two words to say to you: You're mean! But this is about the boys. The Safdie brothers."
Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Lupita Nyong'o, Alec Baldwin, Laura Dern, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Spike Lee also attended the ceremony. Pitt also contributed to the evening's humour, presenting his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" director Quentin Tarantino with the Best Screenplay honor.
"Finally, after all that time, a film about Hollywood," Pitt quipped when discussing the production, and called the filmmaker "the only guy I know who needs cocaine to stop talking."
Other big winners, who were previously announced in December (19), included "The Irishman", which earned Best Picture. After accepting the accolade from Lee, director Martin Scorsese thanked bosses at the streaming giant Netflix for distributing the film, which was a decade in the making.
"Thank you, Netflix - no, seriously, because no one else would touch this film for 10 years," Scorsese said.