Uncut Gems (\N)

Adam Sandler, Judd Hirsch, Eric Bogosian,
Uncut Gems is a movie starring Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, and Kevin Garnett. A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score, makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a...
  • 7.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Ronald Bronstein, Writer:
  • Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Director:
  • Sebastian Bear-McClard, Oscar Boyson, Scott Rudin, Producer:
10 / 10

An Intense Roller-Coaster

It has been a fascinating ride watching the numerous ups and downs of Adam Sandler's career. From classic comedies like Happy Gilmore to great dramatic performances like Reign Over Me, he has proven time and time again that he is a very talented guy. The problem is that he has let himself fall out of the spotlight over the last ten years, simply due to the fact that he has been choosing some of the worst films of each year, on multiple occasions. In what might be the greatest performance he has ever given, Uncut Gems is his latest role that will be released this fall. After viewing this at the Toronto International Film Festival and giving it a little time to sink in, I can confidently say that this will end up being one of my favourite films of 2019 by year's end.

Following a jewelry store owner in Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) as he gets his hands on a precious gemstone from Ethiopia, he decides to lend it to an NBA star in good faith. What sadly becomes apparent is the fact that he has many issues under the surface. Being a really shady figure and having a serious gambling addiction ends up giving this movie an insane amount of tension. This is a roller coaster ride of claustrophobia and I couldn't get enough of it.

Directors Benny and Josh Safdie have been quietly building a solid little career for themselves. Having worked on very small indie projects like Heaven Knows What and then one of 2017s very best movies in Good Time, they're truly a duo that this industry needs. Their creativity always leaps off the screen in a way that feels very different from other filmmakers working today. This is a movie that heavily relies on pacing, editing, and performances. With a screenplay that requires nearly every performer to constantly be in motion or talking over one another, this movie barely gives you a second to catch a breath.

By the time the third act begins, you'll probably wonder why you have been so invested in Sandler's portrayal of Howard because he's really not the best person. With that said, it's the fact that he is a terrible person deep down and is so greedy that is what made it so engaging and unnerving at times. With the use of periodic psychedelic imagery, a pulse-poundingly superb score, and a slew of uberly talented performers, Uncut Gems is a movie that states from the very beginning that it's a contender for the upcoming awards season.

Overall, some viewers will absolutely wonder what the point of the movie was, due to the nature of how the final few minutes play out, but it was precisely these final moments that took me off guard and had me loving it even more. Personally, I feel that audiences have become impatient with films these days and anything over an hour and a half may seem like a chore to them if they're not completely on board, so that's why I would recommend this movie. It's not short, but the way this movie is put together makes it fly by. I believe this movie can be appreciated by many viewers. Uncut Gems is easily one of the years best films.

10 / 10

Absolute Insanity

Saw this at TIFF. From front to back, this movie might be most stressful thing I've ever seen. I was a huge fan of Good Time and this movie ramps the intensity to an even higher level. Sandler's performance is great. It just shows that time after time, if he's working with a good director(s), a strong supporting cast, and an interesting concept, he will absolutely crush it. Also what other movie could have "people watching sports" be the most exhilarating part of the story?

I also loved that the score (Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never) is used super strategically to build discomfort, especially when it swells to drown out the dialogue.

Looking forward to watching this again when it gets a wide release in December.

8 / 10

Sandler proves his tremendously dynamic versatility once again in this gambling/heist drama and deserves oscar nomination.

I've been a fan of Adam since the early days and still go out of my way to watch any film he's in even if its an absolute embarrassment. We all know his brand of humor and i personally resonate with it a lot. On the other side of the comedic angle of this man is an incredibly emotional dramatic angle that emerges once in awhile from him to blow us away with an honest character portrayal. This film utilizes his acting variety brilliantly and does still have his signature brand of comedy in a more refined nature. At times the story, direction, and overall dialogue style does get a little too contrived but thrives for the most part with some intensity and sly grittiness. Overall this was a surprisingly solid film with a magnificent performance by Sandler that will rnak among his best.

8 / 10

Seen at TIFF 2019

Ever since watching the Safdie brother's previous feature, Good Time, I was eagerly awaiting their next feature. Good Time showed that they are masters of tension and momentum, with their impressive culmination of unique characters, editing, dialogue and of course musical scores, and Uncut Gems further cements that they are not only masters of tension, but they are truly two of the most exciting rising filmmakers right now.

I usually know how to structure a review, but Uncut Gems is so unconventional in nearly every regard, and frankly I'm not quite sure where to start. It doesn't let up, ever. Pretty much from the first minute to the end you are shot into a relentless world of chaos among various reoccurring characters, all gravitating around Adam Sandler's "Howie". That leads me to Adam Sandler's performance and character. I LOVED it. Oh boy, is he good. He's not only fantastic at delivering dialogue for extremely long and exhausting takes, but just seeing his characters psyche continuously digging himself deeper is electric.

I'll leave off with saying Uncut Gems is one of the most exhilarating and unique films that I've seen this year. Adam Sandler (and the entire cast) kill it, the musical score is loud and exciting, it looks beautiful, and it has an energy that I haven't seen in any other film this year.

I really can't wait to see what the Safdie's come up with next.

9 / 10

Sandler delivers a tour de force performance in one of the year's best films.

The Safdie brothers are a masterful dark comedy creating a film that happily has one rooting for the bad guy. Ratner is in more ways than one despicable cheat; but he's also someone who can't assist but love the crowd. As his different systems become more complicated, Ratner's hole digs deeper and deeper.With the ideal combination of arrogance and nervous insecurity, Sandler portrays Ratner's reckless descent. He's the man who believes he's covered with all the corners ; but he's really hanging on by a lucky thread.The performance of Sandler fits completely into the natural and edgy filmmaking style of the Safdie brother. The siblings patiently build a narrative that is an unpleasant and riveting experience. The more turbulent the waters Ratner is swimming in, the more difficult it is for one to look away. In fact, Uncut Gems is a rare treasure, a thrilling and darkly funny film.