Adam Sandler is Hollywood’s biggest contradiction. From producing god-awful comedies like Grown Ups 2, here he has brought us a gem of a movie. It really is a testament that Sandler is a formidable actor when provided with the right material. Uncut Gems is going to be one of the classics people rewatch, years from now.
Adam Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a New York jeweler with a gambling addiction and stubborn morals. With Kevin Garnett playing himself and a cameo from the Weeknd, this movie is a must-watch of 2020.
Sandler is really able to tap into the obnoxiousness of the character and delivers a pressure-cooker of a movie. Fans are going to be on the edge of their seats for 2 hours. Howard runs his business like the gambling junkie he is, always looking forward to the rush of a win. However, when he gets his hand on an uncut opal, it is at this moment Howard’s rush reaches its peak. The Safdie brothers went all in this movie and it really paid off.
When the movie starts off, fans are served with the anxious character of Howard Ratner, who is dodging some thugs sent to collect a loan. But Howard’s repayment plan isn’t as simple – nothing in this movie is. It all depends on the auctioning of his black opal – which he plans to sell for $300,000. But it all goes sideways when he shows the gem to Kevin Garnett, who believes it to be a lucky charm. Somehow, KG gets into his mind that he needs the uncut gem to win the basketball championship and wants to borrow it for a day or so. He offers his Celtics championship ring as collateral. Without getting into any more spoilers, just watch the rest of the movie unfold.
Uncut Gems can be summarized as a stressful endeavor. The story is full of confusion, misunderstandings, and extremely loud arguments. To take it up a notch, the movie also revolves around an angry ex-wife and a co-worker/mistress. Safdie brothers were able to wonderfully portray the gambler’s work-life imbalance. Adam Sandler is so committed to his role that even with the foreshadowing of an unpleasant ending, you just can’t take your eyes off of him. Uncut Gems is probably the only movie out there, where the characters watching a bit of telly is the most nerve-racking part of the movie. When relief finally comes, it’s heartbreaking.