Film Review: <em>Uncut Gems</em>
Jan 06 2020

Film Review: Uncut Gems

By: David Vicari

Adam Sandler is Howard Ratner, a high-strung New York jeweler with a gambling addiction. When he smells a potentially big pay day involving an opal, Howard goes on a hectic journey throughout the city dealing with professional athletes (former NBA player Kevin Garnett plays himself), loan shark thugs, his wife (Idina Menzel) and his mistress (Julia Fox) among others.


Scene after scene is loud and chaotic with characters arguing and talking over one another. As an audience member, I was trying to hear the conversations, and kudos to the sound designers to allow the important parts of the conversations to be heard.

Directed by brothers Benny and Josh Safdie (2017's Good Time), Uncut Gems is a wild ride and an exhausting film to sit through because it is firing on all cylinders for the majority of its 135-minute running time. Quiet moments don't exist in this movie, but it does have a few...less noisy moments.

Anyone who knows me knows that I loath Adam Sandler comedies. I think the only one I enjoy is The Wedding Singer (1998). Sandler, however, showed in writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love (2002) that he has impressive dramatic chops. Here, in Uncut Gems, he is the glue that holds the movie together. The character of Howard is irritating and stubborn at times, then you feel sorry for him at other times, and by the final act, you will find yourself rooting for him, and this is all due to Sandler's strong performance.

★★★ stars (out of four)

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