Uncut Gems is an electrifying thriller that tells the story of Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweller always on the lookout for the next big win. After making a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, juggling business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his pursuit of the ultimate win.
Hands down the greatest performance in Sandler’s decade-spanning career, the seasoned comedian delivers a sensational performance that’s chaotic yet captivating. Calculative and downright daring, Sandler’s Ratner is an out-of-control hustler/businessman in a profession not defined by its morality. Without a doubt one of the best performances over the past year, Sandler’s performance begs the question why he doesn’t take on projects more akin to Uncut Gems, instead of your run-of-the-mill Grown Ups films.
Directed by the Sadfie brothers, Benny and Josh, Uncut Gems dazzles on all fronts on top of the amazing performance of its lead. Whether it’s its gripping script, its grainy aesthetic or its synth-heavy 80s style music, the Netflix original is an astonishing piece of cinema that’s bound to satisfy most moviegoers. Unpredictable, paranoid and exhausting, the Netflix original is committed in its goal to send your anxiety levels spiking.
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As the neo-noir crime thriller progresses, the audience witnesses the various ways as to how Ratner continues to dig himself into a deeper hole when his personal and professional lives fall apart. Masterfully utilising various filmmaking techniques such as loud music, sound effects and prolonged shots, the Safdies crafted a truly film that’s relentless and exciting. Uncut Gems’s direction allows it to become one of the most anxiety-inducing cinematic experiences in recent memory.
One does not simply expect this level of nuance and tension in an Adam Sandler film. However, Uncut Gems exceeded all expectations and delivers one of Netflix’s most exciting originals. For a film that’s committed in stirring feelings of anxiety, Uncut Gems succeeds in having a impeccable control over every single element of its entirety. It’s stressful, it’s hilarious, it’s brutal – Uncut Gems is a cinema of palpable energy and nerve-jangling tension.