Uncut Gems


D: Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie

A24 / Elara / IAC / Sikelia (Scott Rudin, Eli Bush & Sebastian Bear-McClard)

US 🇺🇸 2019

134 mins


W: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie

DP: Darius Khondji

Ed: Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie

Mus: Daniel Lopatin

Adam Sandler (Howard Ratner), Julia Fox (Julia DeFiore), Lakeith Stansfield (Demany), Kevin Garnett (himself), Idina Menzel (Dinah Ratner), Eric Bogosian (Arno Moradian)

Adam Sandler plays completely against type in this crime thriller and proves that he truly does carry some clout as a serious performer.

He plays Howard Ratner, a sleazy, corrupt jeweller who plays it fast and loose with his gambling habits, getting himself in debt with his family, the mob and various other shady characters.

Coming into the possession of an rare, uncut opal, Howard believes that its sale at auction will solve all his financial problems. Basketball player Kevin Garnett (playing himself) becomes obsessed with the rock and Howard reluctantly allows him to borrow it as a good luck charm for the night’s upcoming match, which sets off a chain reaction of trying to claim the item back and keep the loan sharks off his back.

The film does end on a cold note, without tying up some of its loose ends, but it’s a testimony to the excellent of Adam Sandler’s performance that you become compelled to a character who really isn’t a very pleasant person.

It’s a rare gem of a film that features a lead performance this strong, and it honestly wouldn’t have been a huge shock had Adam Sandler received an Oscar nomination for his part. Unfortunately, he wasn’t, but an awful lot of buzz was generated around the time and I happen to think that he was robbed for not making the cut.


Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems