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Movie Review: ‘Uncut Gems’ an uneasy, fun thriller

January 10, 2020 by Brett LaBore


Rarely are there movies that make me feel a little uneasy. In the case of “Uncut Gems,” it spins that feeling into a good movie.

“Uncut Gems” came out Dec. 25 and features Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Eric Bogosian, LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett, Judd Hirsch and Idina Menzel.

It was written and directed by Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie. Ronald Bronstein wrote it as well.

This is a story about a man named Howard Ratner, a jeweler who makes all kind of bets in search of a huge win. But he gets in trouble when he tries to juggle work, his personal life and his passions all at once.

I enjoyed watching this movie. I haven’t seen a movie like this in a long time and it was a fun thriller. It kept my attention the whole way.

The tone and themes of this movie are deep. There’s a certain edginess to the movie that gets under your skin, that makes you feel uneasy at times. I liked this tone and it set the standard for the whole movie.

I can’t go far without mentioning the performance of Sandler. I haven’t seen a lot of his movies, but I know that he does some comedies, so I was curious to see how he was in a drama/thriller like this.

Sandler was excellent. He puts on a believable performance that makes you want to love his character and hit him at the same time. You understand where his character is coming from, but at the same time you don’t understand some of his decisions. 

With the excellent material written by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie and Bronstein, Sandler delivers here. I might have to check out more of his movies.

Garnett is a retired National Basketball Association (NBA) star, one of the games’ best players of the 2000s. Seeing him as a basketball player, I was really impressed with his performance. I thought he did a great job and was one of my favorite parts of the movie.

I also liked Stanfield. He provided a good character and his chemistry with Sandler was not only real, but had a certain edginess to it again.

This movie in general made me feel kind of dirty. Even the movie poster is a bit unsettling. All of this is done to make you feel a certain way about decisions that are made throughout the movies, all the way to the climax.

The ending surprised me a bit, but after I thought about it, I asked myself ‘why was I surprised’? Still, it was an unexpected surprise or at least the way it was presented. Overall, I liked the ending and I had a good time with this movie. 

“Uncut Gems” presents a terrific performance by Sandler in an uneasy thriller that is entertaining from start to finish. 

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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