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Adam Sandler gives a career-defining performance in the Safdie Brothers’ ‘Uncut Gems.’ (Photo provided via @Complex on Twitter) 

Film Review: The Safdie Brothers’ ‘Uncut Gems’ is an unforgettable, wild ride

Much has been seen and said on Twitter about Uncut Gems. If anything, dripped out Adam Sandler has become somewhat of a meme in Twitter circles. But all jokes aside, the film behind the funny tweets is worth watching. 

Marking A24’s latest release, Uncut Gems follows Howard Ratner (Sandler), a New York City jeweler who can’t stop making high risk, high reward decisions. 

Ratner trades a priceless gem for basketball player Kevin Garnett’s championship ring in order to place massive bets on Celtics basketball games. Ratner soon faces the fact that his compulsive gambling is not only for cash — but also his life.

Uncut Gems opens with a transition scene, starting with dangerous opal mining in Ethiopia to a trippy journey through Ratner’s colon during a doctor’s appointment. The first few minutes of the film really set the film’s full-throttle, life-threatening tone.

Sandler’s performance is what all the hype is about, and he deserves it. His performance in Uncut Gems easily makes him a contender for next month’s Academy Awards. Not only is Sandler unrecognizable, but he truly embodies Ratner. The character is so solid and defined, and Sandler is consistent in every scene. 

The great cast in the film is supported by its excellent writing. The detailed screenplay by the Safdie brothers and collaborator Ronald Bronstein solidifies Uncut Gems as a technical marvel. 

The film has an awesome, synth-infused score from Daniel Lopatin that harkens back to classics like Suspiria (1977) and Blade Runner. The score adds another layer to the anxiety-inducing atmosphere, with hair-raising sounds and perfectly timed orchestral swells. 

Uncut Gems does so many things right. It’s a film that runs on adrenaline. Viewers shouldn’t watch it to relax, but to sit back and have their mind blown. To say the film has an uneasy feel doesn’t do it justice — rather, its anxiety is not of unease, but survival. Uncut Gems is a journey of all-or-nothing, black or white and life or death. 


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