Adam Sandler hasn’t acted in many dramas, but those he stars in tend to exceed expectations. Uncut Gems is no different.
Josh and Benny Safdie’s critically acclaimed independent film, which stars Sandler as Howard Ratner, New York City jeweler with a gambling addiction who risks it all on a rare stone, Kevin Garnett, and a 2012 Celtics game, is now streaming on Netflix in the United States. The streamer is a co-producer of the film alongside indie hit maker, A24. Uncut Gems was available to stream on Netflix in international territories prior to today.
Uncut Gems was named one of 2019’s best films by a number of critics, and many considered the lack of recognition by award bodies for Sandler as a major snub. The anxiety-inducing film also helped cement the Safdie brothers as two of the most ambitious filmmakers working today, following their success with Good Time in 2017 and Heaven Knows What in 2014.
Personally speaking, Uncut Gems also does a phenomenal job of accurately portraying what it’s like to be a basketball — or any sports — fan. As Louis Bien wrote at SB Nation in December 2019:
This may be the most accurate sports movie I have ever seen. Whereas a conventional sports movie throws what feels like insurmountable challenges at the protagonists, only to resolve them neatly, in Uncut Gems, the outcome is unnecessary. The point is that you’ve become an emotional hostage. And you don’t have to be a degenerate gambler to know the feeling; any sports fan understands, because what is our favorite sports team if not our very own lying, philandering scumbag who we’ve tethered ourselves to arbitrarily and imbued with unearned loyalty and hope that may never be repaid, and whose feelings we’ll never feel reciprocated?
If you’re looking for a new Sandler movie to watch on Netflix today, make it Uncut Gems, not Murder Mystery.