Directed by The Safdie Brothers, Uncut Gems follows a charismatic New York City jeweller (Adam Sandler) who’s always on the lookout for the next big score. As he makes yet another series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
I’ve been fooled into watching a “good Adam Sandler film” before but I didn’t think much of Punch Drunk Love. And even partway through watching this film I was thinking, “Nah, this isn’t for me.”
But the further you get into it, the more your heart starts racing, the more you feel dragged under the pressure of it all and you can’t stop watching. I’ve read many reviews saying that this film feels like an anxiety-fuelled panic attack and I can’t describe it any better myself.
It is such a stressful and intense watch. I was thinking about it long after watching it and even felt like the synthesized score was following me around, it had me in that much of a daze. But you have to admire a film that has that kind of effect on you, that fills you with that kind of adrenaline.
Sandler really is great in this. His character is painfully unlikeable, but you hold out hope for him until the very end. But the last act doesn’t hold back and it’s certainly one of the most shocking films I’ve seen in a long time.