Uncut Gems is finally on Netflix, and you should give it a watch
Uncut Gems was added to Netflix on Monday, May 25, and you need to watch the new Netflix movie when you have time.
Adam Sandler gives an incredible performance that you don’t always get from him, directors Josh and Benny Safdie get to become truly mainstream after Good Time put them on the map and there are poignant themes about addiction and self-obsession.
These are all true.
The film revolves around Howard Ratner, who works in the Diamond District of New York City in 2012. He constantly gambles and bets on NBA games and is always chasing the next big score. When he meets Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett in the midst of Boston’s playoff run, everything gets taken to the next level for Howard.
What grabbed me the most the first time I saw this movie was how deeply into the psychology of the main character this film dives. Howard is objectively a bad person. He lies to, swindles and uses other people for his own benefit at every chance he gets. If he wasn’t played by Sandler, it would be hard to have any empathy for him at all. But this is completely by design.
Ronald Bronstein and the Safdie brothers created a protagonist who the audience can love to hate. As we learn more about Howard’s addiction to gambling, we want him to just back away each time he tries to take the next big swing. He can’t seem to help but to keep placing bigger and bigger bets. This selfishness and addiction becomes a huge downfall for Howard as he places the biggest bet of his life.
This film does such an excellent job of personifying these fatal character flaws, and the biggest reason why it’s able to do so is because of the other-worldly performance from Sandler. I recently re-watched his 2011 comedy Just Go With It on Netflix and was reminded of the Grand Canyon-sized gap in Sandler’s performances in something like Uncut Gems vs. one of his silly comedies. When he puts his heart, soul and dedication into a performance, you get something truly special.
Finally, this is the time of year where we usually see the NBA playoffs taking place. But because the NBA season is still on hold due to COVID-19, you may be thirsting for some playoff basketball action. Well look no further than the last 40 minutes of Uncut Gems, which entirely revolves around Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals. So much in the movie relies on the outcome of this game, and it will give you the rush of watching a high-pressure sporting event that has been missing for months now.
With Uncut Gems hitting Netflix at long last, this is the perfect time to tune into it if you haven’t already.