Uncut Gems (2019) Review


RATING: 4.5/5


A gambling addict is in a whirlwind of chaos as he has to deal with many things in his life while trying to pay off his debts.

After delivering crap and terrible flicks in the early to mid-2010s, Adam Sandler has given a performance that surely is one of the best, if not the best, in his career.

The first thing I should point out was the kaleidoscope-style opening and closing of the film. It was very interesting, to say the least. One would expect something like this to come from a movie like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The movie even ended with the nighttime sky showing the stars. Though honestly, I think it was kind of cool. To me, it seemed to represent the main character’s life.

It represented that Howard Ratner’s world was colorful. Meaning that there was a lot going on and one can’t pass it along like nothing from what he looked on the outside. But inside, it was something that needed to be seen to be believed.

This was the type of film that deserved a few more viewings. I say that because the pacing was a bit quick and there was a lot of stuff happening. Two things that were a result of that were the dialogue and the plot itself.

The film took place in New York City, thus all of the characters have that distinct speech pattern. Characters were talking over each other and were spit-balling their words. It was crazy, but I’m not complaining too much because I definitely felt like this was dialogue that could be spoken by real people in the big city. This made sense seeing that the directors of the film, the Safdie Brothers, were born/raised in New York City.

Along with the dialogue, there was the plot. The film dealt with many things happening in Ratner’s life. He had to deal with his family, his girlfriend, his business, his brother-in-law, and getting his loans paid off with a special rock. This was an experience to show the audience how chaotic Ratner’s world was and it worked. Even though he wasn’t the nicest of guys, one would feel almost sorry for the stuff he had to deal with.

Sandler was definitely the standout performance from this. But there were plenty of good performances from Lakeith Stanfield and even basketball star, Kevin Garnett.

This was definitely a dark movie. In keeping with that tone, the film had somewhat of grain to the picture. This tied well with the gritty situations, especially the last scene where Ratner got shot in the face.

Cinematography and editing were nicely done. At times the movie would take time to unwind. But a lot of times, in staying with the pace, both of the elements would be fast and frantic. Not to a point where one can’t see the movie of course.

Now with all the franticness of the plot, it did bring about some negatives I have with the movie. The fast-paced dialogue was fast-paced and it was a bit hard trying to comprehend what was happening in some scenes. Because there was a lot going on, there were subplots that didn’t get a whole lot of development and I wish there was more of it; particularly with Ratner’s brother-in-law.

“Uncut Gems,” showcased a powerhouse performance from Sandler. It delivered great cinematography, a well-done script, good characters, and I’m curious to see the past work of these two directors. While the experience may not be for everyone, I highly recommend it.

YouTube: Tk Theater Productions

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