Film review: “Uncut Gems”


Claire Hunter, Film Critic

“Uncut Gems” is one of the tensest and chaotic films of 2020.

The story follows Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a New York City jeweler whose self-destructive impulses push him to make a high-stakes bet that could cost him everything.

This film is extremely claustrophobic, with overlapping dialogue and jarring camera movement. The Safdie brothers, who directed the film, create an unbearable tension that carries throughout the movie. Each scene is pivotal to the next but disorients the viewer, giving the audience very little time to rest before being thrown right back into the hell that is Howard’s life.

The plot is hectic and frazzled. There are many different storylines that center around Howard’s mistakes and wild behavior. But in the end, they all seamlessly wrap up with no character feeling unneeded or forgotten.

Though it is a thriller and crime film, the Safdie brothers expose the struggles of being a good father, maintaining family life during a divorce, and the consequences of love.

Sandler is impeccable and his charisma keeps the viewer on Howard’s side. No matter what stupid decision Howard makes, you can’t help but want him to win. Of course, Sandler adds an extra layer of comedy that is much needed in this adrenaline-inducing film. Sandler’s performance is boosted by his co-stars, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox and Eric Bogosian.

This film is truly unique. The Safdie brothers crafted a gripping and heart-pumping thriller. When the credits roll, you’ll finally remember to breathe again.