About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly

Movie Reviews

Uncut Gems is Adam Sandler's best work ever: Review

Posted on

Uncut Gems

release date12/13/19
Movie Details
release date12/13/19

Adam Sandler works and works, making one movie a year when he isn’t making three. Quantity sure isn’t quality, though the diamonds sparkle. Take Uncut Gems, a vibrantly madcap dark comedy. As jeweler Howard Ratner, Sandler rocks shiny earrings and shinier glasses, plus gleaming teeth and circular facial hair. He looks like a midlife crisis, and the overkill extends to his constant salesman chatter.

Howard owes money all over New York. At least one debt could turn fatal. Salvation rests in an Ethiopian opal, which arrives in his Diamond District shop the same moment as the NBA’s Kevin Garnett (charmingly playing himself). Howard thinks he can score big off the rock and the baller, but the spiraling story line carries him from bad to worse. His wife (Idina Menzel) wants him out. His girlfriend (Julia Fox) just went into the bathroom with the Weeknd. To cover all the losses he can’t afford, he keeps betting cash he doesn’t have. The first time we see Howard, he’s mid-colonoscopy. That’s as comfortable as he’ll ever get.


The directors are Josh and Benny Safdie, the thrilling filmmakers behind 2017’s insidiously fun Good TimeUncut Gems is a visible Hollywoodification of the earlier film’s druggy-tense kineticism. It’s overstuffed with ace cast members like Menzel and Lakeith Stanfield, who don’t have enough to do. And where Good Time zigzagged all over the city with maniacally sleepless energy, Uncut Gems eventually leans into the format of a faintly neo-religious fable. Howard joins his family for a standout sequence at Passover seder, and there’s a plagues-of-Egypt quality to how his problems keep piling up.

Howard is a Sandlerian type: raging, crying, punching a celebrity. But Sandler is revelatory in the role. He exudes the self-lacerating melancholy familiar from his acclaimed dramatic work in Punch-Drunk Love and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). He’s also indulging all his go-big comedic instincts, somehow, letting you see how Howard’s huckster gladhanding is a shield against certain doom. Sandler’s never been better, really, balancing speedwalking desperation and fast-talking salesmanship with sorrow and glee. What’s the word for a performance that’s loud and meaningful, hyperbolic yet terribly human? That’s Sandler in Uncut Gems: He’s opera, man. A-

Related content:

release date
Complete Coverage