Uncut Gems Review

John Watson, Sports Editor

As Uncut Gems came to the streaming circuit a few days ago, many skeptics of Adam Sandler’s film were able to watch it in the comfort of their own home rather than at a movie theater months ago. The film was a fast-paced rollercoaster that had tragedy, comedy and a whole lot of intricate elements.

Courtesy of IMDb.

Spoiler-Free summary

Adam Sandler plays the character Howard Ratner in this dramatic tale of gambling and fortune, which is set in the year 2012. An Ethipoian black opal is the “uncut gem” and is acquired by Ratner to sell for much more than what it is valued at his jewelry store in New York City. As Ratner is planning on putting it up for auction, NBA player Kevin Garnett comes into his store and tries to buy the opal from Ratner. Kevin Garnett becomes a big part of this movie as his performance in a big game is a key reason to Ratners financial future. 

Courtesy of IMDb.

This movie also features his strenuous relationship with his wife Dinah Ratner (Idina Menzel) and how his business decisions have pushed their marriage to the brink. At the heart of the movie comes the struggle to balance family, a lucrative business, gambling and addiction.


A few months ago when Uncut Gems hit theaters, I was skeptical to go and view the movie. It wasn’t receiving great reviews and none of my acquaintances had any desire to see it so we brushed it off. Flash forward a few months and I’m glad I finally saw the film. Adam Sandler’s performance throughout the whole movie blew my socks off as he kept good energy. 

Unlike some of his other films, this one wasn’t filled with cheesy one-liners and a cringe-worthy plot. This movie proved that successful comedians can possibly make the transition into making serious blockbusters.

Courtesy of IMDb.

The characters in the movie were some of the most layered and thought out characters in any standalone film I have seen. Having a limited backstory made for interesting character development and having to infer such things as Ratner’s failed marriage and why goons were chasing Ratner down for money made for a more serious plot. 

Idina Menzel’s performance was about what you would expect from a star like her, but she lacked creativity and had no breakthrough heartfelt scene. 

A shock to many was Kevin Garnett’s impressive acting performance. Playing yourself in a movie has got to be tough, but having a big role and trying to portray your true self through a screen is what Garnett excelled in.

The plot of the movie was a rollercoaster from start to finish, but it couldn’t stop to take a breather or it would not have felt the same. Even in scenes where it felt like nothing was happening, the film strived by linking that scene to a bigger picture or a previous event between characters. 

I do feel like some people could be confused because of the multiple things and events that were occurring during the film. At some points, you really had to think about what just happened and relate it to a few scenes ago when something triggered that event. 

I like this kind of filmmaking as it created a deeper story and made you think more deeply about each character’s decisions. Sandler thrived in this kind of filmmaking by showing different kinds of emotions throughout the film, and as he was taking a beating from almost everyone, he stayed true to himself and only himself.

Courtesy of IMDb.

The thing that stuck with me about this movie is the ending. As Ratner finally sees good fortune and opportunity at last, he is hit with a feeling that lasts forever. He wins over a million dollars from gambling on Garnett’s playoff game against the sixers, and he thinks that all will be well with the goons that he owes money to. As he releases them from imprisonment in his store, the lead goon surprisingly shoots Ratner and ends his life.

The tale of Howard Ratner came to a shocking end and amazingly, that is how it should be. Given the end of his tale, the film guarantees no sequels and ends the movie by showing how you can go from such a high to the lowest of lows at any point in time. There was no happy ending for this film, and I like it that way.

Overall the film shattered the expectations I once had and Adam Sandler has proved that he belongs in Hollywood and not comedy clubs.

Spinnaker Sail Rating: 5 out of 5 sails


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