Uncut Gems Movie Review

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The poster for “Uncut Gems”

Carson Zorn, Writer

As the credits rolled for “Uncut Gems,” I took a huge sigh of relief. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Not because the movie was bad, but because I had just experienced maybe the most intense two hours of my life. I felt physically uncomfortable in my seat for the majority of this movie, and I loved it. This is not a movie you can just sit back in your seat and enjoy, it’s stressful, but that’s part of the reason why it’s so great.

First off, Adam Sandler knocked it out of the park with his performance. He plays the character so well that, even though the character is a not-so-great guy who makes terrible decisions, you can’t help but root for him. Every time he digs himself in a hole, you hope he gets out of it. It’s not easy to make an unlikable character likable, but Adam Sandler did, which is why his performance is great and, honestly, Oscar-worthy (Yes, I know he wasn’t nominated, I’m not too happy about that.) As far as supporting characters go, Lakeith Stanfield did a great job with what he was given, but his character did feel a bit useless after the first hour or so. If you’re going to this movie just for The Weeknd, don’t waste your time, he’s only in the movie for like a minute, and I honestly don’t even know why he’s in it. One of the two big surprises of the cast was former NBA star Kevin Garnett. I never know how athletes are going to do when cast in a movie, but Garnett actually gave a great performance. I’m sure the fact that he just had to play himself made it a little easier, but still he did great. The other surprise was not Idina Menzel, who actually isn’t in the movie as much as I thought she would be (She still did great though). The real surprise was newcomer Julia Fox. This was her first movie, but I wasn’t able to tell that by her performance. She gave a spectacular performance that some actresses don’t give until at least ten movies into their careers. She’s another character that makes decisions that make you not want to like her, but once again, she’s so charismatic and plays the character so well that you can’t help but like her.

Not only are the performances fantastic in this film, but the story is intricately crafted and extremely well written. The Safdie Brothers did a great job of taking a potentially generic story about a New York City jeweler and turning it into one of the most endearing stories in film of 2019. The dialogue (and subsequent swear words) fly fast in this movie, but it all works together to tell this amazing story. The fast editing and sound mixing and editing all add to the intensity of this film and I wish that it got Oscar nods in those categories as well. No spoilers, but if you’ve read about this movie, you’ve probably heard about the ending. The ending of this film is maybe the most fitting end in recent memory, and the more I thought about it, the more I loved it.

Overall, “Uncut Gems” is an amazing movie and one that is definitely worth checking out. Between the strong performances, great writing and general intensity, I will not be forgetting this movie anytime soon. 

 

Score: 9.8/10