Benny and Josh Safdie have been writing and directing movies for over decade, but it was their 2017 crime flick Good Time that put them on most people’s radars. The Safdies deploy a gritty and intense style in which their hometown of New York plays as much of a role as their film’s troubled characters. Their anxiety-inducing tales can be a lot to handle, but if you dig the Safdie’s work, Uncut Gems is the Safdie-est movie of them all.
Uncut Gems takes place in New York City’s diamond district and follows a jewelry store owner named Howard Ratner (played by Adam Sandler); a gambler, a philanderer, and all around schmuck who can’t stay out of trouble. No matter the scenario, you can bet he will make the wrong choice. Needless to say, Howard’s life goes off the rails as he finds himself in a series of dangerous situations. Check out Howard and his world of nonsense in the trailer below.
Uncut Gems trailer:
I watched Uncut Gems at TIFF earlier this month, and I will say that the trailer presents a clear picture of what this movie is all about. The Safdies aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this one; we’ve all seen countless movies about guys who owe too much money to people willing to break their face for looking at them sideways. But when the Safdies add their special sauce to the formula, magic happens.
Uncut Gems is a dazzling combination of gripping performances, unpredictable plot, and filmmaking chutzpah. Sandler is 2019’s most magnetic dirtbag, and you can’t take your eyes off of him as he digs himself into deeper holes. The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, always zigging when you think it’s about to zag. And the Safdies are in top form behind the camera, using cinematic language to express Howard’s claustrophobic circumstances in a way that will leave your stomach in knots.
And if all those points aren’t enough to convince you to see this film, Uncut Gems also features an excellent performance from Kevin Garnett. So, there’s that.
Uncut Gems isn’t for everybody, but if dark and sordid old-school crime thrillers are your jam, put this movie on your must-see list right now.
Uncut Gems synopsis:
Set in the diamond district of New York City, Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner and dealer to the rich and famous, must find a way to pay his debts when his merchandise is taken from one of his top sellers and girlfriend.
Uncut Gems arrives in theatres on December 13, 2019.