Entertainment » Movies

Uncut Gems

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Mar 30, 2020
Uncut Gems

There are few descriptors than can do Josh & Benny Safdie's "Uncut Gems" justice. One of the best films of last year, this anxiety-soaked, manic-fueled exploration into one man's gambling addiction is a cinematic panic attack that morphs into a full-on cardiac arrest by its final moments.

With superb writing and direction by the Safdie Brothers, a score by Daniel Lopatin that rattles the nerves, and a leading performance by Adam Sandler that goes down easily as one of his finest, "Uncut Gems" is a divisive masterpiece that will deter some with its aggressive qualities yet equally draw in others with its hypnotic energy.

Centered around Howard Ratner (Sandler), a jewelry store owner in New York City's Diamond District, "Uncut Gems" zeroes in on this man's endless appetite for the thrill of gambling. As he rises and falls repeatedly while trying to pay off his debts - which includes $100,000 to his loan shark brother in law Arno (a grand performance by Eric Bogosian) - Howard also tries to balance the impending sale of a rare black opal from Africa that he has acquired. Only problem? Boston Celtics player, Kevin Garnett (playing himself in this 2012-set period piece), is also interested in the gem, believing it will bring him good luck on the court. What follows is a rollercoaster of emotional turmoil, both for Howard and the audience, which results in one of the most agonizingly anxiety-inducing finales of any film in recent memory.

Now available on Blu-ray, it's disappointing to see a film this great brought to the home release market with a mere behind-the-scenes featurette attached. "Money on the Street" is a production-focused "making-of" style feature that is admittedly cool, yet feels like chump change when compared to all the other bonus material that fans of this film would be interested in. What about features on the incredible cast? Lopatin's score? Interviews from the film's festival circuit? There's a lot of squandered opportunity in the supplemental material department, but it doesn't change the fact that the film itself is aces.

Take home one of 2019's best today, but if you haven't seen it yet — be warned. You might want to take some Xanax beforehand. If only the film came with a prescription.

"Uncut Gems"
Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Combo Pack


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