Uncut Gems [2019] ★★★½

To say that “Uncut Gems” is Adam Sandler’s best movie in years would truly be the understatement of the year. But here’s the thing: when he’s not being a goofball in lazy, recycled comedies, Sandler can act. For further proof, check him out in Paul Thomas Anderson’s underrated “Punch-Drunk Love” or in Judd Apatow’s “Funny People”. In “Uncut Gems”, Sandler transforms himself completely to play a New York City jeweler who finds himself in hot water when he makes a series of high-stakes bets. It’s one hell of a performance by Sandler, commanding our attention from start to finish. Director Josh and Benny Safdie are out to fry our nerves, and as the tension rises, it’s hard to look away, even for one brief moment. So yes, if you’re willing to put your prejudices aside, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. From perfectly crafted sequences to a terrific finale that offers a credible summation of everything that has preceded it, the effects of “Uncut Gems” are truly intoxicating. Sandler and the movie will knock you out cold. It’s one of 2019’s finest gems.

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