Howard’s personality overpowers reality for so long that when reality finally hits it is genuinely shocking and painful.
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The queasy thrill of Sandler’s live-wire performance is the way he keys us right into Howard’s electric joy, putting everything on the line, consequences be damned. It’s a pure shot of the gambler’s high, and Uncut Gems gets us hooked on it, too. By the end, you want to hurl and cheer.
It’s a remarkable match-up between film-makers and actor and reaffirms the importance of that partnership, especially for a movie star stuck in a profitable rut. Sandler deserves more, and if he wants us to keep watching, then so do we.
If Uncut Gems leaves people rattled, disoriented, grasping for clarity in the chaos of one man’s hectic routine, that all speaks to the sheer precision of a visionary achievement in full control.
In the film, a man's individual tragedy illuminates the emptiness of the systems that define him.
Directed with relentless tension and diamond-hard intelligence by Josh and Benny Safdie (who earlier this month won directing honors from the New York Film Critics Circle), Uncut Gems is a thriller and a character study, a tragedy and a blast.
Uncut Gems is a movie that lives in the gut, where shit makes a name for itself, where anxiety, folly, and instinct are borne out without morality or restriction.
Uncut Gems feels like being locked inside the pinwheeling brain of a lunatic for more than two hours — and guess what: It’s a gas!
Uncut Gems is an insane ride with no respite that will grind your senses down to their last nerve.
The Safdies and the cast go deep enough here to make the film a genuinely human one.