Uncut Gems (2019) is a mob thriller film directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, two independent New York filmmakers who are gradually gaining recognition in the international independent film scene.
The film stars Adam Sandler in the role of Howard Ratner, a Jewish jeweler with a great gambling addiction that constantly puts his life in danger. The rest of the cast is made up of former basketball player Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox and Eric Bogosian.
Although Adam Sandler was the first choice of the Safdie Brothers to play Howard, the actor rejected the role when he read the first draft of the script in 2009. Other actors considered for the role were Sacha Baron Cohen, Harvey Keitel and Jonah Hill, but Adam Sandler decided to take it in 2018, after the success of Good Time, a movie directed by the Safdie Brothers in 2017 starring Robert Pattinson.
In Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler offers one of the best performances of his career and manages to catch viewers with his energy. The film creates an atmosphere of constant danger thanks to a composition of closed shots and a fast narrative rhythm, which achieves a vertiginous tension that keeps us on the edge of the seat throughout the film. Uncut Gems won the Best Director and Best Actor awards at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards and it’s on its way to become a gangster classic.