Uncut Gems Trailer: Critics Go Nuts for New Adam Sandler Sports Betting Movie

Posted on: September 29, 2019, 01:38h. 

Last updated on: September 29, 2019, 02:28h.

These days, you can enjoy sports betting at New York’s upstate casinos in a safe and regulated environment — but it seems Adam Sandler didn’t get the memo.

In his new movie, Uncut Gems, Sandler stars as a loudmouth New York City jeweler with a penchant for high-risk betting – preferably with other people’s money – and the bookmakers he encounters along the way are purely of the old-fashioned, homicidal variety.

The trailer for Uncut Gems was released this week, but critics have been raving about it since its debut at the Telluride Film Festival in late August, and particularly about Sandler’s performance.

Frantic Dark Comedy

The Saturday Night Live alum has ditched his familiar abrasive-but-loveable goofball schtick for something much darker in this breakneck psychological thriller, playing reckless, self-destructive antihero Howard Ratner, complete with sinister facial hair.

His performance is apparently so impressive that critics are already throwing around phrases like “Oscar-worthy,” and the film itself currently has a 95 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Acclaimed indie directors the Safdie brothers (Good Time, Heaven Knows What) said they had Robert Altman’s classic gambling road movie California Split in mind when they began writing the script. But according to critics, they’ve transplanted that dark comedy about gambling into a frantic Scorsese-eque New York landscape, and made it darker still.

Way, way darker.

‘134-Minute Anxiety Attack’

Ratner is a successful businessman, but he’s also obnoxious, desperately chaotic, and perpetually stressed — an impulsive gambler constantly in need of his next big high-stakes score to pay off mounting sports betting debts.

While juggling a wife who hates him, a girlfriend installed in a spare apartment, and death threats from mob henchman, Ratner gets his hands on a piece of rock embedded with valuable gems, which he believes could be the answer to all his problems.

But when he lends it to one of his best customers, NBA legend Kevin Garnett — here playing a heightened version of himself — as a good luck charm for his next game, all hell breaks loose.

Barry Hertz from Canada’s Globe and Mail called it (in a good way): “A 134-minute anxiety attack disguised as a movie.”

Variety critic Peter Debruge said: “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 will be released in theaters December 13.