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Last Updated: February 21, 2020

Review of Uncut Gems


Let me start by saying that the movie isn't for everybody. It's dark, uses the F word hundreds of times, at times violent, does not have a strong plot, and does not have anything positive to say about anybody or anything. One might comparisons to Joker in that respect.

However, I also thought it was fantastic. I like dark movies like Taxi Driver and Scarface -- don't ask me why.

Like Owning Mahoney, the movie is about a compulsive gambler who is deep in debt, yet continues to movie money around, robbing Peter to pay Paul, in hopes of a big score. In this case, the movie centers around a small-time jeweler, Howard Ratner, in New York who gets a hold of a opal-laden rock from Ethiopia, shows it to an NBA player, Kevin Garnett, who is attracted to it like Gollum to the Ring of Mordor. Given it's perceived power, Garnett plays better basketball, which Ratner bets into. Meanwhile, Ratner is trying to maintain a somewhat normal life with his wife, kids, and mistress. That is about as far as I'll take it.

Dislike of Adam Sandler or his movies should not be a reason not to see it. I didn't care for Adam Sandler either before this movie either. The only movie of his I could make it through previously was 100 First Dates and even that I could go without seeing twice. However, this movie shows a completely different side of him. This will likely be the movie he is remembered by. Somebody else compared this role to John Travolta's in Pulp Fiction, which is a good way to put it.

I have to take issue with some of the unrealistic gambling scenes. The movie shows the main character making incredibly correlated parlay bets, like the winner of the first half to winner of the entire game, in the NBA. At the risk of a spoiler, the movie shows the Mohegan Sun taking an over-the-counter all-cash 3-leg parlay bet for about $120,000 that was extremely correlated. That aspect was just ridiculous, but did fit into the characters needs to get roughly 10 to 1 odds on a bet.

In conclusion, despite the unrealistic bets that were being accepted, I recommend Uncut Gems. I'll give it an 8+ on the 0 to 10 scale.