Tom McCarthy’s The Cobbler seemed like an easy winner but it tragically received some of Adam Sandler’s worst reviews. But Sandler got some of his best reviews in Uncut Gems, a New York City-based crime drama-thriller following Howard Ratner (Sandler), a down-on-his-luck jewelry salesman with a gambling addiction that involves some very expensive debts and some very bad people.
The grimy, stylistic, relentless, but appropriately addictive, character piece surprised general audiences used to seeing broader, more conventional comedies from the A-lister. Instead, Uncut Gems finds Sandler giving one of his most committed, commendably foul performances, fully embodying this scumbag with vigor and aplomb. The result is one of the actor’s most audacious and daring roles, and one that hopefully proved to Sandler’s biggest, most merciless critics that he has serious chops.