Uncut Gems – 7.5

“Intense movie,” said the usher as I, and the two other men in the audience, left the theater. High-stress, high-volume is another way to describe the life of jeweller Howard Ratner, played brilliantly by Adam Sandler – neither hero nor antihero, a gambling addict, basketball fan, unfaithful husband, lousy father whom you don’t exactly root for or against but can’t take your eyes off of. You accept the dramatic license, which packs about six months of traumatic incident into six days, partly because the Safdie brothers weave real-life touches – an Ethiopian mine accident, the Celtics’ NBA finals against the 76ers, a club performance by the Weeknd – so smoothly into the frantic narrative of Howard’s existence. Kevin Garnett and newcomer Keith Williams Richards are memorable in secondary roles. It’s a serious movie with a great performance and fitting ending, but it’s not for everyone.

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