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I respect what Uncut Gems is doing, but it's also a cacophonous, relentless movie where people talk all over each other, and that works at such a frenetic pace, I couldn't believe there was an hour left when I started losing patience with it. Comparatively speaking, sure, Adam Sandler does a good job of portraying a gambling addict, but the Safdie Bros. are essentially playing to his strengths as a performer; he's still doing the tantrums and the shouting and all of that. Because the character can't get off the roller coaster, he's not allowed much depth. The most valuable scene for me was the climactic basketball game, which is a crisp microcosm of what the entire film is doing. The gambling addict forgives the bad breaks, and uses the lucky ones to justify his superstitious faith, and we really feel the rush with him. After the movie was over, some of my friends wondered if the black opal MacGuffin really did have magical "luck" properties and we could track Sandler's ups and downs based on whether he had it in his possession. I find it very interesting that the movie makes you wonder about that. It means you fall into the same trap the characters do. In reality, we make our own luck, and Sandler has many ups and well as downs, regardless of where the stone is. Kind of opposite to the basketball game, we tend to think his lucky breaks are anomalous, and that his descent into "bad luck" is dictated by the Movie Gods, but it's all down to decisions. His bad decisions void his good luck, and make his bad luck worse, but he's the one doing it. Not one I'd gladly watch again - it's noisy, Sandler's performance is fine but overrated, I can't get into the weird airy score, and I really don't like the ending - but I do respect what the Safdies were going for.
A 2-hour anxiety attack. I mean that in the best possible way.
Holy shit! I need a break after that.
Why Adam? Why can’t you be like this more often?
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #3 in Cahiers du Cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists
This movie ranks #93 in A.V. Club's The Best Movies of the 2010s
This movie ranks #359 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #1321 in The Criterion Collection