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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Don't Gamble
by Richard Jack Smith

Quality seems negligible in a picture such as Uncut Gems. How does Adam Sandler conduct himself? Itís difficult to tell. Between all the cursing and everyone shouting over each other, commodities such as depth and subtlety are the cost of not paying attention.

As for Sandler, he acts flustered, distracted, hyperactive and short-tempered. In the middle of a compliment, he starts dropping f-bombs. Writers Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie wrote what might be considered a screenplay for a kindergartener experiencing attention deficit disorder. Frankly, thereís little room for visual storytelling.

In George Roy Hillís The Sting, Robert Redford played a degenerate gambler and con man. The difference being that he boasted a believable character arc. By the end, heíd gained enough wisdom to step away from greed altogether. I donít know about you but thereís precious little enjoyment to be had watching an individual betting more money than they can afford to lose. As such, Uncut Gems has a persistent tendency to get on the nerves.

Regarding those critics who have championed Sandlerís performance, I have this closing thought: heís neither better nor smarter than he was before. Heís just wearing more expensive bling.

(Released by A24/Netflix and rated "R" for pervasive strong language, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use. (Capsule review)

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