This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Scarlett Worthington’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Safdie Brothers are probably the best upcoming film-makers right now. The atmosphere they’re able to create and the absolute strength of the narrative is that of absolute genius and it feels completely fresh. This is a rewatch for me and even though I know what happened I still felt so painfully engaged for the entire time and of course that speaks heaps of volume as to the quality of this film. Uncut Gems is a brilliant piece of cinema as it manages to reach two types of film that I will now attempt to poorly explain. In simple terms it achieves style and substance which a lot of films do it’s not anything special, but this film seems to hit those targets just a little bit more. This film never stops, it never really lets you breathe and the intense action scenes or just intense moments in general are really fucking good and these are shown in a heavily stylistic way so it really succeeds on being exciting. However it has moments that let you reflect and engage in emotionally, this only happens really at the end yet the rest of the film feels incredibly substantial and this is predominantly down to the one and only Adam Sandler just being the best actor ever. Just the character of Howard is one of the best ever it’s beyond awe inducing and although none of the other performances jump out at you like Sandler’s does they are all so brilliant and serve their purpose in the plot impeccably well. Going in a bit further on the substantial level, this film really captures the whole double life aspect of someone heavily involved in some sort of sketchy business so well, you see how his greed affects his personal life yet you also see glimmers or emotional connection and those are really heart-warming. I think what the film communicates is shown best in the final scene so spoiler ahead.
The ending is one of the best ever as there's about 20 minutes of pure tension where you're literally not thinking about anything else other than what's going to happen next, so when Howard gets shot in the fucking head so abruptly you’re naturally like ‘oh shit fuck woah what the fuck’, as the climatic point of a scene would usually make you react if it is done well. So since we’ve just been invested in Howard in his work environment you're only thinking about him as a figure of that environment you forgot about everything else, but then dreamy music comes in everything slows down and we’re shown a montage of everyone he has a relationship with and that’s when you come down from being completely gripped in on the action and start to be a victim of pathos because you remember he has a family and his death is going to effect other people. The fact you are able to have a majorly cathartic oh shit moment and then be quietly brought back to the harsh reality of it all in such a short amount of time is absolute genius. That my friends is why Uncut Gems is fucking amazing.