First reactions from Benny and Josh Safdie’s “Uncut Gems,” starring Adam Sandler as a New York jewelry merchant caught up in a hot jam, are flying out of Telluride. Anticipation was high on the heels of the Safdies’ 2017 heist-thriller-from-hell “Good Time.”
With Telluride audiences’ ears literally still ringing, per the reactions rounded up below, it seems “Uncut Gems” is yet another merciless assault on the senses from the auteur brothers, who previously plunged viewers headfirst into heroin addiction with “Heaven Knows What” and casual kleptomania with “The Pleasure of Being Robbed.” Comparisons to cocaine and pleas for post-screening benzos abound.
Yes, yes, Adam Sandler rules. But the nerve-rattling fun of UNCUT GEMS is how it synthesizes every Safdie bros movie before it, from GOOD TIME to DADDY LONGLEGS to LENNY COOKE in a mesmerizing chronicle of desperate schemes…think MEAN STREETS meets Preston Sturges. #Telluride
— erickohn (@erickohn) August 31, 2019
UNCUT GEMS features Adam Sandler’s best performance to date. However, this movie is loud, deranged and quite frankly, unpleasant at times. It never lets up with its blasting score, and overlapping dialogue screamed so loudly that you care barely make anything out. #Telluride
— Matt Neglia @Telluride (@NextBestPicture) August 31, 2019
— Leah Greenblatt (@Leahbats) August 31, 2019
UNCUT GEMS is gonna strongly divide people, just like the Safdies’ last film, GOOD TIME. I was entertained. Think TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE meets A SERIOUS MAN… with Adam Sandler as the poor schmuck at the center of it all!
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) August 31, 2019
#UncutGems: Safdie’s take the throbbing, heartracing insanity of #GoodTime, douse it in gasoline & light it up. Cocaine the movie, a stress-inducing, hyperengaging portrait of spiraling desperation. Adam Sandler is ferocious, and unstoppable. 🧨 #TellurideFilmFestival
— Practical Daddy somehow alive in #Telluride 📽🎞📺 (@YrOnlyHope) August 31, 2019
People should probably ask their doctor if their heart is healthy enough to see UNCUT GEMS. It was relentless. I feel like I need to be tranquilized. It was real good though.
— Garrett Casey (@gt_casey) August 31, 2019
“Uncut Gems” is first rate. Adam Sandler’s best performance; I say that as a big “Punch Drunk Love” fan. Martin Scorsese exec-produced, and none of his movies feel as cocaine-fueled as this one (even though there is only a flash of cocaine in the movie). #Telluride #Telluride2019
— Chris Willman (@ChrisWillman) August 31, 2019
UNCUT GEMS is a masterpiece. Finally a movie that understands basketball > movies.
— Miriam Bale (@mimbale) August 31, 2019
The Safdie Bros should hand out Xanax before their films. Edibles, CBD oil, maybe guided meditation?
— 🍅Jacqueline🍅 – ROTTEN TOMATOES WROTE A BOOK! (@THATJacqueline) August 31, 2019
TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey, whose festival the film will hit up next, called “Uncut Gems” “the most Safdie movie you’ve ever seen. It moves at a breakneck pace. It’s cranked up to 11 the whole time, it’s exhilarating to watch, Adam Sandler gives his very best performance since ‘Punch-Drunk Love.’”
Shot on 35mm by Oscar nominee Darius Khondji, the urban thriller follows Sandler as a risk-taking NYC jeweler caught in a big mess in pursuit of his next big score. With another soundtrack from Oneohtrix Point Never, who made “Good Time” a visceral and stressful experience punctuated by psychotic electro beats, “Uncut Gems” promises to be yet another wild ride from the Safdies.
A24 drops the film in select theaters on December 13, followed by a wider rollout.