Adam Sander’s not doing so bad, careerwise. While it’s true that he seems content with cranking out mediocre projects these days, they appear to be handsomely rewarded with viewership. Murder Mystery, according to Netflix, is one of the streaming service’s most-watched movies, and it’s almost impossible to keep track of exactly how many Netflix projects he’s appeared within over the past few years. Most people remember The Ridiculous Six for its racist stunts and other controversies, so when Sandler actually ended up telling justifiably funny jokes in a Netflix stand-up special, that felt like a home run. As did his performance in Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (also from Netflix), which scored him career-best reviews.
Indeed, it may seem that Sandler is aiming for the acclaim that he once received for Punch-Drunk Love because every critic who’s seen his next movie, Uncut Gems, absolutely loves the film. Granted, there’s less than ten reviews so far on Rotten Tomatoes, but 100% of them rated the movie fresh. Co-starring Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, and The Weeknd, Uncut Gems hails from the Safdie Brothers (holders of plenty of good will after Good Time with Robert Pattinson).
The film stars Sandler as a shady and desperate diamond dealer/hustler in New York City, and it’s a gritty crime story that’s delighting critics whose heads are still spinning after the Telluride Film Festival premiere while the film prepares to land at TIFF.
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) July 23, 2019
Here are a few of the raves so far, first from Variety, which calls this Sandler’s “most unhinged performance yet”:
– “Uncut Gems feels like being locked inside the pinwheeling brain of a lunatic for more than two hours – and guess what: It’s a gas!” – Variety
– “Classic Safdie characters are brash, volatile-as are Sandler’s. Here, juiced up with an awful mustache and a personal style befitting his awful merchandise, he unleashes untold reserves of mania and panic.” – Vanity Fair
– “Suggests “Mean Streets” by way of Preston Sturges, with a touch of “Death of a Salesman” to boot – a mesmerizing chronicle of desperate schemes, and it’s hard to imagine anyone but Sandler at the center of it.” – IndieWire
– “It wouldn’t be inappropriate to call this thoroughly on-steroids film an edge-of-your-seat experience.” – RogerEbert.com
Links to the rest of the reviews can be found at Rotten Tomatoes. A24 will release Uncut Gems in the U.S. on December 13 with Netflix handling the international rollout at an unspecified date.