Adam Sandler’s popularity on Netflix isn’t a new development. The longtime comedian and movie star has featured in a number of exclusive Netflix movies over the past few years and even his older films have been getting a second life on the platform lately.
His most recent effort, Uncut Gems, debuted on the streaming site just yesterday, May 25th, and despite its more serious subject matter, it’s already proving to be a massive hit. After only 24 hours on Netflix, it’s ranked #3 on the Top 10 Overall list and #1 on the Top 10 Movies list. An impressive feat, no doubt.
After all, dramatic Sandler movies don’t tend to perform well. It’s why he doesn’t do them very often. Uncut Gems was a different animal when it came out last Christmas, though. Directed by the Safdie Brothers, it earned more than $50 million at the box office and now that it’s arrived on Netflix, viewers have been curious to finally check out the performance that nearly got Sandler his first Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, he ultimately failed to be recognized by the Academy, but if you’re in for something completely different from the comedian as well as a fine performance from former NBA star Kevin Garnett, Uncut Gems is worth a watch.
Sandler plays Howard Ratner in the film, a small-time jeweler who has aspirations of making it big. After coming into possession of a rare gem, he has plans to sell it to the highest bidder. But before his plan can even take shape, he has to deal with multiple greedy parties, shady loan sharks and his own personal demons.
It’s an absolute knockout performance from Sandler as he manages to be manic, corrosive and sleazy while also maintaining his unique charm. You can’t believe the things he’s doing, but you still find yourself rooting for him the whole time.
Uncut Gems is a unique and extremely stressful viewing experience in terms of plot and the way that it’s shot, but if you can get past that, it’s well worth a watch and once again proves that Adam Sandler can deliver when he wants to.