Howard Ratner makes a lot of bad bets in Uncut Gems. He bets that Kevin Garnett is willing to pay $200,000 for a rare black opal; he bets that his younger girlfriend will not, given the opportunity, hook up with The Weeknd; perhaps most incorrectly, he bets that hired thugs will react rationally to being locked inside of a bulletproof closet for the length of an NBA game.
However, the movie is best known for the series of increasingly desperate wagers Ratner places on the 2012 NBA playoffs in an attempt to claw out of mountains of debt. Adam Sandler’s character has become the face of degenerate sports gamblers everywhere: Uncut Gems is not the first movie to feature sports gambling as a plot point, but I’m pretty sure it’s the first one that forces viewers to watch a character sweat out an over/under prop as its dramatic climax.
The Full Genius—and Idiocy—of Adam Sandler Shines in ‘Uncut Gems’
How Kevin Garnett Landed in ‘Uncut Gems’
The NBA action around which the story revolves is also uncut. Some movies create fictional sports leagues to match their narrative needs; the Safdie brothers, who wrote and directed this film, searched long and hard for a set of real NBA games to fit into the script.
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