«Uncut Gems» Has Been Described As A «Two-Hour Panic Attack,» So I Watched For People Who Can’t Handle Stressful Movies

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Here’s the whole story with none of the stress.

It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these, but I regretfully missed out on seeing Uncut Gems in theaters back in December, and all I’ve seen since its release is PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT HOW PANIC-INDUCING THIS MOVIE IS.


A24 / The Guardian / @DaveNyczepir / @aIexxxis / @Daexxt / JLabuz

If fictional stress isn’t your thing right now but you want to know what goes down in the movie, look no further! Actually, do look further. IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS, STOP HERE. Here’s how Netflix describes Uncut Gems:


Netflix

«With his debts mounting and angry collectors closing in, a fast-talking New York City jeweler risks everything in hopes of staying afloat and alive.»

I’m going to write as calmly as possible along the way, so you avoid any stress. I’ll try to refrain from using CAPS, bold text, italics, or aggressive punctuation!!!

The movie begins with a quick scene showing some miners finding what I presume is a very valuable gemstone.


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The main story begins. The location is New York. The year is 2012. We meet Howard (played by the legendary Adam Sandler). Howard runs a jewelry store.


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We also meet Demany (played by the great LaKeith Stanfield). Demany works for Howard and knows high status people, whom he brings in the jewelry store for business.


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This is Phil and another henchman. They’ve come to the shop to collect a debt Howard owes to his brother-in-law, Arno.


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Phil is an intense, no-nonsense type guy. Howard doesn’t have the $100,000 he owes, so Phil slaps him in the face in front of his entire shop, then takes the cash from Howard’s pocket and the watch on his wrist.


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He still owes them a bunch of money, as this is only a partial payment.

Howard has a girlfriend named Julia. She also works at the shop. You know what else Howard has?


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A wife named Dinah. And kids. However, it seems Dinah and Howard are pretty much separated, though they haven’t told their kids they’re divorcing yet.


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Anyway, the stone from the very beginning of the movie is a rare «black opal,» and it turns out, Howard purchased it. When NBA player Kevin Garnett comes into the shop, Howard shows him the black opal.


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Kevin really takes a liking to it.


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Kevin is leaning on glass while looking at the black opal and it shatters. Kevin takes this as a sign that he has to have it. Unfortunately, it’s set to be auctioned, so Howard can’t sell it to him, but Kevin feels a deep connection and thinks it’ll make him play better during his basketball game that night, so Howard agrees to let him borrow it in exchange for Kevin’s championship ring as collateral.


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Howard’s irresponsible ass immediately pawns Kevin Garnett’s ring…


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…then used the money to place bets on the game, because he believes Garnett will play well that night.


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Don’t freak out, but Phil is lurking, watching Howard’s every move.


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Howard watches the basketball game and is very stressed, but it all works out and the bet he placed is a success! He wins a bunch of money!


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The next morning, Howard meets Demany to get back the black opal he lent Kevin Garnett, but it turns out Garnett decided to keep it a little longer after he played so well with it. Howard is upset, forcing Demany to take him to Philly to retrieve it, but Demany winds up ditching him. Howard has to hurry back to New York to make it to his daughter’s play.

Howard sees Phil and company lurking in the crowd at his daughter’s play and he’s mad/freaked out. He asks them to speak outside.


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Howard winds up running from Phil and his goons.


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They catch Howard in the parking lot, put him in a car, and reveal that they canceled the bet he placed because he still owed Arno money. So it turns out, Howard didn’t win big.


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Phil tells Howard to have Arno’s money by Monday. Then he strips Howard’s clothes, steals his car keys, and stuffs him in the trunk of his own car.


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They even take his underwear.


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Howard has to call Dinah to unlock the trunk so he can hop out. Her face is very annoyed/disturbed/concerned. Howard puts on clothes and goes back inside to watch the play.


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Demany tells Howard he has the opal with him, but when Howard meets him at the club to retrieve it, he says Kevin Garnett actually took it back.


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While at the club, Howard finds Julia in the bathroom with The Weeknd (yep, the famous singer). He’s upset about it. Julia denies any wrongdoing.


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Howard and Julia have an intense argument and appear to be broken up. He leaves in a cab without her.


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A lot of stressful moments come in all of these scenes along the way but I’ll spare you the anxiety-inducing details and only talk main points. Kevin Garnett returns the opal to Howard. Howard fully (and rudely) kicks Julia out of their apartment.


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Now that he broke up with his girlfriend, Howard is having second thoughts on his divorce. He pitches the idea of staying together to Dinah. She is super not down.


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Kevin Garnett shows up to the opal’s auction. Howard convinces his father-in-law, Gooey, to help drive up bids. This backfires when Garnett drops out, and Gooey wins the opal.


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Gooey allows Howard to keep the opal, and Howard insists he’ll pay him right back.

Outside of the auction, Phil and his goons beat Howard up and throw him into a water fountain. THIS PHIL GUY IS RUTHLESS.


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And it turns out, it’s this actor’s first role, which is shocking, because he is doing a very good job at playing the intimidating part.

Julia and Howard seem to make up after she helps take care of his freshly whooped ass. Julia is definitely too good to this dude.


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Howard sells the opal to Kevin Garnett for $165,000, and calls Arno to tell him he has his money.


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After selling him the opal, Howard gives a spiel to try to motivate Kevin Garnett before his game later that night.


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Phil and henchmen are in the shop to collect Arno’s money, which Howard finally has. He could just give them the $100,000 he owes, and the movie could be over, with a somewhat happy ending.


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Instead, Howard texts Julia and has her stealthily meet him outside of a window, where he gives her the bag of money.


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He also gives her instructions to sneak out, and place a bet on the game with all of the money.


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When Phil comes to collect the dough, Howard’s like, «I just bet it all on a game but I’m going to win big.» Of course, they’re not happy about it. Phil sends a goon to go look for Julia…


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Phil and his buddy hold Howard out the window, threatening to drop him if he doesn’t call Julia and have her bring the money back.


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After Howard refuses to call Julia and tell her to come back, Arno, Phil, and the goons are going to track her down themselves, but Howard sees an opportunity to trap them between security doors and he does it.


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Crazy-ass Phil points a gun, but Howard’s like, «Bruh, it’s bulletproof, relax.»

Julia calls Howard and confirms that the bet has been placed and if successful, he’ll win over a million bucks — plenty to pay them back with.


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Now, Howard just intensely watches the game and hopes it plays out in his favor. If you watch the NBA, you might remember how it went in real life, but it’s edge of your seat stuff regardless. Meanwhile, Julia is evading the henchman who is looking for her.


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Finally! After all the intensity, there’s this big sigh of relief when the game ends and Howard’s bet was a success. HE JUST WON OVER A MILLION BUCKS. Stop here if you’d like to live in a happy world, where the story ends here!


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You sure you don’t want that ending? You can stop scrolling here.

Are you positive you want to do this?

So Howard unlocks the security door thinking everything is good since he obviously has the money to pay Arno back, but then this happens…


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DAMN YOU, PHIL.

Arno freaks out because he didn’t want his brother-in-law dead, but Phil is still enraged, and kills him too.


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Meanwhile, Julia receives the money, intending to meet with Howard, unaware of his fate.


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We see Phil and the other henchman ransacking the jewelry store and get one final look at a very dead Howard. The end. The very sad, brutal end.


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FINAL THOUGHTS:


Sony Pictures Releasing, A24

STRESS LEVELS: 10/10. I didn’t even realize how tense I was until it was over.

ADAM SANDLER:Very, very good. So is Julia Fox, who plays his girlfriend, and Kevin Garnett, who puts on the best NBA player acting performance since LeBron in Trainwreck.

OVERALL RATING: 9.5/10

MEME DEPICTING MY REACTION TO SEEING THE «THIS IS HOW I WIN» MEME: (see above)






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