In 2019, the Safdie brothers cast Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems and collectively reminded America that the man really can act. He’s been excellent before in movies like Punch Drunk Love and The Meyerowitz Stories (and, lest we forget, carrying movies like Happy Gilmore and Waterboy isn’t nearly as easy as he made it look), but Uncut Gems unleashed his full dramatic fury and announced the presence of a real talent. Could he go all the way to an Oscar? The Academy infamously snubbed him in 2020, but it looks like they’ll have a chance to make it right now.
Sandler’s back in full gravitas mode for Netflix’s Hustle, a Rocky-like basketball drama that’s co-produced by some guy named Lebron no-last-name-necessary. The movie follows Sandler as a washed up NBA scout who discovers some promising talent while on a trip to Spain. The new guy, played by real-life Utah Jazz forward Juancho Hernangómez, might just be Sandler’s ticket back to the big leagues — but they’ve both got some skeletons in the closet they’ll have to overcome first. Can they make it work? Only if they hustle.
The movie also stars Queen Latifah, Heidi Gardner, Ben Foster and a few more actual NBA players. Catch it on Netflix this June.