It should surprise no one that Adam Sandler is great in yet another film with a touch of drama. And while 2019’s acclaimed Uncut Gems has more grit (and 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love more rage), Hustle, in which Sandler plays down-on-his-luck basketball scout Stanley Sugerman, is a feel-good sports movie for the whole family — basketball fan or not.
Numerous real-life NBA players fill out the cast, starting with Utah Jazz forward Juancho Hernangómez as a 22-year-old Spanish street-ball phenom who may be Stanley’s best chance to make something more of his life.
“Sandler wanted to act against a real player,” says director Jeremiah Zagar. “A lot of moments you see are improv between the two of them. And Juancho would make Adam laugh out loud.”
Another plus for the film, co-produced by Sandler and NBA great LeBron James: Queen Latifah as Stanley’s wife, who Zagar says was cast on Sandler’s suggestion. “I was a hundred percent on board. Who doesn’t love Queen Latifah?”
Hustle, Movie Premiere, Wednesday, June 8, Netflix