Netflix Movie Review: Hustle

Some years ago, Actor/Producer Adam Sandler signed a huge deal with Netflix to produce a series of movies. Of the films I have seen so far, the new film “Hustle” is a very solid sports movie and by far the best that Sandler has created for Netflix.

Sandler plays a talent scout, Stanley Sugerman for the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and this movie does a very good job showing how difficult this job is, including traveling the world, staying in bad and mostly depressing Hotels, in an attempt to find the next new NBA superstar. Finding a great NBA prospect requires a great deal of knowledge of love of the game of basketball and I thought that Sandler did a great job displaying all of this within these 2 hours.

Most impressive here is the basketball prospect that Sander finds in Spain, Bo Cruz – played by actual NBA player Juancho Hernangomez. What I found most amazing about Hernangomez was that despite his awesome athletic and basketball skills he showed in this movie, he is only a minor low scoring player in the NBA. Proving to all of us, how extremally difficult it is to excel in the unbelievably challenging sport of NBA basketball. The relationship between Sugarman and Hernangomez, during the training and the advice and help that Sugarman gave to Hernangomez was very well told within this story.

I liked the relationship between NBA Scout Sandler and his very abusive boss, Vince Merrick, played very well by Ben Foster. It one thing to be very good at your job, its quite another thing to get the support of your boss, in this case the son of the owner played by the great Robert Duval. The workouts as Sandler tries to turn Bo Cruz into a great NBA prospect was very well done throughout this film. During the many NBA tryouts I thought that the trash talking of the other NBA prospect trying to get under the skin of Bo Cruz was also outstanding and more importantly, very believable.

Queen Latifa plays Sandler’s wife Teresa Sugerman, and one can argue that her casting as Sandler’s wife is an example of miscasting, but overall I thought this relationship was well depicted throughout this film.

I was surprised at how good a sports movie Hustle is and I agree with the very high 89% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and highly recommend this film. Sandler once again has proved that when he makes a serious movie he can be an extremely good actor.