HUSTLE on Netflix is not only a solid NBA movie but also one of Adam Sandler’s best to date. Also, that’s a sentence I never thought I would say. With that said, the movie is not going to win any awards, yet there is a reason it has a 91% Fresh Critic / Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, HUSTLE is the Phoenix Suns of the movie world. They are really good, but not good enough to win a championship. And yes, as a diehard Suns fan, it broke my heart to write that.

So why does a movie filled with predictable sports cliches work so well? It’s because of the endearing relationship between down-on-their-luck NBA scout Stanley Sugarman (Adam Sandler) and the basketball unicorn Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez). Even if you’re not a basketball fan, you will fall in love with Bo Cruz. His good-natured smile and relationship with his daughter are enough to win over any cynic.

Now, for those looking for the lazy Netflix Adam Sandler from RIDICULOUS 6, THE DO OVER, and HUBIE HALLOWEEN, HUSTLE won’t be for you. This performance is more in-line with his work in UNCUT GEMS and PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE. It’s not as serious as those two since Sandler gets a ton of funny, sarcastic jabs in. However, the overall tone is thankfully inspirational sports-themed instead of dumb slapstick Sandler comedy.

I didn’t even get to the NBA cameos, and there are a TON. For any NBA fan, this film is pure heaven. Each cameo scores and serves the story. It was the perfect mix to watch after the NBA Finals this weekend.

There’s an art to making good predictable movies work. That art is fully displayed in HUSTLE – Adam Sandler’s first slam dunk on Netflix.

Aaron "Dobler" Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein is a Product Manager by day, ludicrous speed content consumer by night. He’s a LA Film School Alumni and TV Academy / Producers Guild of America member. Aaron is a proud stepparent and dad joke enthusiast.

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