The movie “Hustle,” starring Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah, as well as Robert Duvall and Ben Foster, debuts in theaters Friday and is set to be released on Netflix June 8.
Another star of the movie, who is far less known in the entertainment world, is Utah Jazz backup forward Juancho Hernangomez, while his Jazz teammate Jordan Clarkson is among a slew of NBA players who also makes an appearance (the movie is co-produced by Sandler and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James).
On Thursday as a lead-up to Friday’s release, Sandler and Latifah appeared separately on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and both praised Hernangomez’s performance in the show.
Hernangomez plays the role of European basketball star Bo Cruz, whom Sandler (Stanley Sugarman), a scout, brings to the NBA.
Latifah plays the role of Sandler’s wife, Teresa Sugarman.
Adam Sandler: “He’s such a nice guy. He’s 6-foot-9, he plays for the Jazz. He’s like just the sweetest human being.”
Sandler then relayed the story of a scene in which Hernangomez had to cry, and Sandler was highly impressed by how Hernangomez was able to do it easily.
“I watch him, and he’s just doing the scene, and all the sudden, close up, boom, all these tears. He’s crying.”
Added Latifah: “When you see this movie, you’re not going to believe it. Like, we really scored, because Juancho, who plays Bo Cruz, is just so smooth. This is probably his first time ever doing this. He is great in the movie.”
What are reviews saying about ‘Hustle’?
- Variety’s Owen Gleiberman: “‘Hustle’ doesn’t rewrite any rules, but the film’s wholesome seduction is that you believe what you’re seeing — in part because of the presence of players from the aging legend Dr. J to Trae Young to Kyle Lowry and several dozen more. But also because Sandler plays Stanley with an inner sadness, a blend of weariness and resilience, and a stubborn faith in the game that leaves you moved, stoked, and utterly convinced.”
- Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt: “Sandler and Hernangomez have a sweet, goofy chemistry, somewhere between razzing and familial, and the on-court sequences are consistently electric. ‘Hustle’ isn’t reinventing the sports-story wheel; it’s hardly even spinning it forward. But in the moment, they’re having a ball.”
- The Guardian’s Peter Bradshasw: “It’s the sort of film custom-made for the (basketball) fans. For everyone else it would pass the time as an airline movie on a long-haul flight.”
- The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney: “This is clearly Sandler’s film, and he makes Stanley a mensch, even when he’s screaming into the phone about what he’s owed after the 30 years he’s given the League. The performance is elevated by the actor’s love of basketball, which explains the welcome lack of showboating as he tones down his signature comic tics and puts them into the service of character and story, not of a star turn. He makes ‘Hustle’ sweet and satisfying.”
- IndieWire’s David Ehrlich: “‘Hustle’ doesn’t serve up anything you haven’t seen before, but it sticks to the game plan with confidence and makes you root for Stanley and Bo — together and separately — every step of the way.”