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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

Uncut Gems and The Most Anxious Movies to Watch

I had avoided watching Uncut Gems for as long as possible. Mainly because it was described to me over and over again as “the most anxiety-inducing film ever made.” And I am not one to seek out extra stress. After finally watching the Safdie Brother’s 2019 masterpiece, I can’t get it out of my head. 


In honor of this specific type of film, let's talk about other films that generate anxiety, in case this is your particular brand of masochism. Here are the most anxious movies to watch.


A man stands in an elevator.

Uncut Gems (2019) Starring Adam Sandler in an iconic dramatic role, Uncut Gems tells the story of a man who is addicted to gambling, and how that impacts his life and the world around him. 


A man is in a coffin.

Buried (2010) Ryan Reynolds plays a man who wakes up buried beneath the ground in a coffin, a hostage being used to barter during war. He must do what he can to conserve oxygen while attempting to escape with his life. 


Two men sit and smoke

The Departed (2006) Scorsese’s The Departed stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Whalberg. And while it’s hard to summarize all of the plots and subplots happening here, just picture being an undercover cop assigned to infiltrate a Boston based organized crime boss. 


A woman stands in front of a creature

The Descent (2005) This film is not for anyone afraid of underground caverns. The Descent follows a group of women as they get lost while exploring beneath the Earth’s surface. 


A man rock climbs

127 Hours (2010) Written and directed by Danny Boyle, 127 Hours follows a mountain climber (James Franco) who becomes trapped underneath a boulder while climbing in Utah and must go to great lengths to survive. 


A woman lays in a car

It Follows (2014) Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows became a horror cult favorite in 2014 when it was released. After having sex, a woman is haunted by an unseen force. 


A man sits at a drum set

Whiplash (2014) Miles Teller and J.K Simmons star in Whiplash, telling the story of a young drummer being pushed beyond his limits by his teacher. Not only is it stressful and high stakes, the sound design cannot be beat. 


A woman looks shocked

Parasite (2019) Directed by Bong Joon Ho and winning the Oscar for Best Picture, Paradise tells the story of a struggling family who infiltrate the home of a wealthy couple. 


A woman cries on the phone

Requiem for a Dream (2000) A film by Darren Aronofsky, Requiem for a Dream stars Jennifer Connelly and Ellen Burston. It sheds light on the perils of drug addiction and how it impacts an ecosystem. 


A man smirks in the darkness

Nightcrawler (2014) Starring Jake Gyllenhall, Nightcrawler is hard to watch at times, as it follows a man desperate for work. 




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