Hustle is directed by Jeremiah Zagar and stars Adam Sandler as a scout for the NBA who befriends and represents a talented Spanish youth (Juancho Hernangomez). The young star’s professional basketball dreams run into trouble when anger issues and past conflicts motivate teams not to take a chance on him. 

Sandler’s later career has featured a few dramatic turns, most notably in Uncut Gems and The Meyerowitz Stories, as well as Sandler returning to the comedic well with Netflix’s Hubie Halloween and The Ridiculous Six. Hustle runs the middle ground between the thoroughly goofy comedy that made Sandler famous and the late-career dramatic turn that made his work so interesting. The result is a performance that is solid but unremarkable. 

The film’s biggest weakness is its plot. Hustle wanders through all the basic sports movie plot points complete with early failures and ultimate redemption. A fair number of NBA cameos sprinkled in gives the film verisimilitude even though its plot is unoriginal. 

That is not to say that Hustle lacks charm. Queen Latifah in the cliched role of supporting wife brings the film some much-needed energy, and the basketball sequences are fun and well-shot. 

Hustle has nothing new to offer, but what’s old and familiar is still sometimes a welcomed diversion.