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Film Review: The Drop

Written by Michael Dequina



Tom Hardy is one of the great–and still rising–acting talents working in film today, but ironically I think it’s his unusually chameleonic skill that has thus far kept him from completely breaking through to the superstar status he deserve.  Case in point, Michael Roskam’s The Drop, where it’s hard to AnimalRescue_TheDrop1believe the same guy who played Bane and made a 90 minute cell phone conversation so compelling in Locke is the same one playing this quiet, unassuming, somewhat slow barkeep at his cousin’s (James Gandolfini, in his final performance) bar, which serves as a money laundering drop for the mob.  When the bar is robbed, the big bosses clamp down, threatening the peace and happiness he seems to be on the way to finding through two new relationships: that with a neighbourhood woman (Noomi Rapace) and, even more unlikely, that with a rescued dog.

Based on the short story Animal Rescue by Dennis Lehane (who also wrote the screenplay), none of this sounds too original, and the latter plot point even sounds corny, but as with any better programmer, the performers lend the proceedings their unique personality, and with actors as colorful (and unusually varied) as Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, and Matthias Schoenaerts (as Rapace’s ex), what’s familiar as far as story never feels tediously so.

And with a lead as intensely watchable as Hardy, creating another indelible character, it’s often vibrantly so.

THE DROP is a new crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of BULLHEAD.  Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (MYSTIC RIVER, GONE BABY GONE), THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funnelling cash to local gangsters – “money drops” – in the underworld of Brooklyn bars.  Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

THE DROP was released in UK cinemas on November 14, 2014