Cast: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Director: Michael R. Roskam
Running Time: 106 mins
Rating: R13 (violence, offensive language)
Verdict: A tension-laden crime thriller with a startling ending.
Set on the streets of Brooklyn, The Drop is a quietly foreboding psychological thriller set in the criminal world. At first you might be thinking you're dealing with a bunch of cliche mobsters - after all this is the last film from Sopranos star James Gandolfini - and there are a few of them. But once this slow-burning thriller gets going and all the characters have been introduced it's clear not everything is as it seems.
Gandolfini plays Marv, who runs a bar owned by Chechen gangsters where "money drops" (payments made to mobsters) take place. One night Marv and his slightly simple cousin and bartender Bob Saginowski (Hardy) are robbed, setting off a chain of events that affect family, friends and enemies of this close knit blue-collar community.
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Gandolfini goes out in style, but the film belongs to Tom Hardy, who is absolutely superb as Bob, lulling us into a false sense of security as he rescues a dumped puppy from a rubbish bin and befriends a former junkie (Rapace).
Lonely, self-conscious and loyal, he's the one we relate to among all the dark and troubled characters on display in a script from screenwriter Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and The Wire) based on his short story Animal Rescue.
Hardy's subtle, quietly disturbing performance sits perfectly with Belgian director Michael R. Roskam's understated, restrained approach. It's thanks to the cast as a whole, though, that The Drop is at its most engaging in its final act when the true nature of all these characters is revealed in what is a cracker of an ending.
An enjoyable and satisfying underworld thriller.
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