The Drop…a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

November 10, 2014 by Roz Tarszisz
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Still waters run deep – very deep indeed, in this gritty crime drama by director Michael R. Rosken.


Bob Saginowski   (Tom Hardy) tends bar in Brooklyn. Cousin Marv (the late James Gandolfini) is his boss. Cousin Marv was once the bar’s owner but now runs it for the Chechan mob. He misses his glory days. “I was respected, I was feared” he tells Bob.


Envelopes stuffed full of “the city’s dirty money” are discreetly handed over the counter – the drop bar – to be stashed in a specially designed safe for later pickup. The drop bar venue changes nightly.


Bob, a low-key guy, is a bit of a softie and appears content with his lonely life. It’s his gravelly narration filling in the story. One night he finds an injured puppy in a garbage bin. This leads him to Nadia (Noomi Rapace) who has worked in an animal shelter. She helps him take care of the dog and he becomes very attached to it.


When the bar is held up after closing, thieves escape with $5000. The Chechans, headed by a politely menacing Chovka (Michael Aronov), are most displeased. When Chovka tells Cousin Marv to “find my money”, the heat is on for the barkeeps. These ruthless thugs make the old-time Mafia look like pussycats.


Based on his own short story “Animal Rescue” Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River) has crafted a tight screenplay. Investigating the robbery, Detective Torres (John Ortiz) is not fooled by the close-lipped locals. He and Bob attend the same church and there’s an understanding of how people and place are intertwined.


An ex-boyfriend of Nadia’s , Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts), makes trouble for Bob and both dog and girl prove catalysts for change. British actor Hardy works his Brooklyn accent to perfection and tells us much about Bob just by the way he walks down the street.


Performances are strong and Rapace gives Nadia exactly the right amount of brittle nerviness. Gandolfini portrays a man passed his prime and the architect of his own misfortune.


Secrets are slowly revealed but the denouement is swift and satisfying.


4/5    108 mins Rated    MA15+ 2014

Starring Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace

Directed by Michael R. Rosken

Screenplay by Dennis Lehane from his short story, “Animal Shelter”




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