Bottom Line: This slice of decidedly slow-burn cinema is a the bleakly depressed, working class second cousin to the flash, glitz and grit of, say, a movie like GOODFELLAS. Where the latter continually bobs, weaves and walks confident and cocky in its execution, the scope and setting of THE DROP is happily slouched atop a bar stool – half empty pint in front of it, Giants game on the TV. This is its blissful state of no-rush being. It’s a punch-drunk petty crime caper with little sense of urgency. …and in lieu of a thoroughly compelling storyline (it’s not bad, just familiar), the focus here is primarily on characters. Powder keg shades of Tony Soprano effectively creep into Gandolfini’s (his final film role) tired, glory-day-remembering performance and Tom Hardy is phenomenally riveting as the Brooklyn-raised barkeep that may or may not be smarter than his soft spoken, mumbling, methodically routine character might let on… With a snail pace that may prove tiresome for some, the first two-thirds deliberately lumber along but introduce some thoroughly intriguing, bitterly cold characters – as well as a tension-fueled finale that almost completely makes up for the meandering that proceeded it… A solid entry in to the American mob canon (primarily due to Hardy’s performance), this purposely distant flick is a should-see-at-some-point for lovers of the genre and a must-see-now for fans of great acting.
Starring: Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace and Matthais Schoenaerts
Directed by: Michaël R. Roskam (BULLHEAD)
Running time: 106 minutes
Studio description: THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters - "money drops" in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past. (C) Fox Searchlight
Official site: www.foxsearchlight.com/thedrop