The Drop (2014)

The Drop (2014)
  • Time: 107 min
  • Genre: Crime | Drama
  • Director: Michaël R. Roskam
  • Cast: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts


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 where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.


  • There are places that, on any given night, are the nexus of illicit cash exchanges. Envelopes full of money are slid across counters, deposited in a time-release safe, and then collected the next morning. Nobody sees the comings and goings and, if they do, they’re smart enough to keep their mouths shut.

    One such drop bar is Cousin Marv’s, a local Brooklyn watering hole once owned by Marv (James Gandolfini) before Chechen mobsters led by Chovka (Michael Aronov) took it over and made him a mere figurehead. A residual of resentment still runs in Marv’s veins – he might have been some sort of contender – and there’s desperation enough in the big man (nagging sister Ann Dowd, father on life support and the hospital trying to collect on past due bills) to make a risky move. He masterminds a hold-up of the bar on drop night, a trial run that draws the ire of the Chechens and the interest of Detective Torres (John Ortiz).

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  • The Drop starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini centres around a local bar, it’s owners and the neighbourhood’s local residents. On the surface, Bob appears to be the silent yet friendly law abiding guy who’s only interest is to get on in life however his cousin Marv, we learn is conniving in his efforts to reclaim his respect that he once held and will stop at nothing to get there even if it means risking the life of his own family.
    On the surface of the film you would imagine that any movie with 2 Hollywood heavyweights in the ilk Of Hardy and the late but great James Gandolfini is a recipe for an outstanding movie but unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I expected more. I wholeheartedly believe that the reason this movie failed was down to the writers of the movie and not the performance of the cast. It seemed like the movie was a slow starter that was building to something great but ended up turning out to be nothing more than a wet fart. Maybe I expected a bit too much who knows. Catch the film when you have time but I wouldn’t make it a priority. I’d give this film a 6.5 outta 10.

  • The storyline of “The Drop” is nothing that a viewer who is familiar with the genre of gangster films hasn’t seen before although it is still a very well made film. It is about a man muddled up with gangsters and who feels guilty in the eyes of god. The camera-work specially during the later portions and the editing is good. The starry cast delivers a consistent performance all across the board with Tom Hardy’s performance being the most memorable (Hardy is probably my favourite male actor of the current generation).

    However my reservations lie in the department of the screenplay. There are some elements of the plot that seem too unconvincing and contrived. The film also doesn’t have a lasting impact and it didn’t stay with me for a lengthy spell of time. It just lacks the bravura and the gritty realism of the famous gangster films that I love.

    So a very watchable film, but it is not memorable.

  • The Drop 7.5/10- This was the first film I was excited to see since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and it was for two reasons: the most obvious being Tom Hardy is leading actor and the second is Dennis Lehane wrote the screenplay(you may know him from Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island.) Those two factors can make any film, at the very least,credible. The Drop was more than credible, it was incredible. With the great acting, underscoring, cinematography, and screenplay, even those who do not like dark films will love this film-noir near-masterpiece.

    The only reason this film was not perfect in my mind because it started a tiny bit slow and almost lost some of the audience’s attention during the beginning. Again, I stress it was only a little slow. It still kept my attention and most of the audience’s attention because we could sense that the director was building up to something, and every detail was going to matter. Other than this, nothing else was really wrong.

    The Drop is one of those few movies where you just leave astounded at how well everything comes together. I mean everything, sometimes I was sitting there wondering what this scene had to do with the plot of the film, and then I was just blown away at the end.

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  • Sometimes you don’t need an epic story with characters that are larger then life to create interest in the viewer. In fact by creating smaller character driven plot, set on a massive “stage”, might have a bigger impact on the viewer, who often will try to identify with our protagonist and in this way prolong his interest in the story of the film.
    The interesting part starts, when the environment the story is set in, creates the characters that has some dirt on them. They are not black and white, good or bad characters. This world is testing our moral values on daily basis. Sometimes small crime can create a ripple effect that effects other in more profound way. And every bad thing just like every kindness, can be a seed that with time will grow to become a root of our moral inner balance.
    This is exactly what you feel watching “The Drop”, the second feature film by the director Michaël R. Roskam.

    “This film takes an inside look at organized crime’s use of local New York City bars as money-laundering ‘drops’. When lonely Brooklyn bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) uncovers a drop of a different sort in the form of a battered pit bull puppy that he rescues from certain death, he comes into contact with Nadia (Noomi Rapace), a mysterious woman hiding a dark past.”

    Roskam sets up the story quite straight forward with picking our protagonist to be a Church going Pole who seems subdued and in someway we feel he has something on his conscience, by going frequently to Church but never participating in Holy Communion which for Catholics is the most important moment of the Mass. To except Christ in to your heart you need to absolve yourself from all the sins and for that you need to go to confession.
    As the story develops we understand the Bob played by Tom Hardy and his cousin Marv (last role of James Gandolfini) own a bar that is used by Chechen mafia to become a drop box for dirty money, from the whole crime related activities in their neighborhood. The bar use to belong to Marv but as we find out later in the story, Russian crime syndicate made him an offer he could not refuse.
    Another sub plot of this multilayered crime-drama is a romantic triangle between Bob, Nadia and her ex boyfriend small time criminal Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts). Without giving away the key turning point of the story lets just say that the past has a tendency to confront us when we least expected and appearances might be deceiving.
    As I already mentioned “The Drop” has a few stories intertwined with each other that culminate in the end of the movie. The interesting part is that the European director Michaël R. Roskam chose less dramatic more pragmatic approach to tell this story which stylistically serves movie well. All performances are strong starting with Tom Hardy who picked up a characteristic walk for his character and displays loneliness and sandiness in his eyes that is felt by the character played by Noomi Rapace. A woman with a past that tries to stay away from the bad influences all around her. Matthias Schoenaerts might be a highlight of the film together with James Gandolfini. They both don’t have so much screen time and yet their characters are rich in duality through their internal dialog that often is appealing to look at for the audience.
    I enjoyed “The Drop” for what it is, a character driven crime-drama with emphasis on drama in a large sense of this word.
    (******** out of 10)
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  • Based on Dennis Lehane’s short story Animal Rescue, and re-locating the action from the author’s beloved Boston to the chilly streets of Brooklyn, The Drop is a disappointingly familiar film that shows a lot of promise in its build-up, but one that will most likely be best remembered for being the last screen performance of James Gandolfini. While the movie is hardly a fitting swansong to the actor’s tragically short career, there is promise for future generations in the performance of lead Tom Hardy, who plays his deceptively dim bartender with an extremely subtle complexity, only hinting at the real man who lies beneath his shuffled walk and soft voice.

    Formerly respected criminal ‘Cousin’ Marv (Gandolfini) now spends his time behind the scenes at his eponymous bar, while his actual cousin Bob (Hardy) pours the drinks and keep the regulars in high spirits. The bar is a convenient locale for local gangsters to lay their ‘drops’ – small amounts of cash that are locked in a safe ready for whoever is destined to collect it. When the bar is robbed by masked gunmen, the efficient Chechen mobsters who run the operation are suspicious and demand that Marv and Bob locate their money. So far, so relatively formulaic – 2012’s rather disappointing Killing Them Softly covered similar ground.

    The Drop is at its best when it hints at these characters’ shady pasts and real character – traits these men may have embraced in their past, but have since been suppressed or subdued by new powers. The performances are magnificent all round, and special mention must go to Matthias Schoenaerts, who proves a truly menacing presence as Eric Deeds, the lonesome brute who comes into the picture after Bob finds a beaten puppy in the rubbish bin of Nadia (Noomi Rapace), Eric’s former girlfriend. Bob and Nadia form a relationship, possibly out of mutual feelings of disenchantment or perhaps because they both simply care for the animal. Deeds is an intimidating and unnerving manipulator, and Schoenaerts is part of a trio of non-American actors playing American roles astonishingly well here – he’s Belgian, Hardy is English, and Rapace is Swedish.

    The multiple plot threats naturally lead to a suitably bloody finale, where we learn what really makes these people tick and operate with such efficiency. But for all it’s stylish direction and vibrant screenplay by Lehane himself, a disappointingly cliched final scene betrays much of what came before. Up to this point, it is an interesting study of coming to terms with being the kind of man you wish you weren’t. To offer salvation to a character who has just accepted this very thing is a simplistic and easy path to take, especially when the build-up is bolstered by an observant eye for detail and thick layer of cynicism, painting it’s Winter greys broadly. This contradiction makes the film quite ordinary, when it could have been a compelling study of the insecurity of thugs and the circle of violence that surrounds them.

    Rating: 3/5

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