Michael Roskam’s THE DROP
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
THE DROP is a deliberately paced story of petty criminals centered on a shabby Brooklyn bar that serves as a “drop” location for mobster funds. James Gandolfini, a former low-level mobster himself, runs the bar and dreams of returning to better days. Tom Hardy plays his bartender cousin who’s not very smart and because of that seems trustworthy. Noomi Rapace, affecting a mild Brooklyn accent, befriends Hardy via a puppy left for dead.
Events are set in motion when the bar is held up by two mask wearing gunmen. Soon the police are involved. Gradually we learn that the people, their personal lives, and their plans are not all they seem at first to be.
Backstories unfold gradually. Despite the slow pace a sense of dread develops. Soon you realize, “this is not going to end well.”
The movie has a sense of reality about it that must be based on some familiarity with the locations. Based on a Dennis Lehane story, interiors of houses and the bar itself seems so real you can’t believe they’re sets.
But it’s the characters on display here that are the real focus. Who are these people and what are they really up to? Watching the actions of the police is especially interesting. They’re the outsiders here. Everyone goes to great lengths to keep the cops at arm’s length so they can pursue their own deals.
Don’t expect histrionics. This is a character study masquerading as a low-level morality tale. Just enjoy.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald