Film Review: The Drop

By Austin Siscoe, Film Critic 

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The Drop is the latest film to be based on the stories written by author and screenwriter Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island). The story of The Drop revolves around Tom Hardy as Bob Saginowski, a quiet bartender who works for his cousin Marv, played by James Gandolfini (The Sopranos, 8mm). This bar serves as one of Boston’s many drop spots for criminal organizations to filter their money through. Alongside Hardy is Noomi Rapace as a local woman who gets tangled up in the bar’s affairs.

The plot revolves around Marv’s bar being robbed which leaves Marv and Bob to deal with the bar’s true owners – a group of Chechnyan gangsters – to recover the stolen money. In addition to that, Bob must fend off unwanted attention from a detective (John Ortiz) who is investigating the local robbery.

Belgian filmmaker Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead) delivers a slow-burn film that focuses on mood and character development over action effectively creating an atmosphere that focuses on human emotion rather than relying heavily on action scenes for thrills.

It’s a very quiet type of storytelling and it allows Roskam to deliver moments of violence that are much more effective and shocking. This alongside Lehane’s tightly written script allows the film to work as an effective crime tale with a moral impact.

The biggest problem with The Drop is put simply: it doesn’t break much new ground in terms of the genre, and it’s a much more character-focused drama than it is an action thriller.

It isn’t for everyone and some may find the focus on character and slowness of the film to be off-putting – meaning, it’s not the most exciting film out there and fans of Michael Bay may fall asleep.

If a true crime styled gangster drama in the vein of The Departed sounds entertaining to you, I highly recommend.

 

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