The Drop (2014) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

The Drop (2014) Directed by Michaël R. Roskam. With Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts and Noomi Rapace.

Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop is the story of two cousins (Hardy and Gandolfini) working in a Brooklyn ‘drop’ bar called ‘Cousin Marv’s‘, which doubles as a watering hole for sports fans, and a depository for the criminal underworld. Adapted by Dennis Lehane from his own short story, Animal Rescue, the film is a gritty, absorbing tale of duality, with two engaging performances by Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini.

The sight of Gandolfini in this kind of setting, immediately brings to mind his towering portrayal of Tony Soprano. I remain utterly convinced there isn’t a better TV-series out there. If you haven’t seen The Sopranos, first of all, you’re an idiot Now that we’ve established that, stop reading this and go improve your quality of life by purchasing the box-set. *inserts winky-faced emoji.

Unlike so many crime-thrillers, The Drop isn’t a film that’s held aloft by plot or set-pieces. Rather, its brilliance is in the detail and depth of character that Hardy and Gandolfini provide. These are two men for whom, in light of their entanglements, we’re allowed to feel empathy, which both splinters and heightens as things unveil. The hard push of the cold, cruel world that’s depicted is strikingly juxtaposed with an emotional pull that whacks a solid punch.

The Drop is not a film that goes out of its way to be overly hospitable, yet with each passing scene, you find yourself more engrossed. It’s partly about the menacing threat of violence that lingers in the air, but it’s also a finely balanced, beautifully acted piece that twists our perspective by fogging the moral compass to such a degree, that you might temporarily lose sight of your bearings. 4/5

About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
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10 Responses to The Drop (2014) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. movieblort says:

    Nice review. I thought this was cliched but enjoyable, the ending was enough for me to feel satisfied when it ended. It could’ve been so average, but the performances really elevated this to something else.

    • garethrhodes says:

      I know what you mean, the plot was somewhat formulaic, but it was all about the strength of the characters and performances. I like how the title has dual meaning, the REAL drop of the film is the dog, not the packages at the bar as we are initially led to believe. There’s a lot of duality going on.

  2. Zoë says:

    Great review! I liked this quite a bit, glad you found a lot to like here.

  3. Dan O. says:

    Nice review Gareth. The story may be a bit conventional and silly, but the cast is so good here, that it hardly even matters.

    • garethrhodes says:

      Thank you Dan, I wouldn’t go so far as to label the story ‘silly’, but it’s certainly conventional. Like you say, it doesn’t really matter, thanks to the actors being utterly present in their parts. The more films get made, the harder it is becoming to write a truly original story. I find that as long as I can connect with the people in the film, feel some emotion and come away with stuff to chew on, I’m generally a happy customer.

  4. Matt says:

    The only show that I would rate as if not more perfect than The Sopranos is Six Feet Under. That was the golden age of HBO. I’m encouraged to hear that you enjoyed this because I love both actors. Most of the reviews I’ve read haven’t been as favorable.

    • garethrhodes says:

      I’m surprised the reviews you’ve read haven’t been as favourable…it currently stands at 89% on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Pretty much unanimous praise.

  5. ghostof82 says:

    Haven’t seen this yet, but I try to see anything Tom Hardy is in. He’s good in just about everything. He’s an actor whose career I find fascinating to watch over the years, so yeah, this is on the to-watch list. Nice review. It seemed to have mixed reviews at the cinema but you make it sound good.

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