2014 / Director. Michael R Roskam.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
THE DROP is a slow burner. It is a film draped with a cold, murky ambience that recalls the atmosphere of THE WIRE, with a hint of THE DEPARTED. Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini play two guys who run a drop bar for local mobsters. During busy hours of trade money is discreetly handed over the bar where it is casually dropped into a secret safe beneath the counter. The money is then covertly collected with the usual exchange of beer kegs. It is a smooth operation and, aside from facilitating the exchange, both men keep their noses clean. Their lives are turned inside out when they fall victim to an armed robbery and local gangsters charge them with recouping the stolen cash. THE DROP is a smart and brooding film that meanders at a slow pace and allows its characters time to absorb and react to information. Director Michael R Roskam doesn't feel compelled to push it along to keep the pacing tight and with such a freedom he has crafted a compelling thriller that's driven by outstanding performances. Tom Hardy is insanely good as the quiet and tormented partner who tries to walk a straight and narrow path. James Gandolfini plays the aging, desperate and borderline depressive one. His performance is brilliant as he gives an understated, yet commanding turn. The two compliment each other well and THE DROP is a fitting final performance from Gandolfini. Noomi Rapace plays a love interest whose own life conceals secrets that may or may not affect the trouble unfolding between the two men. The script is smart and the direction is controlled. I have no doubt that this is a film that will test a lot of people. It requires patience and audiences who prefer fast, action-relient mob movies might bore easily. Film goers who love performance pieces, on the other hand, will get a lot out of it.