The Drop explores another facet of this oft-travelled road. Whilst a nasty conclusion for someone is predictably guaranteed, how The Drop reaches it provides some genuinely unexpected surprises.
Funnelling cash to local gangsters via a syndicate of bars, bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) has his work cut-out. In league with his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob’s actions soon catch up with him. Caught in a botched robbery, the ensuing police investigation places in him the law’s sights. Relying on those he trusts, Bob finds loyalties can be very vague in the murky world in which he resides.
Strongly directed by Michael R Roskam, this excellent film continually captivates. Portraying Bob’s struggle to either stand by his beliefs or delve into the dark spaces of his shady peers, The Drop is an engrossing character study. Mostly discarding violent incident and action, it explores the psychological tension everyone feels within their crooked universe. Anything can happen with double-cross, love and constant danger always in play – leading to engrossing viewing.
The Drop wouldn’t work without the fine casting. Hardy and Gandolfini inhabit their characters so well. The realism they inject ensures they truly immerse themselves into their opposing personalities. In his final screen appearance, Gandolfini reminds what a talent has been lost, with his co-stars providing solid support. Roskam’s use of cinematography enhances their performances with a gritty and grimy atmosphere that never lets go.
A strong crime thriller, The Drop is a fascinating reflection on divided loyalties. Fans of these movies should enjoy it with the crime genre showing no signs of fading with the evil that men do forever entrancing audiences.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8