Movie Review: The Drop

Much like Tom Hardy's character in this movie, The Drop will end up surprising you. I would maybe even give it a higher star rating than I am going to give it, except the film moves at a slow pace. It's a classic story of mobsters, hired guns, and killers, and it's also the last movie ever to star James Gandolfini.

Bob (Tom Hardy) works at a bar that his cousin, Marv (Gandolfini), used to own; Marv's name is outside on the door, but mobsters took over the bar from him about ten years ago. Bob is walking home from work one day when he hears some sounds coming from a trash can - when he opens it, there is badly beaten pitbull puppy inside. The woman who lives at that house, Nadia (Noomi Rapace), lets him into her home and they help clean up and heal the puppy; later, she decides that he should be its owner, and he names it Rocco. Soon, though, Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts), a killer who's well-known around the neighbor, shows up at Bob's front door, claiming that Rocco is his and that he wants $10,000 if Bob wants to keep Rocco, or he'll go to the police and show them Rocco's registration papers. At the same time, Marv's bar has recently been robbed, on Drop Night - meaning, the money stolen was the mobsters' money, and they're not happy that it's missing - and he's facing more pressure from them because of this.

The pitbull puppy in this movie was adorable, but more importantly, the acting and the story were fantastic. It's bittersweet to watch Gandolfini on-screen, knowing this was his last movie or at least one of them, because we are reminded how great he was in roles like these. Hardy and Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - the Swedish version) also hold their own on-screen, and Hardy is masterful at playing a character that many may overlook, due to his quietness, but really should not.

Yes, see this film. Even though I usually can't stand slow films, because the story and the acting is so good here, I not only enjoyed this movie, but would even see it again on Blu-ray/DVD at some point. The ending will definitely surprise you - let's just say, all of the characters get their "just rewards" - and, at a runtime of about an hour and forty-five minutes, the movie is worth watching. This is a Fox Searchlight film so I'm not sure how much of a "wide release" it will get, but it will be playing at the Birmingham 8 theater locally, as well as the State Theater and Ann Arbor 20 (formerly Rave Cinemas) in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area.

The Drop is in theaters today, September 12th, and is rated R with a runtime of 106 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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