The Drop

By Peter Towe

Published on Wednesday, September 17, 2014


When James Gandolfini passed away last year we lost a great man and a fantastic actor.  Best known for his role as Tony Soprano, Gandolfini also left his mark in the world of cinema.  Although he played a wide range of characters, the roles that stick out always come back to the seedy criminal underworld, and the complexity of characters that make up that world. Whether it was the hit man Virgil in 1993’s True Romance or the burnt out mafia hit man Mickey in 2011’s KIlling Them Softly, Gandolfini was born to play these roles.  Sure he was great voicing Carol in Where the Wild Things Are or opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the romantic comedy Enough Said, there’s just something special when he plays a complex character wrestling in the moral gray zone.  In The Drop, Gandolfini plays Marv, a once promising gangster who now runs a “money drop” bar along with his cousin Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy).

Marv and Bob run a bar in Brooklyn, which is one of the bars the local gangsters use as money drops.  Money Drops are schemes run by the local gangsters of funneling their money throughout different bars in Brooklyn.  When Marv and Bob are robbed one of the night when they are holding a large chunk of the dirty money, they must answer to not only the police, but the gangsters who certainly want back their money.


While The Drop isn’t going to present you with much that hasn’t already been seen before, the story will stay with you after your viewing has ended.  The atmosphere created by director Michaël R. Roskam leaves you with an uneasy feeling throughout.  The tone is dark and very somber and you feel that at anytime, something bad is going to happen.  The film has a dark look which fits the story and perfectly puts the audience into the world in which the characters  inhabit.

It’s a shame this is the last James Gandolfinfi movie that will be released, but as fans we have a lot of material we can revisit.  Gandolfini was great as Marv, who showed a lifetime of pain and failure through his facial expressions and mannerisms, without much dialogue needed.  He did have more to say than fellow bartender Bob played brilliantly by Tom Hardy, but still not the most talkative character.  Hardy really stood out amongst a great group of actors including Noomi Rapace (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus), and showed why he is one of the best actors working today.  These aren’t guys that talk about their feelings, they’re the “strong silent type”.  They’re your Gary Cooper’s and both execute their performances brilliantly to the very end.


While you won’t be blown away by the story and may feel like you’ve seen it before (which I did), it doesn’t really take much away from the movie.  Hardy gives an incredible performance and along side James Gandolfini, the two make an excellent pair.  Noomi Rapace is once again stellar and completes what is an incredibly well acted movie.  The tone is dark and somber, which fits with the plot and takes the audience into the criminal underbelly of a run-down Brooklyn which will leave its mark, and makes for a well-done but not incredible film.  It is however a must watch so go support and see the movie which is now playing in theaters.

Directed by Michaël R. Roskam and written by Dennis Lehane, The Drop stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, and James Frecheville 

The Good

+ Tom Hardy delivers another stellar performance

+ Gandolfini's final performance, doing what he did best

+ Followed the typical movie arc, but did so in a fresh way

The Bad

- Seen it all before (not anything new or groundbreaking)


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