Monday, September 15, 2014

The Drop

I went to see this movie for one reason:  Dennis Lehane.  I'm a big fan of his novels, I've enjoyed the films made from his works, and this movie ultimately comes from a short story of his.  Once again, he did not disappoint. 

The script firmly grounds you in Brooklyn and the lives of its characters, none of whom are living high, but all of whom are getting by.  I don't want to spoil any of the plot, so let me say simply that Lehane builds the story carefully, inevitably, so that all that happens in the ending is both natural and disturbing. 

Tom Hardy plays the lead, Bob, a muted man living a muted life.  He shows his emotions rarely and then only in small ways, with tiny, quick facial movements.  Noomi Rapace's Nadia is a version of a character she's played before, the damaged woman drawn to damaged men.  James Gandolfini portrays a man far from his famous Tony Soprano, a bar owner whose bar is barely his.  These three and everyone else in the cast turn in strong performances.

The movie is definitely not for everyone.  Its pace is deliberate, its tension high, and its moments of action quick and often brutal. 

It is also not without flaws.  For example, a few inconsistent character moments feel like Lehane and director Michael Roskam bowing a bit to the demands of Hollywood. 

On balance, though, it's one of the stronger crime films I've seen recently, and I definitely recommend it. 

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