A lot will be made of how “The Drop” is the final film to be released starring the late James Gandolfini of “The Sopranos” fame. And while he delivers a strong performance, it is Tom Hardy who elevates this crime drama to a higher level.
Hardy stars as Bob Saginowski, a quiet man who tends bar at his cousin Marv’s (Gandolfini) tavern. At least it used to be Marv’s bar, before bad decisions forced him to sell out to the local mob. Marv is still the establishment’s front man, but in addition to serving drinks, the bar occasionally serves as a drop box for the mob’s money laundering operations.
While dealing with complications at work, Bob also faces upheaval in his personal life. One night while walking home he hears a noise coming from inside a garbage can in someone’s back yard. He lifts the lid to find a small, abused dog.
The owner of the house comes outside to check out the disturbance. The homeowner, Nadia (Noomi Rapace), claims the dog isn’t hers and helps Bob clean it up. Bob decides to keep the dog and he and Nadia strike up a friendship as she assists him with the animal’s care.
As luck would have it the dog’s owner is the town psychopath (Matthias Schoenaerts) and he wants his dog back.
You might wonder how these two unrelated threads can come together but they do in a smart, satisfying, violent way. Directed by Machael R. Roskam and written by Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone, Baby, Gone”), “The Drop” is a slow-burn crime drama that holds your attention thanks largely to Hardy’s smoldering, compelling performance.
And the dog is really cute.