The Drop

The Drop, the richly textured, beautifully acted film collaboration between Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead) and novelist-turned-screenwriter Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), takes place in the present, but its heart lies in the noirish past of both movies and literature. In that shadowy realm, tough guys are endlessly quotable, and most everyone -- even the hero -- is holding tight to a terrible secret. Actually, the dark, hooded eyes of The Drop's Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) may not be hiding a secret -- he might just be lonely.

Bob lives alone in his dead mother's house and tends bar at night at Cousin Marv's, the Brooklyn dive owned by his actual cousin Marv (the late James Gandolfini). The neighborhood loan shark, Marv once ruled his narrow stretch of the world, only to have his power snatched from under him by gangsters who came from nowhere -- well, Chechnya — and took over. In the parlance of the neighborhood, Marv "blinked." When two men hold up the bar, the obscenely confident Chechen kingpin, Chovka (Michael Aronov), expects Marv, and by extension Bob, to find the culprits and get back the money.

Roskam, making only his second feature film, and his first in English, displays remarkable assurance, with both the actors and the film's very American setting. He creates an escalating sense of dread, tinged with Lehane's brand of mordant humor. Gandolfini's performance might bring him posthumous awards, but the actor would surely be happier in the knowledge that Marv is going to live on, long past awards season, and long past the theatrical run of The Drop. Great actors live on in the movies, but they also live on in us.



  • Michael Roskam


  • Tom Hardy
  • Noomi Rapace
  • James Gandolfini
  • Matthias Schoenaerts
  • John Ortiz
  • Ann Dowd
  • James Frecheville


  • Dennis Lehane

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