With a screenplay by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island), an Oscar-nominated director (Michaël R. Roskam, for Bullhead), and an Oscar-worthy turn by Tom Hardy, The Drop would seem to have plenty of ability to overcome its status as a run-of-the-mill crime drama about a mob-linked bar in Brooklyn. Whether it does or doesn’t is up for debate; the genius of Hardy’s performance shouldn’t be.
The Drop is playing in most markets around the country now. My review is at PopMatters:
The response of your average cineaste, upon hearing the words “In Brooklyn…” in a film’s opening narration, is to look for the nearest exit. What follows is too frequently more mythologizing than storytelling. The borough is transformed from specific place to psychic landscape, full of tribal loyalties and tight bonds, where the begrimed and as-yet ungentrified street scene indicates bootstrapping and self-policing pride. Cops not needed here.
However, if you follow your instincts and bolt at the start of Michael R. Roskam’s sturdy and bleak noir The Drop, you miss Tom Hardy creating a thing of beauty yet again…
You can see the trailer here: