Director: Michaël R. Roskam
Writers: Dennis Lehane (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (short story “Animal Rescue”)
Stars: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Plot: Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.
Running Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 89% Audience 76%
Why I watched it: I dragged my feet on this one, wasn’t sure of it. No doubt Tom Hardy is a good actor but he can rub me the wrong way sometimes, his porformance can be mannered and he likes doing different voices and that bothers me or I should say it’s distracting.
Random Thoughts: This was adapted from a book by Dennis Lehane and guess what he adapted it himself, so he has no one to blame if it didn’t work.
What I liked: First off the tone and look is great, I might have dragged my feet to watch it but once I started I got sucked right in. I really like when a movie slowly lets you know what it’s about, we get a set up off what The Drop is and the characters but this is way more interested in character than in plot.
Now this is where it helps that Lehane adapted this himself cause in the film the plot is moved forward by what the characters do, not the other way around. The characters are fleshed out and feel very lived it and real and also the big plus is we learn more as we go deeper into the film a couple of these characters are not exactly what we think they are.
Tom Hardy is very good here, I think this maybe my favorite of his preformances, he’s quiet and at first he seems simple and then you’re not really sure, is he a criminal, is he a bad guy, or his he a bit off. He reveals himself as the movie goes and we get to see different shades of his character. James Gandolfini is also real good, another guy who has more going on underneath, he’s angry and of the two he seems like the badder guy.
The two have a great scene together in Gandolfini’s basement, it’s not showy, no one yells or screams but it’s one of those scenes that you know more is being said than what we’re hearing and Hardy is great in the scene basically just saying things as they are. Hardy is on the top of his game cause a major subplot is about him finding a dog, and he’s great interacting and talking to the dog and also the way he treats the dog is big in the bigger picture.
The film isn’t filled with action there is violence but I wouldn’t call the film slow and also I don’t think it’s a slow burn film but a film that reveals it’s self as it goes every scene deals with character so they need to spend the time making these people full and complicated, almost every one of these characters have a lot of stuff going on, a lot of baggage and most of them are not black and white.
What I didn’t like: Rapace is a good actress but for me she was miscast cast, she just wasn’t right for the role and her character didn’t fit as well as the others and by the end of the film she really doesn’t have much to do. I’m in between with Matthias Schoenaerts, I do thing it hurt the film that three of the main characters are doing american accents and don’t really feel they’re from Brooklyn especially when you have Gandolfini wearing his NY Jets jacket and just oozing New York.
The only sub plot that kind of felt flat was having this cop in the background trying to solve a cold case and even though it’s important information the character added nothing really and we find out what he found out in a better way through the characters.
Final Thoughts: This was a surprise for me as I really liked it, as you can see by the Rotten Tomatoes scores people liked it but I don’t think enough people have seen it. If you like Lehane’s books and if you’re a fan of any of the cast give it a watch.