The Drop (2014)


Critic Consensus: There's no shortage of similarly themed crime dramas, but The Drop rises above the pack with a smartly written script and strong cast.


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Movie Info

THE DROP is a new crime drama from Michaël R. Roskam, the Academy Award nominated director of Bullhead. Based on a screenplay from Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), THE DROP follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters - "money drops" in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past. Also featuring Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ann Dowd and John Ortiz. (C) Fox Searchlight

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News & Interviews for The Drop

Critic Reviews for The Drop

All Critics (193) | Top Critics (42)

As a vehicle for those two actors, The Drop is gangbusters.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…

It's a classic case of a little becoming a lot onscreen on the basis of a single impressive performance.

Jan 5, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Toronto Sun
Top Critic

Lehane, the hardboiled master, has almost gone soft here.

Jan 5, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It is a gripping drama, showing how crime is partly a planned and intelligible activity, in which gangsters ruthlessly prosecute clearly defined interests, but also partly random, irrational and almost arbitrary.

Nov 13, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

You have to sit through the slow parts to savor the cool parts. The movie's little surprise is that you didn't waste your time watching it; you were just being primed for an explosion of low volume and high impact.

Oct 16, 2014 | Full Review…

This is a movie you stumble across when hunting for something to watch: goodish, with the right dreary atmosphere.

Sep 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Drop

The Drop is one of those films that almost sneaks by an audience but strangely there's still something that catches the eye. That something may be because it's yet another adaptation of the normally successful page to screen transfer of crime novelist Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Shutter Island), the English language debut of Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam or that it features the last screen performance of the late, great James Gandolfini. All of these are reason enough to see it, but the one that really makes it worthwhile is a quietly commanding Tom Hardy. Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) is a quiet, unassuming bartender working with his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) in his Brooklyn bar. Marv is a bit of a has-been who lost his bar to incoming Chechen gangsters who use the establishment as a "drop" for illegal money takings. However, when the bar is robbed it puts them in a tight spot and leads to an investigation that brings up the past and the depths of the neighbourhood's criminal affairs. The Drop has come in for a fair bit of criticism from numerous corners. Predominantly these issues have stemmed from plot strands not coming together or Lehane going a bit on the soft side and to a minor extent I can agree with this. There are some problems with the narrative, namely a religious sub-plot involving John Ortiz's church-going cop that feels misplaced and underdeveloped and the talented likes of Noomi Rapace is wasted in a woefully underwritten supporting role. However, what the film manages to capture is a perfect sombre mood and uses a patient approach that very much works in it's favour. Cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis captures Brooklyn in all it's blue collar edginess while the two central characters in Bob and Marv are afforded the space to grow and develop at their own pace - resulting in both Gandolfini and, especially, Hardy raising the film to a whole other level. There's also a good support from rising Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead, Rust and Bone). However, Gandolfini's presence hangs heavily over the film and it's a real shame that this is the last we'll see of this fantastic actor. That being said, he's not the main player and you get the impression that Gandolfini is happy to step aside and allow Hardy to do his thing. I don't suppose there's anything here that hasn't been done before but that still doesn't take away from this slow-burning, gritty drama. It's a fine addition to a sub-genre that I have a real soft spot for and that's, ultimately, down to the strong performances. Roksam has a good command over Lehane's prose and dialogue but the plot comes secondary to the characterisation. And in terms of Hardy and Gandolfini, there's plenty of that to be had. We may have lost a great actor that'll be hard to replace in Gandolfini, however, rising star Schoenaerts is deservedly becoming more prolific and Tom Hardy just continually manages to impress. The Drop's low-life tale of criminality benefits from seeing all three deliver solid work. Mark Walker

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer


I knew very little of this movie when I saw a small tv advertisement for the dvd. I thought man, James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy, this HAS to be good. So, I gave it shot. It's about 2 guys that work at a drop bar that gets robbed. One of them may or may not have had something to do with it, and from there a web of lies and deception forms as the police investigate the robbery and a murder of a neighborhood local. I don't want to go too much into it, because I knew very little going in, and that plays to the strength of the movie. This film is pretty slow, and about an hour in you may check your watch and be like "this has to go somewhere!" But I PROMISE you, STICK with it! This movie has a great payoff and unlike a lot of movies nowadays, it finishes strong. Gandolfini gives a great performance, and it's so hard to believe he is gone. Tom Hardy proves once again he is one of the most underrated actors out there. The guy has IT and is just something special when he is in a movie. If you like movies like "The Departed" or "The Town", then you should check it this out. Not as good as those, but it's in the same ballpark.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Even if the characters are interesting (with the exception of a useless policeman that shouldn't even be there) and the slow-burning plot is engaging, the clunky ending makes it feel like it doesn't know exactly what it wants to say, with its last two scenes being redundant and inconsistent.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

When a money drop is stolen, a bartender and his boss get unwanted attention from the local mob. My birthday movie this year is a slow burn. The plot takes a while to unfold and there isn't the usual signposting that we've come to expect from most crime dramas, but as the film develops, it becomes more a character study than a crime film. And Tom Hardy gives a compelling and nuanced performance. While the scenes with the dog became too heavy-handed for my taste and there were times when Hardy's character is too naive to carry the film, by the end, patience pays off. Overall, The Drop isn't the antidote to crime-lauding shit, but it's good enough to show other filmmakers that character-centered dramas are just as compelling as special effects.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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