The Drop

Boasting terrific performances by Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini (in his last film role) and Matthias Schoenaerts, this gripping crime thriller revolves around a blue-collar Brooklyn bar that sometimes serves as an underworld money drop. His name still above the door, Gandolfini’s Cousin Marv still seethes with resentment at being forced to sell the bar to Chechen mobsters a decade earlier. Hardy’s lonely bartender Bob keeps a tight lip. He’s hard to read. Is he slow on the uptake, soft-hearted? The latter it would seem when he rescues a battered pit bull puppy from a dustbin, an act that draws him into the lives of Rapace’s wary waitress Nadia and her abusive ex-boyfriend, notorious local thug Eric Deeds (Schoenaerts). Making his debut as a screenwriter, novelist Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island) blends gritty urban noir with a fable-like story of sin and redemption. With Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead) keeping a firm grip on the twisty plot while sustaining a claustrophobic atmosphere, it’s a surprisingly successful mix.

The Drop shows at the Curzon Mayfair at 8.45pm tonight and at the Odeon West End at 12.30pm tomorrow, and goes on general release from Friday 14th November.