The Drop

RATED - (R) -106-MIN-2014

                                     Fine performances from all in this excellent film. 

There are two lost, beat-up puppies, at the heart of the very good, small, crime drama: (The Drop) based on the short story: (Animal Rescue) by the crime novelist: (Dennis Lehane). Once again, (Tom Hardy) continues to impress as he again disappears behind an excellent Brooklyn accent and a quiet lumbering persona as the bartender for his cousin Marv's bar: Bob Saginowski. Cousin Marv ( the late, great, James Gandolfini in one of his last roles) doesn't own his place anymore in Brooklyn since his lost it to Chechen mobsters. Cousin Marv isn't the most responsible with money; this is how he lost it in the first place.

The Drop refers to bar locations where  mob money is deposited for the night. At any given time, random places are notified when they are to be the spot for the next drop. Bob tends the bar, cleans up, goes home, attends church regularly, and seems to be just another nameless schlub in Brooklyn. Marv worries about how he can pay for his father's health bills, and always seems to be looking for an angle. His is a tough old bastard, and it is apparent that Bob and he have a connection of some sort.
One night while leaving work, Bob hears a whimpering in someone's trash can. Inside, He finds a puppy pit bull, that is badly beaten. The house that Bob finds the puppy in front of is occupied by a woman named Nadia ( Noomi Rapace) who wants to know what he is doing in her trash in the middle of the night. When Bob shows her the puppy, they take him to her house and clean him up.

Someone beat the pup up and left him for dead. She says that Bob should take the dog home. He says he can't and could she care for him until he was ready. Someone across Nadia's street also appears to be interested, though we don't see who it is. 

Back at Marv's, Bob struggles with how he is going to take care of the puppy when he takes him from Nadia. Two men come in and hold up Bob and Marv, which is sure to piss off the mob since they own it, and it's their money the crooks are stealing. The detective: Torres (a very effective John Ortiz) who shows up after the robbery, knows Bob from seeing him at church. There is a very good and subtle back and forth between (Ortiz) and (Hardy) in all of their scenes. He knows Bob knows more than he's saying. When the Chechens show up again, with one of the robbers in the back of their van being tortured, Marv gets really nervous. They want their money back.

So Bob finally decides to take the puppy, but explains to Nadia that she needs to help him at the pet store to get supplies for his new pet that he names Rocco. (Hardy) and (Rapace) have a real sweet chemistry, that adds so much to their scenes together. Apparently they are good friends in real life, and it shows. To further complicate matters, a man: Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) approaches Bob at the park one day with Rocco and tells him that he likes the dog. Better yet, he tells him later in a very good scene, it's his dog and he wants Rocco back unless Bob wants to pay him 10,000 dollars. Deeds also has some history, having been allegedly involved in the disappearance of one of Marv's former employee's, and he dated Nadia.  Schoenaerts is very good at being that typical street thug with the insidious threats he throws around. One things for sure: Bob ain't giving up Rocco. As Torres starts to sniff around looking for clues to the robbery, and possibly older crimes, the story twists, and turns, until the very good ending that I didn't quite see coming.

From top to bottom, all of the actors are great, and the Belgian director: Michaël R. Roskam really shows a flair for the gritty and cold city streets this film takes place in. It also boasts a rather surprisingly touching and sweet score from composers: Raf Keunen and Marco Beltrami. I love the whole composition of the last scene in the film. It is perfect in every way.You'll know what I mean when you see it. This is another one of the gems that you had heard about, didn't see, and should see now.

Oh, by the way...Rocco's adorable.

watch the trailer: