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Movie Review

"The Drop" Is A Convincing Adult Drama About The Lower Regions Of Criminal Life

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The Drop is a thoroughly enjoyable excursion into the lower regions of criminal life, if you don’t mind the fact that the characters are such that writer Dennis Lehane and director Michael R. Roskam have seen fit to introduce a puppy dog to provide a touch of humane behavior into the seamy lives of James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy and the even grislier supporting cast.

The San Francisco Chronicle review in the eagle “Go!” section said that “moviegoers may walk out of the theatre with the what-the-heck-just-happened feeling,” but neither I nor the only other person I’ve talked to who saw The Drop felt any confusion.

Acting is consistently top-drawer, and the writing makes characters clearly delineated, despite their tendency to underreact to occurrences that would leave you and me in a state of shock. These people inhabit a tough world and are adapted to it.

The most remarkable thing about The Drop is the totally convincing sets, props, costumes, and even weather. I can’t explain how this realism is accomplished, but I can’t recall even a documentary that so thoroughly persuaded me that I was in the real world. But one thing contributing to this effect is that a man who gets knocked out by a bang on the head is really injured, and the puppy is a very ordinary puppy, not a Hollywood dog like Asta in The Thin Man series, or Lassie.

Violence is frequent, but not gloated over customary fashion, there is virtually no sex, and there are no car chases or big orange explosions.

The Drop is a good adult drama, and how it got released in the summer is a mystery to me.