Michaël R. Roskam's The Drop may come across as just another gangster movie, but there's far more complexity to it than that. Not only does James Gandolfini's final posthumous film (following Enough Said) lend the often typecast actor plenty of justice, but it also serves as the perfect vehicle for Tom Hardy (with his weird British interpretation of a Brooklyn accent and all) to show off his frequently underrated acting chops.
Based on Dennis Lehane's (who also adapted the screenplay) story, Animal Rescue, The Drop is an enigmatic glimpse into the underworld of Brooklyn crime, consistently posing the moral dilemma of right versus wrong and the fine line that always seems to blur these two opposing concepts. Bob Saginowski (Hardy), the bartender at Cousin Marv's Bar, finds himself in the difficult position of being Marv's (Gandolfini) cousin. As such, he tends to fall into the role of Marv's "boy" rather easily, particularly since the bar is run by Chechnyan thugs that use the establishment as drop-off point for their illicit money.
As if dealing with the recent robbery of Marv's drop money isn't enough, Bob also finds himself caring for a pitbull he names Rocco after finding him in the trash can of a woman named Nadia (Noomi Rapace) while walking home from the bar one night. His affectionate and protective side shines through as he comes to view Rocco as more of a friend than a pet. Unfortunately, a local loony gangster, Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts), claims to be the rightful owner of Rocco, badgering Bob to the point of coming to his house either unannounced or while he's not there in order to scare the shit out of him.
As Bob worries about how to juggle his lust for Nadia with his watchfulness over Rocco, Marv has schemes and dreams of his own--all involving selling Bob down the river for a quick escape. However, all isn't as it appears with Bob (considering most Bobs have to be at least somewhat evil thanks to the precedent set by Twin Peaks). The Drop's exploration of redemption and the notion of whether or not a person can come back from sin is extremely poignant, revealing that nothing is ever truly fixed with matters of atonement. And all you really need is one person to forgive you, allowing you to believe in yourself (and your penchant for goodness) again.