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The Drop PosterI’m a fanatic regarding spoilers. This is the one and only time I have ever thought about revealing plot points, but our illustrious editor won’t let us spill the beans, dammit.

So I’ll stick to what I can report, and you, dear reader, can read between the lines. A small disclaimer here: I was not influenced at all by the free popcorn and soda supplied by Fox Searchlight Pictures at the wonderful Arclight Theater in Hollywood, but it didn’t hurt.

“The Drop” is the third movie I’ve seen that claims to be James Gandolfini’s “last movie.” I’m happy to keep viewing any of his “last movies.”

Gandolfini plays Cousin Marv, a poor schnook who is a product of his environment. The resignation can be read in his eyes and facial features without him speaking one word. Even when times are grim, his sense of humor keeps the story from becoming a downer.

Tom Hardy plays bartender Bob Saginowski at his cousin Marv’s local dive. Tom’s portrayal of dim bulb Bob is no less than brilliant. These wonderful actors make the writing seem effortless in this subtly brilliant crime film written by Dennis Lehane.

The core of this story is about a boy and his dog — with a twist. Noomi Rapace plays Nadia, a neighborhood girl who helps Bob come out of his shell with the help of his new dog. I love Nadia’s realistic response to her situation at the end.

Matthias Schoenaerts plays the tragically handsome bad boy that women are always drawn to, despite the peril. Life could be bearable but for this guy, and there’s always one. Women, do not fall for that gorgeous exterior or get lost in those baby blues. It’s a long deep hole.

I can only say that the audience at this sneak preview was a bloodthirsty lot. At one point, I think the audience was a little shocked by their response, pausing to think, “What are we doing?,” and deciding to embrace their bloodlust, laughing into the bargain. I wouldn’t want to be the focus of that crowd’s ire. I’m betting future viewers will feel that same joy.

Reader, I know you might be scratching your head now wondering, “What is this movie about?” Bottom line: see this movie! It works on all levels. Hardy will likely be nominated for multiple awards for his nuanced portrayal of this simple yet complex character.

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