Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.
From the director of the highly rated ‘Bullhead’, Michael Roskam, comes this brooding urban crime drama set in Brooklyn, New York. Very subdued, it is a patient build up with an unlikely pay off that enables this film to succeed. While Dennis Lehane’s storyline leaves little to the imagination, and the characters are barely developed, Roskam has been saved by the individual performances of his two leads.
It stars James Gandolfini in what would be his last major role, as a puffing, discontent bar owner whose history constantly plagues the present day. It was a notable performance, and one that I am sure he would be happy he went out on. ‘Enough Said’ was an excellent film too, and showed this incredible actors true range even right at the end. A star gone too soon.
Working alongside him was Tom Hardy, an actor with a lot of great films under his belt, and ‘This Means War’. The guy is on a roll, and it really is another stand out performance from the rising actor. He plays the role simply, but effectively. You never know what is quite there with Bob, he comes across as a bit one dimensional, but as the film unfolds you realise that we have a deeply complex character of which we know very little about. Plus, he has a little pitbull puppy with him for the majority of the film… so there’s that too.
It is a clichéd crime thriller, but full of tension and a decent conclusion. The great performances and cinematography lift this from being your average run of the mill crime film that you might expect Ray Liotta to star in, to a film that Gandolfini can be proud to have starred in.
Still available in select cinemas.
(Note: Apologies for the lack of updates, I’ve been enjoying some downtime since the movie challenge has stopped. It’s nice to watch some TV for a change.)