CRIME; 1hr 46min
STARRING: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Pet shop joys: Rapace and Hardy
Bob Saginowski (Locke’s Hardy, unerringly Brooklynesque) isn’t one to look for trouble, which doesn’t mean it won’t find him. Bob tends bar at Cousin Marv’s, as its manager (a harried and sleaze-rimed Gandolfini in his last film appearance) is widely known. Marv, who as it happens actually is Bob’s cousin (this Brooklyn is entwined that way), has ceded ownership of his shabby establishment to some exceptionally unsavoury Chechens. Unfortunately, Marv is none too savoury, either: in fact, the entire neighbourhood is lousy with fetid undercurrents. And so it is that apparently unrelated incidents combine to suck Bob in — a robbery at Cousin Marv’s, an injured pit-bull puppy discovered in a trash can and the friendship with a skittish waitress (Rapace).
Adapted from his short story “Animal Rescue”, Dennis Lehane’s dense and gloomy screenplay is mined by Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam for every grimy nuance. It culminates explosively on Super Bowl Sunday, when Cousin Marv’s becomes a drop bar for the district’s black takings. As a self-effacing point man, Hardy is an enigmatic magnet. You’ll want to keep close tabs on him, no matter where he takes you.