A Brooklyn bartender (Tom Hardy) tries to stay away from trouble, which isn’t easy when his bar is a well-known place for mobsters to drop illegal takings. The Bullhead (2011) director’s first American film is a crime drama set in Brooklyn’s dirtier neighborhoods. Hardy is solid in the lead as the low-key Bob who takes care of a mistreated dog; he’s matched by James Gandolfini as his cousin, the gruff owner of the bar. A good story by Dennis Lehane is at the heart of this engaging drama-thriller that offers a neat twist near the end. Convincing locations, but the romance is the least interesting part of the story.
2014-U.S. 106 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Michaël R. Roskam. Screenplay, Short Story: Dennis Lehane (”Animal Rescue”). Cast: Tom Hardy (Bob Saginowski), Noomi Rapace (Nadia Dunn), James Gandolfini (Marvin Stipler), Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, Elizabeth Rodriguez.
Trivia: Gandolfini’s last role.