The Tom Hardy in Hardy Stew

Let me tell you about a 2014 movie that’s worth checking out when you are looking for something to stream:


It stars Tom Hardy. Ya know, he was in Inception–the British guy named Eames, a forger who came in a little late in the movie? He was also the iron-masked Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (last Batman).

Synopsis: Tom Hardy plays a bartender in a working-class Brooklyn bar managed by a character played by James Gandolfini (in his last movie). When the bar is robbed of a substantial sum of money, the Chechen-gangster owners demand that Hardy and Gandolfini’s characters pay them back. There are more bad guys, a puppy and a love interest.

Flix Capacitor

Review by Stephen Carty, Review listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Spoilers skimmable? Yes, very few, and this in two paragraphs. Good job!

Bottom Line: 4/5 stars. Cast is fantastic, dialog excellent.
It’s “moody and absorbing, with director Michaël R. Roskam crafting a blue-collar crime thriller that is dotted with tense encounters and grisly moments.”

Carty notes that there are other subplots that might make the movie slow for some, but overall it’s a great thriller.

Hardy does Rocky: “Hardy is reliably engaging as the slightly dim-witted barman — a character who can’t help but remind you of Rocky….”

Of interest: Dennis Lehane wrote the screenplay, which is based on one of his short stories. He wrote the screenplays that many of his novels are based on: Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island, and Mystic River.


Review by Wesley Morris

Spoilers skimmable? A little. Read the first 1.5 paragraphs. Then too, too many. As all the critics say, there are a few subplots. So why reveal them in the review? Give us the main one leave the rest for the viewer to discover. Jeez.

Bottom Line: “Goodish”: it has potential but it doesn’t make it.  Although he too likes the dialog. Then there’s this: he says that the movie “is involving, but not enough to keep me from noticing how much of the advancement of the plot depends on shadiness failing to adequately recognize shadiness.”

You mean the shady plot’s not shady enough?

Metaphors gone wild:

1. “Bob [Tom Hardy] has a manner as soft as sweatpants.”  Never heard that one before. But I have to say that sweatpants can be very soft indeed.

2. “[Hardy does] a legible, alluring variation on Marlon Brando. His mumbling is the meat and potatoes of the movie’s accent stew.” Continuing with the metaphor, Morris goes on to say that the actors in the supporting cast “toss in ripe vegetables of their own.”

Huh? What are you saying, man? That each member of the cast has a different accent to make the accent stew? And the main ingredients are meat and potatoes because it takes place in a working-class neighborhood?

Oy….it just doesn’t work.



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