Tom Hardy, alongside James Gandolfini in his final role, gives gripping performances in Dennis Lehane’s latest crime thriller. The film centers around a bar called Marv’s, overseen by Gandolfini’s character and tended to by his cousin Bob (Hardy). Used by Brooklyn’s underworld as a place to stash dirty money in a time of need, Lehane brings the focus onto the middleman of crime. Though Bob and Marv are not entirely innocent, you get the sense they’ve been begrudgingly embroiled in something bigger than they can really handle. Crime remains, for the majority of the film, off screen, and the sudden flashes we do get of it highlight the random nature of violence, in contrast to the seamless organisation of the bar itself. Bob’s more questionable activities run alongside his growing relationship with a pit-bull puppy he rescues from a trash can, found outside the house of a part-time waitress Natalia (Noomi Rapace). However, even these actions will not go unpunished, unwittingly sparking a feud with the dog’s abusive owner which comes to a crescendo on the bar’s biggest drop night; the Super Bowl. Bob’s slow and gentle manner seems at odds with the violence that unfurls in the latter half of the film, showing the grey area of crime. Despite denying his place in the underbelly of Brooklyn, we see him becoming ever-more involved in its happenings. Bob’s attitude towards his own role reveals a psyche that is generally unexplored and it is this that makes the film so engaging. Tense, absorbing and at times strangely sweet, this may be Lehane’s best crime fiction yet.