1999, Claremont, California. Middle-class kids, in their 20s, talk trash, wave guns, hang out in a pack. Johnny Truelove, drug dealer and son of a underworld figure, threatens Jake Mazursky, an explosive head case who owes Johnny money; Jake responds by breaking into Johnny's house. On impulse, Johnny and a couple pals kidnap Jake's 15-year-old brother, Zach. Zach's okay with it, figuring his brother will pay the debt soon. Johnny assigns his buddy Frankie to be Zach's minder, and they develop a brotherly friendship. Zach parties with his captors as things begin to spin out of control. Group think, amorality, and fear of prison assert a hold on the pack. Is Zach in danger? Written by
Bruce Willis and Ben Foster previously worked together on Hostage (2005). See more »
At Mazursky's house, a promo poster for the Xbox game "Men of Valor" is on his fridge. Men of Valor was released October 19, 2004. The film is set in 1999. See more »
You wanna know what this is all about? You can say it's about drugs or guns or disaffected youth, or whatever you like. But this whole thing is about parenting. It's about taking care of your children. You take care of yours, I take care of mine.
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After the end credits, the following caption appears: 'For Nicky, May Your Slumber Be Blessed'. 'Nicky' is Nicholas Markowitz, the 'true' name of ill-fated Zack Mazursky played by Anton Yelchin. See more »
Maybe I just had to wait too long for this one to finally come out. I have never been a Justin Timberlake fan, but he was one of the best things about this movie. You cannot dislike him in this. He does a good job of showing us the moral dilemma he is twisting in. I always love Emile Hirsch but found this character a little one dimensional. Gone were the moments where you can see everything he thinks and feels on his face as when he portrays Z-boy Jay Adams or as Tim Travis in "Imaginary Heroes." He is supposed to be the heartless bad guy in this and since he is portraying a real person perhaps the flatness of this character is due to an accurate depiction of real life Jesse James Hollywood. What this character lacks in emotion, others, such as "Susan" and "Keith," give us a bit more to watch. Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone are believable most of the time, but some moments feel incongruent (Stones final scene for example was over the top and in such a bad way). Likewise Ben Foster's Jake Mazursky is all over the place as a strung out-stressed out loser that starts the whole mess. He has moments of brilliance but otherwise he's just too much. The movie is way too long and tries to focus on every player in this truly tragic story. I would have liked more of Anton Yelchin's Zach and more of the emotional battles of the key characters and far less of the get high and blast out violent rap while insulting our sex partners in front of the whole gang. The story itself is captivating, but the movie tries too hard to do too much and gets in its own way. Yet I don't feel cheated out of the ticket price.
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