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Alpha Dog (2006)

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Johnny and a couple pals kidnap Jake's 15-year-old brother, Zach, then assigns his buddy Frankie to be Zach's minder. They develop a brotherly friendship. Zach parties with his captors as things begin to spin out of control.

Director:

Nick Cassavetes

Writer:

Nick Cassavetes
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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Sonny Truelove
Matthew Barry ... Interviewer (as Matt Barry)
Emile Hirsch ... Johnny Truelove
Fernando Vargas ... Tiko 'TKO' Martinez
Vincent Kartheiser ... Pick Giaimo
Justin Timberlake ... Frankie Ballenbacher
Shawn Hatosy ... Elvis Schmidt
Alex Solowitz ... Bobby '911'
Alec Vigil ... P.J. Truelove
Harry Dean Stanton ... Cosmo Gadabeeti
Frank Cassavetes Frank Cassavetes ... Adrian Jones
Nicole Dubos Nicole Dubos ... Neighborhood Girl on Couch
Regina Rice ... Dance Bitch Girl
Laura Nativo ... Party Girl
Ben Foster ... Jake Mazursky
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How did a crime with this many witnesses go so far? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug use and language, strong violence, sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jesse James Hollywood See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,411,750, 14 January 2007

Gross USA:

$15,229,325
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frankie (Justin Timberlake) mentions he has an anxiety problem. He plays another character in Black Snake Moan (2006) named "Ronnie" with an anxiety problem. See more »

Goofs

When Jake goes home to see what's going on with his younger brother, he goes straight to the fridge, grabs a beer and twists the top off. A moment later, the beer is a Heineken, which requires a bottle opener to open. Old-fashioned bottle tops can be twisted off, though it's more difficult (and painful) than using a bottle opener. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sonny Truelove: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Features F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Just a Little Bit
Written by Aaron Zigman, Paul Bushnell & Paul Graham
Performed by Gina Cassavetes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Great Film.
14 January 2007 | by ajboSee all my reviews

Having learned about the "Jesse James Hollywood" case during my junior year in high school, I'll admit that I was actually extremely disappointed to find out that a film was being made depicting the events that had happened. However, I can now say, I think differently.

The basic premise, without giving too much away, involves a drug deal gone awry. Someone isn't paying Johnny Truelove, and that someone, just so happens to have a little brother. A naive, fifteen year old, little brother (played powerfully by Anton Yelchin) who just wants to live his life. The boy is kidnapped, and held as a sort of ransom, until Jonny gets his money from boy's brother. Johnny's friends become attached to the boy, and eventually, the boy learns a life lesson.

It may all sound played out and done before, but this film is electrifying in every sense of the word. It's hardcore. It's raw. It's at times gritty. (I felt some vibes from the Larry Clark film "Bully", with the whole "kids-doing-what-they-want-anytime-anywhere thing"). You feel as though you're watching these people's lives just crumble before them, making it all the more worse is the grim reality that's stuck in the back of your mind, reminding you that this is all true. Nick Cassavetes has created such a true-to-life depiction of what happened, that it's almost frightening. You won't want to look away.

There are a few downsides however, one being the running time, either the movie was too dragged out or was just moving too slow. To me, I felt as though it could have ended fifteen minutes earlier. There's also a lot of partying, however, this being a depiction of a real life set of teenagers' lives, I can see why it was so vital towards the film. These kids have parents who do as much as they do. The parents don't care what happens to these kids, which makes it all the more terrifying. These kids are on their own. They have nowhere to run and no one to turn to for help.

With an all-star cast, and top performances all around (not a fan of Justin Timberlake? You will be after this film. Trust me) this film is one not to be missed. The ending is so shocking, that it's a wonder I didn't expect it early on. 'Alpha Dog' is an emotional roller coaster that will have you glued to the screen right from the emotional opening credits.


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