6.9/10
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275 user 101 critic

Alpha Dog (2006)

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2:24 | Trailer
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 it ever 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:

$6,412,775, 14 January 2007

Gross USA:

$15,309,602

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,145,115
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

Anton Yelchin (who plays Zack Mazursky) voices the character of Jim Lake Jr in the series Trollhunters for 2 seasons. Following his death, Emile Hirsch (who plays Johnny Truelove) voiced the same character for season 3. See more »

Goofs

Johnny Truelove's house has a Pioneer plasma TV. The first plasma display for consumer use was sold a month after Zach's murder. 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

Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Bullet and a Target
Written by Citizen Cope (as Clarence Greenwood)
Performed by Citizen Cope
Courtesy of RCA Records
By Arrangement with SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Powerful and realistic. Well done by Cassavetes and Timberlake.

Alpha Dog starts off as what seems like a movie all about a group of friends who life their idea of the American dream: doing drugs, having sex, and hanging out with each other not a care in the world. However, when their leader, Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch), decides to kidnap the brother (Anton Yelchin) of a man (Ben Foster) who owes him drug money, their perfect world begins to shatter as they realize that their mindless prank has become a situation that could get them stuck in jail for the rest of their lives.

The acting is pretty good considering the cast is mostly young men with little to no experience. First, you have Anton Yelchin, whom the plot centers around. He is the young man trying to grow up, and finds a real sense of comfort in his captors, as weird as it sounds. He does a great job building a likable, yet flawed character. The film definitely displays likable characters, but the audience has to remember that these characters are not good people. Ben Foster has always been around in my eyes, and he delivers his most intense role yet as the scary and sadistic Jake Mazursky. Very good job. Emile Hirsch is steadily developing into a good leading man after nice turns in Lords of Dogtown and The Girl Next Door. He's the leader of the group, and he has a certain presence despite his small size that reminds the viewer who's in command. Sharon Stone continues to defy my expectations of her after watching her in Bobby and this film. Very intense and powerful performance, which is very heartfelt at the end of the film. However, none of these performances stack up close to that of GASP Justin Timberlake. Timberlake really stood out to me in the film as Frankie, Johnny's best friend. He develops a strong friendship with Yelchin's character, and Timberlake really steals the show the whole time. His character is the most believable and likable of the bunch. Bruce Willis and Shawn Hatosy are also good in limited screen time (I don't think I've seen Willis have this much hair in a long time).

Nick Cassavetes does a good job as director, giving us the exact opposite of his most famous work to date, The Notebook. He delivers the gritty and realistic feel of 1999 Southern California and gets great performances out of actors who you don't really expect it from. The film definitely was better than I expected because of Justin Timberlake. I thought he would make the film worse but he made it better. It has some sex scenes and nudity, not to mention a lot of language, so Alpha Dog isn't really appropriate for anyone under 16 or 17. With a good ensemble cast, a good script, good direction, and a heart wrenching climax, Alpha Dog is a good movie to watch.

8/10 --spy


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