6.9/10
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266 user 97 critic

Alpha Dog (2006)

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.

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ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Interviewer (as Matt Barry)
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Fernando Vargas ...
Tiko 'TKO' Martinez
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Bobby '911'
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P.J. Truelove
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Cosmo Gadabeeti
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Adrian Jones
Nicole Dubos ...
Neighborhood Girl on Couch
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Dance Bitch Girl
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Party Girl
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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:

Inspired by true events. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

12 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jesse James Hollywood  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,411,750 (USA) (14 January 2007)

Gross:

$15,229,325 (USA) (18 February 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Wanda Haynes screams "Heil" in Jake Mazursky's apartment, the entire part was improvised. The cast went along with it, and director Nick Cassavetes kept it in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Jake Mazursky gets into the fight at the party while looking for Truelove, he is hit with a glass bottle, and his head begins to bleed. At the end of the fight, there is no blood or any sign that he was hit by the bottle. 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.
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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

Referenced in Conan: The 24th Annual NERF Product Expo (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Rainbow
Written by E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen
Performed by Eva Cassidy
Courtesy of Blix Street Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Alpha Dog
20 January 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Alpha Dog is inspired by actual events and is about a drug dealer named Johnny Truelove who is owed money by an acquaintance of his named Jake. Seeing as Jake is not paying up, Johnny and his gang of friends decide to kidnap Jake's younger brother Zack and hold him until Jake pays. At first Zack is getting along really well with the people who kidnapped him and basically they just party and have fun all the time and Zack is not concerned at all. When Zack's parents and Jake become suspicious of who abducted him Johnny makes a plan with his friends as to what to do and things take a turn for the worst. Alpha Dog has good direction, a good script and good performances by the entire cast. After I left Alpha Dog, I realized just how impressed I was with it. Director and writer Nick Cassavetes does a great job of writing these teenage characters and just showing how they live their day to day lives. There is a certain authentic touch he gives these characters that makes the film all the more real and believable. The performances he gets out of these actors is also really impressive because everyone in this film shines. Near the end of the film the suspense builds up and the tension is delivered well and after the movie I could really feel the power of this film and it really made an impact on me. This is a type of film that left an impact on me that only truly great and powerfully made and delivered films will do. A lot of the film is just these teenage characters hanging out, partying and getting into trouble, but because it felt so real and genuine it was fascinating to watch. The scenes leading up to the powerful conclusion are also well written and I liked how the film looked at times like a documentary and at other times like a regular docudrama. The seediness and gritty nature of these characters and how they live and interact with each other is really showcased very well here and I don't think a film about teenagers and their lives has had such an impact on me since Larry Clark's Kids and Bully. This film is very similar to those films in a lot of ways and at times even borrows in their technique. However seeing as how I loved Kids and Bully this wasn't a problem for me at all and it just added to my love and admiration for this film. For a truly powerful and captivating motion picture that is a genuine and realistic slice of life which really had an impact on me I highly recommend this film. This is also the first film I have seen of 2007 and if there are more films with this kind of style, power and energy this year then 2007 will be a great year for movies.


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