It's been almost a year since Alpha Dog first premiered at Sundance, and since then it's had to face a very real battle inside the courtroom as lawyers and criminals fought hard to block its theatrical release. On the surface, Alpha Dog presents itself as an ensemble gang-bang full of pretty faces, sexy bodies and hard drugs. Dig a little deeper and you'll find a painful real-life story that's almost impossible to believe and, at times, just as impossible to sit through, save for dazzling performances from Ben Foster and -- whaddya know -- Justin Timberlake.
Remember that warning your parents would always give you whenever a situation was just about to spill over into punishment land? It went something like, "Keep horsing around and someone is going to get hurt." Well that never applied to Johnny Truelove (Emil Hirsch) and friends, as horsing around and getting hurt were one in the same. Rich punks with rich parents, all caught up in the world of selling dope as if it were the perfect after-school job for a kid trying to make something of himself. Although that something always amounted to nothing, yet it's hard to see that when every day is a rowdy party -- complete with sex, drugs and just a twist of violence -- enough to whet the appetite of any moviegoer on a cold winter's night.