Alpha Dog

Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. 80
    In his best film to date, Nick Cassavetes directs with ferocious energy, taking scenes past their logical stopping points and pushing his actors (particularly Foster, who can be as terrifying as Edward Norton in "American History X") to, but never over, the precipice of absurdity.
  2. 75
    Alpha Dog isn't a happy movie, but it's dramatically solid and the impressions it leaves will not be easily shaken.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Don't be fooled by the presence of some pretty-boy actors: Alpha Dog is a gritty, gut-wrenching and disturbing film.
  4. 75
    Cassavetes' instincts are spot-on, particularly when it comes to casting Timberlake in what turns out to be the most important role in the film. He manages to be both reprehensible and deeply charismatic, and winds up stealing the picture.
  5. Around the midpoint Alpha Dog becomes less sociological and more personal, developing a real sense of suspense.
  6. Like "Rebel", directed by Nicholas Ray, this film excels at capturing the nervous posturing of adolescent boys marking their territory by pissing on each other's shoes.
  7. 70
    If nothing else, Alpha Dog's worth a look for the performance of Justin Timberlake, the moral center of a movie sorely in need of some conscience. Already a gifted comic actor--his Saturday Night Live appearances are now anticipated events--he proves himself able to go to a pitch-black place.
  8. The movie suffers from an uncertain structure, but it boasts an extraordinary naturalism, not particularly flattering. Sharon Stone has a brilliant, harsh turn as Zack's mom, and both Bruce Willis and Harry Dean Stanton have good turns as the elder generations of Trueloves. But the movie belongs to its youngsters, and it's a real eye-opener.
  9. Alpha Dog may well go down as the most dispiriting film of 2007.
  10. 63
    Justin Timberlake shows that he can do more as an actor than just take his shirt off - though he does that a lot as well - in the irresponsible, uncommercial but surprisingly watchable Alpha Dog.
  11. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    63
    At its best though, the film offers a pointed critique of a youth culture that views someone like Jesse James Hollywood as a person to emulate.
  12. There's more voyeurism going on here, and less insight into a certain culture (the young and the wasted), than the filmmakers would probably admit to, but the performances are scarily real, and the outcome, well, is just scary.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 13 out of 35
  1. Sep 25, 2011
    6
    The movie's cast is seriously spoiled. But despite these obstacles, "Alpha Dog" does a pretty good job maneuvering itself chronologically tillThe movie's cast is seriously spoiled. But despite these obstacles, "Alpha Dog" does a pretty good job maneuvering itself chronologically till the end. Full Review »
  2. May 11, 2016
    5
    Alpha Dog is an alright true crime drama. Endlessly riveting and entirely tragic, Alpha Dog really manages to break your heart, especiallyAlpha Dog is an alright true crime drama. Endlessly riveting and entirely tragic, Alpha Dog really manages to break your heart, especially thanks to Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin, and Sharon Stone's performances. Together, they really bring the emotion and break your heart in half. Ben Foster in a truly unhinged role is brilliant and off-the-wall. Emile Hirsch and Bruce Willis are both very good as well and exude cool and authority. However, the film lacks flow due to its attempts to set up the case and include interviews with real people throughout. Instead of a film, it feels like a special on HLN or something for much of the runtime with dramatic reenactments dispersed throughout. That said, it is entertaining and a very sad film to watch unfold even with the narrative failures. Full Review »
  3. Nov 10, 2015
    0
    Disney boy Timberlake as a tatted up thug swearing on a flip-phone about a drug deal while drinking whiskey from a bottle. L to the O to theDisney boy Timberlake as a tatted up thug swearing on a flip-phone about a drug deal while drinking whiskey from a bottle. L to the O to the L! The one good thing about this movie? Viewing with others can be a hoot for once you realize how bad it is (which is nearly immediately), the fact that it's supposed to be serious or dramatic morphs it into a comedy for nearly every scene is hilarious due to: 1. Horrendous and abundant over-acting. 2. Ignorant plot. 3. Moronic dialogue. 4. Putrid direction. 5. Much more. Beware: don't play the drink every time you hear the F word game with your friends on this one as you'll all die from alcohol poisoning. Every single person involved with this movie should be ashamed of themselves for being a part of this ridiculous garbage. Full Review »