A drug dealer moves on to bigger crimes in an effort to settle a score with disastrous results in this drama inspired by actual events. Though barely out of his teens, Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) has already built a lucrative career for himself selling drugs -- he has his own home, a luxury car, and posse of friends who do double duty as his crew, including Elvis (Shawn Hatosy), Frankie (Justin Timberlake), and Tiko (Fernando Vargas). While life at Johnny's house is usually a constant party interrupted by occasional dope deals, Johnny has lost all of his patience with Jake Mazursky (Ben Foster), a regular customer who has run up a large tab that he can't pay. Determined to clear Jake's account, Johnny and his boys plan to kidnap Jake and hold him for ransom, but when they happen upon his 15-year-old stepbrother, Zack (Anton Yelchin), they impulsively decide to take the youngster instead. Jake's father, Butch (David Thornton), and his stepmother, Olivia (Sharon Stone), are already furious with their junkie son when they learn about Zack's disappearance, and aren't sure what they should do. Meanwhile at Johnny's place, Frankie takes a liking to young Zack, who already admires his brother's high-flying lifestyle, and introduces the kid to the joys of grown-up partying, which he takes to with dangerous zeal. Also featuring Bruce Willis as Johnny's father, Alpha Dog was based on the real-life story of Jesse James Hollywood, who at the age of 21 became one of the youngest people to ever appear on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list.
by Mark Deming synopsis