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Alpha Dog

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The title, the club-mix score, the scenery-masticating moments — too much about this true story of a 15-year-old killed in an upper-middle-class drug war feels sensationalized. Writer-director Nick Cassavetes is good with actors (Justin Timberlake is actually pretty effective…if you can forget that he’s Justin Timberlake), but action-movie fight sequences and three-ways in pools obscure any sense of tragedy in Alpha Dog. EXTRAS In a making-of, Cassavetes calls his film ”an exploration of loss” and a producer discusses the ”heartbreaking” nature of the crime. Why did none of that come through? C+