Fine performances by all in this film about a drug addicted teenager (Nic) and the impact of his addiction on his family. This film, and the biographical book upon which it is based, deftly illustrates that drug addiction does not discriminate. Even sweet, accomplished, "beautiful," well-loved boys from nice families can succumb to the siren call of meth and other hardcore drugs. And quick fixes are nowhere in sight--the film pulls no punches in that regard. But make no mistake: this is drug addiction light. The film, while movingly depicting the pain and despair experienced by this family as they wrestle with Nic's addiction, skirts the seamier aspects of addiction and ends up veering dangerously close toward glamorizing drug use. Months of shooting up methamphetamine, and Nic still looks like he belongs on the cover of Esquire. Beds appear in rehab facilities without too much difficulty, and no one is working two jobs to pay for it all, or has lost a job due to the demands of keeping their drug addicted son alive. Nic somehow avoids any encounters with law enforcement, and the circumstances through which he obtains his drugs (does he steal? prostitute himself? sell drugs?) and other ugly aspects of drug addiction are glossed over. Two of Nic's worst breaches (apart from using drugs) would seem to be stealing $8 from his little brother and forcing his way into his parents' home to make off with a few items which he ultimately leaves behind when his family unexpectedly returns. So, no, he doesn't qualify for Eagle Scout, but still relatively small potatoes for a drug addict. Did the director think Nic would matter less to the audience if he were not as attractive, bright, and affluent? Would he?
The acting is good. You will root for Nic and his family.
But don't confuse this with a realistic portrayal of a family torn by drug abuse.