Charismatic youngster Miles Teller stars in yet another substance abuse pic. In Project X, he played Miles Teller (!), college kid chasing high school skirt while getting wasted at a house party. In 21 & Over, he played a college dropout on a quest to get his old high school buddy blasted on his 21st birthday. Here, he's a failing high-schooler who's never without his flask, thanks mostly to his absent father. He hooks up with "nice girl" Aimee (a too-pretty-for-the-part Shailene Woodley) and introduces her to the sauce. She takes to it like mother's milk (actually, Dad died from pills), and the two of them share a boozy interlude before reality comes crashing in. Or at least, comes creeping around the edges. Everything here — high school, teenage romance, adolescent drinking — seems a step removed from the messy intensity of reality. Or maybe it's the audience that's a step removed: held at arm's length lest we miss the point. There's plenty of mood, but not enough feeling. 2013.

1.0 stars

— Matthew Lickona

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