Ryan Gosling gives a terrific performance in this non-formulaic, hard-hitting drama. Dan Dunne (Gosling) is an idealistic, gifted white teacher at a shabby Brooklyn public junior high school. But he has a drug problem, and one day he's found under the influence by Drey (Shareeka Epps), a 13-year-old female African-American student. This leads to a friendship between Dan and Drey that is problematic. A third important character is the drug dealer, Frank (Anthony Mackie), who has a peculiar relationship with Drey's family.