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Jack, a 15-year-old delinquent stuck in a run-down small town, feels he has all the problems he can handle. When Jack's aunt falls ill and his runty younger cousin must stay with him for the weekend, and it's also when he learns to find happiness in bleak surroundings.
[Director Thompson] has a particular ally in Plummer, a bashed-up presence more compelling than a dozen stage-school brats, displaying a fortitude you warm to even as you're watching all cockiness being kicked from his form.
Though Thompson clearly has a facility with young actors, as nearly every performance in the film is very good, it's not enough to save the film from mediocre clichés and poor dialogue baked into the script.