Troy Johnson (Josh Janowicz), the supplier of prescription drugs to fellow high school students in the fictional southern California town of Hillside, commits suicide. Troy's best friend Dean (Jamie Bell), is prescribed more antidepressants by his psychiatrist father Bill (William Fichtner) after discovering the body. When Dean returns to school, he is antagonized by drug dealers Billy (Justin Chatwin) and Lee (Lou Taylor Pucci), who were supplied by Troy. Their friend, Crystal Falls (Camilla Belle), flirts with Dean, but he soon realizes that her true intentions are for Dean to retrieve the remaining drugs in Troy's home and refuses to cooperate. To force Dean to procure the drugs, Billy and Lee plan to kidnap Dean's brother, Charlie (Rory Culkin), as a ransom, but they end up kidnapping another boy named Charlie Bratley (Thomas Curtis (actor)) instead.