The first 40 minutes you wonder if they had a budget for lighting. The thing seems shot in houses that cannot afford their electricity bill.
The casting is bizarre with Emile Hirsch being the lead character and the weakest. I just found him and Justin Timberlake (I hope those tattoos are fake as you just come across as a total goof) completely unbelievable in their roles. I'm supposed to think Hirsch is a drug dealer supreme? The guy is just plain wimpy no matter how "tough" he tries to act. I'll also add the brother of the kidnapped kid was also not at all believable as a drug addict. He just came across as annoying every time he showed up onscreen and his shaved head just kept reminding me of the Great Gazoo from "The Flintstones."
The lucky thing is the story (paralleling the real life SoCal drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood) is riveting. I suppose the first 40 minutes are setup, but it seemed overly long before we got shots outside in the bright sunlight and the kidnap scenario revs things up. The actor that carries this movie really is Anton Yelchin (playing Butch, the kidnapped kid)
The onscreen titles marking off "Witness #1," "Witness #2," etc., actually goes nowhere. You don't need to even pay attention to that as the trials are never shown.
Gratuitous Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone (at her screaming best and with an added bonus years later fat suit on), Harry Dean Stanton and Alan (what?) Thicke.
A terrific, if flawed, movie.