YMMV / Alpha Dog

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Frankie would be a nice guy if the people he hung out with weren't such dickheads.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Any future kidnappings of teenagers makes this a pretty hard movie to watch.
    • Zack's death scene becomes much harder to watch after Anton Yelchin's death on June 19, 2016
  • Moral Event Horizon: Johnny has pretty much stamped his passport to Hell by the time the credits roll.
  • Narm: Sharon Stone's fat suit at the end has been a target for derision.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Johnny and his group casually drop homophobic insults towards Elvis because of his suckup attitude towards Johnny. It should come as no surprise considering the type of lifestyle these people live (as drug-dealing wannabe gangstas who act super macho), and the timeframe that this movie takes place in (late 1999, when homophobia was more normalized).
    • In fact, plenty of other characters (mostly background characters/extras) are prone to homophobia. For example, in one scene where Frankie and Zack go to a liquor store, some nearby partygoers yell out homophobic slurs to someone offscreen.
    • Zack, to a lesser extent because he’s not a villain. He describes trying to act nice to his stepmother as “kinda gay.”
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The gangster lifestyle portrayed in the movie is for idiots and useless fuck-ups, and is populated by people who'll burn you at the first sign of trouble.
  • Tear Jerker: The climax pretty much tears apart the entire gang and the more sympathetic members look devastated by the end of it. That's not even getting started on Zach in his final moments...
  • Values Dissonance: The drug use and the indifference most of the people have to that is only part of the problem. No one - least of all the victim - seems to mind that a kidnapping is taking place and everyone even treats it as a lark, with the victim accorded minor celebrity status among Johnny's party crowd. Until Johnny orders Frankie to kill Zach...
    • Even then it continues. Pick for instance is pissed not that Elvis murdered someone but that he is in trouble for them using his mom's car.
    • There's also a curious kind of in-universe Values Dissonance in that the plot hinges on a kidnapping, which had a long tradition in the criminal underworld as a (relatively) non-violent way to resolve business disputes. (Look at Tom Hagen's kidnapping in The Godfather.) Johnny and his people are doing something that had been done by gangsters many times before, but didn't stop to consider that grabbing the teenage son of a law-abiding, well-off couple in modern-day Los Angeles might not work out "correctly."