A bullied little boy grieving the death of his mother strikes up an unlikely friendship with a Metallica
-loving anarchist in this tender yet unsentimental childhood drama. In the wake of his mother's recent death, 13-year-old TJ (Devin Brochu
) finds the bumpy road to emotional recovery all the more difficult due to the dual facts that he's bullied at school and that his father (Rainn Wilson
) has become a vacant pill-head. Just when it seems like things couldn't possibly get any worse, TJ strikes up an unusual friendship with Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt
), a greasy-haired anarchist with a beat-up van, homemade tattoos, and a soft spot for explosions. The next thing TJ knows, Hesher is sitting in his living room and watching porn on the family television. Later, though, just as TJ summons the courage to pursue a friendship with Nicole (Natalie Portman
), a kindly grocery-store clerk who came to his aid in a time of need, an explosive discovery threatens to propel the embattled teen down a dangerous path of self-destruction.