John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) has a lust for life, a talent for off-color jokes, and a drinking problem. When an all-night bender ends in a catastrophic car accident, the last thing he intends to do is give up drinking. But when he reluctantly enters treatment — with encouragement from his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and a charismatic sponsor (Jonah Hill) — Callahan discovers a gift for drawing edgy, irreverent newspaper cartoons that develop an international following and grant him a new lease on life.
“What makes Phoenix’s performance especially exciting is that you’re watching not just a character go from chaos to self-possession but an actor, too.” – David Edelstein, NEW YORK MAGAZINE (VULTURE)
“The movie radiates considerable compassion, sensitively addressing issues including addiction, recovery and forgiveness. Joaquin Phoenix’s raw, wiry performance never strives for greatness, which only makes it all the more affecting.” – Tim Grierson, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL