The SEVENTIES: When New York was still the greatest, dirtiest, most conflicted city in the world.
At 16, socially responsible upper west-sider CHARLIE BANKS (Jesse Eisenberg) witnesses charismatic blue collar sociopath MICK LEARY (Jason Ritter), 18, brutally beat two unwitting suburban jocks at a high school party. Mick's a west village neighborhood buddy of Charlie's best friend but Charlie's conscience gets the better of him. Telling only his parents, he reports Mick to the police.
Three years later, during his freshman year in college, Mick shows up for a visit. Does Mick know he was the one who ratted him out?
Mick's visit stretches past the weekend and Mick and Charlie begin a game of cat and mouse. Nice one moment, and threatening the next, Mick keeps Charlie guessing. But Mick also begins a strange course of assimilation, donning borrowed cashmere from and reading Charlie's books and auditing his classes. Soon Charlie begins to wonder if the intellectual caress of higher education can redeem even someone seemingly as far gone as Mick...