Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) stars as Dan Dunne, a young teacher whose edgy yet brilliant approach to history inspires his inner-city students to think for themselves. But outside the classroom, Dan's life is spiraling out of control. Wrestling with inner demons and nursing a serious drug habit, Dan finally hits rock bottom - witnessed by one of his troubled students Drey (Shareeka Epps). With an unlikely friendship built on a shared secret, Dan tries to steer her away from a small-time drug dealer (Anthony Mackie). But no matter which way they turn to survive, their lives will change forever.