Like Tender Mercies, which won an Oscar for producer-costar Duvall, this film feels like the cherry on top of Jeff Bridges' fine career, giving him a terrific character who carries us through a fairly straightforward story of regret and redemption.

Bad Blake (Bridges) is a successful 57-year-old musician whose career and personal life have been derailed by alcoholism. Playing to bowling alleys and bars across New Mexico, he's interviewed by a journalist Jean (Gyllenhaal) and is surprised when a spark of attraction develops between them. His next stop is Phoenix, where he plays a gig with former band member Tommy Sweet (Farrell), who's now a mega-star but hasn't forgotten the debt he owes to Bad. The question is whether Bad can get himself together long enough to make either relationship work.

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