Million Little Pieces, A

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 2.0

This big-screen adaptation of James Frey's best-selling, ahem, "book" - which, in case you didn't know, was first listed as a "memoir" but it turns out the thing is actually either (a.) exaggerated or (b.) fabricated - has "Frey" (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, husband of the director), addicted to drugs and alcohol and entering a rehab clinic, where he gets periodic visits from his brother Bob (Charlie Hunnam) and forms a (forbidden) bond with fellow addict Lilly (Odessa Young).  To try to 'cover up' the predictable trajectory of it - at first "James" rebels against being there, breaking the rules and the furniture, then slowly sobers up with the help of life coach Leonard (Billy Bob Thornton) and several other people and manages to get out alive - Taylor-Johnson, a visual artist by trade, punctuates it with scenes of the extreme: "James" sloshing around human feces, wrestling naked with Giovanni Ribisi, fighting with a tree, clutching tennis balls while his teeth are drilled by the dentist, standing in a room while green debris falls all around him.  Both Aaron and Sam are completely committed to the premise (real or not) - and the supporting cast helps out a lot - which makes it better than it should be ... but maybe next time pick a narrative not surrounded by the wrong kind of controversy?