Grief is an ugly, raw, complicated, and necessary emotion. I’ve never been a big fan of the Kübler-Ross Model (also known as the Five Stages of Grief) because it seems like something constructed more to comfort those dealing with the grief-stricken rather than an honest explanation of the griever’s emotions. It says “What stage are you at because you’re kind of bumming the rest of us out.” Hesher gives a giant middle finger to a pat, easily digestible notion of grief and instead throws the viewer into the violent, angry emotions that arise when grieving over the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, it never goes much deeper than that and the thematic simplicity keeps Joseph Gordon-Levitt from giving an honest performance because he’s stuck playing a contrived one-dimensional character who merely serves to illustrate a point. Then the film, which at least had the consistency to hammer home its single theme, shoots itself in the foot with an ending unworthy of its tone and attitude.