A Million Little Pieces (film)

A Million Little Pieces is a 2018 American drama film directed and co-written by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Based on the book of the same name by James Frey, it follows a drug-addicted young man who, in an attempt to quit his addiction, checks himself into a rehabilitation center.

A Million Little Pieces
British theatrical poster
Directed bySam Taylor-Johnson
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson
  • Sam Taylor-Johnson
Based onA Million Little Pieces
by James Frey
Music byAtticus Ross
Leopold Ross
Claudia Sarne
CinematographyJeff Cronenweth
Edited byMartin Pensa
Distributed byMomentum Pictures
Release date
  • September 10, 2018 (2018-09-10) (TIFF)
  • December 6, 2019 (2019-12-06) (United States)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States


In 1993, following a drug-induced accidental fall, James Frey is brought home and packed off to a rehab center by his older brother Bob Frey, Jr. It is there where he meets interesting people, with whom he forms relationships and who play an important role in his life both during and after his time in the clinic. These people include a mafia boss (the subject of Frey's subsequent book My Friend Leonard) who plays a vital role in his recovery and a woman drug addict Lilly with whom he falls in love despite strict rules forbidding contact between men and women at the clinic. When tragedy befalls him, a devastated James seems set to spiral into self-destruction as did Lilly, however he finds the strength and will to resist his addictions, when faced with potential temptations. James finally recovers and never relapses.



Initial rights for a film adaptation were held by Warner Bros., which had shelved the project after it emerged the book was not a memoir as promoted, and the author James Frey fabricated elements of the story. In October 2017, Sam Taylor-Johnson was announced to be directing the film, with her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson attached to star.[1]

In January 2018, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri, Charlie Hunnam and Giovanni Ribisi were added to the cast, with production beginning on 25 January.[2] David Dastmalchian and Juliette Lewis were cast a few days later.[3][4] Odessa Young and Charles Parnell joined the cast in February.[5][6]

Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross and Claudia Sarne composed the film score. Republic Records will release the soundtrack with a score suite from the composers and original songs of various artists


Critical response

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 28%, based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 5.02/10. The site's consensus reads, "While solidly cast and competently helmed, A Million Little Pieces amounts to little more than a well-intentioned but unpersuasive echo of a deeply problematic memoir".[7]


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