Ash Wednesday, 1983. Hell's Kitchen, New York. A symbolic day for Francis Sullivan (Burns), an ex-enforcer for the Irish gangs that rule the West Side. Rumours are flying that Francis's younger brother Sean (Wood), presumed dead for three years, has reappeared. If he wasn't killed by rivals, then old scores still need to be settled, putting Francis and Sean in danger: a trouble-maker is pressuring the local mob boss, who's Fran's protector; Sean's wife has moved on with her life, although Sean has come back for her; the Parish priest, part of the initial deception, is frightened; bad guys with guns are closing in. Can Francis get Sean and his wife out of the city, avoid a war between rival factions, and hold onto their new-found morality? Will the cross of ashes on his forehead protect him?