At the age of nine, they've joined a street gang. At twelve they're pushing drugs. At sixteen, they're part of a nightmare teenage underworld of rape, mugging, armed robbery and murder. Sean Penn gives an outstanding performance as Mick O' Brien, a juvenile delinquent imprisoned for the murder of a rival street gang member. The dead man's brother, Paco, wants his revenge but he can't get at Mick, so he goes after his girlfriend instead. If Mick thought life on the outside was tough, life on the inside is even tougher, and the only person who can help him...is himself.