Tale of two brothers caught in a web of deceit surrounding a heinous murder. Monsignor Desmond Spellacy (Robert Niro), a rising star in the Catholic Church hierarchy, has a talent for fundraising that is matched only by his level of piety. When his brother Tom (Robert Duvall), a hard-edged cop, finds that a suspect in the murder of a prostitute may be one of the church's prime benefactors, he asks for his brother's help in catching the killer. Although Desmond is torn between his loyalties to the church and to his brother, he chooses to join Tom in a desperate search for the truth. But as the brothers edge closer to the killer, they face a flurry of political finger-pointing and back-room deals that rock the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church and lead them to a chilling, climactic conclusion.