Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is a 2002 crime drama film written, directed, and starring Edward Burns. The film also stars Elijah Wood, and Rosario Dawson. The film is set in the Hell's Kitchen of the early 1980s and is about a pair of Irish-American brothers who become embroiled in a conflict with the Irish mob.


Hell's Kitchen on Ash Wednesday, 1983; rumors are flying that Francis Sullivan's (Edward Burns) younger brother Sean (Elijah Wood), dead for three years, has reappeared. If he wasn't killed by rivals, then old scores still need settling, putting both Francis and Sean in danger. An upstart is pressuring the local mob boss, who's Francis's protector; Sean's wife, Grace (Rosario Dawson), believes she's a widow and has gotten on with her life, but 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 new-found morality? Will the cross of ashes on his forehead protect him?