Chris Pierzynski (Clive Owen) has just been released after years in prison for his part in a gangland murder. Waiting reluctantly outside the prison gates is his younger brother, FRANK (Billy Crudup), a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, who raised them alone, has always favored Chris – despite all his troubles. Frank has known this since they were kids, and it eats at him like nothing else.
But blood is the tie that binds. Frank gives his brother a chance: he shares his home, finds Chris a job, helps him reconnect with his kids and ex-wife. When Chris meets Natalie (Mila), the promise of a new life beckons, but his past quickly catches up with him, and his return to a life of crime is inevitable. For Frank, his brother’s descent is the final betrayal, and he banishes Chris from his life. Leaving the police department, Frank moves in with Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), the former girlfriend of a dangerous Mob hit man.
Chris has killed before, and he will kill again. Frank is powerless to stop him. But despite all the rivalries, the violent conflicts, the painful betrayals, Chris will stop at nothing to make the ultimate sacrifice.