Firmly in the tradition of American Westerns, it follows the lives of the two orphaned brothers. The older one, Buddy, sees his father being shot. Vulnerable and described as “slow”, Buddy gets co-opted by gangster Julius Hench (Vincent D’Onofrio) and turns into his key assassin. While Buddy grows up in a lawless environment, younger brother Jakey is a violinist auditioning for the New York Philharmonic and on the verge of marrying his Portuguese girlfriend. But first Jakey must return to his dusty home town near the U.S.–Mexican border to receive his wedding present from his older brother. Returning to that one-horse town opens up unhealed wounds and forces Jakey and Buddy to confront some ugly truths.