A band of dimwit criminals botch a break-in and are forced to take hostages in a New Orleans bar until events get the better of them.
Here's yet another heist-gone-wrong movie, with a well-assembled batch of name actors trapped in a basement bar surrounded by the cops, tossing tough guy dialogue around between assaults and batteries, waiting for everyone's secrets to come out.
This time the city is New Orleans, and the set-up is that dim bulb Dova (Dillon), his smarter brother Milo (Sinise) and swamp-rat sociopath Law (William Fichtner) bungle a break-in then drive their getaway car through a stake-out and unwittingly flatten three ATF agents tracking a big arms dealer. The trio hole up in a bar run by M. Emmett Walsh, where they hold hostage the usual cross-section of night-life losers: fading barmaid Dunaway, cool French-Canadian Viggo Mortensen, unlucky kid Skeet Ulrich and an Ordinary Joe (John Spencer). The siege is run by Joe Mantegna, and - in keeping with the current vogue - a pushy female TV reporter shows up to queer the pitch.
This is the directorial debut of Kevin Spacey, who has managed to attract a lot of top-of-the-range character actors and certainly gets a lot more out of the formula script than might be expected. The cumbersome metaphorical title - unlike that of Reservoir Dogs or City Of Industry - does at least get explained, which turns out to stack the cards for a nasty twist that shows just how far people will go to come out of a bloodbath breathing. There are some unbelievable plot developments and Mortensen's accent isn't 100 per cent, but the tension revs along nicely.
If you're not heisted out already - there's some suspense to be had.