Writer/Director David Mamet paints a drab picture of Jewish homicide detective Bobby Gold (Joe Mantegna).
While on the case of a black cop killer, Gold passes by the murder scene of a wealthy, elderly Jewish woman killed in her ghetto candy store. He stops the help the young cops take care of the situation but, because he's the senior officer at the crime, he's unwillingly put on the case.
The family of the old woman feels that because Gold is also Jewish, he should devote his full time to finding her murderer, who they believe is an anti-Semite. Gold, a lapsed Jew, resents the family using their influence to keep him on their case, which he feels is a simple robbery gone wrong.
Embittered, Gold reluctantly gets more involved in his Jewish roots. As he uncovers clues of an anti-Semitic faction in the neighborhood, his own Jewishness emerges. He becomes entwined in a radical Jewish group and wants to join, but they want him to compromise his job by stealing police evidence.
The dialogue is terse and peppered with obscenities. The actors seem to be talking at each other instead of to each other with clipped, short sentences.
Mamet explores Jewish/Black hatred and the awakening of a man's heritage. This is not your usual cop movie -- and maybe that's not so bad.