An armored car is robbed by three men. A passing police officer and one of the robbers exchange fire. The robber is Paulie. In a flashback we follow him and his closest friend, Brian, as they grow up together in South Boston. They're tough guys, thugs, doing jobs for the local boss and chaffing to do more. Paulie's the leader. Brian drinks too much and smokes crack, ignoring his wife and two young boys. Life-changing events lead him to try to go straight, look for work, take what comes his way, and go to A.A. meetings. He struggles. Paulie shows him the plans for the armored car job. Will they do it? "I am who I am," Brian tells his wife. Is crime his only skill?