Thanks to some smart maneuvers, Jimmy (David Caruso) gets his revenge on Ronnie (Michael Rapaport), and gets Little Junior Brown (Nicolas Cage) in jail.
Jimmy (David Caruso) is trying to leave his criminal days behind him, but lands after doing he did a "favor" to his cousin Ronnie (Michael Rapaport). When he learns that his wife (Helen Hunt) has died because of Ronnie, he makes a deal with state attorney Frank Zioli (Stanley Tucci): Jimmy tells who was involved in a past "job", and in exchange for this, he gets to see his baby daughter for one day. Jimmy insists to be indicted too, so that he doesn't appear to be the rat. He tells all the names, except Ronnie's, so that gang leader Little Junior Brown (Nicolas Cage) thinks that Ronnie is the rat, and has him beaten to death, thus Jimmy gets his revenge on Ronnie. Jimmy does his entire jail time, and marries the sister of his wife.
When out of jail, state attorney Zioli and cop Calvin Hart (Samuel L. Jackson) force Jimmy to wear a tape recorder to spy on Little Junior. Jimmy does record Little Junior shooting Omar (Ving Rhames). The state attorney and Jimmy later learn that Omar was an undercover FBI agent, which the FBI "forgot" to tell to the local cops. Little Junior is indicted, but the judge orders the prosecution to turn over all data about related FBI undercover operations to the defence, so the indictement is dropped, Zioli becomes a federal judge as reward for his silence, and Jimmy fears for his life and the life of his family.
Jimmy confronts state attorney Zioli, who tells him that he was an excellent state attorney, and now he'll become an excellent judge, and that the tape has conveniently been "lost". Jimmy then goes to the strip club owned by Little Junior and confronts him. A discussion and a fight starts, and at the end Little Junior is arrested because he hit cop Calvin Hart who wanted to stop the fight. Jimmy meets state attorney Zioli again and gives him a tape of the discussion with Little Junior at the strip club. Zioli says that the tape doesn't prove much. Jimmy then plays a second tape, which was Zioli bragging that the tape with the killing has been "lost", and threatens to turn this tape to the media. Now Zioli has no choice and is forced to indict Little Junior. Jimmy drives away with his family.