The true story of the formation of the Texas Rangers provides the backdrop for this youth-oriented Western. In 1875, after the Civil War, Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott) organizes the Texas Rangers to battle the outlaws terrorizing Texas, notably crime kingpin John King Fisher (Alfred Molina). With a team of experienced gunmen (Robert Patrick and Randy Travis) and enthusiastic but green recruits (James Van Der Beek, Usher Raymond, and Ashton Kutcher), McNelly and his Rangers bring law and order to the wild Texas plains; McNelly must also keep order among his charges when two rangers fall in love with the same woman, Caroline Dukes (Rachael Leigh Cook). Tom Skerritt and Vincent Spano are also featured in the supporting cast; the screenplay, adapted from a script by John Milius, was at one time set to be filmed by Sam Peckinpah, shortly before the legendary Western director's death in 1984.
by Mark Deming synopsis