Upon drifting into a troubled Western outpost and discovering that the helpless locals are being terrorized by a ruthless rancher and his brutish hired hands, two rugged, straight-shooting peacemakers decide to stick around and put things right in this Western adapted from the novel by Robert B. Parker and directed by Ed Harris. Bragg (Jeremy Irons) is a rancher who believes himself to be above the law, a stance that's forever cemented when he guns down the town sheriff and his deputy in cold blood. Horrified, the defenseless townspeople pray for the day a savior will arrive in town to free them from Bragg's suffocating grasp. Soon thereafter, Virgil (Harris) and Everett (Viggo Mortensen) stride into town atop two mighty steeds, their confident presence signaling the beginning of a new era if the locals will only grant Virgil the complete power he needs to bring Bragg to justice. After pinning on his new badge, Virgil appoints Everett his deputy and ushers in an era of uneasy peace. Later, a woman named Allison (Renée Zellweger) arrives in town and catches Virgil's eye, prompting a die-hard renegade to consider a calm life of domestication. As Virgil's feelings for Allison grow, both begin to wonder if a life together is truly in the cards. Meanwhile, a temporarily subdued Bragg begins to display signs that he may not be finished with this town just yet.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis