Release dateMay 11, 2002 (2002-05-11) (Tribeca)
October 11, 2002 (2002-10-11) Initial releaseOctober 11, 2002 (New York City) Initial DVD releaseMay 13, 2003 (Netherlands) CastEdward Burns (Francis Sullivan), Brian Burns (Cousin Mike Moran), Vincent Rubino (Vinny Boombata), Jimmy Cummings (J.C.), Elijah Wood (Sean Sullivan) Similar moviesSalt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Young Girls of Wilko, Brooklyn's Finest, Southland Tales, The Dead Pool
Ash wednesday trailer
Ash Wednesday is a 2002 crime drama film starring Edward Burns, Elijah Wood, and Rosario Dawson. The film is set in the Hell's Kitchen of the early 1980s and is about a pair of Irish-American brothers who become embroiled in a conflict with the Irish mob.
Hell's Kitchen on Ash Wednesday, 1983; rumors are flying that Francis Sullivan's (Edward Burns) younger brother Sean (Elijah Wood), dead for three years, has reappeared. If he wasn't killed by rivals, then old scores still need settling, putting both Francis and Sean in danger. An upstart is pressuring the local mob boss, who's Francis's protector; Sean's wife, Grace (Rosario Dawson), believes she's a widow and has gotten on with her life, but Sean has come back for her. The parish priest, part of the initial deception, is frightened. Bad guys with guns are closing in. Can Francis get Sean and his wife out of the city, avoid a war between rival factions, and hold onto new-found morality? Will the cross of ashes on his forehead protect him?
Francis helps Sean reunite with Grace and his son, Sean Jr., and they head out of the city together in the back of a van, but Francis stays behind to stop Moran (Oliver Platt). The film closes with Francis wiping the cross of ashes from his forehead. When he steps outside of the pub minutes later, he is shot down. He dies and the sniper leaves the scene before the police arrives.
Edward Burns as Francis Sullivan
Elijah Wood as Sean Sullivan
Rosario Dawson as Grace Quinonez
Oliver Platt as Moran
James Handy as Father Mahoney
Brian Burns as Cousin Mike Moran
Vincent Rubino as Vinny Boombata
James Cummings as J.C.
Pat McNamara as Murph
John DiResta as Pete
Malachy McCourt as Whitey
Peter Gerety as Uncle Handy
Brian Delate as Crazy George Cullen
Critical reception and box office
The film received a 29% "rotten" rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. The film was only released in two theaters and grossed less than $3,000.