Artie Lewis (Keaton) is a New York City Police Department detective who believes in his work, loves his wife Rita (Russo), and is close to his partner Stevie Diroma (LaPaglia), a widower with three young daughters. After a hard, violent encounter in a housing project while on duty, Artie and Stevie reassure each other that, although battered and bruised, they have survived.
Stevie is then killed in the line of duty by drug addict Mickey Garrett (David Barry Gray) during a hostage situation. Stevie's daughters Marian (Grace Johnston), Barbara (Rhea Silver-Smith), and Carol (Blair Swanson) are left orphaned with no relatives able to take them in.
Artie and Rita take them in and want to adopt them, but Child Welfare Services decides that their apartment is too small for three children and Barbara is a diabetic who needs insulin shots.
To gain the welfare agency's approval, Artie feels he must buy a house. The one he has chosen requires a $25,000 down payment that he does not have. In desperation, he grabs his gun and a ski mask and robs drug kingpin Beniamino Rios (Tony Plana), whom he has investigated and knows is indirectly responsible for Stevie's death and orphaning the girls since Garret killed Stevie under the influence of Rios' drugs.
Artie uses $25,000 of the take for a down payment on the house. He gives the rest to Father Wills (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who runs a local makeshift shelter, and admits to Rita how he got the money for their house. Beniamino's girlfriend Grace De Feliz (Rachel Ticotin) is actually an undercover narcotics agent who suspects Artie, but his superior, Lieutenant Danny Quinn (Kevin Conway), defends Artie as one of his best officers and no action is taken against him.
One of Beniamino's customers, who gave Artie a tip as to the location where Beniamino kept his money, breaks down under his questioning and gives Artie to the drug lord. Beniamino kidnaps Artie and tortures him to find out what he did with the money. Knowing that Artie will not reveal the information, and is about to be killed, Grace blows her cover and saves him. Together they are forced to kill Beniamino and his colleagues.
Artie writes a confession to Lt. Quinn, preparing to turn himself in for his crime. However, Father Wills turns in most of the money Artie gave him; he used only $200 dollars of it to pay for a museum trip with the shelter's children, and all of Artie's co-workers make up the rest of the stolen money. Grace refuses to testify against him after learning that Artie's actions were not motivated by greed but as a father, so the federal government walks away from the case to avoid compromising its field agents. Quinn understands Artie's motives, is short-staffed for good detectives, and out of loyalty to Artie's slain partner, whose kids will be fatherless again if Artie goes to prison, tells Artie that no charges will be filed against him. Quinn tears up the confession letter and sends Artie home to be with his wife and adoptive children.
Relieved from the ordeal, Artie happily calls Rita to tell her that he is coming home early, and that their family is still together.Michael Keaton as Artie Lewis
Rene Russo as Rita Lewis
Anthony LaPaglia as Stevie Diroma
Benjamin Bratt as Felix
Rachel Ticotin as Grace
Kevin Conway as Lieutenant Danny Quinn
Tony Plana as Beniamano
Charlayne Woodard as Cheryl Clark
Kevin Corrigan as Clifford
Vondie Curtis-Hall as Father Wills
The movie received mixed reviews.
The movie in its first week debuted at No.2, making only $ 3.3 million.