Laurence Fishburne and Ellen Barkin star in this complex tale of former C.I.A. agents who now specialize in freelance espionage. As the film opens, Nelson Crowe (Fishburne) is being interviewed for a position with the Grimes Organization, which focuses on industrial espionage. He is hired by Margaret Wells (Barkin), who then takes Crowe to her boss, Grimes (Frank Langella). Grimes and Wells visit a man named Walter Curl (Spalding Gray) to tell him that they can bribe a state judge so that Curl's company doesn't have to pay a $25 million fine for the toxic poisoning of some children. The judge himself (David Ogden Stiers) is deep in gambling debts. Meanwhile, Wells aligns herself with Crowe and tries to convince him that the two of them could do away with Grimes and take over his entire organization. The plot thickens from there, with several surprises. The first-time original screenplay was by famous crime writer Ross Thomas, and the film's elegant cinematography by Jack N. Green captures the coldness of the characters and their surroundings.