Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is determined to take down Al Capone, but it's not going to be easy because Capone has the police in his pocket. Ness meets Jimmy Malone, a veteran patrolman and probably the most honorable one on the force. He asks Malone to help him get Capone, but Malone warns him that if he goes after Capone, he is going to war.
When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone.
Obsessive master thief, Neil McCauley leads a top-notch crew on various daring heists throughout Los Angeles while determined detective, Vincent Hanna pursues him without rest. Each man recognizes and respects the ability and the dedication of the other even though they are aware their cat-and-mouse game may end in violence.
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he'll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm. His journey takes him into a world beyond his wildest dreams and reveals his true identity.
Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as a virtuous hero saving a beautiful damsel. Investigating a case that led to the wrongful arrest and eventual death of an innocent man instead of wanted terrorist Harry Tuttle, he meets the woman from his daydream, and in trying to help her gets caught in a web of mistaken identities, mindless bureaucracy and lies.
A group of working-class friends decides to enlist in the Army during the Vietnam War and finds it to be hellish chaos -- not the noble venture they imagined. Before they left, Steven married his pregnant girlfriend -- and Michael and Nick were in love with the same woman. But all three are different men upon their return.
When a Spanish Jesuit goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region, a slave hunter is converted and joins his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portugese aggressors.
Dr. Malcolm Sayer, a shy research physician, uses an experimental drug to "awaken" the catatonic victims of a rare disease. Leonard is the first patient to receive the controversial treatment. His awakening, filled with awe and enthusiasm, proves a rebirth for Sayer too, as the exuberant patient reveals life's simple but unutterably sweet pleasures to the introverted doctor.
In early-1970s Las Vegas, low-level mobster Sam "Ace" Rothstein gets tapped by his bosses to head the Tangiers Casino. At first, he's a great success in the job, but over the years, problems with his loose-cannon enforcer Nicky Santoro, his ex-hustler wife Ginger, her con-artist ex Lester Diamond and a handful of corrupt politicians put Sam in ever-increasing danger.
Jackie Brown is a flight attendant who gets caught in the middle of smuggling cash into the country for her gunrunner boss. When the cops try to use Jackie to get to her boss, she hatches a plan—with help from a bail bondsman—to keep the money for herself. Based on Elmore Leonard's novel “Rum Punch”.