Al Capone (Robert De Niro) is Chicago. The mob boss runs the city's illegal liquor trade, controls the gambling and owns half the cops and judges in Illinois.
From his palatial hotel suite, the pudgy gangster controls his empire, fearful of no-one, until Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), a determined Treasury agent, resolves to put him behind bars.
Ness starts off by playing by the rules; it's only when he enlists veteran Irish cop Malone (the Oscar - winning, shakily-accented Sean Connery) that he finds out that the rules in the Windy City are rather different: "They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way."
With a script by David Mamet packed with zingers, a cast of authentic heroes and villains and a handful of unforgettable scenes (Capone's savage soliliquy on baseball, Brian De Palma's train station homage to Battleship Potemkin) this is an outstanding gangland thriller for any era of film fans.