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Ash Wednesday (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  19 March 2004 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 2,627 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 52 user | 14 critic | 7 from

Ash Wednesday is set in the Manhattan of the early 1980's and is about a pair of Irish-American brothers (Burns and Wood) who become embroiled in a conflict with the Irish Mob.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Burns ...
Cousin Mike Moran
Vincent Rubino ...
Vinny Boombata
J.C. (as James Cummings)
Pat McNamara ...
Pete at the Bar
Francis Sullivan
Chris McGovern ...
Whitey's Driver (as Christopher McGovern)
Uncle Handy
Jimmy Burke ...
Red Kelly (as James Burke)
Stephen Murphy ...
Whitey's Man
Crazy George Cullen
Mrs. Diaz
Maggie Shea


Hell's Kitchen on Ash Wednesday, 1983. Rumors are flying that Francis Sullivan's younger brother Sean, dead for three years, has reappeared. If he wasn't killed by rivals, then old scores still need settling, putting Fran and Sean in danger. An upstart is pressuring the local mob boss, who's Fran's protector; Sean's wife, who thinks she's a widow, 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 Fran 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? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 March 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ash Wednesday: Le mercredi des Cendres  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,942 (USA) (11 October 2002)


$2,942 (USA) (11 October 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the beginning, three years after the opening shooting, when a group of guys are at the bar, one comments on how Dolly Parton was on Johnny Carson last night. Dolly Parton didn't appear on the Tonight Show in the 1980s until 1986. See more »


Francis: They thought you were the smart one? I must've looked like a friggin' retard!
See more »


References Black & White (1999) See more »


Let It Ride
Written by Randy Bachman and Charles Turner
Performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

Burning Drama
6 March 2003 | by (Miami, Fl) – See all my reviews

`Ash Wednesday' is the latest installment by actor/writer/director Edward Burns. The film was released in just a few theaters back in October of 2002. Because of its limited release, it did not have a `prayer' in making a profit. `Ash Wednesday' possesses the usual first-degree `burnisms': irish rituals, catholic guilt, sibling codependence, love triangle, and lots of heineken chugging. Because of its serious dramatic tone, it did lack the witty banter of most of Burns' other films. Burns and Elijah Wood play Irish catholic brothers- francis & sean sullivan. Francis must protect his younger brother Sean from an Irish mob who are suspicious that he is still alive even though he was presumed dead 3 years ago. The film is set in one entire Ash Wednesday in New York's Hells Kitchen during the early 80's. I do commend Burns' by writing & directing out of the box and providing us a more dramatically intense film. However, Eddie please make sure you return and make more jocose romantic comedies because that is where your fire really burns! **** Excellent

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