A lengthy crime drama, but the running time is very much
justified, following the stories of two Mexican-American brothers and their half-white cousin over the course of a decade. The lives of the three men go in completely different directions
following a gang altercation over territory. One of the brothers goes into a career as a narcotics cop, while the other becomes a heroin addict and their cousin is frequently incarcerated in
the brutal San Quentin prison, where he is initiated into an infamous gang whose motto is "blood in, blood out".
The story becomes quite multi-layered in the final act,
where the line between law and order & crime becomes blurred. The screenplay is very good, but some of the performances are a little too flaky to convincingly do justice to the dialogue.
Still, this is amongst the better crime films from the early part of the 1990's.