Having once been part of the gang culture Francis (Edward Burns) has found himself a proper job rather than walking the crooked line although living in Hell's Kitchen means the guys he use to associate with are not far away. And those guys are now back in life as 3 years earlier Francis' brother Shaun (Elijah Wood) killed some guys and then disappeared with his family saying he was dead except some people say he has returned to the area. Now Francis must find out what is going on as the rumours cause old enemies to surface whilst for Francis' sister in law the rumours stoke up confused emotions as she has grieved and is moving on.
As an actor I really like Edward Burns but as a writer/director he is for some an acquired taste for others he is hit n miss and that makes watching an Edward Burns movie is a bit of a luck dip. That leads me to "Ash Wednesday" which sees Burns trying his hands at a Hell's Kitchen gangster movie with him taking on the roles of writer, director, producer and of course actor. Unfortunately whilst the basic idea has potential the end result is repetitive and monotonous just like a piece of music which is over used and annoying.
Now the thing about "Ash Wednesday" I can't go in to any detail because quite simply the less you know the more intriguing it will be. What I will say is that the majority of the movie focuses on the repercussions for everyone when the rumours start to flow and Francis has to confront certain feelings which he has been able to keep under control over the past 3 years when it comes to his sister-in-law.
What this all boils down to is that "Ash Wednesday" has an entertaining storyline but is a movie which for me is let down by Edward Burns' directing style which unfortunately ends up making the movie feel repetitive and monotonous.