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.
An African-American Mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob. Jarmusch's spiritual gangster film tells the story of an inner-city hit man (Whitaker) who lives on a rooftop, training himself as a samurai in the strictest sense. He communicates primarily by carrier pigeon, while remaining loyal to a gangster (Tormey) who once saved his life.