Abel Ferrara is at it again, recasting genre conventions in the light of private theological obsessions. And his latest effort, which takes on the period gangster formula, is his most personal -- and quite possibly his finest -- film yet. Set in New York City during
the 1930s, it centers on the Tempio brothers: Ray (Christopher Walken), Chez (Chris Penn) and Johnny (Vincent Gallo), a Communist sympathizer and the family idealist. The small-time racketeers and their beleaguered wives (Annabella Sciorra and Isabella Rossellini) assemble for Johnny's funeral --
he's slain outside a movie theater, like John Dillinger -- and the brothers swear vengeance. But the list of...