Clint Eastwood delivers one of his finest performances, as a secret service agent haunted by his past in Wolfgang Petersen's taut thriller In the Line of Fire. Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, a secret service agent who keeps thinking back to November 22, 1963, when, as an agent hand-picked by President Kennedy, he became one of the few agents to have lost a president to an assassin. Decades later, psychotic Mitch Leary (John Malkovich) is stalking another president (Jim Curley) running for re-election. He has spent long hours studying the psyche of Frank Horrigan, and he taunts Horrigan (feeling that there is a bond between them), telling him of his plans to kill the president. After his conversation with Leary, Horrigan makes sure he is assigned to presidential protection duty. Horrigan has no intention of failing his president this time around, and he is more than willing to take a bullet. But everything goes Leary's way -- he is smart and cagey and the president's aides refuse to alter the itinerary. As the election draws closer, Horrigan's chances to catch Leary look to be less and less a possibility, and he begins to doubt his own abilities -- both now and in the past, when Kennedy was murdered.A policeman plays Good Samaritan to a visitor from Ireland, only to discover that he has a potentially deadly secret. Belfast-born Frankie McGuire (Brad Pitt) saw his father gunned down by enemy soldiers at the age of eight, and when he grew up he joined the Irish Republican Army, determined that one day his father's death would be avenged. An especially ruthless "volunteer," Frankie is responsible for the death of 13 British soldiers and 11 policemen. After a particularly bloody battle, Frankie sails to the United States in a ragged tugboat he has restored; with a huge bundle of cash, Frankie intends to buy a stock of Stinger missiles from an underground arms dealer in America, Billy Burke (Treat Williams). Upon arrival in New York, Frankie is met by a judge who is sympathetic to the IRA's cause and who arranges a place for him to stay. Using the name Rory Devaney, Frankie moves into the home of Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford), a scrupulously honest cop. Tom is already in the midst of a personal crisis; his friend and partner Edwin Diaz (Ruben Blades) recently shot a man that he knew was unarmed in the line of duty, and while Edwin wants Tom to help him cover up the matter, Tom's conscience will not allow it. When Tom begins to realize that "Rory" is not simply a man running from the violence of his homeland, he's torn between his sympathy for Frankie's tragic childhood and his desire to see justice served and prevent needless death in Ireland.