The year is 1948, the place is Los Angeles, and Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins (Denzel Washington) is a black man who has just lost his job and is in dire need of money. So, despite having no experience as a private eye, Easy accepts an assignment from a seedy man (Tom Sizemore) to find the missing Daphne Monet (Jennifer Beals), the mistress of a powerful mayoral candidate. As Rawlins conducts his search, he unexpectedly becomes drawn into a complex racially-charged web of intrigue involving political machinations, double-crossings, blackmail, and mysterious deaths. With the aid of his trigger-happy friend Mouse (Don Cheadle), Easy must rely on his instincts and neophyte detective skills, not only to solve the case, but also to save his life. African-American director Carl Franklin (ONE FALSE MOVE) brings Walter Mosley's crime series to life with this dense thriller, aided greatly by Tak Fujimoto's sun-soaked photography and an electric soundtrack reflecting the music of the times. As Easy Rawlins, an everyman who finds himself an unwilling pawn in a dangerous game of mystery and murder, Washington delivers an intense performance. It is Don Cheadle, however, who steals the show, giving his hot-tempered Mouse a comic humanity that is at once menacing, hysterical, and unforgettable.