Nick (Cusack) and Russell (Thornton) are rival air traffic controllers at the Long Island tower that oversees New York's three main airports (JFK, La Guardia, and Newark). Nick is a cool professional and a family man, with stay-at-home wife Connie (Blanchett) and two kids. Russell is a cowboy whose wife Mary (Jolie)is young, wild, and usually drunk. The guys' rivalry at work is intensified when Nick sleeps with Mary and his paranoia and guilt get to him. The technical and journalistic aspects (it's based on a New York Times article) of the tower scenes get things started in surprisingly exciting fashion, and the four leads keep the intensity going with excellent performances despite some script lapses and questionable plot devices at the end.