Sixteen-year-old Irish immigrant Ned (Heath Ledger) is sentenced to three years in prison for stealing a horse. After his release he finds work tending to horses owned by Richard Cook (Nicholas Bell), whose wife (Naomi Watts) grows interested in Ned. Fitzpatrick (Kiri Paramore) is a police officer with a yen for Ned's sister, Kate (Kerry Condon). When she rejects him, Fitzpatrick steals the family's animals. The brothers are falsely accused of a crime and go into hiding, leading to the assault and arrest of their beloved mother. Francis Hare (Geoffrey Rush) is eventually brought on to stop the gang, which becomes famous after a string of bank robberies.