In 1981, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a man with below-average intelligence, watches a feather fall from the sky at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. As he sits down on a bench, he removes a copy of The Adventures of Curious George from his suitcase and places the feather inside the pages. He introduces himself and begins telling his life story to strangers who sit next to him on the bench, recounting his childhood in Greenbow, Alabama. As a child in the 1950s, Forrest (Michael Connor Humphreys) had to wear leg braces for which other children make fun of him. He lives with his single mother (Sally Field) in a very large house outside of town, which they rent rooms to travelers. His father apparently left and he never knew him. Despite his limited mental capacity, Mrs. Gump tells her son that "stupid is as stupid does" (which he later uses as a retort when called "stupid") and also assures him that he is no different from any of the other children. Forrest is admitted to public school despite his IQ being below the cut-off, but only after his mother agrees to a one-night stand with the principal, Mr. Hancock (Sam Anderson). On his first bus ride to school, Forrest is rejected by nearly all of his peers except for Jenny Curran (Hanna R. Hall). He and Jenny become best friends, and he helps her hide from her abusive, alcoholic father. One day, while fleeing from bullies, Forrest's leg braces break apart and he discovers that he can run very fast. A few years later, Forrest inadvertently runs onto the field during a local high school football match and catches the attention of Coach Bryant from the University of Alabama who is scouting for players. Forrest attends the university on an athletic scholarship and becomes a college football star, earning him a spot on the College Football All-America Team and a trip to the White House to meet President John F.
Charlie Babbitt is in the middle of importing four Lamborghinis to Los Angeles for resale. He needs to deliver the vehicles to impatient buyers who have already made down payments in order to repay the loan he took out to buy the cars, but the EPA is holding the cars at the port due to the cars failing emissions regulations. Charlie directs an employee to lie to the buyers while he stalls his creditor.
Christian Wolff est un génie mathématique et spécialiste de juricomptabilité qui travaille pour une firme comptable en Illinois. Il accepte des contrats de groupes criminels, contrats transmis par téléphone portable (cellulaire) par une femme inconnue, « La Voix ». Dans son enfance, lors d'une visite au Harbor Neuroscience Institute, centre pour enfants atteints de troubles de santé mentale, les parents de Christian reçoivent l'offre de laisser leur enfant sous la responsabilité du directeur, qui propose de trouver les conditions de vie où Christian s'épanouira. Entretemps, Christian établit un lien avec Justine, troublée et muette. Le père de Christian, un officier militaire américain, rejette la proposition, jugeant que son fils doit surmonter son handicap. Plus tard, la mère quitte la famille parce qu'elle est incapable de supporter plus longuement les comportements excentriques, parfois violents, de Christian ; elle abandonne aussi son deuxième garçon, Braxton. Dans le but de les aider à relever les défis de leur vie adulte, le père engage des spécialistes pour former ses deux fils aux combats.
En 2005, à Wall Street, au milieu des grandes banques, des médias et du gouvernement aveugles, quatre outsiders découvrent la bulle immobilière et l'opacité de son financement. Par l'analyse et l'enquête sur le terrain ils rejettent l'idéologie et l'optimisme écrasants de leur milieu. Ils sont les seuls à se positionner dans le sens de la débâcle qui leur apparaît certaine.
While serving in the United States Army Special Forces in 2007, John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a Staff Sergeant, is lying on the ground after being shot multiple times in the neck and body, with his comrades gathered around him. In a voiceover, he recalls a childhood trip to the U.S. Mint and compares himself to a coin in the United States Military before stating that the last thing he thought of before he blacked out was "you".
When stroke victim Violet Kellty dies in her isolated cabin in the North Carolina mountains, Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Lovell (Liam Neeson), the town doctor, finds a terrified young woman (Jodie Foster) hiding in the rafters of the house. She speaks angrily and rapidly but seems to have a language of her own. Looking at Violet's Bible, Jerry finds a note asking whoever finds it to look after the woman, who is Violet's daughter Nell. Sheriff Todd Peterson (Nick Searcy) shows Jerry a news clipping from which Jerry surmises that Nell is indeed the dead woman’s daughter, conceived through rape.
The film follows the pop star Justin Bieber during 10 days counting down to what is considered his biggest performance, that of August 31, 2010 in Madison Square Garden, which sold out in 22 minutes. It shows footage of the performances during this period from his My World Tour. It shows excited female fans, and several instances of the "One Less Lonely Girl" routine of inviting a girl on stage for him to serenade and give flowers to, and of surprising random girls with free tickets to his concerts. The main people around Bieber, being like family and good friends to him, are interviewed, but Bieber himself is not. Various instances of praying together before a show are shown.
A hostage situation in South Dakota: FBI Agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis), as the inside man, protects a 14-year-old boy named James while trying to talk bank robber Edgar Halstrom (Richard Riehle) into surrendering. However, the FBI task force moves in, and in the ensuing firefight both James and the robbers are killed. Jeffries confronts his superior, Hartley, who tells him they both must answer to Washington. An infuriated Jeffries punches Hartley in reply.
Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a man with a developmental disability, is the single father of Lucy (Dakota Fanning), following their abandonment by her mother, who is revealed to be a homeless woman who "just needed a place to sleep". Despite his limitations, Sam is well-adjusted and has a supportive group of friends with developmental disabilities, as well as a kind, agoraphobic neighbor Annie (Dianne Wiest) who takes care of Lucy when Sam cannot. Though Sam provides a loving and caring environment for precocious Lucy, she soon surpasses his mental ability. Other children tease her for having a "retard" as a father, and she becomes too embarrassed to accept that she is more intellectually advanced than Sam.
In the year 1990, Iqbal Haroon Khan (Jackie Shroff) runs The Great Indian Circus in Chicago, which has fallen on bad times. Anderson's (Andrew Bicknell) bank — Western Bank of Chicago —, which has lent money to Iqbal Khan, decides to close down the circus when Khan is unable to repay the loan. Young Sahir (Siddharth Nigam), the little son of Iqbal Khan, pleads with Anderson not to shut down his father's circus, as he and his father would soon be able to turn the corner. But Iqbal Khan's presentation before the bankers and Sahir's pleas don't help. Iqbal Khan commits suicide in front of the heartless Anderson, leaving Sahir devastated.
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) is the son of German American Thomas Schell (Tom Hanks). Thomas would often send Oskar on missions to do something involving one of his riddles. The last riddle he ever gives Oskar is proof that New York City once possessed a Sixth Borough. In a flashback, Thomas and Oskar play a scavenger hunt to find objects throughout New York City. The game requires communication with other people and is not easy for the socially awkward Oskar who is told "If things were easy to find, they wouldn't be worth finding".
Rizwan Khan is a Muslim child who grew up with his brother Zakir and his mother Razia Khan in a middle-class family in the section of Mumbai. Rizwan is different from other children, however. He has certain gifts, particularly a special ability to repair mechanical things. His difference leads to special tutoring from a reclusive scholar and extra attention from his mother, both of which lead to heightened jealousy from his brother Zakir, who eventually leaves his family for a life in the United States.
Maggie O'Connor's (Kim Basinger) life revolves around her job as a nurse at a busy New York hospital, until one rainy night, her sister Jenna (Angela Bettis) abandons her newborn autistic daughter, Cody, at her home. Maggie takes Cody in, and she becomes the daughter she never had.
Fisheries expert Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) receives an email from financial adviser Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), seeking advice on a project to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen—a project being bankrolled by a wealthy Yemeni sheikh. Alfred dismisses the project as "fundamentally unfeasible" because Yemen cannot provide the necessary environment for salmon. Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister's press secretary Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas) suggests the salmon fishing story to the Prime Minister's office as a positive story to help improve relations between Britain and the Islamic world.
In 1796 William Wilberforce is severely ill and taking a recuperative holiday in Bath, Somerset, with his cousin, Henry Thornton. It is here that William is introduced to his future wife, Barbara Spooner. Although he initially resists any romantic overtures, she convinces him to relate the story of his career.