On July 20, 1969, astronaut Jim Lovell hosts a party, where guests watch on television as Neil Armstrong takes his first steps on the Moon during Apollo 11. After the party, Lovell, who had orbited the Moon on Apollo 8, tells his wife Marilyn that he intends to walk on the Moon's surface.
Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) takes command of the MV Maersk Alabama, an unarmed container ship from the Port of Salalah in Oman, with orders to sail through the Gulf of Aden to Mombasa, Kenya. Wary of pirate activity off the coast of the Horn of Africa, he and First Officer Shane Murphy (Michael Chernus) order strict security precautions on the vessel and carry out practice drills. During a drill, the vessel is chased by Somali pirates in two skiffs, and Phillips calls for help. Knowing that the pirates are listening to radio traffic, he pretends to call a warship, requesting immediate air support. One skiff turns around in response, and the other – manned by four heavily armed pirates led by Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) – loses engine power trying to steer through the Maersk Alabama 's wake.
On September 11, 2001, Port Authority Police officers John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno are patrolling the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan when they see a plane fly dangerously low overhead. As all of the police officers return to the station, they see on TV that the North Tower of the World Trade Center has been hit by the plane. Sergeant McLoughlin assigns many of the officers to assist in a precautionary evacuation attempt of the North Tower and they board a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus. On the bus, they hear reports that the South Tower is also hit by another plane. When they arrive at the World Trade Center, they realize the extent of the disaster, and see one of the victims jump out of the towers to certain death. The men proceed to get safety equipment from Building 5 and enter the concourse between the towers.
Billy is sitting in the waiting room of a law office. His mom comes out to grab him and tell him they're going to see his grandpa. Irving Zisman is sitting in the waiting room of a hospital, checking out a magazine and looking at the sexual images. A nurse comes in to tell Irving that his wife has died. After a brief moment of silence, Irving starts laughing, overjoyed that his wife is dead. Irving leaves the hospital to get himself off, but unfortunately for him, the massage parlor and strip club are closed. Desperate, he sticks his penis in the slot of a vending machine. That's when he gets himself stuck and starts asking onlookers for help.
Les manchots empereurs vivent en colonie en Antarctique. Au milieu de leurs congénères, chaque couple de manchots lutte contre les conditions extrêmes pour perpétuer l'espèce et protéger leur petit des nombreux obstacles et dangers qui les guettent. Chaque année est un cycle qui voit la naissance d'un seul petit manchot par couple, dont beaucoup n'atteindront pas l'âge adulte, voire n'auront pas la chance de naître. Outre le grand froid, le vent et les tempêtes, ils affrontent des prédateurs tels que le léopard de mer et le pétrel géant. Les parents alternent entre protection de l'œuf puis du petit dans l'intérieur des terres (plus stable et protégé que la banquise) et pêche sur le littoral. Des kilomètres de marche sont alors nécessaires pour utiliser les avantages de ces deux territoires alors que le manchot, bien plus à l'aise dans l'eau, est incapable de voler et se déplace avec difficulté sur le continent.
Paleontologist Zack takes his nephew Ricky and niece Jade on a fossil hunt, giving the sullen Ricky his Gorgosaurus tooth while he and Jade go to the fossil bed. Alone, Ricky is met by a talking rook, who morphs into Alex the Alexornis bird, who takes the story back to the Cretaceous period 70 million years ago. Patchi is the smallest of his litter of Pachyrhinosaurus hatchlings, and is often bullied by his large, proud older brother Scowler. Their father Bulldust is the leader of the herd. Patchi is attacked by a Troodon and receives a distinctive hole in his frill when he ventures outside the nest one morning. Alex, serving as Patchi's mentor, tries to help Patchi impress a female Pachyrhinosaurus named Juniper, but her herd soon migrates south without him. Bulldust soon follows suit, moving his herd to the south, but when they try to pass through a dense forest, they are forced to flee when a forest fire erupts. Taking advantage of the chaos, Gorgon the predatory Gorgosaurus attacks the fleeing Pachyrhinosaurus, and while his pack kills their mother and siblings, Patchi and Scowler witness Gorgon killing Bulldust.
In the 1997 general election, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) becomes Britain's Labour prime minister. However, the Queen (Helen Mirren) is wary of Blair and his pledge to modernise Britain, despite his promises to respect the Royal Family. Three months later, Diana, Princess of Wales dies in a car crash at the Alma Bridge tunnel in Paris. Blair's director of communications, Alastair Campbell (Mark Bazeley), prepares a speech in which Diana is described as the people's princess. The phrase catches on and millions of people across London display an outpouring of grief at Buckingham and Kensington Palaces. Meanwhile, the Royal Family is still at their summer estate in Balmoral Castle. Diana's death sparks division amongst members of the family, with some of the view that since Diana was divorced from Prince Charles (Alex Jennings) a year prior to her death, she was no longer a part of the royal family. They argue that Diana's funeral arrangements are thus best left as a private affair of her noble family, the Spencers. Charles, however, argues that the mother of a future king cannot be dismissed so lightly, and persuades the Queen to authorise the use of an aircraft of the Royal Air Force to bring Diana's body back to Britain.
The movie begins by suggesting that friends and political allies of George W. Bush at Fox News Channel tilted the election of 2000 by prematurely declaring Bush the winner. It then suggests the handling of the voting controversy in Florida constituted election fraud.
The film opens with a large gathering inside an aircraft hangar. Everyone is attending a private ceremony for Democratic U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), who is receiving a major commendation for supporting the U.S. clandestine services. As everyone looks in admiration upon a clearly moved Wilson, the movie goes back in time.
Beavis and Butt-head introduced the film by explaining 3D technology. The opening sequence features the cast lining up and then being attacked by various objects in slow-motion. The opening sequence, as well as many of the stunts, were filmed with Phantom high speed cameras which shoot at 1,000 frames per second.