The film starts with Hugo 'H' Olivera voicing his thoughts about the ongoing trial where he's being prosecuted for assault on his mother's boyfriend. Let off with a fine of six thousand euros and a warning that further offenses would land him in prison, he walks out of the courtroom, switching his formal coat to a leather jacket and rides off on a Triumph Thruxton 07. He sees Babi Alcázar for the first time at a traffic intersection, on her way to school. He is immediately attracted to her as she sticks her face out for air and whistles before calling her a 'Dog-Face'. He rides up to her car window and takes her hand. A stunned Babi manages to give him the finger before driving off.
Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is a devout Roman Catholic mother who lives with her two small children in a remote country house in the British Crown Dependency of Jersey in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), have an uncommon disease, characterized by photosensitivity, so their lives are structured around a series of complex rules to protect them from inadvertent exposure to sunlight. The arrival of three servants at the house — aging Mrs. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), elderly gardener Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and a mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy) — coincides with a number of odd events, and Grace begins to fear they are not alone.
Henry Bennett (Ewan McGregor), his physician wife Maria (Naomi Watts), and their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland), Tomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergrast) go on a Christmas holiday in 2004 to Khao Lak, Thailand. Arriving on Christmas Eve, they settle in and begin to enjoy the brand new Orchid Beach Resort. Two days later the massive 2004 tsunami inundates the area.
Distraught after losing his fortune in the 2008 financial crisis, stockbroker Jeffrey D'Asange kills his business partners and estranged wife before taking his children, three-year-old Victoria and one-year-old Lilly, away from home. Driving dangerously fast on a snowy road, Jeffrey loses control and the car slides off and down the mountain, crashing into the woods. Surviving, he takes the children into an abandoned cabin and builds a fire, even though Victoria is resistant, thinking she saw someone inside. Planning to kill his daughters and commit suicide, he holds a gun to Victoria's head, but a shadowy figure suddenly drags him away, suspending him in the air and strangling him with his tie. Victoria turns around, but because her father had taken her glasses away, she did not see the gun and could not see what was happening. The girls, huddled by the fireside, are tossed a cherry by the mysterious figure.
On Planet 51, green humanoids with snail-like feelers and pointed ears live peacefully in a society reminiscent of 1950s America, but with alien technology and with 1950s-themed alien homes. In the town of Glipforg, Lem is a teenage boy with a new part-time job at the local planetarium and a long-time crush on his neighbor Neera. His best friend is Skiff, a big fan of the Humaniacs films. At a barbecue Neera's family is having, Lem tries to ask her on a date, but her hippie friend, Glar, keeps interrupting with his protest songs.
Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) and Soledad (Lola Dueñas) are sisters who grew up in Alcanfor de las Infantas, a small village in La Mancha, but now both live in Madrid. Their parents died in a tragic fire three years prior to the beginning of the film. The events which occurred on the night of the fire are only gradually revealed, and are central to the plot.
In a fairy tale, Princess Moanna, whose father is the king of the underworld, visits the human world, where the sunlight blinds her and erases her memory. She becomes mortal and succumbs to illness. The king believes that eventually, her spirit will return to the underworld.
Rafa (Dani Rovira) has never left his native Seville, Andalusia, until he meets a Basque girl named Amaia (Clara Lago), who resists his seduction techniques. Against his friends' advice, he follows her to Euskadi after she stays the night in his house and forgets her purse. A series of misunderstandings forces Rafa to impersonate a full-blooded Basque with eight surnames, and he gets more and more entangled in that character in order to get his way.
In 1975 Spain, a young girl named Laura is given up for adoption. Years later, adult Laura (Rueda) returns to the closed orphanage, accompanied by her husband, Carlos (Cayo), and their seven-year-old adopted son, Simón (Príncep). She plans to reopen the orphanage as a facility for disabled children. Simón claims to see a boy named Tomás (Óscar Casas). He befriends Tomás and draws pictures of him as a child wearing a sack mask. Social worker Benigna Escobedo (Montserrat Carulla) informs Laura that Simón's adoption file indicates that Simón is HIV positive. Incensed at Benigna's intrusion, Laura asks her to leave. She later finds Benigna in the orphanage's coal shed, but Benigna flees the scene. Later, Simón teaches Laura a game which grants its winner a wish. Clues lead the two to Simón's adoption file. Simón becomes angry, and says that his new friend told him that Laura is not his biological mother and that he is going to die soon.
During the original outbreak of the Rage Virus, Don, his wife Alice, and four other survivors hide in a barricaded cottage on the outskirts of London. They hear a terrified boy pounding at their door, and let him in. A few minutes later, they discover that the infected have followed the boy to them. The infected attack and kill most of the survivors, while Don, Alice, and the boy are chased upstairs. Don is separated from Alice and when the boy is seen hiding in the closet. Alice rushes to get the boy, while Don tells her to just leave him. Soon the infected break into the room and after Alice pleading with Don to "help us", he decides to leave, abandoning them. Don desperately sprints to a nearby motorboat and narrowly escapes.
Dean Corso (Johnny Depp), a New York City rare book dealer, makes his living conning people into selling him valuable antique books for a low price, and then selling them for profit. He meets with wealthy book collector Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), who has recently acquired a copy of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows by 17th-century author Aristide Torchia, one of only three copies known to exist. According to legend, the book is Torchia's adaptation of an older book written by the Devil himself and purportedly contains the means to ritualistically summon the Devil and, through him, acquire invincibility and immortality. Balkan believes two of the copies are forgeries. He hires Corso to authenticate all three copies, and acquire the legitimate copy by any means necessary.
In Madrid in 1980, Enrique Goded, a young film director, is looking for his next project when he receives the unexpected visit of an actor looking for work. The actor claims to be Enrique's boarding school friend and first love, Ignacio Rodriguez. Ignacio, who is using now the name Ángel Andrade, has brought with him a short story titled "The Visit" hoping that Enrique would be interested in making a film out of it giving him the starring role. Enrique is intrigued since "The Visit" described their time together at the Catholic school and it also includes a fictionalized account of their reunion many years later as adults.
In 391 AD, Alexandria is part of the Roman Empire, and Greek philosopher Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) is a teacher at the Platonic school, where future leaders are educated. Hypatia is the daughter of Theon (Michael Lonsdale), the director of the Musaeum of Alexandria. Hypatia, her father's slave, Davus (Max Minghella), and two of her pupils, Orestes (Oscar Isaac) and Synesius (Rupert Evans), are immersed in the changing political and social landscape. She rejects Orestes's love (she offers him her bloody menstrual towel, to show him that love has its drawbacks, while studying has none): she prefers to devote herself to science. Davus assists Hypatia in her classes and is interested in science, and is also secretly in love with her.