The film takes place in May of 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars. Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to pursue the French privateer Acheron, and "Sink, Burn, or take her as a Prize." As the film opens, the British warship is ambushed by Acheron; Surprise is heavily damaged, while its own cannon fire does not penetrate the enemy ship's hull. Using smaller boats, the crew of Surprise tow the ship into a fog bank and evade pursuit. Aubrey learns from a crewman who saw Acheron being built that it is heavier and faster than Surprise, and the senior officers consider the ship out of their class. Aubrey notes that such a ship could tip the balance of power in Napoleon's favour if allowed to plunder the British whaling fleet at will. He orders pursuit of Acheron, rather than returning to port for repairs. Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a clever decoy buoy and ships lamps.
In the late 2020s the world is in turmoil, with the United States fractured as a result of prolonged conflict and a pandemic of the "St. Mary's Virus" ravaging Europe. The United Kingdom is ruled as a fascist police state by the Norsefire Party. Political opponents, immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals and other "undesirables" are imprisoned in concentration camps. On November 4, a Guy Fawkes-masked vigilante identifing himself as "V" (Hugo Weaving) rescues Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), an employee of the state-run British Television Network (BTN), from members of the "Fingermen" secret police while she is out past curfew. From a rooftop, they watch his demolition of the Old Bailey criminal court building, accompanied by fireworks and the 1812 Overture. Inspector Finch (Stephen Rea), Scotland Yard's Chief of Police, is tasked with investigating V's activities while BTN declares the incident an "emergency demolition". V interrupts the broadcast to claim responsibility and urges the people of Britain to rise up against their government. He asks them to meet him exactly one year later, on November 5, Guy Fawkes Night, outside the Houses of Parliament, which he promises to destroy. During the broadcast, the police attempt to capture V. Evey helps him escape but is knocked unconscious.
The unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) is a traveling automobile company employee who suffers from insomnia. One night he visits a support group for testicular cancer victims, where they assume that he too is a victim, and he spontaneously weeps into the nurturing arms of another man, finding a "freedom" that euphorically relieves his insomnia. He becomes addicted to participating in support groups of various kinds, always allowing the groups to assume that he suffers what they do. However, he begins to notice another impostor, Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), whose presence disturbs his bliss, so he negotiates with her to avoid their attending the same groups.
In 2027, after 18 years of global human infertility, civilization is on the brink of collapse as humanity faces extinction. The United Kingdom, the only stable nation with a functioning government, is deluged by asylum seekers fleeing the chaos and war which have taken hold around the world. In response, Britain has become a militarized police state as British government forces round up and detain immigrants. Theo Faron, a former activist turned cynical bureaucrat, is kidnapped by the Fishes, a militant immigrants' rights group. They are led by Theo's estranged wife, Julian Taylor, from whom he separated after their son's death.
The film covers the life of John Reed and Louise Bryant from their first meeting to Reed's final days in 1920 Russia. Interspersed throughout the narrative, several surviving witnesses from the time period give their recollections of Reed, Bryant, their colleagues and friends, and the era itself. A number of them have mixed views of Bryant and her relationship with Reed.
18-year-old Helen uses vegetables for masturbation and believes that body hygiene is overrated in our society. She provokes others by saying and doing things most people would not even dare to imagine.
Set in 2004, the film revolves around three young anti-capitalist activists in Berlin's city centre: Jule (Julia Jentsch), her boyfriend Peter (Stipe Erceg) and his best friend Jan (Daniel Brühl). Jule is a waitress struggling to pay off a €100,000 debt she incurred a year ago when she crashed into a Mercedes-Benz S-Class belonging to a wealthy businessman named Hardenberg (Burghart Klaußner). After her eviction for non-payment of rent she moves in with Peter and Jan, who are often out all night. While Peter is in Barcelona, Jan tells Jule that he and Peter spend their nights "educating" upper-class people by breaking into their houses, moving furniture around and leaving notes saying "die fetten Jahre sind vorbei" ("the days of plenty are over") or "Sie haben zu viel Geld" ("you have too much money").
In a Galician town, a young boy, Moncho, goes to school for the first time and is taught by Don Gregorio about life and literature. At first, Moncho is very scared that the teachers will hit him since that was the standard procedure back then, but he is relieved to discover that Don Gregorio doesn't hit his pupils. Don Gregorio is unlike any other teacher; he builds a special relationship with Moncho, teaching him to love learning. Don Gregorio also builds a special relationship with Moncho's father, who is a Republican like him. Moncho's mother is luke-warm towards the Republic, her main concern being belief in God, and at the end of the film she sides with the Nationalist rebels.
The movie opens with shots from the Spanish Civil War, and a line of Spanish refugees crossing the border into France after defeat by the Francoists, Manuel Artiguez (Gregory Peck) turns away from the border and back towards Spain. His friends stop him, saying "Manuel, the war is over!".
The movie is set in 1936 in Barcelona in the midst of the Spanish Revolution and Spanish Civil War. Militia women Pilar (Ana Belen) and Floren (Victoria Abril) are joined by former prostitute Charo (Loles Leon) and former nun Maria (Ariadna Gil). The film opens with scenes of working class militants demolishing and burning religious icons, as they shout "down with Capitalism!" and "long live the libertarian revolution!"
Jane, an operative for the private intelligence firm Hiller Brood, is assigned by her boss Sharon to infiltrate The East, an underground activist, anarchist and ecologist organization that has launched several attacks against corporations in an attempt to expose their corruption. Calling herself Sarah, she joins local drifters in hitching rides on trains, and when one drifter, Luca, helps her escape from the police, she identifies the symbol of The East hanging from Luca's car mirror. Sarah self-inflicts an arm injury that she tells Luca was caused in the escape so he can get medical attention for her. He takes her to an abandoned house in the woods where members of The East live and one of the members, Doc, treats her cut.
The film narrates a utopian abandonment, consensual and festive of the market economy and high productivity. The population decides on a number of resolutions beginning with "We stop everything" and the second "After a total downtime will be revived—reluctantly—that the services and products including lack will prove intolerable. Probably: water to drink, electricity for reading at night, the TSF to say "This is not the end of the world, this is an 01, and now a page of Celestial Mechanics". The implementation of these resolutions is the first day of a new era, Year 01. The Year 01 is emblematic of the challenge of the 1970s and covers such diverse topics as ecology, negation of authority, free love, communal living, rejection of private property and labor.
John (Scott Adkins) awakens from a coma to find that his wife and daughter were brutally murdered in a home invasion. Haunted by images of the attack, he vows to kill the man responsible: Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), one of the original Universal Soldiers (UniSol). While John tries to piece his reality back together, things are complicated by a relentless UniSol named Magnus (Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski), who is determined to kill John. Meanwhile, Deveraux and surviving UniSol Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) are preparing to unleash anarchy and build a new order ruled by Unisols. They are weeding out the weak and constantly testing their strongest warriors in brutal, life-and-death combat. Luc has emerged operating the Unisol Church of Eventualism, taking in wayward Unisols whom the government has been secretly operating as remote controlled sleeper agents. His mission is to liberate these Unisols from the implanted memories and the lies the government has inserted in them. As John gets closer to Deveraux and the rogue army of genetically enhanced warriors, he discovers more about himself and begins to call into question everything he believed to be true.
Slacker is a uniquely structured and seemingly plotless film, following a single day in the life of an ensemble of mostly under-40 bohemians and misfits in Austin, Texas. The film follows various characters and scenes, never staying with one character or conversation for more than a few minutes before picking up someone else in the scene and following them. The characters include Linklater as a talkative taxi passenger, a UFO buff who insists the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a JFK conspiracy theorist, an elderly anarchist who befriends a man trying to rob his house, a serial television set collector, and a hipster woman trying to sell a Madonna pap smear. The woman selling the pap smear appears on the film poster, and was played by Butthole Surfers drummer Teresa Taylor. Most of the characters grapple with feelings of social exclusion or political marginalization, which are recurring themes in their conversations. They discuss social class, terrorism, joblessness, and government control of the media.