Ten years after the worldwide pandemic of the deadly ALZ-113 virus (known as the Simian Flu), human civilization is completely destroyed following martial law, civil unrest and the economic collapse of every country in the world. Over 90% of the human population has died in the pandemic, while apes with genetically enhanced intelligence have started to build a civilization of their own.
Will Rodman, a scientist at the biotechnology company Gen-Sys, is testing viral-based drug ALZ-112 on chimpanzees to find a cure for brain ailments such as Alzheimer's disease. The drug is given to a chimpanzee, Bright Eyes, greatly increasing her intelligence. However, when Will is presenting 112 to his boss and uses Bright Eyes as an example, she is forced from her cage, goes on a rampage, and is killed. Will's boss Steven Jacobs terminates the project and orders chimp handler Robert Franklin to euthanize the chimps. After doing as ordered, Franklin discovers that Bright Eyes had recently given birth and understands the reason why she was disturbed. He convinces Will to save the baby chimp's life by taking him home temporarily. Will's father Charles, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, names the chimp "Caesar", in reference to William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, from which he can, despite his deteriorating mental condition, cite long passages from memory. Will learns that Caesar has inherited his mother's high intelligence (the 112 virus passing to him in utero) and decides to raise him, working from home and observing his behavior in hopes that he can get the project restarted. Three years later, Will introduces Caesar to the redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument. Meanwhile, with Charles' condition rapidly deteriorating, Will treats him with ALZ-112 and he is restored to better-than-original cognitive ability.
Prince Albert, Duke of York, the second son of King George V, stammers through his speech closing the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium, while the resulting ordeal is being broadcast by radio worldwide. The Duke has given up hope of a cure, but his wife, Elizabeth, persuades him to see Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist in London. During their first session, Logue breaches royal etiquette by referring to the Prince as "Bertie", a name used only by his family. When the Duke decides Logue's methods and manner are unsuitable, Logue wagers a shilling that the Duke can recite Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy without trouble while listening to "The Marriage of Figaro" on headphones. Logue records his performance on an acetate record. Convinced he has stammered throughout, Prince Albert leaves in anger, declaring his condition "hopeless" and dismissing Logue. Logue offers him the recording as a keepsake.
Dans un monde post-apocalyptique, les rares survivants vivent sous la menace de créatures très sensibles aux sons. Ils doivent ainsi demeurer dans le silence. Une famille du Midwest va devoir lutter contre l'une de ces créatures.
Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a glossy 35-year-old sports agent working for Sports Management International (SMI). After having a life-altering epiphany about his role as a sports agent, he writes a mission statement about perceived dishonesty in the sports management business and his desire to work with fewer clients so as to produce better quality. In turn, Management decides to send Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), Jerry's protégé, to fire him. Jerry and Sugar call all of Jerry's clients to try convincing them not to hire the services of the other. Sugar secures most of Jerry's previous clients. Jerry speaks to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), one of his clients who is disgruntled with his contract. Rod tests Jerry's resolve through a very long telephone conversation while Sugar is able to convince the rest of Jerry's clients to stick with SMI instead. Leaving the office, Jerry announces that he will start his own agency and asks if anyone is willing to join him, to which only 26-year-old single mother Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger) agrees. Meanwhile, Frank "Cush" Cushman (Jerry O'Connell), a superstar quarterback prospect who expects to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft, also stays with Jerry after he makes a visit to the Cushman home. However, Sugar is able to convince Cushman and his father at the last minute to sign with SMI over Jerry. Cushman's father implies they decided to sign with Sugar over Jerry when they saw Jerry attending to Tidwell; an African-American player, versus his son (a white player).
The film follows the adventures of a group of friends through the eyes of Charles (Hugh Grant), a good-natured but socially awkward Briton, who is smitten with Carrie (Andie MacDowell), an American whom Charles repeatedly meets at four weddings and at a funeral.
Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a traveler from the nation of Krakozhia, arrives at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, only to find that his passport is suddenly no longer valid due to the outbreak of a civil war in his homeland. As a result, the United States no longer recognizes Krakozhia as a sovereign nation, and he is not permitted to either enter the country or return home as he is now stateless. Due to his inability to communicate in proper English, US Customs and Border Protection seizes his passport and airline ticket.
Sans famille, Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) a été trouvée, enfant, dans une rivière. Elle porte au cou des cicatrices semblant témoigner de violences exercées sur son larynx, qui expliqueraient qu'elle soit muette. Elle vit dans une grande solitude, tout comme son voisin de palier Giles (Richard Jenkins), un vieil homosexuel, illustrateur publicitaire sans emploi.
Alex Shaw is on a motorcycle chase after a vehicle with stolen goods. He eventually catches the driver of the vehicle, but his girlfriend Annie runs into him during her driving test. She finds out that Alex is on the SWAT team after he lied and told her he was a beach cop. As an apology, Alex surprises her with a Caribbean cruise on Seabourn Legend.
Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is an interpreter working at the United Nations in New York City. She was raised in the Republic of Matobo, a fictional African country, but has dual citizenship. The U.N. is considering indicting Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron), Matobo's president, to stand trial in the International Criminal Court. Initially a liberator, over the past 20 years he has become as corrupt and tyrannical as the government he overthrew, and is now responsible for ethnic cleansing and other atrocities within Matobo. Zuwanie is soon to visit the U.N. and put forward his own case to the General Assembly, in an attempt to avoid the indictment.
Charles Travis (Bruce Campbell) and Karen Ross (Laura Linney) are testing a communications laser in a remote part of the Congo near a dormant volcano when Charles' friend Jeffrey (Taylor Nichols) discovers an ancient lost city's ruins. When Jeffrey and Charles go to explore it, they are both mysteriously killed. While Karen waits at headquarters, she activates a video feed and sees a destroyed camp with several dead bodies. The camera is then suddenly knocked over by a strange creature, ending the transmission. TraviCom's CEO and Charles' father R.B. Travis (Joe Don Baker) reveals they were really exploring the Congo to find a rare blue diamond that's only found at the volcanic site.
Babel focuses on four interrelated sets of situations and characters, and many events are revealed out of sequence. The following plot summary has been simplified and thus does not reflect the exact sequence of the events on screen.
Bob Harris, an aging American movie star, arrives in Tokyo to film an advertisement for Suntory whisky. Charlotte, a young college graduate, is left in her hotel room by her husband, John, a celebrity photographer on assignment in Tokyo. Charlotte is unsure of her future with John as she feels he is more interested in his celebrity models, particularly an American actress named Kelly, than her. Bob's own 25-year marriage is tired as he goes through a midlife crisis.