Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), a successful workaholic businessman and corporate raider in Los Angeles on business, accidentally takes a detour on Hollywood Boulevard while looking for Beverly Hills. He unsuccessfully tries to ask for directions and ends up in the red-light district, where he encounters a sex-worker named Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts), who mistakes him for a possible client. Her roommate and best friend, Kit De Luca (Laura San Giacomo), encourages her to recruit him, though he only wants directions and makes a deal with her to pay her if she shows him the way. Intrigued by her knowledge and wit he hires her to spend the night with him for $300 in his hotel's penthouse apartment, treating her to strawberries and champagne and sharing personal information with her. He comes to trust her as she "surprises" him by flossing her teeth after eating the strawberries (and not doing drugs as he thought she was more likely to do given her profession). They spend the night watching I Love Lucy reruns and having sex.
Retired CIA field operative Bryan Mills attempts to build a closer relationship with his daughter, Kim, who lives with her mother, Lenore, and her wealthy stepfather, Stuart. While overseeing security at a concert for pop star Sheerah, Bryan saves her from a violent stalker. As a thank you, Sheerah offers to assess Kim's talent as a singer. Before Bryan can tell Kim, she asks her father for permission to travel to Paris with her best friend, Amanda. He initially refuses, but eventually agrees after Lenore pressures him. At the airport, he learns the girls are actually following U2 during their European tour, something Lenore knew but kept from him.
On February 6, 1846, at Paradise Square in Lower Manhattan's Five Points, a territorial battle of hand-to-hand combat between Bill "the Butcher" Cutting's U.S.-born nativist gang, the Natives, and "Priest" Vallon's Irish Catholic immigrant gang, the Dead Rabbits, concludes when Cutting kills Vallon, witnessed by Vallon's young son, Amsterdam. Cutting declares the Dead Rabbits outlawed but orders that Vallon's body be buried with honor. Amsterdam seizes the knife used to kill his father, races off, and buries it along with a medal his father gave him. He is later raised at Hellgate orphanage.
In the year 1900, a depressed British writer named Christian (Ewan McGregor) begins writing on his typewriter ("Nature Boy"). One year earlier, Christian moved to the Montmartre district of Paris to become a writer among members of the area's Bohemian movement. He soon encounters, living directly upstairs from him, a loose troupe of performers led by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo). Toulouse-Lautrec and the others ask for Christian's help, and his writing skills allow them to finish their proposed show, "Spectacular Spectacular", that they wish to sell to the owner of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent). The group arrives at the Moulin Rouge as Zidler and his "Diamond Dog Dancers" perform for the audience ("Lady Marmalade/Zidler's Rap (Can Can)/Smells Like Teen Spirit"). Toulouse arranges for Christian to see Satine (Nicole Kidman), the star courtesan, in her private quarters to present the work, unaware that Zidler is promising Satine to the wealthy and unscrupulous Duke of Monroth (Richard Roxburgh), a potential investor in the cabaret ("Sparkling Diamonds" medley).
Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) and his wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), are a young couple living in New York. They go to a Christmas party thrown by a wealthy patient, Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack). Bill meets an old friend from medical school, Nick Nightingale (Todd Field), who now plays piano professionally. While a Hungarian man named Sandor Szavost (Sky du Mont) tries to pick up Alice, two young models try to take Bill off for a tryst. He is interrupted by a call from his host upstairs, who had been having sex with Mandy (Julienne Davis), a young woman who has overdosed on a speedball. Mandy recovers with Bill's aid.
The film is set in 1880 in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, where Little Bill Daggett, the local sheriff and former gunfighter, does not allow guns or criminals in his town. Two cowboys, Quick Mike and "Davey-Boy" Bunting, disfigure prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald after she laughs at the small size of Quick Mike's penis. Instead of punishing the cowboys, Little Bill allows them to pay compensation to the brothel owner, Skinny Dubois. The rest of the prostitutes, led by Strawberry Alice, are infuriated by this leniency and offer a $1,000 reward to whoever can kill the cowboys.
In early 1950s Los Angeles, Detective Sergeant Edmund "Ed" Exley (Guy Pearce), the son of a legendary LAPD detective, is determined to live up to his father's reputation. His intelligence, insistence on following regulations and cold demeanor contribute to his isolation from other officers. He exacerbates this resentment by volunteering to testify in a police brutality case, insisting on a promotion to Detective Lieutenant against the advice of Captain Dudley Smith (James Cromwell). Exley's ambition is fueled by the murder of his father by an unknown assailant, to whom he refers as "Rollo Tomasi" to give him personality.
Lorsque la directrice générale de Zenotek, Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) tente de fermer la branche de son frère Clay (T. J. Miller), il doit rassembler ses collègues et organiser une fête de Noël épique dans un effort pour impressionner un client potentiel et conclure une vente qui permettra de sauver leurs emplois.
In 1888, Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) and her small group of London prostitutes trudge through unrelenting daily misery. When their friend Ann Crook (Joanna Page) is kidnapped, they are drawn into a conspiracy with links higher up than they could possibly imagine. The kidnapping is soon followed by the gruesome murder of another woman, Martha Tabram (Samantha Spiro); and it becomes apparent that they are being hunted down, one by one as various prostitutes are murdered and mutilated post-mortem.
Former special-operations mercenary Frank Martin is living a less perilous lifestyle than he had previously, transporting classified packages for questionable people. However, he finds himself thrust into danger again when prostitute Anna and her accomplices Gina, Maria, and Qiao orchestrate a bank robbery and kidnap Martin's father to confront and kill Arkady Karasov, a human trafficker who had victimized Anna years earlier.
Ed Earl (Reynolds), the sheriff of Gilbert, Texas, has a relationship of long standing with Miss Mona (Parton), who runs a brothel there called the "Chicken Coop." Illegal or not, Ed Earl doesn't interfere with her business, which has been a fixture in the town for as long as either can remember.
Deuce Bigalow (Rob Schneider), an insecure fishtank cleaner (aquarist), is fired for cleaning the tank at a public aquarium in the nude. Deuce is unsuccessful in attracting women, so he attempts to keep himself busy at work. On a house call, he meets an Argentinean male prostitute Antoine Laconte (Oded Fehr). Antoine is going on a business trip, and so asks Deuce to care for his lionfish and protect his home while he is away. Deuce accidentally sets Antoine's kitchen on fire when trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich in the toaster, and breaks an expensive fish tank.
Joel Goodson is a normal high school student who lives with his wealthy parents in the North Shore area of suburban Chicago. His father wants him to attend Princeton University, his alma mater, so Joel participates in Future Enterprisers, an extracurricular activity in which students work in teams to create small businesses.
After moving from Michigan to Florida, Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute, meets Selby Wall in a gay bar. After initial hostility and declaring that she is not gay, Aileen talks to Selby over beers. Selby takes to Aileen almost immediately, as she likes that she is very protective of her. Selby invites her to spend the night with her. They return to the house where Selby is staying (temporarily exiled by her parents following the accusation from another girl that Selby tried to kiss her). They later agree to meet at a roller skating rink, and they kiss for the first time. Aileen and Selby fall in love, but they have nowhere to go, so Selby goes back to her Aunt's home.
Michael and Karen Carr (Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe) are a couple living in an upscale part of Los Angeles, and their peace of mind is upset by an intruder coming in through their skylight one night. The intruder briefly takes Karen as a hostage, before dumping her in the swimming pool and making his escape.