A young monster named Michael "Mike" Wazowski dreams of being a scarer (a monster who enters the human world at night to scare children so their screams can be harvested for energy) when he grows up, after visiting Monsters Inc. (Monstropolis' most profitable and best-known scaring company) on a school field trip. Eleven years later, Mike is a first-year scare major at Monsters University, where he meets a monster named James P. "Sulley" Sullivan.
Remy is an idealistic and ambitious young rat, gifted with highly developed senses of taste and smell. Inspired by his idol, the recently deceased chef Auguste Gusteau, Remy dreams of becoming a cook himself. When an old woman sees his clan, they are forced to abandon their home; Remy is separated from them as a result of the woman's gunshots. He ends up in the sewers of Paris and eventually finds himself at a skylight overlooking the kitchen of Gusteau's restaurant.
Ella lives with her wealthy, loving parents on a beautiful estate in a peaceful kingdom. From a young age, she is taught by her mother to believe in the existence of magic, allowing her to befriend many animals on the estate, particularly the mice. Everything is perfect until her mother falls ill and dies. On her deathbed, she asks Ella to make her a promise that she will always have courage and show kindness to others. Some time later, her father marries Lady Tremaine, the widow of an old friend, who has two daughters of her own: Drisella and Anastasia. Ella welcomes her new stepfamily, despite the stepsisters' unpleasant attitudes and her need to protect her mouse friends from her stepmother's cat, Lucifer.
In October 1991, the commercial fishing boat Andrea Gail returns to port in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with a poor catch. Desperate for money, Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney), convinces the Andrea Gail crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. The crew heads out past their usual fishing grounds in the Grand Banks, leaving a developing thunderstorm behind them. Initially unsuccessful, they head to the Flemish Cap, where their luck improves. At the height of their fishing the ice machine breaks; the only way to sell their catch before it spoils is to hurry back to shore. After debating whether to sail through the building storm or to wait it out, the crew decides to risk the storm. However, between the Andrea Gail and Gloucester is a confluence of two powerful weather fronts and a hurricane, which the Andrea Gail crew underestimates.
Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) is a young man from an impoverished background, but with a promising future in law. About to graduate from Harvard Law School near the top of his class, he receives a generous job offer from Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a small, boutique firm in Memphis specializing in accounting and tax law. He and his wife, Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn), move to Memphis and Mitch sets to work studying to pass the Tennessee bar exam. Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman), one of the firm's senior partners, becomes his mentor and begins introducing Mitch to BL&Ls professional culture, which demands complete loyalty, strict confidentiality, and a willingness to charge exceptional fees for their services. Seduced by the money and perks showered on him, including a house and car, he is at first totally oblivious to the more sinister side of his new employer, although Abby has her suspicions. Mitch passes the bar exam and begins working long hours that put a strain on his marriage. Working closely with Avery, Mitch learns that most of the Firm's work involves helping wealthy clients hide large amounts of money in off-shore shell corporations and other dubious tax-avoidance schemes. While on a trip to the Cayman Islands on behalf of a client, Mitch lets himself be seduced by a local woman. But the encounter is a set-up and their tryst on the beach is photographed by people working for the firm's sinister "head of security", Bill DeVasher (Wilford Brimley), who uses it to blackmail Mitch into keeping quiet about what he knows.
In 1914, aliens known as Mondoshawans arrive at an ancient Egyptian temple to collect, for safekeeping, the only weapon capable of defeating a great evil that appears every 5,000 years. The weapon consists of four stones, representing the four classical elements, and a sarcophagus containing a fifth element in the form of a human, which combines the power of the other four elements into a divine light capable of defeating the evil. The Mondoshawans promise their human contact, a priest from a secret order, that they will come back with the element stones in time to stop the great evil when it returns.
Cinderella is the beloved child of a widowed aristocrat. Anxious for his daughter to have a mother's love, he remarries to Lady Tremaine, with two daughters: Drizella and Anastasia. After her father dies unexpectedly, Lady Tremaine is revealed to be a cruel and selfish woman, and Cinderella is abused and mistreated by her stepfamily, who take over the estate and ultimately reduce her to being a scullery maid in her own home. Despite this, Cinderella grows into a kind and gentle young woman, befriending the animals in the barn and the mice and birds who live around the chateau.
In Fall 1995 in Detroit, Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (Eminem), a young and unhappy blue-collar worker from a poor family, struggles with various aspects of his life. He has moved back north of 8 Mile Road to the rundown trailer home in Warren, Michigan of his alcoholic mother Stephanie (Kim Basinger), his little sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield), and Stephanie's abusive live-in boyfriend Greg (Michael Shannon). Although encouraged by his friends, who hail him as a talented rap music artist, Jimmy worries about his potential as a musician, particularly due to his lack of confidence. This caused him to panic during a rap battle one night at a club called The Shelter, and leave the stage humiliated.
On January 24, 2004, friendly Los Angeles cab driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) is working to earn enough to start his own limousine business. One of this evening's fares is U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Annie Farrell (Jada Pinkett Smith). On the drive to her office, they strike up a conversation as a result of a bet on what route will get her downtown the fastest. She takes a liking to Max and leaves him with her business card.
Technology company DigiCom is about to merge with a publishing company, and company founder and president Bob Garvin (Donald Sutherland) plans to retire. Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas), head of manufacturing for the Seattle-based advanced products division, expects to be promoted to run the division, which is to be spun off as a publicly traded company after the merger. However, he learns that the post has instead gone to operations executive Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore), a former girlfriend. Garvin introduces Meredith to her new subordinates. Co-workers like Mark Lewyn (Dennis Miller) comment on how attractive Meredith is. Others, like chief financial officer Stephanie Kaplan (Rosemary Forsyth), seem to be aware that Tom and Meredith had a relationship.
A Baker and his Wife wish for a child but suffer under a curse laid upon the Baker's family by a Witch who found the Baker's father robbing her garden when his mother was pregnant. The Baker's father also stole some beans which caused the Witch's mother to punish her with the curse of ugliness. The Witch offers to lift the curse, but only if the Baker and his Wife obtain four critical items for her: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold.
Nick Hendricks (Bateman) and Dale Arbus (Day) are friends who despise their bosses. Nick works at a financial firm for the sadistic David Harken (Spacey), who implies the possibility of a promotion for Nick for months, only to award it to himself. Dale is a dental assistant being sexually harassed by his boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Aniston); she threatens to tell his fiancee Stacy (Lindsay Sloane) that he had sex with her unless he actually has sex with her. Nick and Dale's accountant friend Kurt Buckman (Sudeikis) enjoys working for Jack Pellitt (Donald Sutherland) at a chemical company, but after Jack unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, the company is taken over by Jack's cocaine-addicted son Bobby (Farrell), whose apathy and incompetence threaten the future of the company.
Chuck Levine, a womanizing bachelor, and Larry Valentine, a widower struggling to raise his two children, are two veteran New York City fire fighters. During a routine sweep of a burned building, a segment of floor collapses on Chuck. However, Larry quickly shields him from the falling debris, saving his life. Later, he and Chuck wake up in a hospital, where Chuck vows to repay Larry in any way possible. This incident serves as a catalyst for Larry's epiphany: death is both inevitable and unpredictable. This prompts him to significantly increase his life insurance policy, but he runs into difficulties naming his children as primary beneficiaries in his policy. He is told he should get remarried so his new spouse could be the primary beneficiary; however, it doesn't specify who he has to marry. Inspired by a newspaper article about domestic partnerships, Larry asks Chuck to enter a civil union with him. Although Chuck declines at first, he is reminded of his debt to Larry and finally agrees, entering a domestic partnership and becoming Larry's primary beneficiary in the event of his death. To their dismay, however, New York City investigators soon arrive to inquire about their abrupt partnership, under suspicion of fraud. Chuck and Larry decide to enlist the help of lawyer Alex McDonough, played by Jessica Biel, who suggests they get married and move in together to prove they're committed. Chuck reluctantly agrees. The pair soon travel to Canada for a quick marriage (so quick they use a nearby homeless person as the best man) and begin living together.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) makes his living traveling to workplaces around the United States and breaking the news to workers that they have been let go for employers unwilling to do it themselves. Ryan also delivers motivational speeches, using the analogy "What's In Your Backpack?" to extoll the virtues of a life free of burdensome relationships with people as well as things. Ryan relishes his perpetual travels. His personal ambition is to become only the seventh person to earn ten million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines. While traveling, he meets another frequent flyer named Alex (Vera Farmiga) and they begin a casual relationship.
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.