Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a biomedical engineer aboard the NASA space shuttle Explorer for her first space mission, STS-157. Veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) is commanding his final mission. During a spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope and Stone's upgrades to the Telescope, Mission Control in Houston warns the team about a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite, which has inadvertently caused a chain reaction forming a cloud of debris in space. Mission Control orders that the mission be aborted and the crew begin re-entry immediately because the debris is speeding towards the shuttle. Communication with Mission Control is lost shortly thereafter.
Au plus fort de la Première Guerre mondiale, Schofield et Blake, deux jeunes soldats britanniques, reçoivent une mission vraisemblablement impossible. Dans une course contre le temps, ils vont devoir traverser le territoire ennemi et délivrer un message qui pourra stopper une attaque mortelle contre environ 1 600 soldats, parmi lesquels se trouve le frère de Blake.
In New York City, the Bonwit Teller department store is destroyed by a bomb during the morning commute. The New York City Police Department receive a call from a man calling himself "Simon", ordering them that suspended police officer Lt. John McClane be dropped in Harlem wearing a sandwich board that says "I hate niggers" and threatening to detonate another bomb if they don't comply. They collect McClane and follow Simon's instructions; McClane is saved from a potential attack by a group of young men by Zeus Carver, a nearby shop owner. McClane and Carver escape and return to headquarters, where Simon calls again and threatens to detonate more bombs if McClane and Carver do not follow his instructions.
Los Angeles SWAT officers Jack Traven and Harry Temple thwart an attempt by a bomber to hold an elevator full of people for a $3 million ransom. They corner the bomber, but he grabs Harry. Jack shoots Harry in the leg, forcing the bomber to release him. He turns and runs around a corner, apparently dying in an explosion. Jack and Harry are praised by their superior, Lieutenant "Mac" McMahon.
On Christmas Eve two years after the Nakatomi Tower Incident, John McClane is waiting at Washington Dulles International Airport for his wife Holly to arrive from Los Angeles. Reporter Richard Thornburg, who exposed Holly's identity to Hans Gruber in the Nakatomi Tower, is assigned a seat across the aisle from her. In the airport bar McClane spots two men in army fatigues carrying a package, one of whom has a gun. He follows them into the baggage area. After a shootout, he kills one of the men while the other escapes. Learning the dead man is a mercenary thought killed in action, McClane relates the situation to airport police Captain Carmine Lorenzo, but Lorenzo has McClane ejected from his office.
An alcoholic air marshal named Bill Marks boards a Boeing 767 non-stop flight from New York City to London. He sits next to passenger Jen Summers with whom he engages in friendly conversations. After take-off, he receives a text message on his secure phone stating that someone will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred to a specific bank account. Marks breaks protocol and consults with Jack Hammond, the other air marshal, who concludes that the threat is not valid. Marks however consults the help of Summers and flight attendant Nancy to monitor the security cameras while texting the mysterious person in order to locate him. However, Hammond is texted by the unknown person who says that he knows what is in Hammond's briefcase. As Marks confronts Hammond in the rear lavatory, the latter is revealed to be smuggling cocaine in a brief-case. Hammond attacks Marks, who responds in self-defense and breaks Hammond's neck. This incident happens exactly at the 20-minute mark.
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.
As the Allies make their final push into Germany, Don "Wardaddy" Collier, a battle-hardened U.S. Army staff sergeant in the 66th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, commands an M4 Sherman "Easy Eight" tank named Fury and its five-man, all-veteran crew: gunner Boyd "Bible" Swan; loader Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis; and driver Trini "Gordo" Garcia. The tank's original assistant driver/bow gunner, "Red", has been killed in battle. His replacement is Norman Ellison, who has only been in the Army for eight weeks and is trained as a typist, not a tank crewman. During his encounter with the men, they harass him and are cruel, obnoxious, and rude to him. Norman is then ordered to clean the tank, and vomits outside after finding a part of Red's face. While at a forward operating base, it's revealed that Wardaddy greatly despises the Waffen-SS, shown when he harasses an injured captive SS non-commissioned officer before telling Norman to kill every one of them he sees.
Recently divorced Meg Altman (Foster) and her 11-year-old daughter Sarah (Stewart) have just purchased a four-story brownstone on the Upper West Side of New York City. The house's previous owner, a reclusive millionaire, installed an isolated room used to protect the house's occupants from intruders. The "panic room" is protected by concrete and steel on all sides, a thick steel door, and an extensive security system with multiple surveillance cameras, a public announcement system, and a separate phone line. On the night the two move into the home, it is broken into by Junior (Leto), the previous owner's grandson; Burnham (Whitaker), an employee of the residence's security company; and Raoul (Yoakam), a ski mask-wearing gunman recruited by Junior. The three are after $3 million in bearer bonds, which are locked inside a floor safe in the panic room.
The film is presented as found footage from a personal video camera recovered by the United States Department of Defense. A disclaimer text states that the footage is of a case designated "Cloverfield" and was found in area US447 "formerly known as Central Park". The video consists primarily of segments taped the night of Friday, May 22, 2009. Occasionally, older segments are shown from a previous video that was mostly taped over.
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.
In post-Civil War Wyoming, John "The Hangman" Ruth (Russell) is escorting fugitive Daisy "The Prisoner" Domergue (Leigh) to Red Rock where the latter will face justice for murder. They encounter another bounty hunter named Major Marquis "The Bounty Hunter" Warren (Jackson) and Chris "The Sheriff" Mannix (Goggins). A blizzard forces the four to take shelter at a stagecoach passover called Minnie's Haberdashery where they encounter four more strangers; Bob "The Mexican" (Bichir), Oswaldo "The Little Man" Mobray (Roth), Joe "The Cow Puncher" Gage (Madsen), and ex-General Sanford "The Confederate" Smithers (Dern). Through betrayal and deception, the eight strangers soon learn that they may not make it to Red Rock after all.
Major Vic "Deak" Deakins (John Travolta) and Captain Riley Hale (Christian Slater) are pilots in the United States Air Force. After a sparring match, the pilots are assigned to a top secret evening exercise over Utah, flying a B-3 Stealth Bomber (a fictional iteration of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber) with two B83 nuclear bombs on board.
On New Year's Eve, Vice-President of the Times Square Alliance Claire Morgan (Hilary Swank) is making the final arrangements for the ball drop with the help of her friend Police Officer Brendan (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges). Meanwhile, after being nearly run over by a car and denied a vacation, Ahern Records secretary Ingrid Withers (Michelle Pfeiffer) quits her job and offers the deliveryman Paul Doyle (Zac Efron) tickets for the Ahern Records Masquerade Ball if Paul helps her complete a series of New Year's resolutions before midnight, which he accepts.