A powerful fairy named Maleficent lives in the Moors, a magical forest realm bordering a corrupt human kingdom. As a young girl, she befriends and falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan (Michael Higgins), whose affection for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to someday become king. As the two grow older, they become estranged, and Maleficent becomes protector of the Moors. When King Henry (Kenneth Cranham) tries to conquer the Moors, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) commands primeval forces and makes him retreat. Fatally wounded in battle, he declares that whoever kills Maleficent will be named his successor and will marry Princess Leila, his only daughter.
On the eve of the American Civil War in 1861, Scarlett O'Hara lives at Tara, her family's cotton plantation in Georgia, with her parents and two sisters. Scarlett learns that Ashley Wilkes—whom she secretly loves—is to be married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, and the engagement is to be announced the next day at a barbecue at Ashley's home, the nearby plantation Twelve Oaks.
Kevin Wendell Crumb souffre d'un trouble dissociatif de l'identité. Il échange régulièrement avec sa psychiatre dévouée, le docteur Fletcher, qui a déjà pu distinguer vingt-trois personnalités différentes s'exprimer à tour de rôle durant leurs conversations. Selon Fletcher, Kevin aurait subi des maltraitances et des humiliations au cours de son histoire et une 24 e personnalité, plus sombre et plus menaçante que toutes les autres, nommée « la Bête », demeure encore enfouie. Le docteur Fletcher met en exergue le fait que son patient s'est forgé ces nombreuses personnalités différentes dans un besoin existentiel de se protéger des autres. La situation se complique lorsque Kevin enlève trois jeunes filles.
In Stockholm, Sweden, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, co-owner of Millennium magazine, has lost a libel case brought against him by businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström. Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but troubled investigator and hacker, compiles an extensive background check on Blomkvist for business magnate Henrik Vanger, who has a special task for him. In exchange for the promise of damning information about Wennerström, Blomkvist agrees to investigate the disappearance and assumed murder of Henrik's grandniece, Harriet, 40 years ago. After moving to the Vanger family's compound, Blomkvist uncovers a notebook containing a list of names and numbers that no one has been able to decipher.
Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) is a lawyer in the quiet town of New Essex, North Carolina. Max Cady (Robert De Niro) is a former client whom Bowden defended 14 years earlier when he was working as a public defender in Atlanta. Cady was being tried for the violent rape and battery of a young woman. Bowden, appalled by Cady's crime, buried crucial evidence about the victim—that she was promiscuous—which might have lightened Cady's sentence or even secured his acquittal, violating his ethical and professional duty as a defense attorney. Cady was illiterate at the time and unaware of Bowden's actions. After his release from prison, Cady tracks down Bowden. The former convict learned to read and studied law in prison, and even assumed his own defense, unsuccessfully appealing his conviction several times. Cady hints strongly that he has learned about Bowden burying the report, stating that the judge and prosecutor in his case did their jobs while Bowden betrayed his own client.
Lorenzo "Shakes" Carcaterra, Thomas "Tommy" Marcano, Michael Sullivan, and John Reilly are childhood friends in Hell's Kitchen, New York City in the mid-1960s. The local priest, Father Robert "Bobby" Carillo, plays an important part in their lives and keeps an eye on them. However, early on they start running small errands for a local mafia gangster, "King" Benny.
Two white supremacists (Nicky Katt and Doug Hutchison) come across a ten-year-old black girl named Tonya (Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly) in rural Mississippi. They violently rape and beat Tonya and dump her in a nearby river after a failed attempt to hang her; she survives, and the men are arrested.
Artist Jennifer Spencer and her sister are raped by a group of boys, after being betrayed by female friend Ray Parkins. The brutal rape leaves Jennifer's sister permanently catatonic. Ten years later, Spencer seeks revenge. She kills one of the rapists (George Wilburn) with two shots—one in the groin and one in the head—from a .38 snubnosed revolver. Spencer then leaves San Francisco because of the subsequent police investigation. Once relocated in the town of San Paulo, Spencer begins restoring its boardwalk's historic carousel near the beach where the rapes occurred.
Psychiatrist Dr. Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) works at a mental hospital and has a car accident after trying to avoid a girl (Kathleen Mackey) on a road during a stormy night while driving back home. She rushes to try to help the girl. The girl turns out to be a ghost and possesses Miranda's body by burning her after she extends her hand to the girl. Miranda loses consciousness. Miranda next wakes up in the very hospital she works for, but as a patient treated by her co-worker, Dr. Pete Graham (Robert Downey, Jr.). Drugged and confused, she remembers nothing of what happened after the car accident. To her horror, she learns that her husband Douglas (Charles S. Dutton) was brutally murdered and that she is the primary suspect. While Miranda copes with her new life in the hospital, the ghost uses her body to carry out messages (most noticeably, she carves the words "not alone" into Miranda's arm), which leads her former colleagues to believe Miranda is suicidal and is inflicting the wounds on herself.
Philadelphia, 1999. In a violent home invasion, engineer Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is forced to witness the rape and murder of his wife and young daughter by Clarence James Darby (Christian Stolte) and his accomplice Rupert Ames (Josh Stewart). Prosecutor Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) is unable to use DNA evidence to securely convict both accused. Unwilling to take a chance on lowering his high and yet unbeaten 96% conviction rate, he chooses to make a deal with Darby (the actual murderer), letting him plead guilty to a lesser charge, in return for testifying against Ames. Ames is falsely found guilty of masterminding the break-in and both murders and is sentenced to death. Shelton feels betrayed by Rice's actions, as he had pleaded with him not to make the deal and to at least try convict both of them, and because he chose to release the actual killer. Darby serves his shortened sentence and is released just a few years later.
After celebrating at a drinking party with his close friends, Tun (Ananda Everingham), a photographer, and Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee), get into a car accident. Jane hits a young woman. With much fear, Tun prohibits her from getting out of the car: they drive away, leaving the girl lying on the road.
In December 2002, Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of Millennium magazine, loses a libel case involving allegations he published about billionaire financier Hans-Erik Wennerström. He is sentenced to three months in prison and a hefty fine. Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but damaged surveillance agent and hacker, is hired by Henrik Vanger, the patriarch of the wealthy Vanger family, to investigate Blomkvist. Vanger then hires Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, who vanished on Children's Day in 1966. Vanger believes that Harriet was murdered by a family member.
In 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon dreams about becoming a photographer. One day, Ray, a boy she has a crush on, approaches her at school and asks her out. As Susie walks home through a cornfield, she runs into her neighbor, George Harvey, who coaxes her into his underground den. Inside, Susie becomes uncomfortable and attempts to leave; when he grabs her, the scene fades until she is seen rushing past classmate Ruth Connors, apparently fleeing Harvey's den.
Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte), a teacher and football coach from South Carolina, is asked by his mother, Lila, to travel to New York to help his twin sister's psychiatrist, Susan Lowenstein (Barbra Streisand), after his sister Savannah's (Melinda Dillon) latest suicide attempt. Tom hates New York and reluctantly accepts, but largely to take the opportunity to be alone and away from a life that does not satisfy him. During his initial meetings with Lowenstein, Tom is reluctant to disclose many details of their dysfunctional family's secrets. In flashbacks, Tom relates incidents from his childhood to Lowenstein in hopes of discovering how to save Savannah's life. The Wingo parents were an abusive father and an overly proud, status-hungry mother. The father was a shrimp boat operator and, despite being successful at that profession, spent all of his money on frivolous business pursuits, leaving the family in poverty.
The film begins during the French Revolution, with the aged Marquis d'Apcher as the narrator, writing his memoirs in a castle, while the voices of a mob can be heard from outside. The film flashes back to 1764, when a mysterious beast terrorized the province of Gévaudan and nearby lands.