Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) is a wealthy corporate executive used to mediating tough business deals, and doing things his own way. Along with his beautiful wife Kate (Rene Russo) and son Sean (Brawley Nolte), Tom has all the material trappings of success, including a Fifth Avenue penthouse, an enviable position in New York society and high media visibility. But when the thing he cherishes most_his young son_is abducted by desperate criminals and held for ransom, Tom's world of affluence and privilege comes crashing down. And after an FBI rescue operation fails, he engineers a dangerous countermeasure in a last chance effort to bring his boy back to safety.
With his son's life hanging precariously in the balance, and his wife terrified by the shocking plan, Tom offers an appalling proposal, the response to which could easily result in the loss of his son forever.