*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Emilio.
The film opens with Ray Cutter (John Travolta) in prison. He gets a visit from his lawyer who tells him that his appeal has been denied and should just ride out his 10 months. Ray says that he won’t make it. Ray tells his lawyer to call a man named Keegan, but when the lawyer refuses to, Ray says he will call him on his own.
The next scene shows Ray being released from prison. Ray goes home where his father, Joseph (Christopher Plummer), is surprised to see him, thinking Ray might have broken out of prison. Ray goes upstairs where he sees his son, Will (Tye Sheridan). When Will asks his father how he got out, Ray lies and tells him that the judge granted his appeal. When Ray asks Will what kind of stuff he’s in to, Will tells his father “let’s not do this”. Ray goes back downstairs where Joseph tells him that he hopes that Ray didn’t do anything stupid to be here. Ray doesn’t answer.
Ray goes to a club that Keegan (Anson Mount) owns. Keegan asks Ray if he was bored in jail and if that is why he called him to get him out of jail. On the screen, Keegan and his men observe one of their bartenders dealing his own drugs to the customers. Keegan gives his men the “ok” to take him and kill him. Afterwards, Keegan gives Ray a job to do. He wants Ray to forge a classic Monet painting that is usually on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., but is currently in Boston. Keegan wants Ray to forge the painting, so that the real one can be stolen and that others will think the forged one is the real painting. Ray declines the job, but Keegan threatens him with going back to prison if he doesn’t do it. On the way out, Ray gets propositioned by a young woman (Abigail Spencer), but Ray declines the invitation to go home with her.
The next day, Ray takes Will to the hospital for a check-up. The doctor tells Ray that Will has a tumor in his brain that cannot be operated on, due to the location of the brain stem. The doctor tells Ray that all they can do is try to keep Will as comfortable as possible, indicating that it’s only a matter of time before Will will die. On the ride home, Will asks Ray if the chemo will kill him. Ray tells him that he doesn’t know if it will or not.
The next morning, the police find the body of the dead bartender in a motel. Agent Paisley is the agent in charge and is revealed to be the young woman who propositioned Ray in the bar. She tells her partner that she saw Keegan’s men take him away and that the bartender looked scared. She also tells her partner about Ray and that she thinks he might have known she was a cop.
Ray and Will go out to lunch when Ray notices a couple of Keegan’s shady men come into the diner. Ray goes to the bathroom and one of the men follows him in. Inside, Ray tells the man to tell Keegan to get off his case. The man tries to grab Ray, but Ray beats him up. Back at their table, Will asks Ray who the man was who followed him into the bathroom. Ray says that he doesn’t want to burden Will with the details, but Will says he wants to know. Ray tells him that he owes the guy’s boss $50,000. Ray says that the $50,000 was used to bribe the judge into letting Ray out of prison early. On the way out of the diner, Will tells Ray that he wants to meet his mother. At this point, it is revealed that Ray told Will that she lives in New York City. But, Ray agrees to reunite Will with his mother.
Agent Paisley is informed about Ray’s background. She learns that Ray served five years for forgery and was released for “good behavior”. She also learns that Keegan dropped the dime on Ray and that’s why he went to prison.
Ray goes to see Keegan. Ray asks who is going to buy the real painting after he steals it. Keegan says that he doesn’t know, he says that it’s just a guy.
Ray talks to his friend Collin (Owen Burke) who deduces that Keegan owes somebody a lot of money and that’s why he wants Ray to forge the painting, so he can use the money from the buying of the stolen painting to pay back whoever he owes money to. Joseph asks Ray how he got out of prison. Ray tells him that Keegan got him out. Joseph gets angry at Ray because of it and when Ray asks Joseph for his help with stealing the painting, Joseph tells Ray that he should have stayed in prison.
Ray goes to the last place that his wife, Kim (Jennifer Ehle), worked at. The boss, Rodney, gets very angry at Ray because of something in the past and has three of his men throw Ray out. At first, the three men get the jump on Ray. The three beat up Ray in the street and, when it appears that Ray is out, he comes back and beats all three men unconscious. He goes back into the shop with a baseball bat and asks where Kim is. After a struggle, Rodney tells Ray where he can find her.
Ray goes to see Kim. She is living in a trailer park. Kim asks Ray why is it that Will wants to see her know. He tells her that Will is dying because of a tumor in his head. He tells her to clean herself up and join them for lunch on Wednesday. She argues with him and he tells her that if she doesn’t do it, he’s going to make her life more miserable.
Ray has Joseph sew up the cut on his head that he got from the fight. During this, Joseph asks Ray what he can do to help. Ray asks Joseph if a man, Ivan, is still in business. Joseph says of course he is.
Agent Paisley and her partner review the surveillance footage from Ray’s fight. She tells her partner that she wants to know why Ray is violating his parole.
Collin hands Ray a picture of Agent Paisley, who Ray recognizes as the girl from the bar. Ray tells Collin that Paisley wants Keegan and that she approached Ray because he was coming out of Keegan’s office. Ray begins to suspect that Keegan is the one who ratted him out to the police. Collin takes Ray out behind the bar to a hidden room that dates back to the Prohibition era, which is a good place to forge the painting.
Joseph goes to see Ivan. Joseph tells Ivan that he is there to buy his services. Joseph gives Ivan a shopping list of chemicals that they need and hands Ivan a roll of cash.
Ray goes out and buys a painting that he can use to prepare for the forgery.
Agent Paisley reviews Ray’s case file and deduces that Ray and Keegan plan to sell the painting to Raoul Carlos, the leader of a cartel, who has the largest private art collection in Latin America.
The next few scenes show Ray going back and studying the painting that he is to steal. He goes and notices the different qualities and characteristics of the painting. He takes note of these so that he can replicate them with the forged painting.
Ray goes to pick up Kim. He takes her back to the house as Will looks out the window. Will comes out to meet his mother. They share an awkward meeting. At lunch, Will asks Kim questions about her life, which she tries to dodge. Kim goes to the bathroom where she begins popping pills. They go to the park where Will asks her about her life in New York. She is very vague about it, saying that it’s just like Boston only bigger.
At the end of the day, Ray and Will take Kim to the train station, where Kim pretends to get on a train to New York. On the way home, Will thanks Ray for pretending that his mother lived in New York and not saying that she was a drug addict. Will says that he is glad that he got to meet his mother.
On their way home from one of Will’s checkups, Will tells Ray that he wants to have sex before he dies. Ray seemingly approves to Will’s request. Later, Collin hands Ray a phone number for an escort service to find a girl for Will. Ray says no. Collin asks Ray what he wants. He asks him if Ray plans on finding a girl for Will who’s going to fall in love with him and then they have sex.
The next scene, Ray takes Will to this building. Across the street, Agent Paisley and her partner are watching. Her partner acknowledges that the building that Ray and Will are walking in to is a whorehouse. The partner tells Paisley that if they don’t arrest Ray now, they aren’t doing their jobs.
Ray takes Will to meet Melanie (Lyndon Smith), a young prostitute. She tells Ray that to come back in an hour. Ray says okay and leaves. As Ray approaches the lobby, he sees Paisley and her partner heading into the building. Ray runs back upstairs to Melanie’s place, breaks the door open, grabs Will and both of them flee. Paisley’s partner stays with Melanie as Paisley pursues Ray and Will. Ray and Will take the stairs to the roof, while Paisley misjudges and heads downstairs.
On the roof, Ray and Will notice that the next roof requires a bit of a jump. Ray says that they aren’t going to jump, which leads Will to make the jump to the next roof successfully. Ray also makes the jump successfully. They try to open the door to the stairwell, but find it locked. At this point, Paisley is on her way to the roof. Ray is able to open the door with a knife and both of them make it inside, seconds before Paisley makes it to the roof. She looks around but doesn’t see them.
At home, Joseph gets a big laugh at the whole story. Ray apologizes to Will over what happened, but Will says that everything that happened was awesome. The next day, Will makes Ray some breakfast. Will tells Ray that he knows he is planning something big in order to pay back the money. When Ray chooses not to tell Will, Will calls Ray a liar and a fake and he leaves the table. All of a sudden, Ray hears a thud coming from upstairs. He runs upstairs to find that Will has collapsed. Ray rushes Will to the hospital. After this, Ray chooses to divulge the plan to Will.
Ray shows Will the picture of the Monet painting. Ray tells Will that he cannot just copy the painting because of how intricate it is. Ray says that he has to be able to think like Monet in order to successfully forge it.
Ray goes to see Agent Paisley. Ray tells her that he can’t tell her anything about Keegan because he’s not a snitch. Paisley shows Ray a picture of Raoul Carlos and asks him if he’s ever seen him. Ray tells her no. She tells him that Raoul is a collector of fine arts and then asks Ray if he gets the picture. Ray seemingly figures it out. He tells her that he needs time and privacy. Paisley tells him that whatever Ray thinks he owes Keegan will end up destroying the time that he has left with Will. She asks him to help him help her.
As Ray is painting, Will wakes up from a dream. Ray goes to him and Will tells him that he had a dream. Will begins crying and Ray hugs him as they share a tender father-son moment.
Ray, Will and Joseph head home to see Keegan and his men waiting for him. Keegan reminds Ray that tomorrow is the day that the forgery should be done. Ray hands Keegan a business card for an appraiser that specializes in stolen art.
Ray is able to finally finish the painting. Paisley goes to follow Ray. As Ray heads out to the museum, Paisley begins following him, until a car pulls out in front of her. It is Collin, who distracts her long enough for her to lose Ray.
At the museum, Joseph creates a distraction. He pulls out a drink and opens it up, attracting the attention of the security guard who tells Joseph that he cannot be drinking inside the museum. Joseph pretends to be senile as the guard escorts him out. On the way out, Joseph pickpockets the guard’s keys. Ray and Will go into the bathroom. Inside, Ray helps Will into a ventilation shaft where he is to wait until closing time.
At closing time, Paisley and the F.B.I. arrive to check things out. At closing time, Will comes out of the bathroom as Ray, Joseph and Collin use the guard’s keys to enter the museum. Will is almost narrowly caught by Paisley, her partner and the night guard. Will plants a lock on the guard’s office. Collin shuts off all the lights in the museum.
Ray, Joseph and Collin take the painting and switch it with the forged one. Once the guards notice the door is locked, they hit the fire alarm. Paisley and her partner begin to leave until they hear the alarm. On their way out, Ray and the group is spotted by one of the guards who chase them. They are able to make it to their van, where they escape with the painting.
At Keegan’s office, Ray shows him the painting. Keegan tells Ray that the painting will take him (Keegan) off the hook. When Ray asks Keegan if this means he won’t see Keegan again, he replies “not exactly”. At that moment, one of Keegan’s men hits Ray in the back, knocking him to the floor. Keegan reveals to Ray that he is going to rat Ray out to the police, so that he can go back to the prison. Keegan lets Ray go, knowing it’s only a matter of time before Ray is picked up by the police.
Keegan’s men meet with Raoul who observes the painting. Paisley is outside, having spotted one of Keegan’s men entering the building with a large bag big enough to hold a painting. Ray meets with Paisley in her car. He tells her that if he wants to make a bust, then she should let the deal play out.
Raoul has the appraiser (the one whose business card Ray gave to Keegan) look at the painting before the deal takes place. After a couple of minutes, one of Raoul’s men comes back and whispers something to Raoul. Raoul asks Keegan’s henchman if he has the money for the appraiser. He says he does and hands Raoul the money. Raoul tells the henchman that the appraiser came all the way down from Minneapolis just to say that Keegan is a fool. The henchman doesn’t know what is happening. Then one of Raoul’s men takes Keegan’s henchman away. The appraiser comes out from the other room and is revealed to be Joseph. He tells Raoul that the painting is a forgery and a bad one at that. When Raoul asks him if the painting is worth nothing, Joseph tells him “yes”. Raoul hands Joseph $100,000, which was what Keegan was going to pay to the appraiser and tells him that it is for his time.
Joseph comes out of the hotel and gets into the car with Ray and Paisley. When Paisley asks what happened, Ray tells her that the Monet painting is inside and is the actual one. Joseph lied to them. Ray tells her that Raoul and his men will eventually figure it out that they were duped and then return to the hotel. When that happens, Ray tells Paisley that she can arrest them. The next morning, Paisley and her partner discover Keegan dead, apparently from Raoul and his men.
In the morning, Ray and Joseph wait in the car as Will is with a girl, Tricia. Joseph complains about what is taking Will so long, saying that when he was a young man, all he needed was two minutes (implying that Will is having sex). Will comes out of Tricia’s house where they share a hug. When Will gets back into the car, Joseph asks how it went. Will says “Gramps, that’s none of your business”. They drive off.
Back at the museum, Paisley watches as the painting is returned to its rightful place. Ray, Will, and Joseph head to the airport, where they make their getaway.
On a beach somewhere, Ray tells Will that he’s never seen Joseph so happy before. Ray tells Will that they have plenty of time to go exploring all these different places. Will looks at his dad, looking content, without saying anything. Ray gets up and looks out at the open ocean.