The film opens in 1915 during the Battle of Gallipoli. The Turkish soldiers storm an enemy base, only to find nobody there. They see a trap that's activated by a water weight, setting it off without hurting anyone. They see that the ANZACs have retreated, and the soldiers celebrate.
Four years later in Australia, Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) walks with his dog to a dirt field. He digs a deep well and hits water at the bottom. He laughs victoriously and soaks his feet. He returns home to his wife Eliza (Jacqueline McKenzie) and then reads a bedtime story to children that aren't there. Connor's three sons - Arthur (Ryan Corr), Edward (James Fraser), and Henry (Ben O'Toole) - disappeared after WWI and have been presumed dead. Eliza blames Connor for not going out to find them.
The next morning, Connor calls out for Eliza. He hears the dog barking by the lake. Connor runs in and finds Eliza lying facedown, dead. He holds her in his arms and wails. He later buries her outside the church, despite the priest acknowledging that he would not have buried her there knowing she took her own life. Connor vows to find his sons' bodies and properly bury them with their mother.
ANZAC Lt-Col Cyril Hughes (Jai Courtney) meets with Major Hasan (Yilmaz Edrogan) in Gallipoli to search the land and claim the bodies of fallen soldiers. Hasan tells Hughes that the whole land is essentially a burial ground.
Connor arrives in Istanbul and is unable to gain passage to Gallipoli due to the burial detail. A local boy named Orhan (Dylan Georgiades) pesters Connor into following him. Orhan succeeds by grabbing Connor's bag and making him chase the boy to a hotel where his mother Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko) manages. She is rather cold toward Connor but allows him to stay. He hangs around for a while, bonding with Orhan, who has taken a liking to him. Ayshe sympathizes with Connor's plight (her husband/Orhan's father died in the war as well, and Orhan has no idea) and suggests that he get a fisherman to take him on a boat to Gallipoli. Before leaving, Orhan asks Connor to promise that he will find his father.
Connor gets to Gallipoli and meets with Hughes and Hasan. Hughes shows Connor and entry of his son's journal, stained with blood. They also see a picture of Connor's sons. Connor is told to go home, yet he camps out at the site, and Hughes promises to find Connor's sons and give them a proper burial.
The next day, the men find skeletal remains on the battlefield site, which are confirmed by be the bones of Henry and Edward. In a flashback of the battle, we see the boys running toward a wounded Arthur. Henry gets his face shot off and Edward is badly wounded. He lies on the ground moaning in agony. A sergeant whispers to Connor and suggests that it was Hasan's fault that his boys died as he oversaw the defense in the area and had any casualties executed. Connor charges with fury toward Hasan, only to get whacked with a wooden cross. Unfazed, Hasan later tells Connor, after recognizing his surname, that Arthur is still alive and has been taken prisoner.
Connor goes back to Istanbul to try and find out which prison camp Arthur is held at, to no avail. What's more, the British Consul wants to deport him for traveling to Gallipoli. He stays at Ayshe's hotel again. He spends more time with her and Orhan on the town, engaging in Turkish culture. Connor and Ayshe even begin to form a connection.
Ayshe's brother-in-law Omer (Steve Bastoni) pressures her into marrying him, and to tell Orhan what really happened to his father. She is still grieving and is not ready to move on. Omer calls Orhan into the kitchen and tells him that his father was killed in the war. Ayshe angrily strikes Omer, and he retaliates. Orhan runs into Connor's arms, crying. Connor runs in and grabs Omer, throwing him over the table. He leaves, and Ayshe blames Connor for bringing this trouble into their lives.
Connor leaves the hotel and is ganged up on by Omer and some of his goons. He is saved by Hasan's sergeant Jemal (Cem Yilmaz). He informs Connor that the Greeks are invading without British intervention. Connor knows that they will pass through the area where Arthur is being held. He returns to the hotel for his bag, where Ayshe apologizes for what she said to him.
Connor is set to be taken home by the British, but he sneaks out with Hasan and his men. They board a wagon heading away from the area, only to be attacked by a horde of Greek soldiers. In the violent struggle, only Connor, Hasan, and Jemal make it out alive. Connor saves them as they are nearly killed by a Greek soldier.
The men ride horses into a town that Connor recognizes from a recurring dream. This is where he finds Arthur, alive but still suffering from PTSD and guilt. The two embrace. Arthur tells his father what happened the night his brothers died - after Henry was killed, he laid next to Edward, who was shot and was bleeding out. Arthur grabbed Edward's gun and mercy-killed him after they said they love each other. Arthur blamed himself for their deaths and felt he could not return home. The Greeks then start to attack the town. Connor and Arthur run toward a well. Arthur still feels too guilty to go home, but Connor tells him that he has nowhere to go without his son. The two jump in the well and swim out toward the river, evading the Greeks.
Arthur joins Connor as they go back to the hotel. Orhan jumps into Connor's arms when he sees him. Ayshe makes Connor some coffee as he sits outside. The two smile at each other, hinting that they have both fallen for one another.
The film is dedicated to the many lost and nameless soldiers that fought in WWI and still live on in the hearts of their families.
Thanks for reading the spoiler.
Please share it with your friends...
You can send in your spoiler to other movies by going here.