The movie starts off with the Driver (Dwayne Johnson) in prison. He paces around his cell, shirtless and restless. He's got quite a few tattoos on him. He looks at a faded photo of him and his brother, Gary, in happier times. A couple of guards get him out of the cell and take him to the warden. Driver is scheduled to be released today. The Warden (Tom Berenger) advises Driver to stay clean, otherwise he'll be headed down a dark and lonely path. Driver is too much in a hurry to leave, getting annoyed by a clock's loud ticking that he hardly hears the Warden speak. The Warden hands him a card and Driver walks out. He storms out of the prison, a free man, throws away the card and breaks into a run. He runs to a nearby scrap yard where he finds a 1971 Chevy Chevelle. He finds the keys and enters the car. A man named Roy Grone has kept the car ready for him. It contains a leather jacket (which he puts on), a folder (with a name and address) and a gun. Sticking the photo to the visor, he drives off as fast as the car can manage.
He stops at Downtown Bakersfield. He gets out of the car and walks purposefully through screeching traffic and enters a telemarketing office. He walks right up to where a red-haired guy (The Telemarketer) sits. The Telemarketer stands up in shock on seeing him. Without missing a beat, Driver shoots him right in the middle of his forehead, much to the horror of the other people present. He walks out.
Meanwhile, in a dingy public urinal, the Cop (Billy Bob Thornton) meets with a drug dealer, who sells him some drugs. Alone in his car, he injects himself between his toes. He goes to the crime scene (the telemarketing office), confident and steady. The other cops aren't too happy to see him. None more so that Det. Cicero (Carla Gugino). He says that Sgt. Mallory (Xander Berkeley) forced him to take this case, and that, with retirement coming, he'd rather have sat this one out, but has his duty to uphold. Cicero is a bit antagonistic towards him.
Driver goes to Roy Grone's place. Grone (Mike Epps) is a private investigator, who's helping Driver find other "targets". He hands Driver another folder for cash. He wonders aloud how Driver managed to smuggle that cash when he was in the joint. Driver tells him not to worry about it. Driver wants the other names, to which Grone responds the price just went up. Driver refuses and demands the folder. Grone's bodyguard, Kenny, a muscular Samoan, gets in Driver's face. Suddenly, he sees one of Driver's tattoos and gets scared. He beats a quick and apologetic retreat. Grone, now defenseless, hands over the folder.
Cicero and the Cop watch the surveillance tapes of the Telemarketer's shooting. Cicero remarks that the victim not only knew the killer, but also that he was going to die that day. The Cop calls his ex-wife, Marina (Moon Bloodgood). She's mad at him for not showing up to take their son for his baseball game.
Meanwhile, the Killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) practices yoga at home, doing some almost gravity-defying asanas. There are many framed one-dollar bills on his wall, in addition to many old pictures of him. He used to be disabled when he was little. He's not anymore, but he has some rather ugly scars on his thigh to remind him of those days. His girlfriend, Lily (Maggie Grace), lies naked in bed. He looks at her, smiling. They talk about their life and how he wants to move on to something ultimate. Just then, he gets a call from a client. His mark is Driver. He goes to his garage, which boasts an impressive sports car collection. Lily helps him get ready for his job. He shares a passionate kiss with her and starts to drive off. However, he turns around and returns to kiss her again.
He goes to the location where he's been told to expect Driver. As he waits, he speaks to his psychiatrist on the phone. Apparently, he loves Lily quite a bit and plans to marry her. He watches an Old Guy, helped by a teenage girl, walk towards his house.
Cicero speaks to Sgt. Mallory and Cop about their prime suspect in the murder - Driver. He was sentenced to a ten-years stretch for his role in a bank heist. He was a loner, who had many run-ins with gangs in jail, but was able to hold his own. We flashback to ten years earlier. Driver, Gary and two other guys rob a bank and hightail it out of there. Driver uses his expert driving skills to escape the cops, making a clean getaway.
Back to present, Driver stops his car outside Old Guy's house. He looks at the folder - Old Guy is the target. Killer sees Driver walking towards the place and follows at a safe distance.
Cicero shows Cop an old video they'd found years ago. It shows a bunch of armed men storming the safe house, where Driver and his gang were holed up, and shooting the other guys dead. The attackers tie up a terrified Driver and Gary, and demand the loot. Gary tells Driver not to talk, but Driver does so out of fear. Gary says he's sorry he got Driver involved in this, but he's cut short with an ice pick through his throat. As Driver screams, he sees the Telemarketer laughing at Gary's death throes. The attackers get the stash. Driver notices one of the men is videotaping this and sees the man's face - it's Old Guy, who says smile for the camera. Driver promises to kill all of them. Suddenly, he's shot in the back of the head. He was pronounced dead, but recovered suddenly. He has a metal plate in his head.
Back to present, Old Guy roofies the teenage girl and sets up his video camera, prepared to have his way with her. Just then, Driver bursts in. Old Guy nearly soils his pants, seeing Driver, and tries to plead with him. Driver shoots him dead. He walks out, leaving the traumatized girl. As he walks into the hallway, Killer comes up behind him with a silenced pistol, but is distracted by a little girl. Driver notices Killer and opens fire at him. Killer ducks for cover as Driver walks aggressively towards him, firing all the time. When Killer comes out of cover, he sees Driver's gone. He sees Driver driving off in his car.
Cop goes to his Marina's house. She's angry that he's late to pick up their son, Tommy, for baseball practice. As Cop and Tommy drive to the field, he gets a call from Cicero, saying that another shooting has been reported, similar to the first one. She wants him at the scene immediately. After she hangs up, he continues talking about how he's not going to miss his son's game. Tommy is happy. He reaches the crime scene two hours late, much to Cicero's disapproval. They find a whole bunch of videotapes of snuff films in Old Guy's place. They know he's the guy that shot the tape 10 years ago. They then discuss the hallway shootout.
Meanwhile, Killer calls Lily and tells her about Driver. He says the man has no fear and no hesitation. He almost feels Driver is faster than him. He's still uncertain about this job. Out of the blue, he proposes to her, much to her surprise and delight.
Driver goes to a motel. He sees a report on the Telemarketer's murder and his picture is shown as the prime suspect.
At the station, Cop spills some coffee on his hand, forcing him to roll up his sleeve. Cicero notices a tattoo on his forearm - a CRASH tattoo. He was part of CRASH, back in the day. He tells her that he had married one of his snitches, Marina, and sent her to rehab. He lies to Cicero that he's been clean since the day his son was born.
Driver pulls up outside a house in the suburbs. He sees a lady (Jennifer Carpenter) say bye to her husband and kid, as they leave for office and school. He looks at her photo in the folder and goes inside quietly. As the lady feeds her baby, she hears a sound and goes to the living room, where she sees, to her shock, Driver looking at pictures of her and her family. She slaps him for coming over. She was his girlfriend (now ex). He'd cut off contact with her after going to jail. He wonders if the son is his, but she says that she had the baby aborted. She apologizes. As he leaves, she says she knows what doing and hopes he kills them all.
Killer and Lily get married. They celebrate with shooting practice in the desert. He wants to start a family. She sees he's serious. He promises to quit killing. She accepts.
The Cop goes to Marina's place and begs her to take him back. She tells him to hand over the drugs. He does, promising to go to rehab after this case is over. He asks if he can spend the night.
Driver listens to the radio as he drives, listening to a preacher talk loudly about peace and brotherhood. He stops outside a strip club. His next target is Baphomet Nixon (Lester Speight), a bouncer. This is the guy who slit Gary's throat. Since he can't take weapons inside, he goes in unarmed. He steals an ice pick from the bartender and confronts Nixon in the washroom. Nixon says he's sorry, but understands that one of them will be dead soon. Pulling out a knife, he and Driver fight, until Driver stabs him multiple times in the abdomen. As Nixon lies gasping for breath on the ground, he gives Driver his cellphone, so he can tell his son his father's sorry. Driver takes the phone and leaves. Back in his car, Driver calls Nixon's son and says that Nixon's sorry and that "something happened".
Killer looks at old pictures of himself, when he was handicapped. He decides to do this one last job - kill Driver. Lily sees him prepping for the job and gets upset. He says he's sorry, but she wants him to choose. She's afraid for him.
The Cop shares Tommy's bed that night. He hears a sound and finds Marina in the bathroom. She's shot up the drugs that she took from Cop, saying she's atoning for her past sins. This being the final straw, he throws his drugs in the trash, finally giving them up. He and Marina sleep in the same bed.
Day 4. The Cop calls Cicero, who tells him that the two victims used to be informants. He tells her that there was a stabbing at a strip club, wondering if they're related. She brushes it off, saying that the suspect uses a gun. However, he hangs up on her.
Driver hears on the radio that Nixon is still alive, though critical. He goes to the hospital in Clark County where doctors try to save Nixon's life. The Cop is already here, reading in a magazine about how to reignite the passion in a marriage. He steals the page. Driver shoots Nixon dead, while the ER doctors and nurses cower in terror. The Cop rushes into the room and sees that the shooter's gone. He gives chase. Seeing Driver in the basement, he engages in a shootout with him. It ends with Driver getting the drop on Cop. A tense few seconds later, Driver leaves.
As Driver drives away, he gets a call on Nixon's phone. It's Nixon's son, who swears revenge. Driver accepts this, but warns him that it's a long dark road. Suddenly, he notices Killer's Ferrari bearing down on him. A high-speed car chase later, Driver gets the drop on Killer. However, instead of killing him, he shoots out Killer's wheels. Killer shoots at Driver, hitting him in the neck. Driver manages to escape. The client calls Killer, telling him that he can stand down. However, Killer promises to finish the job.
Driver goes to his next target's house. He wakes up an old lady and asks her where the old man is. She tells him he's been dead for a while now. Turns out, the old man is his father and old lady his mother. She patches up his neck wound. He feels that his father set them up, probably because he wanted a bigger cut in the bank job payout, but Gary had no intention of giving up so much, so he had him killed. Driver's mother is skeptical that her husband would have tried to kill both his sons, despite the monster he was. She tearfully apologizes for not protecting them from their father. They talk about the heist. Driver filled in after the original driver dropped out. Gary owed money to the wrong people and Driver wanted to help him out. He sees a picture of Gary and his girlfriend. The girlfriend is Marina!
Day 5. The Cop gets a hero's welcome when he shows up for work, for almost making a bust and surviving. Cicero also congratulates him, and tells him they might have caught a break. All three victims were informants, who did minimum time. They start looking into other informants.
Driver's next target is The Evangelist (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), the same preacher he's been listening to on his radio. He drives up to a big tent where parishioners listen intently as the Evangelist animatedly delivers his sermon. He sees Driver and realizes why he's here. He nods at him. Later, after the sermon is done, he speaks with Driver in his office. His wife and son come in, but he asks them to carry on without him. He seems genuinely apologetic for his role in Gary's murder. They take a walk. Driver asks who set them up, but the Evangelist doesn't know. He was just the lookout. It was a bad time in his life. They stop near a lake. The Evangelist talks about how he turned his life around, trying to ask for mercy and forgiveness. However, Driver seems to be in no mood to forgive. The Evangelist accepts it, saying he forgives Driver for what he's going to do to him. He gets on his knees and chokingly sings a hymn and prays. Driver is torn. Finally, he shoots... a foot away from the Evangelist's face. He tells the shocked and relieved Evangelist to go home to his family. Killer watches this with binoculars.
Driver goes inside the tent and prays. Killer shows up behind him and holds his gun to his head. Meanwhile, the Cop shows up outside the tent and sees both the cars, knowing who's here. He gets a call from Cicero, telling her that they're here. She tells him to wait for backup, but he replies there's no time. If anything were to happen to him, he wants her to tell Tommy that his father went out like a man. In the tent, Killer taunts Driver. He wants to give him a sporting chance, but Driver has no beef with him. Killer gets insulted and takes Driver's gun and holds it on him. He wonders who set Driver up, because the same guy is his client. Cop enters, shouting for Killer to drop his gun. Killer wants to finish the job, but relents. He lowers his gun. BANG! Cop shoots Driver in the back of the head!
Flashback 10 years; it was Cop who shot Driver in the head back then. Back to present; Killer realizes Cop is the client. He tells him that Driver had no idea that Cop set him up. Cop replies that he didn't know that before. However, at the hospital, Driver looked at him and didn't recognize him, so he decided to kill him himself. Gary's girlfriend and Cop's informant, Marina, told Cop about the heist, so Cop got a bunch of informants to attack the safehouse and kill everyone. Killer's upset that he didn't get to pull the trigger. He storms off. Cop follows him and asks if he doesn't want his payment - one dollar. Killer declines, saying he didn't earn it.
Cicero and her team race towards the scene. As they drive, she looks at her files. She sees, to her surprise, that all the informants reported to the Cop. She calls Mallory and asks if he forced Cop to take this case. He denies it, saying Cop wanted to take this case. She realizes he's the guy who set Driver up.
As he walks away, the Cop calls up Marina and tells her that everything has been worked out. The case is solved. He wants to start afresh with her and Tommy. He's seri... BANG! He's shot in the back of his head. It's Driver - alive! As he lies dying on the ground, he asks Driver how he survived. Driver responds, "Metal plate". Cop laments his decisions in life, saying he created his own personal hell. Driver holds the gun up to the Cop's face and says that he's the demon who crawled out of it. BANG! He walks away.
As he drives, Killer calls Lily, saying he's coming home. Cicero and Mallory find Cop's body. She ponders whether to expose Cop's dirty dealings to Mallory, but decides against it. At least, this way, his family will still be looked after.
Driver immerses his brother's ashes in a lake and drives off in his Chevelle. We see the Evangelist continuing his sermons, talking about forgiveness.
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