In Chicago, ex-insurance investigator Nate Ford is sitting in a bar pouring himself a drink when Victor Dubenich approaches himself and admits he's an admirer of all the money that Nate has saved his former insurance company. Dubenich notes that the company abandoned him and his family and Nate warns him not to go there. The man backtracks and says that he wants to offer Nate a job to recover his airplane designs from the people that he knows stole them.
Nate and three other people approach the Pierson Avionics building. The three others go inside while Nate sets up in a neighboring office building.
When Nate suggests that Dubenich take a legal approach, he explains that his former engineer went missing with the files, and Pierson announced an identical project a week later. Dubenich needs them in time for a shareholders' meeting of Bering Industries at the end of the month. He explains that he's already hired three thieves, including Parker, but he needs Nate as an honest man to watch over them. All three of the thieves are people that Nate has chased in the past.
Nate brings up schematics of the building.
Nate warns that Dubenich's plan won't work because the three people he hired work alone. Dubenich insists that they will, for $300,000 each, and he'll give Nate double to run the operation. Further, he offers Nate a bonus: his former insurance company, IYS, insures Pierson. The company will have to pay out $15 million if the plans are stolen. Dubenich asks Nate how badly he wants to screw over the company that let his son die.
Nate checks in with his teammates. The first is Alec Hardison, a computer hacker. He's less than thrilled with the equipment, and assures Nate he's been hacking since high school. Hardison is working with Eliot Spencer, a "retrieval specialist" and martial arts expert. Next up is Parker, a thief who ran away from home. They start the operation but Parker immediately goes off on her own, dropping on a line down the side of the building. While she cuts through the window, Hardison and Eliot enter from the roof and climb down the elevator shaft to the car. Parker gets inside and uses the controls to send their car down.
Hardison starts to hack the electronic lock on the storage vault, while Nate notices that only four of the security guards are accounted for. Parker spots them on the camera, doing their walkthrough an hour early so they can watch the playoffs. The guards spot an open door and Nate has Parker jam their communication headsets. He then tells Eliot to clear the zone using Hardison as bait. Hardison tries to leave but the guards find him, and Eliot ambushes them and takes them out in a matter of seconds.
Once Hardison hacks the lock, they enter the vault and he strips the drives. He then spikes the system with virus and they leave. Meanwhile, Parker determines that the other guards have reset the alarms and the roof access is unavailable. They start to argue and Nate tells them to hold it together and directs them to the elevator. Once inside, the trio puts on business suits and make up Parker to appear injured. When the elevator arrives in the lobby, the security guard investigates and Eliot and Hardison get the "injured" Parker out. Nate picks them up in his car and they leave.
Later, Hardison sends the plans to Dubenich and Nate tells them that the money will be wired to their accounts. Hardison admits it's kind of cool being on the other side, but Eliot and Parker are ready to go their own way. When Nate insists that he's not on the same side as them, Parker points out that he is now and asks if he had fun. Nate ignores the question and they all walk away.
The next morning, Nate gets a phone call from Dubenich, who insists the designs never got to him. He freezes the payments and tells Nate to meet him at an old airport facility in one hour to make things right. Nate arrives and finds Hardison with a gun, arguing with Eliot over who stole the plans. When Nate comes in, they figure that he stole the plans. He gets the gun away from Hardison, but Parker arrives pointing a gun and demands to know where her money is. Nate calms her down and realizes that they're all there because they didn't get paid, and that was the only way to lure them into one place at one time. They realize they've been set up and run outside just as a bomb goes off, demolishing the facility and knocking them out.
Nate wakes up in the hospital, handcuffed to a bed. The others have also been captured and handcuffed, and placed in adjoining rooms. They've been fingerprinted and realize it's only a matter of time until the state police identify them within the next ten minutes. Nate insists that they have to work together to escape, and they realize they have no choice. Parker forces herself to vomit so a doctor will check her, and then steals his phone. She slips the phone through the vent to Nate, and Nate pretends to be a FBI director calling the local deputy and convinces him one of his captives, Hardison, is an undercover agent. Hardison sends a fake fax to confirm his identity, and he takes away the other prisoners. They get away just as the state police call.
Hardison takes the others to his apartment and determines that Pierson actually owned the plans. Nate realizes that Dubenich played them all, and that they need to run a game on him. He promises the others payback and money, and insists he wants to go after Dubenich because he used Nate's dead son to motivate him. All the need now is Sophie.
Sophie is performing as Lady MacBeth as the team watches in shock and horror. Nate assures them that theater isn't her best stage. They need someone that Dubenich doesn't know. They meet with Sophie afterward, and she remembers how she and Nate met. Once she realizes he's working with thieves, she agrees to help out.
Back at Hardison's apartment, the hacker briefs them on Dubenich. He's in charge of the major government contracts but is in charge of the commercial division. Hardison admits he kept a copy of the stolen files and Nate identifies it as a short-range fuel-efficient airplane. Pierson and Dubenich have been rivals for five years and Pierson got there first. Nate figures they can use that and use Nigerians.
Dubenich arrives at his office and discovers he has an unexpected visitor: Sophie, posing as a representative for a Nigerian trade commission. They want to encourage economic renewal in Africa and she invites him to talk somewhere a little less formal. Dubenich reluctantly goes along, and Hardison than shuts down his receptionist's computer. Parker intercepts her call to IT and sends in Eliot as a computer geek.
Dubenich tests Sophie's knowledge, and Nate feeds her information to pass. Meanwhile, Eliot distracts the receptionist while Parker breaks into Dubenich's office and hacks his system.
As they walk, Dubenich offers his new product to Sophie, and she says they want to build the planes and sell them. However, her people want to make sure they get the contracts. When Dubenich balks, Sophie offers to take her offer to Pierson. He gives in and she offers to set up a meeting in two days, and then quickly leaves.
Hardison goes over the financials and passwords that Parker stole, while Nate and Eliot play pool. Eliot notes that Nate looks better than when they started, and figures that Nate considers himself the good guy because he's going after Dubenich. When Eliot expresses his condolences over Nate's kid, Nate says he doesn't know anything, but Eliot informs him that everyone knows from when Nate went off the street. Nate remembers how IYS refused to pay for his son's treatment because it was experimental and he was forced to watch the boy die. He rebuffs Eliot's efforts to be friendly, and Eliot sarcastically notes that he has so many. Sophie comes over and Nate helps her with her earpiece, and she comments that this time he's really inside her head.
The next day, the team watches as Dubenich arrives for the meeting at the building they're using. Sophie warns that they're not ready, and Nate says that she has to intercept Dubenich before he checks the building directory and discovers that their company doesn't exist. When Sophie can't get there in time, Nate moves in and tells Parker to get Sophie to the lobby. Parker gets Sophie and rappels with her down the stairwell, while Eliot sets up their fake office. Nate takes out a baton and smashes car windows, setting off the alarms, and then walks away. While Dubenich looks outside, Sophie gets to the lobby and catches up to him just as he comes back and checks the building directory. As they go up, she warns Dubenich that her employers will want to "compensate" him for bringing them the business.
Eliot gets the fake office set up just in time and she comes in to find African executives waiting for them. Nate listens as Sophie closes the deal with the Nigerians, and she hands Dubenich a piece of paper from them saying they want $1 million for their "compensation." He agrees to pay and then leaves. Once he's gone, Nate says they have a busy day and assures them the plan will work.
Back at his office, Dubenich talks to his assistant, Jenkins, and shows him the bug that Parker planted in his office earlier. He's checked and knows that Sophie's business is fake, and has photos showing that she met with Nate. Dubenich tells Jenkins to call the FBI, and warns that Nate and his team will soon learn who they're messing with.
The next day, Dubenich heads his shareholder meeting while Sophie and the Nigerians arrive for the reception. He tells Sophie that he wants to close the deal immediately and asks her to bring the Nigerians to the conference room. Dubenich then calls in the FBI, but he's shocked to discover that they are there to arrest him. The head agent, Higgins, informs him that he's under arrest for soliciting a bribe. The Nigerians prove that they are real Nigerian government officials, and say that they believed Sophie was working for Dubenich. Sophie has slipped away in the confusion.
Dubenich is surprised to learn that after he entered the fake office, Eliot put up another sign identifying it as a subsidiary of Bering Industries. When the Nigerians came in, they thought they were at a Bering office. More FBI agents arrive and demands to know who among the shareholders were involved in bribing the Nigerians. The Nigerians say they paid Dubenich $200,000, and he realizes the slip of paper that Sophie gave him with the $1 million bribe request was written on the back of the check. Higgins goes to get Dubenich's computer, reminding the CEO he can do it because he has government contracts. Dubenich tries to slip away. Up above, Jenkins shreds the records and throws them out the window. Nate and the team leave with the incriminating files while the FBI captures Jenkins and his people.
Later, Nate meets with Pierson and gives him the files back. In return, Pierson drops the investigation of the original theft. As Nate leaves, Pierson wonders if he wants money, and Nate assures him they have a different revenue stream.
As Bering Aerospace's stock crashes, Nate calls Dubenich and tells him that he should have just paid them. Nate explains the planted the obvious transmitter for Dubenich to find. Dubenich insists that it doesn't matter as long as the FBI can't find the bribe money... just as the FBI finds the bribe money the team planted. Finally, Nate informs Dubenich that the team made a profit by selling Bering stock just before it crashed. He then tells Dubenich not to say anything, or the next time they won't be so nice.
Hardison pays off the team, who are shocked to learn that they made $32 million each. They wonder if they are out now that they can retire, and Nate admits it's been a pleasure. He walks away and the others leave a moment later. However, they then follow Nate and admit that they enjoyed themselves, Eliot figures that Nate will fall apart without the chase. And Sophie is there to say that he can pick the jobs. When Nate insists that his job is helping people, Sophie says he needs to find some bad guys... and bad guys have money.
Later, the team meets with a couple who have lost their daughter to a company that set up an "accident." Nate assures them that while the corporations have all the power and money, he and his team provide.... leverage. Share this article with your friends