Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief, specializing in big robberies, who follows a unique code—he doesn’t steal from the poor or hurt innocent people. His mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte) asks him take charge of a job with a crew he doesn’t know, consisting of Melander (Michael Chiklis), Carlson (Wendell Pierce), Ross (Clifton Collins Jr.), and Hardwicke (Micah Hauptman). The job, taking the gate money from the Ohio State Fair, is successful, but Hardwicke ignored instructions, resulting in him needlessly killing a man in a fire that was set as a distraction.
Parker, disgusted with the crew’s unprofessional standards, refuses to participate in another robbery that could net them millions. Needing his share of the Ohio loot to finance the bigger job, Melander’s crew decides to shoot Parker and leave him to die alongside a road. Having barely survived, Parker is found by a family of tomato farmers who take him to the hospital, where he subdues a male nurse, steals his uniform, and escapes. He then robs a check-cashing store, shooting the proprietor in the leg, ties up both the proprietor and his employee, gagging them with duct tape, then steals a woman’s car.
Parker tells Hurley he wants to go after the double-crossing Melander, who has gone to Palm Beach, Florida for another heist. Upon learning that Parker is alive, the crew uses mob connections to hire a hitman named Kroll (Daniel Bernhardt). Kroll tries to kidnap Parker’s girlfriend Claire (Emma Booth), who is Hurley’s daughter. She narrowly escapes and goes into hiding. Hurley is worried and suggests Parker run away with her, but Parker is completely intent on revenge.
In Palm Beach, Parker poses as a wealthy Texan named Daniel Parmitt, looking for a place to live. Leslie Rodgers (Jennifer Lopez) is a depressed, unsuccessful real-estate agent living with her mother (Patti LuPone), struggling financially after a divorce. She is thrilled when Parker (as Parmitt) appears to become interested in her properties because she is desperate for a commission.
Leslie becomes suspicious when Parker only shows interest in a house that a man named Rodrigo recently purchased and is remodelling. In reality, Rodrigo is Melander, who is staying in the house with the crew in anticipation of a $50 million jewelry auction they plan to rob. Parker returns to the house to plant his guns, find their weapons and disable the firing pins.
Leslie finds out that Parker is using a fake identity. She offers her local knowledge in exchange for a commission of the robbery. He considers it only after making Leslie strip to show she isn’t wearing a wire. Together, they plan to steal the jewels from Melander after he robs them from the auction. Leslie makes a pass at Parker, but he remains distant, though obviously attracted to her.