The story begins in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, where the gritty, working-class streets are lined with the wreckage of broken families and dreams. It is here that 4 year-old Amanda McCready has gone missing without a trace. The police have failed to turn up even the narrowest of leads, so Amanda’s desperate Aunt and Uncle plead with local private investigators Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck
) and Angie Genarro (Michelle Monaghan
) to take the case.
Though they're wary to jump in, Patrick and Angie know the neighborhood and they also know the truth about Amanda's drug-addicted mother Helene (Amy Ryan). As they dig into her story, they find themselves on a trail that winds into the dark heart of Dorchester and through a chain of drug-dealers, ex-cons and child abusers, but brings them no closer to Amanda. In the glare of the media spotlight, they join forces with a relentless detective Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and police captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman) -- but just as it appears that the emotionally wrenching case is about to be cracked, in the flash of gunfire, the sad truth of Amanda's fate is revealed.
As everyone attempts to move forward, a haunted Patrick cannot walk away. As he backtracks through the clues, he finds himself lured into an ever-intensifying web of lies and inexplicable violence, the shocking secret that hid truth and facing a moral dilemma that will leave him, and the audience, questioning what is right.
Adapted from Dennis Lehane's best-selling novel.