Karla Dyson (Halle Berry), a diner waitress, lives a mostly perfect life as a single mother with her six-year-old son Frankie (Sage Correa) despite fighting a custody battle/court order with her estranged husband.

One day, Karla takes Frankie to the local carnival. Upon entering, she temporarily leaves her son, in order to take an important phone call from the divorce lawyer she is working with. But when Karla comes back, she finds that her son is missing, leaving his toy voice recorder behind. Suddenly, Karla sees a woman dragging Frankie aggressively into a green third generation Ford Mustang and, while the car is driving away, then clings at the side of the car trying to stop them, losing her phone in the process. Karla drives her car and chases the other one, ensuing the lengthy chase.

However, with her phone lost, she tries to get help from nearby motorists, but the attempt is thwarted by the kidnappers. Karla is then forced to take another route after the woman threatens to kill her son. Not giving up on rescuing her son, Karla chases the green car again.

Karla hears the abductor's voice from her son's toy voice recorder revealing the abductor's name Margo, who claims that Karla is looking for her son despite, apparently, Margo sees Karla talking over the phone. She then sees a police motorcycle several meters behind her. Hoping to stop the abductors' car, Karla sways her car. The abductors' car slams the police motorcycle into Karla's car, apparently knocking the police officer unconscious.

Upon stop at grassy field, Karla confronts another abductor and demands he release her son, as long as she gives her money to the abductors. However, Margo gets out of the car and forces Karla to ride with her, who claims that they will get $10,000 ransom in exchange of her son upon reaching their destination. Margo orders Karla to follow her accomplice's car.

Upon reaching the tunnel, Margo attacks her, but Karla manages to subdue her and throws her out of the car. Having realized that Margo is gone, Karla is forced not to follow the car after the second abductor threatens to drop Frankie out onto the dangerous highway. After Karla loses them for several minutes, she spots a road accident and finds the abductors' car ahead of the traffic jam. One of the motorists saw the man and the boy emerge from the car and Karla drives after them.

Karla stops at the police station to report the incident and sees posters of young children who had been missing for a decade. Fearing that her son will disappear for good, she continues the chase. Karla eventually finds the black Volvo used by the abductor and chases him until she finally runs out of fuel. Karla hitches a ride to follow the abductor but is suddenly hit by the abductors' car, killing the driver.

Upon recovering, she finds that her son isn't there in the car. The male abductor emerges from his car and begins to shoot at her with a short saw shotgun. He tries to attack her and she releases the brake, causing the car to reverse into the woods with the abductor clinging to it being struck to death by tree branches. Karla yells at the man on where her son is, but he dies before she can get the answer. Karla finds his identification card and learns his name, Terrence Vicky, and address where her son might be.

Karla arrives at the Vicky house and eventually locates Frankie in the barn with two other kidnapped girls. Before that, she calls 911 as she hides from Margo, who leaves the house in search for her husband Terrence. Karla successfully rescues Frankie, but when Margo — who has just realized that Terrence is dead — returns, she and her son run out of the barn before she can retrieve the two girls. Karla creates a diversion by sailing the skiff away while hiding underwater.

Margo discovers them hiding, and Karla drags Margo down into the water and drowns her. Returning to the barn, she's approached by a man who is Vicky's neighbor, who holds her at gunpoint. Realizing that he's the ringleader of the kidnappings, she knocks him out with the shovel just before he draws his gun at her. As the police arrive, Karla rescues the two girls and the media reports praise her for saving the children from the abductors, and announcing the discovery of a child abduction ring that is active in four states.

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