You Were Never Really Here

Joe is a traumatized hired gun who rescues trafficked girls, using brutal methods against their captors. He cares for his elderly mother in his childhood home in New York City. Joe has flashbacks of the abuse he and his mother faced from his violent father, and his brutal past in the military and FBI, and is troubled by suicidal thoughts.

As he comes home one night, Joe is seen by Moises, the son of Angel who acts as middleman between Joe and his handler John McCleary. Joe tells McCleary that Angel knows his address and may pose a security risk. McCleary assigns Joe a new job: a New York State Senator, Albert Votto, has offered a large sum of money to discreetly rescue his abducted daughter, Nina. He gives Joe the address of a brothel for wealthy patrons sent via an anonymous text.

Joe stakes out the brothel, kills several security guards and patrons, and rescues Nina. While Joe and Nina await Votto’s arrival in a hotel room, the news reports that Votto has committed suicide. Police officers gain access to the room with the help of the desk clerk, before killing the clerk and taking Nina. One of the officers attempts to kill Joe, but is instead killed by Joe who then escapes.

Joe finds that government agents have killed McCleary, Angel and Moises, in search of Joe’s address. Arriving back at his own home, Joe discovers that two agents have murdered his mother and have been waiting for him. He kills one agent and mortally wounds the other, who reveals that Governor Williams is directing the authorities to cover up the trafficking, and that Nina is Williams’s favorite.

Joe gives his mother a water burial. He fills his own pockets with stones and allows himself to sink into water with the intent of killing himself, but as he sinks, he has a vision of Nina and swims back to the surface.

Joe follows Williams to his country home and fights his way in, only to discover Williams with his throat slit. He searches the house and discovers Nina seated at a dining room table, alongside a bloody straight razor. Although Joe is upset to see that Nina had killed Williams, Nina reassures him that she is alright.

Later, while seated at a diner, Joe has a violent suicidal fantasy and passes out. Nina wakes him, saying, “It’s a beautiful day.” He agrees, and they leave together.