A lone-wolf Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a freelance getaway wheelman, and he finds his solitary existence taking on new meaning after befriending Irene (Carey Mulligan), the lonely wife of convicted felon Standard (Oscar Isaac), and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos).
When Standard gets released from prison and is strong-armed into committing a bold daytime robbery, the Driver offers his services in an effort to help the repentant ex-con cut his ties to the criminal underworld.
Things get complicated, however, when the robbery goes unexpectedly awry, and the Driver just barely manages to escape alive. When the take from the job proves to be stratospherically higher than the Driver was led to believe, it quickly becomes apparent that they were set up.
Later, thugs threaten to kill Irene and Benicio, and all evidence points to transplanted New York crime boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and his hot-headed partner Nino (Ron Perlman) as the masterminds.
As the Driver attempts to turn the tables on them, it becomes clear that the chain of command goes much higher than he could have ever anticipated.