Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Noah Ringer, Paul Dano, Clancy Brown, Keith Carradine, Adam Beach, Abigail Spencer, Ana De La Reguera, Walton Goggins, Julio Cesar Cedillo, David O Hara, Raoul Trujillo, Brendan Wayne
Plot / Synopsis:
In 1873 New Mexico, an unnamed loner (Daniel Craig) awakens with no memory of his past and a mysterious bracelet around his wrist. After murdering three men who stumble upon and threaten him, he enters the town of Absolution where he confronts and humiliates Percy, the son of Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), who is terrorizing the town. Colonel Dolarhyde has a great deal of influence in the town given his large cattle business. At the saloon, the loner is approached by Ella (Olivia Wilde) who seems to surmise that the loner has no memory of who he is and who claims to be looking for what the loner is looking for. The sheriff recognizes the unnamed loner as Jake Lonergan, a notorious gang leader and murderer, and attempts to arrest Jake at the saloon. Jake defeats his men, but Ella sneaks up behind Jake and pistol whips him, knocking him out.
As Jake and Percy are about to be sent via coach for trial out of town, Dolarhyde and his men ride into town demanding that both Percy and Jake be released to him. Dolarhyde wants to punish Jake for stealing a bag of gold that belonged to Dolarhyde. During the standoff, alien spaceships begin attacking the town. Percy, the sheriff, and many of the townsfolk are snatched by grappling harnesses fired from the alien spaceships. Jake shoots down a ship with his wristband causing the attack to end.
Dolarhyde, Ella, and some townsfolk begin tracking an alien, who presumably ejected from the ship Jake shot down, in order to find the missing townsfolk. Jake refuses to accompany the posse and travels to an abandoned house where he has a flashback. In the flashback, Jake recalls that he brought home a bag of stolen gold to give to his wife, but the gold began melting and being drawn to the ceiling at which point both he and his wife were abducted by the aliens. Jake decides to join the posse. As the posse camps for the night in an upside-down riverboat that had been displaced by over 500 miles by the aliens, the alien pilot they had been tracking appears and kills a member of the posse. The attack causes most members of the posse to desert by the morning.
In the morning, the posse is held up by a gang of thieves who turn out to be Jake's gang. Jake is revealed to be the boss, but had stolen all the loot from their last robbery and abandoned the gang to be with his wife. Jake attempts to reassert control of the gang, but he and the townfolk are forced to flee when this attempt fails. As they flee, the aliens begin attacking again and Ella is seized. Jake manages to jump aboard the ship that took Ella and causes it to crash in a lake. The surviving alien pilot mortally wounds Ella, but Jake kills it with his bracelet.
As the posse reforms, a group of Chiricahua Apaches capture the posse and blame them for the alien attacks. As they dump Ella's body on their fire, she reawakens, fully healed, in a small fiery tornado. Ella reveals that she is an alien warrior who was sent to Earth to help resist the invaders because they destroyed her homeworld. She explains that the aliens need gold in its raw form to power their machines. However the aliens are not invulnerable: Lonergan's gauntlet weapon can kill them, and stabbing them or shooting them can as well, though they are far stronger, more durable, and better armed than any humans. The aliens capture humans to perform experiments on them in order to determine their weaknesses. Ella claims that Jake holds the secret to the aliens' whereabouts. To make him remember, the Indians chant and make Jake drink some medicine. Jake recalls that his wife was disintegrated in an alien experiment and that he escaped by blinding an alien with an electric scalpel and inadvertently stole one of the alien bracelets.
Armed with this knowledge the group, now led by Colonel Dolarhyde and including a group of Indians whose families were kidnapped by the aliens, prepare to attack their grounded mothership. Jake appears to abandon the posse, but actually returns to the survivors in his old gang to convince them to join in the attack. The combined posse destroys the alien ships' hangar doors in a sneak attack, forcing the space pirates to fight them on the ground. Meanwhile, Jake and Ella board the ship and free the captured townsfolk. Lonergan is captured and nearly experimented upon again but is saved by Dolarhyde who comes after him when he learns he's trapped in the ship. As the battle outside slowly turns in the humans' favor and as the abducted humans escape, the remaining alien pirates attempt to flee in their damaged mothership; however, Ella abandons Jake to sacrifice herself to detonate the ship's engine core by detonating Lonergan's gauntlet.
Some of the abducted townsfolk recall their past while others, including Percy, do not. Lonergan, now somewhat able to recall his past, leaves the town as he's still a wanted man even though the sheriff and Dolarhyde are willing to claim that Lonergan died in the ship. The town, including Colonel Dolarhyde rebuild the town with the expectation that the newly discovered gold will soon bring many people to the area.