Matt Lee Whitlock (DENZEL WASHINGTON) is the local law in the small town of Banyan Key, Florida. All but technically divorced from his wife, Alex Diaz-Whitlock (EVA MENDES), Alex has been seeing Anne Merai Harrison (SANAA LATHAN) -- whose husband, Chris (DEAN CAIN), reportedly abuses her -- and recently executed a successful and high profile drug bust.
Matt's friend, Chae (JOHN BILLINGSLEY), the medical examiner, jokingly wants them to use the recovered money from that bust to go into business together. Matt, however, decides to bend the rules and loan it to a person in a life or death situation. When that money presumably goes up in flames in a house fire that kills two people, however, Matt finds himself in a mountain of trouble.
For not only is that money now gone, but varying levels of circumstantial evidence seem to point to him as the prime suspect. With the Feds soon arriving to pick up the now lost cash and Alex serving as the lead detective in the homicide investigation, Matt races to stay ahead of the game and cover his tracks as he tries to figure out what's happened.