After an armed robbery at a local restaurant goes bad, one police officer is critically injured during a brief struggle with the armed gunmen and is held hostage along with the patrons and staff of the restaurant. When the tactical team arrives and surrounds the building, Frank Leo is astonished when the officer in command refuses to enter in force despite knowing that an officer is slowly bleeding to death. The CO explains that without the resources that he needs, he would be unable to breach the building without putting the hostages in jeopardy.
Unwilling to wait any longer, Frank proceeds to approach the front door of the restaurant to try and determine what the hostage takers want. When he arrives at the door, Frank realizes that the two gunmen were two perps he had arrested eight years earlier for grand theft auto named Dex and Nells, and they certainly remembered him. After a few moments of negotiations, the only thing the hostage takers were insisting upon getting was heroin. Concerned that the two gunmen were about to start detoxing and therefore become more aggitated and violent, Frank made arrangements to provide what they had asked for.
Meanwhile, one of the waitresses of the restaurant, Ella, who is also involved in a hashish smuggling operation on the sly, is trying to tend to the wounded officer in an attempt to prevent him from bleeding to death. During her ministrations, Officer Anders whispers to her how the tactical team will most likely try to enter the building and indicates to her where to try to move the hostages so that they will be safe. Dex overhears a piece of their exchange and pulls her aside. After a few moments, their conversation reveals that she had been in on the heist from the beginning. The real target of the robbery was the cash she had been given to make a buy with in Turkey, but because Dex and Nells had begun using again, they lost sight of their objective and ended up in a virtually inescapable situation with a dying cop on their hands.
Knowing that the situation has gotten way out of control, Ella tells Dex about the probable entry method that Officer Anders told her about, hoping that Dex will consider ending the stalemate without anyone else getting hurt. He takes this information and counters their plan by positioning hostages at every window, preventing the tactical team's sharpshooters and tear gas launchers from being used against them. Furious that he had lied to her again, Ella tries to console the wounded officer and begs his forgiveness. He tells her he still has his backup gun in his ankle holster that Dex and Nells missed when they had disarmed him and asks her to slip it to him so that he might be able to take the two gunmen out when their backs were turned. Instead, Ella takes the gun for herself and tries to reassure him that everything will be OK.
Meanwhile, Frank and his fellow officers are wondering about the situation and how illogical it is for Dex to be asking for drugs, not money or an escape route. However, he does manage to acquire the heroin that Dex wanted and plans to use it to lure Dex to the front door so that the police snipers can take him out. Upon reaching the door, Frank positions himself to block the sniper's shot of Dex since he can see that Nells has a gun pointed directly at the Officer Anders' head. If Dex were to suddenly drop, Nells would kill the officer. Frank tries to lure Nells away from his position with the heroin he was delivering, but Dex tells him to remain where he is and takes the drugs himself. When franks asks if there was anything else they wanted, Dex told him "No" and in no uncertain terms. This only raises Franks suspicions all the more since robbing a bistro on a Sunday morning (when there is virtually no money to be stolen) and then not making any demands makes no sense to him, unless there was a goal in the building he was unaware of. After a few minutes, Dex changes his mind and asks for $100 000 for each hostage and a private jet to escape to Costa Rica on.
As Frank returns to the tactical team, Ella convinces Dex to leave Nells in charge of the hostages for a few minutes while they slip into the back office for a little one-on-one time. As they begin to get into it, Ella sneaks the gun out of her pocket and begins to point it at Dex. At the last moment, he realizes what she is doing and grabs her wrist before she can draw a bead on him. In the ensuing struggle, Ella is shot and left for dead.
Shortly afterwards, Frank returns to the door to escort Dex and Nells out as agreed with the money they had demanded. In return, they release all of the remaining hostages except for the police officer. As Frank tries to make Dex believe that an escape route is being prepared for him, the plan is scrubbed when the Chief Wycoff shows up on the scene and puts a stop to the operation. Furious that Wycoff would interfere at this critical juncture, Frank becomes even more disgusted when he realizes that Chief Wycoff's only real concern is his own image, not the life of the officer inside. When Frank lies to the Chief and tells him that Anders had already bled out and was dead, he agrees to take the gunmen out quickly rather than wait. Frank then proceeds to enter the bistro again so that he could lead Dex and Nells outside and into the sights of the police snipers. However, as they were about to exit the building, Ella makes her way out of the office where she had been left and shoots at Dex. In the resulting confusion, Ella is shot again by Dex, this time fatally, while the sound of gunfire causes the tactical team to storm the building and eliminate Dex and Nells. After the bodies finish falling, Frank rushes to Officer Anders side only to find out that he really did bleed to death.