Jean LaChance, running from his criminal past, finds solace in the isolation of the bleak California desert. There, in search of the money he and his unscrupulous partner have stolen, LaChance instead finds Lilly Parsons and her children. Over four days they forge a sense of belonging for the first time in their lives, and loneliness and despair begin to melt away. This bond of trust is seemingly broken when Lilly flees with the children, unaware that the money is in the trunk of her car.
Now LaChance is in determined pursuit of the woman and children he has grown to love, but he is unconvinced of their motive for leaving, taking the money and sending the cops. What will he do when he finds them?