Triple 9 is a 2016 American crime thriller film directed by John Hillcoat and written by Matt Cook. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins, Jr., Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael K. Williams, Gal Gadot, with Woody Harrelson, and Kate Winslet. The film was released on February 26, 2016 in the United States by Open Road Films. In the United Kingdom the film was released by eOne.
In Atlanta, Georgia, criminals Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Russell Welch (Norman Reedus), and his brother Gabe (Aaron Paul), along with two corrupt cops, Marcus Belmont (Anthony Mackie) and Franco Rodriguez (Clifton Collins, Jr.), rob a bank to retrieve a safe deposit box. The box contains information that could overturn the recent conviction of a Russian Mafia boss. When Michael brings the safe deposit box to the boss’ wife, Irina (Kate Winslet), she withholds their reward money and gives Michael and his crew another mission, which involves breaking into a government office and stealing more data on her husband. To convince them to take the job, the mafia tortures then dumps a mortally wounded Russell off in front of the crew, forcing Michael to mercy kill Russell in front of them, traumatizing Gabe.
The group decides to go forward with the job. As they think of ways they can pull it off, Marcus and Franco suggest a Triple 9 scenario, which involves an officer down call that sends all of the police to the location of the incident, with Marcus nominating his new partner, Chris Allen (Casey Affleck). Marcus tries to befriend Chris as they go out on calls together. During one call, Chris attempts to question a local gang member, Luis Pinto (Luis Da Silva), about a gang-related homicide, only for Luis to attack Chris before being detained for his actions. Chris’ uncle, Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson), is a Sgt. Detective in the police force working on the bank robbery case. Jeffrey gets a lead and discovers that Gabe is one of the people involved in the bank robbery. Gabe, still grieving over his brother, tries to stop the heist from happening by following Chris and Marcus around and telling Chris, but is stopped both by Michael and Jeffrey.
On the day of the heist, Marcus takes Chris to an abandoned housing project to meet an informant with information on their homicide case. As they walk around the building, Marcus slips away, and Luis comes in and tries to find Chris. Chris bumps into Gabe who tries to warn him that he is going to die. Luis then charges in and tries to shoot Chris but hits Gabe. As Luis runs away, Chris confronts a critically wounded Gabe. Before Gabe can say anything, Marcus comes in, triggering a shootout between the two. Gabe is killed and Marcus is shot in the head. Fearing Marcus is dead, Chris makes the Triple 9 call. Thinking his nephew is the officer down, Jeffrey rushes to the scene. Meanwhile, Michael and Franco break into the government office and steal the information with little police disruption. Luis flees the projects and is later shot dead by SWAT after barricading himself in a nearby home.
In the aftermath, Marcus survives but is in critical condition. Michael meets with Irina and her henchmen for the exchange. He has a gift for his son to give to him upon their reunion. Irina gives him the money but does not bring Michael’s son as she had promised to earlier. Michael and Irina were earlier revealed to have a family relationship: the mother of Michael’s son is Irina’s sister; nonetheless, Irina refers to Michael as a “monkey.” After being beaten by her henchmen, Michael walks back to his car and triggers a bomb that was wired into his gift killing Irina and her henchmen. As he drives away, Michael is pulled over by Franco, who kills him and steals the money. After investigating Luis’ belongings at the morgue, Chris finds a note in Luis’ wallet, which contained the location where Marcus took him the day of the shooting. Chris later finds out that Marcus met Luis the day of the shooting, letting him know where to kill Chris. Angered, Chris visits an unconscious Marcus to try to get answers, but is stopped by Franco, who invites Chris back to the station to get his account of the shooting. As the two head to the car, Chris receives a call from Jeffrey, who tells him that Franco has been cleaning house and that he might be next. As the two head out to their respective cars, Jeffrey is seen inside Franco’s car, and they both shoot each other. Franco is killed, and Jeffrey is shot in the abdomen. As Chris makes a Triple 9 call, Jeffrey calmly pulls a joint and smokes it—just to die several moments later.
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