|Directed by||Jeb Stuart|
|Produced by||Mel Efros
Gale Anne Hurd
|Written by||Jeb Stuart|
and R. Lee Ermey
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Editing by||Conrad Buff|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures
|Running time||118 min.|
A woman is killed babysitting a young boy, the killer takes him when he leaves the house. A few months later a man and cleaning woman are killed at a motel in Amarillo. Amarillo's longtime sheriff, Buck Olmstead (R. Lee Ermey), is up for reelection, so both he and opponent Jack McGinnis (William Fichtner) are eager to be the one to solve a big murder case before Election Day. Meanwhile, a hitchhiker named Lane Dixon (Jared Leto) is picked up by Bob Goodall (Danny Glover), an affable drifter.
FBI agent Frank LaCrosse (Dennis Quaid) turns up in Amarillo and tells them he is in charge of tracking down an elusive serial killer, the person he suspects is responsible for the murders. Olmstead discovers that LaCrosse has been taken off the case by superiors. LaCrosse explains that the boy that was kidnapped was in fact LaCrosse's young son Andy (Ian Blake Nelson), a fact which means he was taken off the case. Frank is now more determined than ever to catch the killer and he teams up with the Amarillo police department to continue his investigation.
The tactics of the FBI agent concern Olmstead at first, particularly after finding out Frank's personal involvement in this case and that cooperation with the suspended agent could cost him his own job.
Lane appears more and more to be a prime suspect, but with Frank on his trail, it is revealed that Bob is the actual killer, during which at a mechanics shop he draws a knife on the mechanic, and proceeds to kill him (not shown). Later, after leaving the shop, Bob tells Lane about his son as they become friends, and asks him to promise to look after him if anything should happen to Bob. Lane agrees and Bob tells him his sons address.
Shortly after this, Bob's overconfident driving along the treacherous icy roads causes the car to careen off the side of the mountain road, with Bob sitting trapped in the drivers seat while the car hung dangling on a branch from the mountainside. Lane, having thrown himself from the car, lay in the snow. Lane, by climbing through the passenger window, saves Bob by cutting him loose with Bob's knife, and in the midst of trying to retrieve his backpack almost falls to his own death, if not for Bob's saving him.
Still later, Bob and Frank battle on the side of a train. Bob tells Frank that he will have to kill him to find out where his son is, but Bob falls off the train laughing. He tumbles down a hill and is impaled by a broken branch of a fallen tree, killing him.
Frank is grieving at having lost the last chance to locate his son. Lane, who was voiceless due to having his throat partially slit by Bob, realizes that Bob had given him a clue of the boy's whereabouts during their time together. Lane writes something on the floor of the train, which leads Frank to the address that Bob had given Lane and where Frank finds his kidnapped son playing in the backyard of a house next door.
- Dennis Quaid as Frank LaCrosse
- Danny Glover as Bob Goodall
- Jared Leto as Lane Dixon
- R. Lee Ermey as Buck Olmstead
- William Fichtner as Jack McGinnis
- Ted Levine as Deputy Nate Braden
- Walton Goggins as Bud (credited as Walt Goggins)
- Maggie Roswell as Fae
- Allison Smith as Becky
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Jorge Martinez
- Kevin Cooney as Grant Montgomery
- Leo Burmester as Clyde 'Shorty' Callahan
- Ted Markland as Bartender
- Gregory Scott Cummins as Rick
- Claudia Stedelin as Missy, the Babysitter
- Orville Stoeber as Hector Saldez
- Donnie L. Betts as John, Patrolman
- Mark Curry as Robbie
- Paul Parducci as Man in Shower
- Sandy Ward as Tex Monroe
- Robert Peters as Colorado Trooper
- Christopher Michael as Colorado Trooper
- Tommy Puett as Ben
- Velvet Rhodes as Deputy Sheriff McLaughlin (uncredited)
- Christopher Senger as Bill Suderland (uncredited)