The movie involves several interconnected stories that converge at 11:14 p.m. The connections between the events are not apparent at first, but are gradually revealed by a series of progressively receding flashbacks:
Jack (Henry Thomas), who has been drinking, is seen driving along a road at night talking on his cell phone. The clock on the dashboard reads 11:14 p.m. Suddenly, as he drives under an overpass, something smashes across the windshield, causing him to skid off the road. He stops by a deer crossing sign and gets out to inspect the damage, and finds a body with a badly mutilated face lying close to his car. When he sees another car approaching, he panics and drags the body out of sight. The car pulls up next to him, and the driver, Norma (Barbara Hershey), assumes that he hit a deer. She offers to call the police over Jack's protests, insisting that it's no trouble because she has a new cell phone that she 'never uses' and because she is friends with the chief of police. Norma offers Jack a ride to her house to wait for the police, but he declines. When she drives off, Jack decides to hide the body in the trunk of his car. He gets back into the car to pull away, but a police officer pulls up behind him. Officer Hannagan (Clark Gregg) speaks with Jack, and noting his odd behavior, asks him if he would submit to a breathalyzer test. Jack requests a sobriety test instead, which Hannagan administers. When the officer checks with dispatch, he finds that Jack's license has been revoked for driving under the influence. Hannagan tells Jack that he is under arrest and that his car will be impounded. When he finds the body in the trunk, Hannagan handcuffs Jack with a cable tie and tells the 2 people already in the back of the cruiser, Duffy (Shawn Hatosy) and Buzzy (Hilary Swank), to move over so that Jack will fit. While Hannagan argues with Buzzy, who refuses to move over, Jack is able to pull his pocketknife out of his pocket, cut the cable tie, and escape. Hannagan pursues, leaving the cruiser door open, and Duffy and Buzzy also escape. Jack runs across a property with security lights and a dog, causing the owner, Norma, to come out. She is obviously upset, and is looking for her husband Frank (Patrick Swayze) because she just received a phone call that their daughter, Cheri (Rachael Leigh Cook), was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Hannagan catches up to Jack at this point, and Norma angrily strikes Jack with a flashlight, assuming that he is responsible for her daughter's death.
Teenagers Tim (Stark Sands), Mark (Colin Hanks) and Eddie (Ben Foster) are driving around causing trouble by throwing things out of the windows of Mark's van, including a book they have set on fire. Mark, distracted by Eddie peeing out the van's window, hits and kills Cheri, who was crossing the road. They stop, but flee the scene when Duffy comes toward the van with a gun. As Duffy fires on the retreating van, Tim realises that the accident also caused the van's window to snap shut, cutting Eddie's penis off. Tim insists that Mark stop, and Tim goes back to find it. Tim is accosted by the paramedics, Leon (Jason Segel) and Kevin (Rick Gomez) at the scene, but manages to escape and get the severed penis back to Eddie.
Frank is walking his dog late at night and discovers his daughter's (Cheri) car keys next to the dead body of Aaron (Blake Heron) in the cemetery. Thinking his daughter is responsible, Frank packs the body in the trunk of Aarons's car, accidentally locking the keys in with the body. He breaks a window to get into the car, and then drives to a bridge. He has to hide from a car driven by Duffy that passes by, but then disposes of the body by dropping it over the bridge, where it lands on Jack's car (as seen at the start of the film). His dog runs off with his blood-soaked jacket. He chases it, eventually catching it. He sees the burning book the teenagers threw, and uses it to set his jacket on fire. His wife, Norma sees him, and gives him a ride home, where she sends him out to look for the deer that Jack supposedly hit.
Buzzy is working at a convenience store late at night. Her friend and co-worker Duffy arrives and they begin discussing Cheri's pregnancy and money for an abortion. Mark and Eddie arrive after the store is closed, but Duffy lets them come in. They are there to buy the items to throw out the van windows. After they leave, Duffy tells Buzzy his plan to steal the $500 from the store. Cheri arrives and she and Duffy go into the cooler. Meanwhile, Buzzy is playing around with Duffy's revolver (the one he plans to use to rob the store) and she accidentally shoots a bullet through a glass door, barely missing Duffy and Cheri. Cheri leaves and Duffy asks Buzzy to allow him to steal the money. Buzzy objects, fearful of losing her job, but relents, while insisting that Duffy shoot her in the arm to make it look like an authentic robbery. He shoots her in the arm, and then dials 911 for her, leaving while she is on the phone. Duffy looks for his keys, barely escaping the police who are arriving more quickly than he thought they would. While driving away, he passes by Aaron's car, where Frank has parked it preparing to dispose of Aaron's body. Duffy then sees Cheri parked and tells her he found the money. When she gets out of her car, he witnesses her death and shoots at the teenagers that hit her. He is then arrested by Officer Hannagan for shooting at the van and for the store robbery, based on the description someone phoned in (later revealed to be Cheri). Buzzy is arrested as an accomplice when she refuses to identify Duffy.
Cheri leaves her house to have sex with Aaron at the cemetery. Aaron is leaning against a tombstone that has a stone angel on top. The angel's neck is damaged and the heavy stone head falls onto Aaron's face, killing him instantly. This is the reason his face is so damaged when his body hits Jack's car. Cheri runs away from the scene, dropping the set of keys we saw Frank find in the earlier scene. Cheri borrows her father's car, which is temperamental to say the least, and goes to the convenience store to get Duffy's bowling ball, intending to replace the angel head and implicate Duffy. As she drives away from the store she sees the shooting and reports a description of Duffy to the police. When Cheri arrives back at the cemetery, she abandons the bowling ball when she sees that Aaron's body is gone. She tries to leave but her car is again having trouble starting. She rings Jack on her cell phone. This is the phone conversation the movie begins with, continued to inform the viewer that Cheri's 'pregnancy' is actually a scam to get money from both Duffy and Aaron so that Cheri and Jack can leave town together. In the midst of the call, Duffy calls out Cheri's name from across the street to tell her that he got the money. Cheri hangs up quickly, and crossing the street, the mobile rings again, and distracted, she stops in the middle of the road, where she is hit by the van containing Mark, Tim, and Eddie. The camera pans to Cheri's cell phone, which reads 11:14 p.m.