"What if you knew, beyond a doubt, what was going to happen tomorrow?"
Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler) is on a Chicago train, he has a bag full of groceries and roses. He arrives home and tries to open the door with his key, but finds it does not fit into the lock. He calls up to his wife, Marcia, telling her "Happy Anniversary!" She calls back down to him, "Head's up!" and throws out a suitcase full of his clothing.
Some days later, Gary awakens in a hotel to the radio discussing politics, and Gary's friend Chuck Fishman (Fisher Stevens) arrives, asking if he'd heard from Marcia. Gary tells him she won't take his calls. He tells him to face it, she threw him out, he's living in a hotel, and Gary needs to face the fact that it is over. They hear a cat meow, and a thud at the door. Upon opening the door, they see a cat sitting on top of a newspaper in front of Gary's room. Gary finds it strange, since he did not order the newspaper. He looks at the headline, which says the President agreed to trade talks with Japan, but Gary mutters that he heard on the radio earlier that the President was refusing the talks. He turns the paper over to see the score of a basketball game, opens the paper and sees financial information about the price of wheat that seems odd, as well as a headline about a homeless man who won twenty-three million dollars from the lottery. "Some guys have all the luck", he mutters. He grabs his coat and keys and leaves for work, throwing the newspaper in the trash as he walks out the door.
On the way to work, he stops at a newsstand on the street, but tells the owner, Sherman (Milo O'Shea), that he already read the paper. Sherman gives him a paper anyway, and as Gary walks away, Sherman asks him who he thinks will win the basketball game. When Gary tells him who already won last night, Sherman looks confused, and looks at his paper which clearly say that the game is happening that evening.
Gary arrives at work, and greets the receptionist, a blind woman named Marissa (Shanesia Davis-Williams). He asks her if she got her seeing-eye dog, and she says that it fell through and she is back on the waiting list. Gary's boss Phil Pritchard (Marc Vann) arrives, berating him for arriving late, and baiting him about the lack of profits he has been making as a stockbroker. While he and Chuck are talking about life, Chuck's attention is caught by the price of wheat, which is going up. Gary tells him "Don't buy it, it went up thirty points yesterday". Chuck reminds Gary that yesterday was Sunday, and the market was closed. Gary says that he read it in the paper just this morning, and as they watch the stock ticker, they both look at each other and wonder what is going on.
They arrive at Gary's hotel room looking for the newspaper, but his trash has been emptied with the maid service. As they rush to the alley that has the dumpsters, a trash collection truck is driving away. Later, in a bar, Chuck admonishes Gary for losing the paper, and while Gary is skeptical, Chuck asks how the events Gary read that morning could be unfolding just as he read them, sports scores they saw on the television, the price of wheat, and when Gary asks where the paper could have come from, Chuck theorizes that the "newspaper fairy" left it. Gary shakes his head, obviously thinking his friend is nuts, and says he wants to call his wife. As Gary gets up, a man walks up to him and serves him with divorce papers.
Walking home that night, Gary stops by a store with televisions in the window, advertising the Illinois lottery. A bum walks up to him, begging for change, and as Gary gives him some coins, he watches the lottery broadcast. A homeless man stands next to the lottery presenter, and is given a giant check for twenty-three million dollars, the very same photograph that Gary saw in the newspaper that morning...
The next morning, Gary hears a thunk at the door, but opens it and there is nothing there. As he closes the door and goes back into his room, he hears a cat meowing, and another thunk. He opens the door to find the same cat sitting on top of the newspaper as the previous morning. Standing in the hall, he opens the paper and reads the date: It is tomorrow's date. "Anything can happen..." he mutters as he walks back to his room.
As he greets Sherman on his way to work, Sherman asks him if he wants a paper, showing him the headline about the trade talks with Japan. "Nope, saw that one already", Gary replies. Sherman remarks that Gary looks much better, his clothes are pressed and clean, and asks Gary what the change is. "Don't know exactly yet, but I'll find out", Gary replies. He tells a passing citizen not to believe the weather on his boom box that is reporting zero chance of rain, telling him "You're going to need an umbrella".
At the office, Chuck walks up to Gary, telling him how sorry he is that Gary has been going through such a hard time, what with Marcia and all, and then takes a second look at Gary, noticing he is holding the newspaper, looking at the financial section. "It came?" he asks. "It came", Gary replies. Chuck shouts and celebrates, asking about the financial information in the paper, and the trades Gary is doing. Mr. Pritchard arrives and when Gary cannot explain why he's making the trades he is, tells him to cancel them, but they already went through. He tells Gary that his employment is not looking "rosy", and asks how much money they lost. Chuck tells him they lost nothing, all the trades Gary made went up in value. Mr. Pritchard asks how big they bought into the stocks, and Gary says "one share each". Pritchard tells Gary that he'll be fired for such a joke, and Gary tells him he quits, and walks out.
As Gary leaves, he invites Marissa to lunch. They arrive at a horse racing track, where Marissa places a two dollar bet, and the two of them have lunch. Marissa tells him she places the same bet every day, a shot at a dream. Gary looks thoughtful, and reading the paper, goes to make a bet before the race begins. As he watches the race unfold, he is astonished when his horse, a longshot, wins the race. "Incredible..." He places another bet on the next race, another longshot, and he wins even more money with that race. He puts all his winnings on another horse for the next race, but everyone behind him hears what bet he placed, and they all bet on the same horse. As he watches the race, his horse loses. He cannot believe it. After a few moments of disbelief, the announcer says that the winner was disqualified, and his horse becomes the winner. He gives the winnings to Marissa as she boards the train home, telling her "get the dog you've been waiting for."
That night at a bar, he and Chuck argue about the newspaper. Chuck cannot believe that he gave all his money to Marissa. Chuck tells him this paper is a powerful tool for getting rich, and Gary cannot let it get away. As they walk home, the two discuss possibilities, wondering if more than one person gets the paper, and Chuck still insists it is an opportunity to make money. As they walk towards the newsstand, they see Sherman, lying on the ground, with police and EMTs around him. As the EMTs place him on a stretcher, Gary tries to cross the police tape at the scene, and shouts to an officer, "What happened!" The officer replies, "You want to know, read tomorrow's newspaper." Gary, visibly distraught, opens his paper, and finds a headline that reads "Local News Dealer Accident Victim". As it begins to rain, Gary is upset, saying "I missed it. I missed it."
Morning arrives, and finds Gary sitting on a bench overlooking the water. He appears to have been sitting there all night. Disheveled, he returns to his hotel room and finds the cat and the newspaper at his door. Entering, he finds Marissa sitting there with a very large German Shepherd. "It's about time", she says and asks what's wrong with him. He asks her what she named the dog, "Spike" she said, and asks what his cat's name is. "That's not my cat" he replies. She admonishes him for treating her like she's stupid instead of blind, after quitting his job, taking her to a lunch he didn't eat, and shoving money into her hands. She knows something is wrong, and insists that Gary tell her. As he explains, she wonders where the paper comes from, wondering aloud "maybe it comes from God." adding "The world is full of miracles Gary, you don't always need eyes to see them." Gary, still bothered by Sherman's accident, is bitter, saying he's not too big on miracles right now, and wonders "why me?" He tells Marissa he doesn't want the responsibility of this news, doesn't want to be a hero, and asks her what he's supposed to do with it. "You're supposed to do whatever you can", she replies, handing him the new paper that arrived that morning. Looking at the headline, which reads "9 Killed in Bank Holdup", Gary reads the article, detailing the events of the bank robbery. He adamantly tells Marissa he can't get involved in a murderous robbery attempt, asking her what he's supposed to do about it. She suggests he go to the police. "I'm not going to the police!" he firmly states as they leave his hotel room.
Later, Gary walks into the police department, with Marissa and Chuck, telling the desk Sergeant that he wants to report a "future situation". After being sent to see Detective Tagliatti, (Felicity Huffman) he tries to explain about the robbery, without sounding insane. As he describes what "will happen", the detective begins to look at him oddly, and asks him how he knows what will happen in the future. Gary tells her he cannot explain. She dismisses his report, sending him on his way. As he leaves, she looks at him with a suspicious expression on her face.
Gary, Marissa, and Chuck go to a diner, where Marissa is disappointed that Gary doesn't try harder to stop the tragedy, and Chuck tries to get his hands on the paper to see sports scores. After the paper falls to the floor, Chuck picks it up, sneaking peeks at it, and rushes off. Marissa leaves as well, disgusted with Gary's lack of action. Gary sits in the booth, and as he looks down at the paper, notices the headline changed... it now reports that ten people die in the robbery. "Marissa!" he whispers. As he tries to find the page that has the full story, he realizes it is gone, and Chuck took it. He rushes out of the diner looking for Chuck, who is gone.
Chuck is in a sports bar, he's made bets on sports scores, and has won thousands of dollars. Gary finds him, and orders him to hand over the newspaper page he took. Gary grabs it and runs out. Chuck races after him, Gary says it is important, and asks Chuck how much money he made. Chuck tells him he has a few thousand in his briefcase from his bets. Gary takes Chuck's money, and rushes off to the bank. He finds Marissa and her dog there, and tries to get her to leave. Marissa tells Gary to relax, that she told the bank to be on the look out. They turn, and see the man who is supposed to rob the bank. As the man moves to pull a gun out of his pocket, Gary steps forwards and shouts "Alright, nobody move!" The man who was originally going to rob the bank looks confused, and Gary looks at him, telling him not to do this. The man runs, and Gary follows him into an elevator where the man points a gun at Gary's face.
Frank (Tom Noonan), the bank robber, takes Gary to the roof, ordering him to get out of the elevator. Frank is clearly panicking, as his plan has gone wrong. The police arrive, along with Detective Tagliatti. The police have Marissa, thinking she is a lookout for the robbers, although the police are clearly confused as to who is robbing the bank, and who is the hostage the bystanders are reporting. Chuck arrives and makes a scene, but Tagliatti sees him and recognizing him from earlier, tells the officers to let him through. She tells the officer in charge to "keep an open mind" about what is going to happen. She asks Marissa and Chuck what is going on. They tell her about the newspaper article, and the officer in charge shakes his head, and walks away in disgust.
On the roof, Frank asks Gary if he's cop, and why he's there. "Because people were going to die!" Gary shouts. He tells Frank he knows all about him, about his troubles, why he was going to rob the bank, and that Gary knows that he didn't mean to hurt anyone. Frank asks Gary how he could know about losing everything, to which Gary replies "Try me."
On the ground, the officer in charge orders his officers to take the shot if they get it. Frank and Gary sit on the roof, discussing life, Gary tells Frank it would be a shame to lose his wife, his children, everything he has, just by making a mistake. Gary assures Frank that nobody saw his gun, and hands him the money from Chuck, telling him to take it if it will help. Frank asks Gary if money helped him, and Gary says no, it didn't. Frank lays the gun on the ground, sighs, and asks what they do now. Gary stands up, leans over the roof's ledge, and shouts down to the police to hold their fire. Gary empties the briefcase of money into the air, and he and Frank watch as money falls down all over the bystanders. Chuck is frantic, "That's my money!" he shouts as he tries to catch it, while Marissa smiles. Frank and Gary are both arrested, and Tagliatti tells him she's going to find out what's going on. Gary is later released, as they have no reason to hold him. Tagliatti asks Gary if he wants to change his story, "to what?" Gary asks. "To anything remotely believable", she replies. "Nope." he answers.
Later in the hotel's lobby, Gary turns in his keys, and when Marissa asks where he's going, Gary replies "Where they can't deliver". Chuck takes the key, and sits in Gary's old room all night waiting. In the morning, there is a knock on his door, and as he rushes to it, expecting the paper, he finds a pest control employee that enters saying he has to spray the room for roaches.
At a remote cabin in the woods, Gary sleeps, his phone off the hook, clearly wanting no contact with anyone. He awakens in the morning and hears a cat meow. As he opens the screen door, he sees the cat, and the newspaper...
Later, Marissa walks along a street, and Gary shouts her name. "What took you so long?" she asks. She tells him Sherman is fine, and will be back at the newsstand soon. Gary tells her he needs to find a new place to live, one that takes cats...