The Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer write and direct this drama, adapted from the novel by David Mitchell, about how every being is interconnected over the course of many eras.
Set in past, present and future worlds, the film follows six intertwined storylines.
In 1849, during the California Gold Rush, lawyer Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess), who is suffering from an ailment, meets Dr. Henry Goose (Tom Hanks) and unwillingly helps to hide slave Autua (David Gyasi).
In 1936, impoverished musician Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw) finds employment with a composer and in time writes a magnificent piece of his own.
In 1975, nuclear physicist Rufus Sixsmith (James D'Arcy) helps journalist Luisa Rey (Halle Berry) expose the truth about a new power plant.
In 2012, elderly publisher Timothy Cavendish (Jim Broadbent) finds himself stuck in a nursing home and tries to escape.
In a totalitarian world in the 22nd century, clone Sonmi-451 (Bae Doona) is due to be eliminated but decides to fight back and stand up for her own kind.
Finally, in a post-apocalyptic Earth, tribe member Zachry (Hanks) helps Meronym (Berry), a woman from a technologically-advanced society, on her journey into the mountains in an attempt to find Cloud Atlas, a station that will allow her to communicate with the people who have left the planet to live in space.
The cast, which also includes Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant, appear throughout a number of the various segments.