Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a violent man with a gentle soul in the new movie You Were Never Really Here. He’s a Gulf War veteran who has found a new line work as hired muscle, though only in the service of finding and rescuing missing teenagers. His reputation as someone who’s brutal but gets results brings him to the attention of a Senator whose daughter Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov) has gone missing and may be in serious trouble.
As Joe investigates outside the law he gets closer to Nina but also deeper into a world where he has trouble telling truth from fiction. His long-running attempt to use attempts to save innocents as a way to deal with the guilt of his own actions is failing and he’s increasingly paranoid and desperate. Even if he succeeds in finding Nina, the implications of his actions and the after-effects of his descent into a particularly-seedy world may have unintended consequences.