NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy

A small crowd of people is gathered outside a diner. The police arrive and find four men on the ground beaten up. An onlooker tells the cops that one man took them all on and beat them down within seconds. Sheriff Raymond Wood (Jason Douglas) and his deputy enter the diner to find Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) sitting by the counter with some blood on his face. Wood cuffs Reacher and prepares to take him away until Reacher says that in 90 seconds, the phone will ring, and Wood will be wearing the cuffs on his way to jail for kidnapping and selling undocumented immigrants on military soil. The phone rings, and Wood answers, giving his name. Seconds later, military police cars pull up and arrest Wood.

Later, Reacher speaks on the phone with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), who helped him capture Wood, as well as having aided him in other cases. They make arrangements to meet up at his old office during the week.

Reacher arrives at the military HQ and finds Col. Morgan (Holt McCallany) sitting by the desk where Reacher was expecting to find Turner. Morgan informs Reacher that Turner has been arrested for possible espionage. Reacher speaks to Sgt. Leach (Madalyn Horcher) to learn what sort of attorney he can find to help clear Turner's name.

Reacher finds Col. Moorcroft (Robert Caprini) and requests his help to get Turner out. Moorcroft refuses and then brings up a paternity suit filed against the military that claims that Reacher is the father to a daughter from a woman he used to know named Candice Dayton. Reacher leaves and tells Moorcroft to get back to him when he remembers what his uniform stands for.

Moorcroft has a change of heart and gives Reacher a file on two soldier, Cibelli (M. Serrano) and Mirkovich (Nicole Barre), who were both murdered at close range in Afghanistan, and it is believed that Turner was involved in their deaths. From a distance, Reacher is being watched by a man known only as The Hunter (Patrick Heusinger).

The Hunter finds Moorcroft in his home and brutally beats him for giving Reacher information.

Reacher follows his supposed daughter Samantha (Danika Yarosh). After a while, Sam catches on and calls Reacher out for following her. He asks Sam if she is Candice's daughter. Sam thinks Reacher wants her mother due to the knowledge of Candice's previous job as a prostitute. Sam walks away from Reacher.

Reacher returns to the HQ to find Morgan, a few officers, and a lawyer named Lt. Sullivan (Jessica Stroup) waiting for him. Reacher is accused of killing Moorcroft in his home. He is then taken into custody.

When Reacher is detained, he spots some men arriving, knowing they're there to kill him and Turner. He makes Sullivan get him a sandwich and then escapes. He takes down an officer named Espin (Aldis Hodge) and takes his uniform before heading over to Turner's cell. Sure enough, the men are there to kill her. Reacher takes them all down and gets Turner out of there. They are both spotted and chased out by the officers. They make their getaway by stealing a police car.

Reacher and Turner get Morgan in his house after realizing he's involved in the scheme. They get their information out of him and leave. Later, The Hunter shows up at Morgan's home and beats him to death with his phone since he knows Reacher's prints are on the phone.

Reacher uncovers surveillance photos, including some of Sam. He contacts Leach and secretly asks her for help. She informs Reacher that Morgan was murdered and that Reacher's prints were on the phone. He and Turner go to Sam's foster home and find her foster parents have been murdered. Sam bursts out from under the kitchen sink with a knife in self-defense. Reacher and Turner calm her down and take her away.

Reacher and Turner take Sam to a private school, Pembroke, for her protection, since Turner has a connection there. As Sam talks to some of the schoolgirls, she pulls out a phone, which she told Reacher and Turner that she left back at the house. The two pull her away and decide they need to get out of there, and they throw Sam's phone away to remain undetected.

Reacher gets a call from Leach with information on a man named Daniel Prudhomme, a specialist in Afghanistan that saw Cibelli and Mirkovich get killed. Leach also mentions a company called Parasource, which is a private military firm. The three make plans to head to New Orleans to find Prudhomme. Sam gets out a credit card from a bag she stole from one of the schoolgirls so that they can buy their plane tickets.

On the plane, Reacher spots two contractors from Parasource on the plane. He beats them unconscious and gets information off their phones. On the rest of the plane ride, Reacher pretends to sleep as he overhears Sam talking to Turner about who her father could be.

In New Orleans, while riding a bus, Reacher comes clean to Sam that it's possible he's her father, and that's why she's being hunted along with him and Turner. She doesn't believe Reacher's claims until he mentions that Candice filed the paternity suit.

Reacher and Turner find Prudhomme (Austin Hebert) in an abandoned building full of junkies after getting tipped off by Prudomme's wife, who hasn't seen him in months. Turner interrogates Prudhomme and he tells them what he knew about Cibelli and Mirkovich's deaths, as well as what he knows on Parasource.

Reacher and Turner get in touch with Espin and have him speak to Prudhomme to learn the truth. As Espin is escorting Prudhomme out, they are ambushed by assassins. Prudhomme is shot and killed, and Reacher jumps in to fight and kill the villains. Reacher also protects Espin, and they manage to get away.

Reacher, Turner, and Espin meet up with other military officers at a base to confront General Harkness (Robert Knepper), the CEO of Parasource. Turner accuses him of selling arms to insurgents, and that the cases he and his men are carrying contain these arms. They open the cases and uncover tons of opium, leading to Harkness's arrest. Moments later, Reacher gets a call from The Hunter, saying he is going after Sam after she called for room service and they bugged the hotel room's phone.

Reacher and Turner race back to the hotel to save Sam. Sam sees The Hunter and his goons going down the street during a Halloween parade, so she escapes the room. The villains chase her through the streets with Reacher and Turner try to catch up to them. They kill The Hunter's goons before facing him on the roof. The Hunter has Sam held at gunpoint and threatens to throw her off. Reacher drops his gun and kicks it to The Hunter, leaving Sam with an opportunity to grab The Hunter's gun out of his hand (as Turner taught her earlier). Reacher tackles The Hunter off the roof. They fight a little while longer until Reacher breaks The Hunter's neck and throws him off another ledge.

With her name cleared, Turner is reinstated to her old position. She and Reacher promise to keep in touch and make dinner plans.

Sam later finds Reacher in a diner. He is ready to find out whether or not she really is his daughter, but Sam determines that she's not, since Candice was serving Reacher coffee, and the two of them did not recognize each other. Later, the two bid each other farewell. Sam tearfully hugs Reacher and slips a phone into his pocket.

The film concludes with Reacher hitching for a ride down the road. He gets a text from the phone from Sam that asks, "Miss me yet?" He smiles and sticks his thumb out.

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Jack Reacher must clear his and Major Susan Turner's names after they become involved in a conspiracy within the military. Reacher learns that he may also have a 15-year-old daughter named Samantha after a paternity suit is filed that claims he may be the father.

Reacher and Turner learn that a military firm called Parasource is dealing arms and opium to insurgents. The CEO is arrested, while his assassin is killed by Reacher after he tries to kill Sam. Turner gets her old job back after her name is cleared.

Sam figures that Reacher is not her father since he was being served at a diner by her mother, and they didn't recognize each other. She and Reacher say goodbye to each other, although he has managed to form a personal connection throughout the ordeal.

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