In New York City, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checks into the The Roosevelt Hotel (New York) under the false name of Walker, goes to his hotel room on the 21st floor, and climbs on the ledge, ready to commit suicide. The crowd below calls the police, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Nick. However, Nick will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who is on a leave of absence, after failing to save a suicidal policeman on the Brooklyn Bridge. Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Nick's fingerprints from a cigarette they share, after his initial resistance to revealing his true identity, going as far as to wipe any surface he touched in the main room to remove fingerprints. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that Nick is an ex-policeman, arrested for stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick was given a 25-year sentence but escaped from the Sing Sing one month before the main events of the film, after being allowed to attend his father's funeral. Nick, however, maintains his innocence and accuses Englander of framing him for the theft of the diamond, as Englander lost his fortune and was too proud to sell the diamond.