While working at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, security guard Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser) discovers a backpack with a pipe bomb inside the grounds of Centennial Olympic Park shortly after midnight, during a concert attended by thousands of spectators. He quickly alerts police and helps clear the area, saving countless lives. He's branded a hero — but within days, he becomes a suspect in the matter, and is vilified in the press.
As the FBI's number one suspect, his life is ripped apart. Reaching out to independent, anti-establishment attorney Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell), Jewell staunchly professes his innocence. But Bryant finds he is out of his depth as he fights the combined powers of the FBI, GBI and APD to clear his client’s name, while keeping Richard from trusting the very people who are trying to destroy him.