The year is 2154, and the Earth is in ruins, devastated by too many people and too few resources. The majority of the population lives on Earth under the thumb of cruel robots, but the elite of society reside in a paradise of a space station called Elysium. Dramas begin to unfold in both locations. Ex-con Max works in a factory in what remains of Los Angeles, and an accident exposes him to a lethal dose of radiation. With only five days to live, he becomes determined to reach Elysium and be cured, as the medicine there is far more advanced. Meanwhile, ruthless Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt falls out of favor with the President over her extreme methods and plots to usurp his power.