The rich live on a luxurious space station called Elysium with automated health care.
The poor live on a overcrowded polluted Earth. Max (Matt Damon) is an ex-con on Earth who is exposed to lethal radiation in a work accident and needs to get to Elysium so he will not die.
A hacker named Spider can get him to Elysium but wants Max to hack the brain of a CEO to obtain financial information. Max hacks the CEO's brain and gets encrypted information about a coup involving a reboot.
The Secretary of Defense (Jodi Foster), who is behind the coup, dies after being stabbed by her psychotic mercenary Kruger (Sharlto Copley) who himself dies in exo-skeleton hand to hand combat with Damon.
Max sacrifices himself to download the information in his head to do a reboot and make everyone a citizen and receive health care.