In icebound Wichita, Kansas, it's Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh (Billy Thornton) have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid). But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata ( Connie Nielsen), who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten (Oliver Platt) to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking - and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises.