PRICELESS is a powerful story of James Stevens who was, at one time, a good man with a great life — but that was then and this is now. After the tragic death of his wife and losing custody of his little girl, James is at the darkest crossroad of his life. Angry, desperate, and unable to hold down a steady job, he agrees to drive a box truck on a shady, one-time trip cross country for cash — no questions asked. But when he discovers what he is delivering is actually who, he is compelled to save two beautiful and frightened sisters who are unaware of the danger that awaits them. Can love, strength, and faith redefine his past and change the course of his future? This unlikely hero risks it all to save these women, confront the forces that oppose him and ultimately discover the life he was meant to live.
James (Joel Smallbone) is driving and talking in voice-over, explaining that he is lost and trying to find his way, that he used to be a happy family man with a wife and daughter he loved until he lost his wife in an accident. He was unable to keep a steady job after that, so Child Protection Services took his daughter away. He reveals that right now he is on a job driving a truck to deliver some undisclosed cargo overnight for a good amount of money, his only condition being he wouldn't carry drugs. As he drives non-stop, he gets drowsier and drowsier and almost crashes into another vehicle head-on. He is able to swerve off the road in time, and as he gets off trying to see the damage, he hears a woman crying in the back of his truck, which is locked shut with a padlock..He breaks the padlock with a crowbar and lifts the door open. Two young women (played by Bianca A. Santos and Amber Midthunder) huddled together are visible in the back corner very briefly, before the one that wasn't crying throws something at James, which causes him to shut it back down. In a minute, he opens the door again and this time he is able to talk to the women. He tells them he wasn't aware he was carrying people, and that they can sit with him in the front if they clean up first. The women don't say anything in English, but they do as they are asked. They continue their journey riding together in the front, the girls keeping to themselves and being quiet. At one point during the long drive, James notices that the seemingly younger woman is cold, so he offers his button-down shirt to them. They don't take it at first, so James throws it on the dashboard, but then the younger girl takes it and covers both their legs with it.James's daughter Emerson (Sierra Rose Smith) is sitting on the floor with a cell phone in her hand, and she is seen making a call. As James drives on, the girls are seen sleeping while his phone rings. He answers it saying "Hi, ma", but it's his daughter who's borrowed her grandmother's phone as she takes a nap. In a flashback scene, we find out CPS placed Emerson with her paternal grandmother. The older of the two young women is seen opening her eyes without moving, seemingly listening in on the conversation. James talks to his daughter briefly, and he tells her he's really close to where they live, and that he's planning on stopping by in two days' time. Emerson is very happy to hear that. They both tell each other they love and miss each other and they hang up. The camera shows that the woman that's been eavesdropping is crying silently.After a little while, James tells the young women that they will make a pit stop, and that they should be able to clean themselves better. He tells them not to talk to anyone, and they head inside. There, he tells the slightly older one that their dresses can't really be cleaned, so he grabs two dresses off the rack nearby, saying they're on him. The women are seen smiling for the first time in the bathroom after they've changed into clean clothes and freshened up. As they head out, a big, older man stops them and speaks to them in Spanish in a visibly dirty manner. The older woman points to James in answer to his question, which is when James sees what's happening. As he tries to lead them away from the unwelcome advance, the man grabs one of the girls. James swiftly and forcefully pushes the man away from her and against the wall, but he leaves him be, and they get back to the truck. After that they slowly start bonding, and James finds out that they both speak English. He learns that the two young women are sisters who have been smuggled into the U.S. so that they can work and pay off the debt their father owes some men. The older one's name is Antonia (Bianca A. Santos), and her sister is Maria (Amber Midthunder). James makes sure that they are not being transported against their will, and they travel the rest of the way uneventfully.When they come to the drop off point, a roadside motel, James goes inside and tells the unprofessionally dressed man at the reception desk that he's there with a truck. The man doesn't seem to understand what he means, so James goes back outside. A black van is seen pulling in. Two men emerge from the vehicle and while one of them opens the passenger door, revealing more young women sitting inside, the other man -seemingly the boss- makes polite conversation with James before he opens the truck's back door to help Antonia and Maria outside. We learn that their names are Caro (Jim Parrack), the boss, and CJ (Travis Hammer), his second in command. Caro hands them each a rose, and leads them to the passenger seats of the van. The girls look suspicious and so does James, but they get into the van anyway. CJ gives James an envelope to take back to the person that arranged the delivery. James asks him where they are taking the girls, but he says it's not his problem, gets in the car, and they drive away. James goes back inside to the front desk and asks the guy if he knows what just happened outside. The guy doesn't give anything away, so James asks for a room for the night. The guy tells him he only rents for the hour, and says that if James is looking for some "fun" and some "company" while he is in town, he can help him out. He gives him a business card with a cell phone number in the back. James stares at the card blankly and then rushes outside.James, Antonia, and Maria all come to understand that the girls weren't brought there to work as maids or waitresses as they thought, and that James had unknowingly handed them over to a prostitution ring. James is sleep-deprived and confused, so he goes to another motel, where the owner (David Koechner) gets suspicious of him, and orders him off his property thinking he works for the bad guys. He tells James he would call the police on him right away if he knew they'd do something about it. Offended and taken aback, James leaves the motel and is next shown having a drink at a loud bar. He later runs into the guy that kicked him out of his motel. They talk to each other and James is able to explain to him what happened, that he wants to take the girls back. The guy then extends his hand to him, introducing himself as Dale and offering him a place in his motel. Back at the motel, Dale instructs James to get rid of the truck; he has motorcycles in the back that James can borrow. James questions Dale's motive in helping him out that much, but gets only a vague answer. He doubts his decision to stay and try to help Antonia and Maria, conflicted by his responsibility to his daughter. Dale tells him being a father is indeed the most important job in the world, but also tells him that all those girls are somebody's daughter, too. James stays the night.The next day he gets on a motorcycle and heads back to the motel where he'd dropped the girls off after telling Dale what he was doing. He stops at a diner on his way, where he sees a police officer (Luce Rains) come to eat. He goes to him and tells him that there's prostitution happening at Motel 12. The officer looks disinterested, but takes down the name on his notepad. James doesn't give him his last name, and when he asks how he can contact him if he has any questions, James tells him where he's staying. The scene cuts to Antonia and Caro, the man who'd talked to James politely during the trade-off. Caro starts to advance on Antonia. She starts crying and stops him, saying she is willing to work for every penny that she (via her dad) owes him, but not like this. When Caro threatens her with Maria and has her brought to the room, Antonia gets louder and pleads with Caro that she'll willingly do as he says if he can leave Maria alone. Maria is taken away, and Antonia sleeps with Caro. James arrives at the motel around that time and calls the number the receptionist had given to him for escorts. The guy on the phone tells him to go to room 126 and bring cash. He turns out to be CJ, and he recognizes James. James pretends to "want" Antonia. CJ says she's not on the menu yet, but his resolve wavers when James offers a thousand dollars for an hour with her. CJ calls Caro and tells him about the money, and Caro says she'll be there.Antonia does indeed come to the room where James is waiting. James looks devastated seeing how sad she looks and the finger shaped bruises on her arm. Antonia first thinks he's there to sleep with her, but James says he's only there to take her away, that he wants to help. Antonia accuses him of leaving them in the hands of a pimp, crying. James apologizes and offers again to take her away. Antonia refuses to leave without Maria, and James can't convince her otherwise. They spend the hour together, with Antonia sleeping on the bed and James pacing the room in exasperation. When the time is up, CJ comes back knocking on the door. James makes one final offer, which Antonia refuses again, so James leaves without her. As he heads to the stairs, he sees the police officer he'd talked to in the diner, coming in and greeting CJ like an old pal. James hides behind a beam, and as soon as CJ leaves the officer to key into the room where Antonia is waiting, James grabs a fire extinguisher off the wall, goes to the room, knocks out the officer, and takes his gun. CJ chases after him but James is able to escape, so they shut down the operation for the night in panic.The next day, Caro the pimp, CJ, and the police officer from the night before come to Dale's motel asking about James. Dale wards them off, although they don't seem to buy it. James, back in his room, calls his mother (Lora Martinez-Cunningham) to talk to her daughter, but her mother is angry at him for breaking his promise to the little girl. Dale calls James on the room phone to warn him, but James is trying to convince his mother to let him talk to Emerson. As his room phone keeps ringing, the pimp and company are seen knocking on random doors intimidating guests and looking in through windows trying to find James. James's mother finally lets him talk to Emerson, and as she's putting her on, James answers the room phone. Dale tells him Caro and the others are at the motel looking for him and that he should stay put and be quiet. He then goes outside and confronts them; he tells them they are harming his business and manages to get them to leave. In the meantime, Emerson or her grandmother hung up on James.Dale moves James to his own place, and loans him a car saying that driving the same motorcycle would give him away. That night they go to the apartment where Caro is keeping the girls, but they find that the place has been evacuated. On the drive back, James asks Dale to pull over as he needs some air. He says he will walk back to Dale's place. Dale drops him off, saying he'll see him back at his place and drives away. On his own, James is able to somehow track the girls down and find them in a brothel managed by a woman with no men around. He forcefully enters and breaks a heavily drugged Antonia out. She's barely able to walk, but she says they have to go back for Maria. James promises her he won't stop until they get her, too.He takes her to Dale's place but Dale isn't there. He calls him on his cell, but it's Caro that answers Dale's phone. He says if James gives Antonia back, he'll release Dale and keep Maria untouched, although he won't separate the sisters. After some death threats, they agree to meet in the morning in a public place. In the morning, as Antonia and James are headed to the meeting point, Antonia consoles James saying this is how it should be. James tells her to trust him whatever happens during the meet-up. As they get off the car, the camera shows James's phone; he's called 911 and the dispatcher is asking for his location.The meeting place is a playground with lots of kids around. Caro has come with Dale and Maria but no one else. Dale is sitting on a bench and Caro is keeping Maria by his side. James gets into an argument with Caro, pulls out his gun, making a scene and having all the parents run away with their kids screaming in panic. Caro then puts the gun to Maria's head and orders James to put his weapon down. James does as he is told, stalling as much as possible, and as police sirens are heard, Dale tackles Caro from behind. He gets shot, but James gets the gun and neutralizes Caro. As the police arrive at the scene, James has Caro at gunpoint and on the verge of shooting him. With the warnings from the police officers and Antonia's screams, he snaps out of it and surrenders. They push him to the ground next to Dale, who James realizes is dead. The scene fades out as James is crying on the ground and Antonia and Maria are holding each other nearby.On black background, the words "one year later" appear. A very young looking girl (Jodi Lynn Thomas) is shown in a dark alley. A car stops in front of her and the driver asks her how much. She asks for a hundred dollars for an hour, but the man says he'll pay twenty. The girl is upset, and as the man drives away, James is seen walking towards her from behind wearing a hoodie. He tells her he has the money she asks, and leads her to a motel room. As they sit down on each bed facing each other, James starts talking to the girl and learns that her name is Kelli. Antonia emerges from a door behind James and joins them. They both talk to the girl, tell her their story, and offer her a way out. The scene changes into James and Antonia driving into the sunset, Antonia's head on James's shoulder and James holding her hand where an engagement ring is visible. In voice-over, James reflects on how Dale's sacrifice changed his and so many others' lives. The camera shows a big ranch in a remote, green valley, and as James and Antonia get off the vehicle, we see Emerson running to hug James, and Kelli has come with them to the ranch. There are many other women around, implying they are now running a women's shelter filled with women they have been able to rescue from a life of prostitution. James and Antonia walk up to the edge of a cliff hand-in-hand, and look down on the green valley and the hills on the horizon under the golden sun.