A teenager named Theo Decker survives a terrorist attack at a museum, losing his mother in the process. On his way out, he meets an old man who gives him a ring and an enigmatic message. Believing that the man was speaking about the priceless painting known as the Goldfinch, Theo takes it with him. Now an orphan in New York, he is taken in by his wealthy friend’s family. Torn apart by the loss of his mother, Theo clings onto the painting which draws him to the underworld. He begins selling imitation antiques for high prices and is soon neck-deep in trouble. What he discovers may yet change his life as the painting is something everyone wants to get their hands on.