A man with a clipboard asks passersby a survey question: "Are you the favorite person of anybody?" He has a scale, from "very certain" on down. His manner is open. He offers oranges to one respondent. He talks, one at a time, to three people. Their answers, however brief, are revealing.
Lincoln Six-Echo is a resident of a seemingly Utopian but contained facility in the year 2019. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island" - reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet.
After their father (Tim Robbins) is called into work, two young boys, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo), are left in the care of their teenage sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart), and told they must stay inside.