The film retains the main characters of the first film, while introducing new ones.
Sometime after the Benedict Job, Rusty Ryan is living in Rome. Late one night, he visits a woman, with whom he is romantically involved. After she tells him of her investigative work that day, he becomes anxious that she might link him with a particular crime, so he secretly escapes from the apartment. In East Haven, Connecticut, nearly three years and a half years later, Danny and Tess have moved into a new home, where they plan to start a new life. Without warning, Terry Benedict arrives at their house while Danny is out. Having discovered that Danny and the Crew were responsible for robbing him, Benedict confronts Tess and tells her that he's giving the 11 an ultimatum with a two week time limit to return the stolen money plus interest. After he leaves, he again without warning visits or somehow gets in touch with each member of the 11 and gives them the same ultimatum.
In order to discuss their dilemma, the Crew privately meets in an old factory. Everyone is on board for paying back Benedict, except Saul, who doesn't intend to continue practicing cons. Without Saul, the Crew heads to Amsterdam for job opportunities. There, Danny and Rusty connect with Matsui at a coffee shop. Looking to come into a role more of leadership, Linus also attends the meeting with Matsui. After an exchange of pleasantries, Danny, Rusty, and Matsui use language Linus doesn't comprehend to mess with him. Matsui then commissions the Crew for the Van der Woude Job, of which the objective is to steal a valuable document from a well safeguarded home. As they reach the safe supposedly containing the document, they find its only contents are a small fox figurine with an audio player. They play it and the voice on the recording addresses Danny, explaining how it got to the safe first, stole the document, and set up the Crew to fail their commission before they had even begun to plan for it. They infer that the person behind the voice is the same man who revealed their information to Benedict.
Some time shortly after, an investigation begins in response to the stolen document. Assigned to the case is Detective Isabel Lahiri, the same woman with whom Rusty had been previously involved. The investigation was such a priority that she was interrupted at an Interpol convention, during her presentation on the Night Fox, an especially prominent thief. She arrives at van der Woude's estate, and begins working her way around, looking for clues. She eventually figures out that both Rusty and the Night Fox broke into the estate on the same night, and that the Night Fox stole the document before the Crew could. Having the lead on Rusty gave her the opportunity to arrest Frank, whom she had already known to be an accomplice in a job Rusty pulled while they were in Rome. After catching and arresting Frank, she traces Rusty to the hotel where the Crew is staying. An unsuspecting Rusty answers her knock at their hotel room door. She neither enters nor says anything, but she catches a glimpse of Danny and Yen, just before Rusty slams the door in her face.
After quietly ushering the rest of the Crew into another room to hide, he lets her in. He doesn't say much as she remarks about his various activities there in Amsterdam. She brings up the Night Fox, and indicates him as the person who left the figurine and the audio recording for Danny, during the night of the Van der Woude Job. She subsequently advises Rusty to submit to the Night Fox, then makes her way to the exit, mentioning Frank's arrest as she does. After she leaves, the Crew rebukes Rusty for having put them at such a risk, which ultimately caused his Danny's, Yen's pictures to be used in her case. However, the three of them escape her surveillance put on the hotel by impersonating members and equipment of the Arsenal Football Club. They meet elsewhere and Danny elaborates on who the Night Fox is. Meanwhile, Frank sits in jail, and Saul contemplates his decision to not help the Crew pay back Benedict. After learning the Night Fox's true identity is François Toulour, the Crew decide to get him back for hindering them during the van der Woude Job by stealing several of his paintings from his home in Lake Como, Italy. With five days left on Benedict's ultimatum, Danny meets Toulour face to face.
Toulour explains to Danny why he gave up the crew to Benedict. He offers Danny redemption from Benedict's ultimatum by proposing a contest, of which the goal is to steal the Fabergé Coronation Egg by the time ultimatum is up. Danny promptly accepts the offer. With Rusty's stolen phone, Agent Lahiri obtains information from Roman Nagel, a cohort of the Crew, who attempted to reach Rusty in order to relay a message about his progress. Hot on their trail, she surmises that the Crew is about to steal something, and she pleads with her superior, Commisario Giordano, to use the Form 1077, an official request for additional resources in her investigation. Having observed the workings of the museum where the egg will be held, Livingston and Rusty go over a few plans for stealing it. They choose one and the entire crew review this rather complicated plan. Nagel eventually meets with the Crew, presenting to them a hologram device he built to display the image of the Fabergé Coronation Egg. Their confidence, after having been thoroughly impressed with the device, doesn't last long as it's revealed to them that Agent Lahiri has had Rusty's phone for at least two days. Rusty leaves to finally confront her about it.
Returning from the visit with Giordano, Lahiri arrives at her apartment, where Rusty awaited her. Mistaking him for an intruding stranger, she nearly shoots him. After recognizing who he was, the two begin to casually chat about his phone, their past, and the Crew's involvement with the Night Fox. She also explains her intention to see her investigation through. She then ushers him to the exit and threatens to arrest him at their next meeting, prompting him to end the conversation and leave. Once alone, she prepares a copy of an old, discarded, signed Form 1077 and a fresh form. She takes a deep breath, plucks up, and forges Giordano's signature from the old form, onto the new one. Afterward, the Crew rehearses their plan. Meanwhile, Lahiri meets with Toulour, who is in disguise as André Ciment, about his stolen paintings. After he gives her security footage of the theft, she heads back home and uses the submitted, forged Form 1077 to acquire the additional resources she needs for her case, while issuing a bulletin for the apprehension of several members of the Crew. That night is on the day before the contest begins. Toulour sabotages the Crew early, by impersonating hotel staff and calling Danny's hotel room for a morning wake-up call, much earlier than the real 5 a.m. scheduled one. Once caffeinated and ready to go, Danny heads to Rusty's room, only to find that the time is 11:30 p.m., on the night before. Dismayed, the two sit and casually drink wine to some light conversation and an Italian dub of Happy Days.
The day the contest begins is Monday, with two days remaining in Benedict's ultimatum. Lahiri guards the Egg at its exhibit in a Roman museum, the Galleria D'Arte di Roma. Toulour exercises. The Crew set themselves according to their plan. Even though the Roman authorities are stationed outside the museum at checkpoint, verifying the identity of all incoming patrons, they attempt to follow through the plan anyhow. Before they know it, the members who've been identified by Lahiri are being rounded up. Only Basher, Turk, and Linus escape arrest. The three meet back at the warehouse they'd been using to setup their plan, unaware that Toulour has had the place under his own camera surveillance. They go over alternate plans that might work, but soon realize they're too few. Linus suggests a plan involving Tess. Turk and Basher initially disapprove, but Linus persuades them, and then eventually her, without telling her their intended role for her.