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 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.