New York City. 1896. The heart of America’s Gilded Age. When a young boy prostitute is found butchered on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, an alienist named Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl), a newspaper illustrator by the name of John Moore, (Luke Evans), a secretary, Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) and a police commissioner named Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) begin an investigation outside the law to find the serial killer. 
- Dr. Kreizler: "As an alienist, I treat mental and emotional disorders in my patients, and I try to alleviate their condition. I do not presume to cure them."
- John Moore: "My God, Laszlo, sometimes you can be as subtle as a blowtorch."
- Sara Howard: "You will please accord me the respect that my position demands."
- John Moore: "I'm afraid once seen, those images will remain forever in my head."
- Dr. Kreizler: "I'm certain cold-blooded killers walk among us."
- Dr. Kreizler: "I must follow this wherever it goes. Even if it leads me to the darkest pit of Hell."