Equals takes place in a utopian society where violence and crime have been virtually eradicated - via the genetic elimination of human emotion. People like Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult) live calm, uneventful, drone-like lives. The two work alongside each other in a large office, creating informational publications and exchanging the occasional pleasantry. Life is simple, until a rumour starts to circulate: a disease has broken out, one that causes people to manifest emotions. If discovered by the powers that be, the infected are sent away, never to return.
Silas suspects he carries the disease, and when this is confirmed, he becomes an outcast. But he is drawn back to Nia, who is also infected but has managed to hide the symptoms far better than he. Upon discovering that they are similarly stricken, they need to decide whether to stay and hide or to run for freedom.