Transformers: Dark of the Moon (or simply Transformers 3) is a 2011 American science-fiction action film directed by Michael Bay. It is the third installment in the Transformers film series, after Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The film was produced by Hasbro and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and was released on June 29, 2011. Followed by Transformers: Age of Extinction.
During the devastating war between the Autobots and Decepticons, a spacecraft called the Ark, piloted by Autobot commander Sentinel Prime, attempts to flee, carrying items that could supposedly aid the Autobots in defeating the Decepticons. However, the Ark is struck by enemy missiles, causing it to crash onto the Earth's moon. The crash is defected by NASA and President John F. Kennedy orders an investigation on the spacecraft. Eight years later, Apollo 11 lands on the moon and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin return with information on the spacecraft. Some time afterwards, the space missions are cancelled.
In the present day, the Autobots and the NEST organization are continuing their mission of exterminating the remaining Decepticons. While Optimus Prime and the other troops from NEST investigate the Chernobyl disaster site, Optimus discovers a fuel cell from the Ark, before Decepticon Shockwave and Driller attack the site. Optimus battles the two, who flee shortly afterwards. Optimus shows the fuel cell to Secretary of Defense Charlotte Mearing, who confesses the true reason of the space missions. Optimus uses an Autobot spacecraft to jettison to the moon, where he reaches the Ark and finds a comatose Sentinel Prime, as well as five metallic pillars. Meanwhile, Megatron, still recovering from his injuries sustained during his battle with Optimus, is informed by Starscream, Soundwave and Laserbeak that Optimus has found Sentinel.
Sam Witwicky, having graduated from college, has gotten a new girlfriend, Carly Spencer, and lives with her at Washington D.C., along with Transformers Wheelie and Brains. Sam finds a job at a technology firm run by Bruce Bezos. Sam also encounters Carly's accountant boss, Dylan Gould, who Sam becomes envious of. Sam's co-worker, Jerry Wang, tells Sam that the Autobots are in danger, but he is soon after killed by Laserbeak. Sam flees to NASA headquarters, where Optimus and and his second-in-command Ratchet have returned with Sentinel's body. Sentinel is revived with the Matrix of Leadership, and upon being informed that NASA has recovered five pillars, Sentinel informs Optimus that they had thousands, which could open a bridge through space and time.
Bumblebee escorts Sam home, but Sam calls Seymour Simmons and retired agent Dutch. Sam also discovers through Jerry's notes that several people responsible for the Ark's cover-up have mysteriously died. Carly, whose brother was killed during the war between the Autobots and Transformers, expresses disdain about Sam possibly getting himself in danger. Sam, Simmons and Dutch meet two former Cosmonauts at a bar, where the two explain that satellites took photos of stacked pillars similar to the five Sentinel had. Sam comes to the conclusion that the Decepticons plan to use Sentinel to activate the pillars and send an invasion force to Earth.
Sam and the Autobots escort Sentinel to the NASA base for protection, but three Decepticons, the Dreads, attack them. The Autobots manage to defeat them, but Sentinel shortly afterwards reveals he made an allegiance with Megatron to help end the war and turns on the Autobots, killing Ironhide and destroying the base, taking the five pillars. Sentinel joins Megatron and Starscream at the Lincoln Memorial, where Sentinel activate the pillars, allowing a Decepticon army to emerge and invade Earth. Optimus attempts to stop Sentinel, but is defeated, but left alive. Dylan also reveals his allegiance with the Decepticons, and forces Sam to get information as to how Optimus intends to counterattack the Decepticon army or Carly will die.
Sentinel demands that the Autobots leave Earth, which they supposedly agree to. The Autobots are transferred to Florida, where former chief Epps has prepped a shuttle for the Autobots to embark on. Sam arrives and asks Optimus his plans for attack, but the Autobot leader claims he has no intention of fighting back. The next day, the shuttle takes off, but Starscream shoots it down, apparently destroying the Autobots. As the Decepticons plant the pillars on a building, Dylan reveals to Carly that the Decepticons intend to transport Cybertron to Earth's atmosphere, using the humans as slave labor. Carly witnesses Sentinel briefly attack Megatron, straining their alliance.
The Decepticons ravage Chicago, creating a perimeter in the damaged city. Sam, along with several disbanded NEST members, attempt to rescue Carly, but are ambushed by a Decepticon pilot. However, the Autobots arrive and destroy the pilot. Optimus reveals that the Autobots hid in a booster rocket that detached from the shuttle and landed in the ocean. The Autobots and NEST members arrive at Dylan's penthouse, where Sam kills Laserbeak. However, Dylan informs the Decepticon army of the Autobots survival, during which Megatron sends reinforcements to combat the Autobots while he aligns the remaining pillars.
The group are attacked by Soundwave and Driller, but Optimus manages to destroy Driller. Lennox and his men arrive to aid in the battle, and Sam manages to destroy Starscream. However, several Autobots are captured by the Decepticons, who attempt to execute them. However, the army is distracted when Wheelie and Brains take control of one of the primary Decepticon spacecrafts and crashes it into the river, allowing the Autobots to fight back against the army. Sentinel activates the main pillar, allowing Cybertron to materialize in Earth's atmosphere. Optimus flies in and battles the Decepticon army, killing Soundwave and destroying one of the pillars. An enraged Sentinel enters the fray and battles the Autobots.
Dylan reactivates the pillar, allowing Cybertron to continue reforming in the atmosphere. Megatron is confronted by Carly, who convinces him that Sentinel has replaced him as the Decepticon leader. Sentinel battles Optimus and severs his arm, but Megatron turns on him and brutally attacks him. Sam kills Dylan by knocking him into the pillar before Bumblebee destroys it, causing Cybertron to be sucked back into the vortex. Megatron proposes a truce to Optimus, but Optimus decapitates Megatron. A weakened Sentinel attempts to explain his reasons for betraying Optimus, but is executed as well. With the Decepticon army having been sucked into the vortex as well, the battle is won, and Optimus proclaims that Earth is the Autobots home from now on.
- Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a college graduate and Autobot ally.
- Rosie Huntington-Whitely as Carly Spencer, Sam's girlfriend.
- Josh Duhamel as William Lennox, commander of the NEST strike team.
- Josh Turturro as Seymour Simmons, a professional writer.
- Tyrese Gibson as Robert Epps, a retired NEST team commander.
- Patrick Dempsey as Dylan Gould, a Decepticon assistant.
- Frances McDormand as Charlotte Mearings, the Secretary of Defense.
- John Malkovich as Bruce Bazos, the boss of Accuretta Systems.
- Kevin Dunn as Ron Witwicky, Sam's father.
- Julie White as Judy Witwicky, Sam's mother.
- Alan Tudyk as Dutch, Simmon's assistant.
- Ken Jeong as Jerry Wang, Sam's co-worker.
- Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots and keeper of the Matrix of Leadership.
- Hugo Weaving as Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons.
- Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime, Optimus' predecessor as leader of the Autobots.
- Jess Harnell as Ironhide, the Autobots weapon specialist.
- Charles Adler as Starscream, Megatron's second-in-command.
- Robert Foxworth as Ratchet, Optimus's second-in-command.
- James Remar as Sideswipe, the Autobots combat instructor.
- Fransesco Quinn as Dino, an Autobot spy.
- George Coe as Que, the Autobots scientist.
- Tom Kenny as Wheelie, a former Decepticon drone.
- Reno Wilson as Brains, Wheelie's partner.
- Frank Welker as Shockwave, the Decepticon assassin/Soundwave, the Decepticon communication officer.