After ten years of war with the Goths, Titus returns home. He's elected Emperor of Rome but he declines and says he just wants to retire in peace.
Titus insists on sacrificing Tamora's eldest son to appease the spirits of his dead relatives. Big mistake. Tamora vows to avenge this deed and, when Saturninus makes her his empress, she's suddenly in a position to make good on her promise. Tamora and her secret lover, Aaron, turn Titus's life into a living nightmare. Together they mastermind the murder of Bassianus and the rape of Lavinia.
Tamora and Aaron manage to frame Titus's two sons, Quintus and Martius, for the murder of Bassianus. Aaron also tricks Titus into lopping of his own hand by promising that Saturninus will spare his sons in exchange for Titus's body part.
Lavinia gets her stumps on a book and gestures at the story of Philomel's rape from Ovid's Metamorphoses to indicate she's been sexually assaulted. She then puts a staff in her mouth and writes out the names of Chiron and Demetrius, revealing the identities of her attackers. Naturally, Titus vows to make them pay.
The suspense builds when Titus kills Chiron and Demetrius, bakes them into a pie, and invites everyone to a big feast.
At the feast, Titus serves Tamora and his guests the human pie he so lovingly baked. Then he announces his secret ingredient and stabs Tamora. Saturninus stabs Titus in return, then Lucius stabs Saturninus.
With Rome's emperor and its greatest military leader dead, who will lead Rome out of this mess? Why, Lucius, of course! After being named emperor, Lucius says he's going to "heal" Rome, then punishes Aaron by having him buried up to his neck and left to starve.