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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20.29%
Just Average: 13.04%
Pretty Crappy: 2.17%
Sucks: 0.72%

10 reviews, 78 user ratings

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Simple Plan, A
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by Chef ADogg

"Brothers gonna work it out!"
4 stars

The first time I watched "A Simple Plan," I nitpicked the little details. The second time, I smacked myself in the back of the head for being a whiny, ungrateful bitch. Sam Raimi serves up an interesting, exciting movie, and I have the nerve to complain. What a schmuck I am!

Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton do NOT look like brothers. At all. But both the performers are so good that you're ready to drop the cynicsm and believe. Like *that*. Pretty good casting, if you ask me.

So Paxton and Thornton play Hank and Jacob, respectively, an odd couple if ever there was one. Hank has a respectable, somewhat lucrative job and lives a happy life with his pregnant wife (Bridget Fonda, who looks kinda cute all preggied-out); Jacob is an ugly, unhappy, unemployed loser who spends most of his time drinking cheap beer with his buddy Lou.

The two brothers don't have much use for each other's company, but they do come together anually to visit the graves of their parents. Accompanying them this particular year is Lou (Brent Briscoe, who smells like cheese. . . You can just *tell*), which turns out to be somewhat unfortunate when the brothers are forced to make a detour and they find a crashed plane deep in the snowy wilderness.

The plane is filled with cash. Four million tax-free dollars. Hank is adamant about turning the money in and Jacob is wishy-washy, but Lou very nearly has a visible hard on for the dough. Can you guess what happens next? No? *whack*

After they decide to keep the money, "A Simple Plan" turns into a neatly-constructed funhouse full of fatal trap doors and strange ethical mirrors, all of it designed with only one goal in sight--fuck with the audience. Fuck with them *hard*. While the architecture of the film is at times slightly cloying, there's also a deeply rooted sense of dread to keep the whole project on the ground.

And Raimi--that boy can direct a movie. The symbolism is too obvious a lot of the time, and he has no hand at generating real suspense, but the end result is nonetheless breathtakingly potent. "A Simple Plan" knees you in the nuts, smacks your face when you're down, and then fucks your sister while you bleed helplessly. It's that kind of film.

Raimi also packs a valuable tool to counter the style of his filmmaking: the substance of Scott B. Smith, who adapts his own novel here. The film can't really compete with the book's tight, elegant scares, but it becomes a completely different beast in the third act, zigging when you expect it to zag and imploding unexpectedly in the gut-wrenching finale.

A tight plot, good performances, and an overall gruesome feel. It doesn't really cross the lines like the best thrillers do, but it succeeds in its own right and more than serves its purpose. Definitely worth your movie-going buck.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=559&reviewer=123
originally posted: 01/02/00 01:11:33
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User Comments

4/02/20 Ed Riddick Great acting & screenplay. Perfect cast. 5 stars
5/12/16 j la mere engrossing.a whirlpool of tension leading ordinary people into a dark abyss. 4 stars
8/24/13 Steve A solid, engrossing, emotional film---and a bit exhausting! 4 stars
7/27/13 Katherine Until looking at this review I was on the edge of my seat LOVED IT anyway. 4 stars
5/27/13 c slow and over ratted. left feeling disappointed 2 stars
12/01/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
10/01/07 Double M A Character study that is deep, powerful (if very depressing) with GREAT cast and directing 5 stars
5/06/07 Tracey Chambers a movie I can watch over and over, great acting, great story 5 stars
11/07/05 suzanne taut and tragic; packed with great performances 5 stars
10/09/05 Julia was pretty good 4 stars
8/29/05 Nick Kraemer Great movie. Filmed in my HOMETOWN!!! 4 stars
3/25/05 Lia such an amazing movie 5 stars
3/17/05 indrid cold A "simple" movie, but perfectly done. Doesn't get much better than this. 5 stars
2/06/05 Jeff Anderson A tightly scripted, perfectly directed & acted film about responsibility in a bad situation 5 stars
9/04/04 DM Gripping and heartbreaking 5 stars
7/16/04 Harry J Unbelievable drama level......Hitchcock style.....one of my faves. 5 stars
6/03/04 the bride The rating says it all... Just awesome 5 stars
12/02/03 Agent Sands Really tight script and great acting. The wife getting shot is actually hilariously staged. 4 stars
7/26/03 Kyle How the fuck was this predictable? 5 stars
7/23/03 JJ So predictable, so boring 1 stars
5/15/03 George Jung One of the best movies of the 90s. Proves Raimi's talent as a director. 5 stars
4/12/03 Jack Sommersby Takes a horrifying novel and dilutes it with contrivance and convenience. 2 stars
3/18/03 Sandy Robinson One of the best-acted, but, saddest movies of all time. 5 stars
11/14/02 Stevo Thornton and Briscoe are superb, but can't save a generally badly plotted, boring movie. 2 stars
4/02/02 Butterbean A nice thriller to watch right after you've wasted your time with THE PANIC ROOM. 4 stars
10/28/01 Gary Strong performances (esp. Paxton & Fonda), supreme direction & beautiful cinematography. 5 stars
9/04/01 Jake Too slow, tedious, and overlong. Good story clumsily unravels 3 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Sam Raimi's best film next to the Evil Dead series. A beautifully directed thriller. 5 stars
7/04/01 Matthew Bartley Great thriller 5 stars
5/01/01 R.W. Welch Watchable, but it's hard to work up much empathy for these guys. 4 stars
2/28/01 John Trent Didnīt expect anything good,what a a surprise! 5 stars
10/20/00 joh completly brilliant 5 stars
9/02/00 jetcat main character relentlessly annoying, thornton didn't play his role well enough 3 stars
5/29/00 natasha beautifully done -- morose and intense 4 stars
5/23/00 lucas jackson outstanding and original,dam good!!!!! 5 stars
3/05/00 Richard Wright A very depressing but ultimately worthwhile film with unsuspecting twists and great acting. 5 stars
2/11/00 Skye Chapman treasure of the sierra madre meets fargo 5 stars
1/17/00 Josh One of the best movies I have ever seen, should have won best picture and director 5 stars
1/09/00 Will Leaves you chilled and depressed. Not all movies have to be cheery fuckfests. 5 stars
11/23/99 Murray Castles Great acting and directing. Aint Thornton great. Read the book. 5 stars
10/04/99 rob A heartwrenching,devastating masterpiece. 5 stars
9/24/99 KK This is one depressing movie, but definitely worth watching. 4 stars
9/06/99 seldom scene the best a movie has to offer 5 stars
8/15/99 Elizaveta This film shattered me as few others ever have..absolutely brilliant! 5 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Characters are fleshed out to the bone, making this great, but ending made little sense. 4 stars
6/08/99 PurityJustBegs A harrowing, audacious film that devistates and provokes..flawless storytelling.. 5 stars
4/26/99 JonnyAngel Great film, great film making. 5 stars
4/26/99 Lucas jackson it is an outstanding,spectacular movie full of twists and turns with some great humor 5 stars
4/04/99 Cool Thing Maybe it's just me, but I didn't think it was all that good. Bordered on boring. 3 stars
4/02/99 Lily Devastating! Raimi can do wotever he desires. 5 stars
3/10/99 nototis One lapse in logic you could drive a truck through, but first-rate in spite of it. 4 stars
3/10/99 haden lawyer Raimi is a god among cretins 5 stars
3/10/99 Negative Creep Thornton Steals the show. 4 stars
3/09/99 Katie Brilliant film, Billy Bob deserves the Oscar and so does the screenplay. 5 stars
3/03/99 The Graduate Very well crafted characters, esp. Thornton (hello, Oscar!). 5 stars
2/18/99 pd fine performances all around.tension filled morality piece. 4 stars
2/14/99 Kooky Sal Raimi's directorship was a downside. It was unsuitable. Over-rated. 3 stars
2/14/99 Jack Deth great adaptation of the book. thornton gets 5 stars for his performance 5 stars
2/09/99 jaybo Paxton's best work since Weird Science 5 stars
2/05/99 mark h Some startling scenes-unexpected-shocking-movie craftsmanship 5 stars
1/31/99 Tom Ripley Great novel becomes a great movie. One for the top ten list. 5 stars
1/29/99 davebo cliche plot but done better than ever before, all the snow reminds me of fargo :) 5 stars
1/28/99 Scott Stipe I loved the book, movie was great, SAM RAIMI 5 stars
1/25/99 Jim Fay Thornton terrific as usual. A great job by Paxton. I didn't expect that from him at all. 5 stars
1/23/99 James E. Laczkowski Best Film I've Seen In Many A Moon 5 stars
1/23/99 Hannah Hopkins-Maupin Thornton is unbelievable. 5 stars
1/02/99 Negative Creep Great film, paxton is a highly underrated actor, Thornton is excellent 4 stars
1/02/99 Leon Russell Amusing, a rich girl like Bridget preaching about the evils of money. 3 stars
12/30/98 grunter despite Thornton's performance, overrated and utterly predictable; Fonda's dialogue shines 3 stars
12/28/98 Dan Rowe great acting, love the scenery, crows against snow. 5 stars
12/13/98 Binky Paxton's best film yet. Why is this not in wide release? 5 stars
12/09/98 Greg Robinson You Suck cock 5 stars
12/09/98 dana Excellent performances, writing, & direction! Paxton's best since One False Move. 5 stars
12/03/98 Garfield Awesome beyond belief!!!! 5 stars
11/30/98 Kirgo Not as good as Fargo, like people are saying, but very, very, well done, never-the-less. 5 stars
8/27/98 Mister Whoopee Will be a big Oscar contender this year. Billy Bob and Paxton shine. Music by Elfman. 5 stars
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  04-Dec-1998 (R)


  04-Feb-1999 (MA)

Directed by
  Sam Raimi

Written by
  Scott B. Smith

  Bill Paxton
  Billy Bob Thornton
  Bridget Fonda
  Brent Briscoe
  Jack Walsh
  Gary Cole

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