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Overall Rating
4.44

Awesome63.5%
Worth A Look: 20.44%
Average: 13.14%
Pretty Bad: 2.19%
Total Crap: 0.73%

10 reviews, 77 user ratings


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Simple Plan, A
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by Erik Childress

"The Best Thriller of 1998"
5 stars

A Simple Plan (**** Ĺ) Ė I absolutely love it when a film tightens its screws to the point of nervous exhaustion. The film is so subtle in its set-ups and consequences that even if you see one or two of the twists coming, you canít anticipate the next ones.

And whatís so special about this thriller, which doesnít have the most original of plots, are the characters. Well-drawn out, seemingly simple, but much more complicated. Usually these films are all about the twists and turns of the plot, but this one gives its characters interesting things to say in between the plot twists. There are worthy Oscar clip scenes given to Billy Bob Thornton (in a very Lenny/Steinbeck inspired role) and Bridget Fonda, both equally terrific in creating much deeper portraits than meets the eye at first. But Bill Paxton is so great as well. Along with Jeremy Piven, Paxton is one of my personal favorites, as well as being immensely underrated, and his role here is not as showy as the other two, but heís the one trying to balance everything around him. In many scenes, itís an almost silent performance, so well-orchestrated, that you feel sympathetic and nervous for him, just by reading his eyes Ė because you can see what heís thinking. There are moments when these characters open up to one another so emotionally that I was almost driven to the brink of tears. Itís that powerful. And the ending. My God is it one of the best of the year - suspenseful, heartbreaking, and filled with irony.

I donít wanna say too much. All I can say is that the ending is one of the most powerful of the year and I walked out still looking to catch my breath. One of the yearís best.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=559&reviewer=198
originally posted: 02/17/00 04:54:35
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User Comments

5/13/16 j la mere engrossing.a whirlpool of tension leading ordinary people into a dark abyss. 4 stars
8/25/13 Steve A solid, engrossing, emotional film---and a bit exhausting! 4 stars
7/28/13 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
9/28/10 PAUL SHORTT CLEVER THRILLER WITH GOOD PERFORMANCES 4 stars
12/02/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
10/02/07 Double M A Character study that is deep, powerful (if very depressing) with GREAT cast and directing 5 stars
5/07/07 Tracey Chambers a movie I can watch over and over, great acting, great story 5 stars
11/08/05 suzanne taut and tragic; packed with great performances 5 stars
10/10/05 Julia was pretty good 4 stars
8/30/05 Nick Kraemer Great movie. Filmed in my HOMETOWN!!! 4 stars
3/26/05 Lia such an amazing movie 5 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold A "simple" movie, but perfectly done. Doesn't get much better than this. 5 stars
2/07/05 Jeff Anderson A tightly scripted, perfectly directed & acted film about responsibility in a bad situation 5 stars
9/05/04 DM Gripping and heartbreaking 5 stars
7/17/04 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
12/03/03 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
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby Takes a horrifying novel and dilutes it with contrivance and convenience. 2 stars
3/19/03 Sandy Robinson One of the best-acted, but, saddest movies of all time. 5 stars
11/15/02 Stevo Thornton and Briscoe are superb, but can't save a generally badly plotted, boring movie. 2 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean A nice thriller to watch right after you've wasted your time with THE PANIC ROOM. 4 stars
10/29/01 Gary Strong performances (esp. Paxton & Fonda), supreme direction & beautiful cinematography. 5 stars
9/05/01 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
7/05/01 Matthew Bartley Great thriller 5 stars
5/02/01 R.W. Welch Watchable, but it's hard to work up much empathy for these guys. 4 stars
3/01/01 John Trent Didnīt expect anything good,what a a surprise! 5 stars
10/21/00 joh completly brilliant 5 stars
9/02/00 jetcat main character relentlessly annoying, thornton didn't play his role well enough 3 stars
5/30/00 natasha beautifully done -- morose and intense 4 stars
5/23/00 lucas jackson outstanding and original,dam good!!!!! 5 stars
3/06/00 Richard Wright A very depressing but ultimately worthwhile film with unsuspecting twists and great acting. 5 stars
2/12/00 Skye Chapman treasure of the sierra madre meets fargo 5 stars
1/18/00 Josh One of the best movies I have ever seen, should have won best picture and director 5 stars
1/10/00 Will Leaves you chilled and depressed. Not all movies have to be cheery fuckfests. 5 stars
11/24/99 Murray Castles Great acting and directing. Aint Thornton great. Read the book. 5 stars
10/05/99 rob A heartwrenching,devastating masterpiece. 5 stars
9/25/99 KK This is one depressing movie, but definitely worth watching. 4 stars
9/07/99 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
6/09/99 PurityJustBegs A harrowing, audacious film that devistates and provokes..flawless storytelling.. 5 stars
4/27/99 JonnyAngel Great film, great film making. 5 stars
4/27/99 Lucas jackson it is an outstanding,spectacular movie full of twists and turns with some great humor 5 stars
4/05/99 Cool Thing Maybe it's just me, but I didn't think it was all that good. Bordered on boring. 3 stars
4/03/99 Lily Devastating! Raimi can do wotever he desires. 5 stars
3/11/99 nototis One lapse in logic you could drive a truck through, but first-rate in spite of it. 4 stars
3/11/99 haden lawyer Raimi is a god among cretins 5 stars
3/11/99 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
3/04/99 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
2/15/99 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
2/10/99 jaybo Paxton's best work since Weird Science 5 stars
2/05/99 mark h Some startling scenes-unexpected-shocking-movie craftsmanship 5 stars
2/01/99 Tom Ripley Great novel becomes a great movie. One for the top ten list. 5 stars
1/30/99 davebo cliche plot but done better than ever before, all the snow reminds me of fargo :) 5 stars
1/29/99 Scott Stipe I loved the book, movie was great, SAM RAIMI 5 stars
1/26/99 Jim Fay Thornton terrific as usual. A great job by Paxton. I didn't expect that from him at all. 5 stars
1/24/99 James E. Laczkowski Best Film I've Seen In Many A Moon 5 stars
1/24/99 Hannah Hopkins-Maupin Thornton is unbelievable. 5 stars
1/19/99 donkey_dew KICKS ALL ASS. I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE. AWESOME. 5 stars
1/03/99 Negative Creep Great film, paxton is a highly underrated actor, Thornton is excellent 4 stars
1/03/99 Leon Russell Amusing, a rich girl like Bridget preaching about the evils of money. 3 stars
12/31/98 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
12/14/98 Binky Paxton's best film yet. Why is this not in wide release? 5 stars
12/10/98 Greg Robinson You Suck cock 5 stars
12/10/98 dana Excellent performances, writing, & direction! Paxton's best since One False Move. 5 stars
12/04/98 Garfield Awesome beyond belief!!!! 5 stars
12/01/98 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-Dec-1998 (R)

UK
  21-May-1999

Australia
  04-Feb-1999 (MA)


Directed by
  Sam Raimi

Written by
  Scott B. Smith

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



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