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A Simple Plan (1998)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 7

A riveting crime thriller full of emotional tension.


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

A riveting crime thriller full of emotional tension.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 38,070

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on Scott B. Smith's bone-chilling 1993 novel, A Simple Plan is a bit of a departure for horror film director Sam Raimi. Instead of flying eyeballs and dancing corpses, A Simple Plan is a taut crime thriller in the vein of Joel Coen's Academy Award-winning Fargo. Set during the white winters of Minnesota, this story tells the eerie tale of Hank and Jacob Mitchell (played by Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton) who, along with a buddy, find a downed single-engine plane buried in the snowy


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Scott B. Smith

Jun 22, 1999


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All Critics (71) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (7) | DVD (13)

A Simple Plan is lean, elegant, and emotionally complex - a marvel of backwoods classicism.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perfect capers gone horribly, inexorably awry have always kept audiences squirming. But just when we think we've seen it all, Raimi offers a few new wrinkles.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Raimi takes the old story about dishonour among thieves and renders it fresh through the calm, cool, steady assurance of the telling.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As straightforward in narrative as it is gut-wrenching in effect, A Simple Plan is a sort of slow-motion skid down an icy blacktop- it's a movie you watch with a mounting sense of dread.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Raimi] austerely rejects hyped-up camera tricks and jokey shock effects and creates living, complex characters whose fates we care about. The result is easily his finest film to date.

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

powerful, if pedestrian

July 13, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

It's been done before, and Raimi doesn't do it much differently or put his own stamp on it.

October 31, 2007 Full Review Source: | Comments (4)

A great film, and a major leap forward in the career of Sam Raimi.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A pre-Spiderman Sam Raimi delivers a stunningly powerful film about the consequences of greed.

October 27, 2005

Tenso e trágico.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

What would you do for 4 million dollars? How far would you go to get it? Sam Raimi's brilliant, chilling A Simple Plan tells the story of 4 people that went much too far.

May 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

Overeager to pile so many possible, psych-lite motivations that nothing holds water or compels us very much... Terribly self-serious.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

A smart, scary, suspenseful and heartbreaking morality tale about ordinary people destroyed not by demons but their own desires.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

"A Simple Plan" clutters up the story with unnecessary acts of violence and murder, and mainly stays on the surface, offering little more than cheap jolts of melodrama.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

As each character that we meet systematically gets killed, you care less and less about any of these people surviving.

April 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

It prevails over predictability because of its canny subtlety, depth of character, and literate intelligence -- qualities hardly to be expected from the director of The Evil Dead and Darkman.

March 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

I think director Raimi wanted this film to be another Fargo, and instead it was more like the first Evil Dead - all Billy Bob's charisma and nought else.

June 14, 2001 Full Review

Unravels sadly in its second half, most of what transpires being utterly predictable, and what is not predictable, simply unbelievable.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

This is a strong, gut-wrenching, suspenseful film, one of the top ten of 1998.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A very special and uncompromising piece of work. Wrap up warm.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan is a good story and is filmed nicely. Unfortunately though, the acting isn't very good. Bill Paxton can't act. Billy Bob Thornton's character was far too close to his character in Sling Blade. Everyone else felt like they belonged in a Coen Brother's movie, maybe the far superior Fargo, made a couple of years before. A Simple Plan was too late, it could have been a 80's classic but unfortunately it was undone by much better films of the early 90's. It's also woefully predictable.
December 18, 2012

Super Reviewer

Raimi's best film. In the same line of "Fargo" not only in its snowy setting, but in the way it moves from a mundane and strange darkly comical feel to end up as an incredibly violent and menacing study of greed. Destiny never ceases to collect victims.
June 30, 2012

Super Reviewer

Chilling and entertaining, A Simple Plan is a great screenplay. If you like of Fargo, you must see this.
January 28, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Now, I know I was watching a fiction, but the movie had nothing worth discounting the numerable idiocies it had. The instability in characters' morality was the most annoying factor. Just to cite one [SPOILER ALERT]: The protagonist doesn't mind smothering an oldie (seemed normal and innocent), shooting off a couple, but has a soft spot for the sheriff!!!

I appreciate the simplicity of the storyline and thank the director for making something comprehensible for me, but I wish I were a grateful..... But I'm sure that my rating or writing doesn't make no difference to him. Or to anyone for that matter except myself.
January 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on A Simple Plan

January 30, 2007:
Sam Raimi Has Been Discussing "Hobbit" Plans
At first it just seemed like a smart fanboy's best-case scenario: If Peter Jackson can't (or won't)...

Foreign Titles

  • Ein einfacher Plan (DE)
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