A Simple Plan Reviews

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Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2014
Powerful and intense, Sam Raimi's drama is a forgotten gem in the director's career. Boasting a strong script and very human characters from Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thorton and Bridget Fonda, there is very little reason for why this shouldn't be missed.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2012
Chilling and entertaining, A Simple Plan is a great screenplay. If you like of Fargo, you must see this.
Super Reviewer
½ January 16, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2006
The perfect example of a thriller where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong as three small town people find 4.4 millions in crashed plane and the consequences take them further and further down the spiral. While none of the characters are entirely likable, especially considering the horrible decisions they make, it's still enthralling to watch their struggle. It's the rare type of film where 15 minutes before the end you still have no clue how it's all gonna resolve. Of course the ending can only be bitter, but the road to it is very entertaining and exciting movie making, a very unusual film for Sam Raimi.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2011
A cool, escalating story that keeps getting more and more complicated. The entire cast does a great job, especially Billy Bob Thornton as Jacob. This is a chaotic, but good film.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2011
Unrecognizable as a Raimi film, sedate, as one thing after another goes wrong for the finders of a load of loot in this nerve- twisting tale of greed. Thornton shines as the moral center of the piece.
Super Reviewer
December 8, 2009
This Movie was nice made, I like Movies directed by Sam Raimi though this was very Sam Raimi un alike.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2009
One of the most taut thrillers of all time. The writing is tight and strong, the direction is masterful, the music haunting, and the acting brilliant. The story is one of familiarity (o a degree), but then fips it on its head and adds lots of great twists and turns. I really enjoyed the camera work, it, was one of the many things that make this movie reminiscent of Fargo; but this film is no rip off. It's a brilliant work in its own right.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2009
Sam Raimi offers up a very well paced thriller that is reminiscent of Fargo. This is the story of smart/good people doing stupid/evil things. Paxton and Thornton play brothers that find a huge stash of money. Of course the origin and existence of the money creates conflict between those involved. Like Shallow Grave the film plays on role reversal. Those most eager to take the money soon regret their decision, and those most against taking it become the greedy manipulators. Thornton and Paxton have a genuine brotherly relationship going on. Fonda's Lady MacBeth type role is excellent, and makes you wish we still saw more of the actress. It has some nice twists, plans go awry and some difficult morals to swallow.
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2007
Possibly Raimi's finest crafted film
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2007
A superb ice-cold chiller thriller. It misses the mark of greatness by just a bit, due to a few acts that are unrealistic, but the overall piece is well thought-out and smartly plotted. Once the Gary Cole character comes into play, this piece picks up the pace like a roaring blizzard.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2008
Emotionally taut gut wrenching tale of greed.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2006
Lou Chambers: It's the American Dream in a goddamn gym bag!
Hank Mitchell: You work for the American Dream. You don't steal it.
Lou Chambers: Then this is even better.

A wonderful drama/thriller from director Sam Raimi, with some great performances, particularly from Billy Bob Thorton. Raimi, who has made a name for himself namely from his two trilogies, Evil Dead and Spider Man, has made his most mature film here, dialing down his usual manic visual style. There is a lot of dark material here, but the story is so good, and comes together so well throughout.

Bill Paxton stars as Hank, a small-time accountant, working in a small snowy forest town. He has a pregnant wife, played by Bridget Fonda, and is general well settled in his life.

One day, Hank, his slow witted brother Jacob, played by Thorton, and another friend, Lou, stumble across a crashed airplane that contains a dead pilot and four million dollars cash. The three decide to keep the money, but on the condition that Hank stashes it, waiting essentially for the coast to be clear.

This leads to a number of quarrels between the characters, some heinous acts to keep the secret, and reveals of where this money really came from.

All the performers are very strong. Paxton is wonderful in going against the niceties of his character, turning towards the greed that corrupts. Thorton is wonderful at both embracing this simple plan that has gotten out of hand and revealing the depth of a character who seems much different on the outside. Fonda also proves to be darker than one would think, when dealing with how to keep this money.

Sarah Mitchell: Nobody'd ever believe that you'd be capable of doing what you've done.

This movie is wonderfully well made, taking a similar approach to a film like Fargo, minus much of the dark humor, to show a snow-blanketed town in which plots of murder surrounding money ensue.

Jacob Mitchell: I wish somebody else had found that money.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2008
Pretty good little movie that is made better by Billy Bob Thornton's performance.
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2007
I was listening to Kevin Smith's podcast (SModcast) a week ago and he noted this film. He stated that the film was great, but what made it so remarkable was Billy Bob Thornton's performance. He noted that he Became the character and just lost himself. Smith had it pegged. The movie itself was just good. The premise has been done before. Three friends find money. Tensions flare. Lines are drawn. Alliances formed. Friendships strained. You've seen that. What you have not seen is such a great character portrayal from a very underrated actor. Set this against the brilliance of Danny Elfman's soundtack and you have a good watch. Don't expect brilliance in the movie (though there are some decent surprises), but look to the actors to move you to where you need to be.
Super Reviewer
½ November 28, 2006
This unusually restrained piece from Sam Raimi is a superior Treasure of the Sierra Madre variant marked by a particularly fine performance by Billy Bob Thornton. It could've been fantastic if the lead was played by an actor with a range greater than the rather limited Bill Paxton.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2007
Quite good thriller that shows how anyone can turn greedy when faced with a bag full of money. The characters were believable and the stakes got higher and higher as the movie went along. However, it was a bit slow sometimes and I didn't like the scenery or the ending so much.
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2007
I checked out this film after hearing filmmaker Kevin Smith raving about it on the podcast show "Smodcast" he does with Scott Mosier. I'm glad I respect Smith enough to listen. This film, directed by the cool cat behind the Evil Dead and Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi, was a great thriller in the vein of Fargo (but only in the sense that its set in winter in the Midwest, and involves the trouble a large amount of money causes a group of middle class characters). Raimi takes a basic premise of three characters stumbling upon a lot of money, and the effect their decisions have on them and the people around them. From this simple idea comes a very carefully woven thriller (which is based on a novel) that is extremely engrossing. Partly from the smart directing decisions and Danny Elfman's subtle score, and obviously the writing, but in a large part due to the performances of the lead characters, two brothers played by Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton. Paxton is the more successful brother with a family, while Thornton is an unemployed loner who isn't terribly bright (though not completely dim). In the "Smodcast", Kevin Smith raved about Thornton's performance, saying he became the character rather than acting it, and this is quite true. I gained a completely new respect for Thornton is this film, he lived and breathed his character to the point where the line between the actor and the character was completely blurred. Bill Paxton, too, was excellent. Paxton has always been under appreciated as an actor (his performance in the under looked Frailty was great, as well), and here he shows his chops. This is a film about the greed, betrayal, deception and ultimately, murder, that comes into play when $4.4 million dollars are introduced into the lives of three normal people. It's the classic premise of three ordinary people flung into an extraordinary situation, and it is done very well. I highly recommend it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2007
This is a strong thriller, but I really doubt it would hold up after any more than one viewing. There's little depth past what you get the first time through; it's all surface tension. A Simple Plan isn't the most original or unpredictable movie to come down the tube, but it has a lot of things going for it, like a great performance by Billy Bob Thornton as a slightly retarded farmboy.

All the snow is reminiscent of Fargo.
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