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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

A Simple Plan (1998)



Reviews and Comments

Sam Raimi's brilliant dark thriller, A Simple Plan, proves that there's still room even in the bounds of established genres for originality and uniqueness. What happens when basically good people have millions of dollars dropped into their lap? The escalation of missteps the characters make to keep a hold of it are as compelling as they are horrifying. The characterization is flawless, and the relationship between Bill Paxton's and Billy Bob Thornton's characters -- wholly believable and not quite like anything seen on film before -- is largely what holds the film together and keeps us concerned for what happens. The intervention of more traditional thriller devices at the end aren't even really necessary and seem somewhat out of place in this otherwise grimly realistic tale, but the story remains convincing throughout and keeps the players in character. It's one of the best films of the year, and I recommend it very highly.