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At Theaters: 1/22/1999 On Video: 6/22/1999
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 03 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 129802
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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Storyline Heading

Captivated by the lure of sudden wealth, the quiet rural lives of two brothers erupt into conflicts of greed, paranoia and distrust when over four million dollars in cash is discovered at the remote site of a downed small airplane. Their simple plan to retain the money while avoiding detection opens a Pandora's box.

Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - An atmospheric thriller that puts the emphasis on suspense and plot development instead of mindless action. Hitchock fans should enjoy this one.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Bill Paxton (Mighty Joe Young)
Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade)
Bridget Fonda (Jackie Brown)
Director: Sami Raimi (Darkman)
Production Notes Heading
About The Story
About The Production
Content Heading
PROFANITY: Extreme and frequent.
SEX/NUDITY: One shot of a topless woman.
VIOLENCE: Several deaths occur in a violent manner.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Occasional drinking.
ACTION: More tension than action, although there is some gunplay.
COMEDY: Irony and wit.

Pictures © Paramount Pictures Corp. ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Very Good
To date, director Sam Raimi is best known for the cult classic Evil Dead series, but his first venture into the realm of traditional thrillers, A Simple Plan, is the kind of well-made motion picture that should appeal to a wide audience, thereby lifting the director to a new level of mainstream acceptance. Set against a snowy backdrop, A Simple Plan is saturated with atmosphere. The story is as bleak and chilling as the setting, but, as is his usual style, Raimi injects elements of macabre humor into the movie. In an era when the technological thriller is taking control of the genre, it's refreshing to see something that relies more on the "old fashioned" plot devices of style, suspense, and the occasional red herring than on gadgets and pyrotechnics. Still, the characters are at the heart of A Simple Plan, and the gruesome complexity of their interaction elevates this film to the level of a midwinter treat.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 190 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
20-29Yg Adults (M)
Fairly High
20-29Yg Adults (F)
Fairly High
30+Adults (M)
30+Adults (F)
Fairly High
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
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On a cold New Year's Eve afternoon in a small, struggling Midwestern town, Hank Mitchell (Bill Paxton), his older brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jacob's buddy Lou (Brent Briscoe) discover the snow-encrusted wreck of a small plane, which holds a dead pilot and a duffel bag containing over four million dollars in cash.

One man's misfortune has presented them with a golden opportunity -- or has it? Unemployed and leading mundane existences, Lou and Jacob desperately want to keep the money, while Hank, (married with a baby on the way) and an upstanding member of the community, needs considerable coaxing before agreeing to keep the cash -- on the condition that he will decide when it's safe to divide or whether it should be destroyed.

Hank's wife, Sarah (Bridget Fonda), believes the cash should be turned in; but after seeing the stacks of money on her table and thinking about how the fortune could change their dismal existence, her ethical concerns are quickly wiped away. In an effort to keep their financial gain a secret, she instructs Hank and Jacob to return part of the money to the plane in order to make the site appear undiscovered. While attempting to return to the site of the crash, Jacob overreacts to the untimely appearance of a neighbor -- and the first thread in the plan is unraveled.

With loyalties now frayed by the need to conceal a crime, a string of events spiral out of control and those involved are forced to determine how far they will allow fear and greed to drive their obsessive attempt to cling to the ill-gotten fortune.

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