Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A Simple Plan
Sometimes good people do evil things.
Captivated by the lure of sudden wealth, the quiet rural lives of two brothers erupt into conflicts of greed, paranoia and distrust when over $4 million 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 when the fear of getting caught triggers panicked behavior and leads to virulent consequences
#11 of 12 films in my Adapted Screenplay Challenge
Something bothered me as I started to read Scott B. Smith's first novel, the 1993 thriller entitled "A Simple Plan." By the time I finished the first chapter, I knew what it was: the writing style.
To begin, the opening 12 pages have no "hook" to capture and keep the reader's attention. The telling is flat, historical, emotionless. Also, because it is a first-person account of events already long past, there needs to be a reason to like, or at least believe, the narrator. In this case, rural Ohio accountant Hank Mitchell tells us outright that he often acts "without really thinking" and he "had no feel for the weight of…
"Nobody would ever believe that you'd be capable of doing what you've done."
One of Sam Raimi's forgotten gems before he was given the Spider-Man job. A Simple Plan is Fargo without the quirky characters and pitch-black humour but instead you get something, while similar in plot, a lot darker and a little bit more disturbing in it's characterizations.
Perfectly cast, Bill Paxton excels as Hank Mitchell, the small-town gentlemanly nobody and a father-to-be who's temptation for a better existence clouds his usual morally-sound judgement when he finds 4 million dollars in a crashed plane. Soon, under pressure from his mentally-challenged brother (Billy Bob Thornton, brilliant), his drunk red-neck buddy and his manipulating wife (Bridget Fonda), Hank makes a serious…
I miss the days where people like Bill Paxton or Jeff Goldblum or Val Kilmer or Kurt Russell or Sam Neill or Alec Baldwin or Woody Harrelson were all considered leading men. That time was the 90s and I'm nostalgic as fuck for it. Also, awe-inspiring snow photography in this film. No doubt that Raimi consulted with the Coens on some secret pointers. Sure paid off.
Two brothers and a friend take a drive on New Year's Eve. Run down truck. Dog in the back. It's around midday when when they reach a nature preserve. Woods to the left. Farm to the right. One narrow, snow-covered road splitting them up. A fox emerges, fresh out the henhouse, prey in its mouth. The truck swerves, crashes, dog jumps out to chase the critter into the woods and the men follow. An inconvenience, a disagreement, a snowball toss and a discovery...A grand discovery and a morbid one. The plane wreckage is iced over and the pilot is dead, but the duffel bag is untouched. Its contents are toxic: $4.4 million. Grins, laughter, disbelief. The scene is pure fantasy,…
A tense film about family, greed, murder and guilt.
It gets too serious and unbelievable as it goes on. It wants me to take a leap of faith which would've been easier to take if it was a little bit less serious in tone. This film would have been brilliant in the hands of the Coen brothers. It replaces their dark humor with heavy melodrama. It's a good movie no doubt but whenever I will want to rewatch this I'll just remind myself I can rewatch something much better, like Fargo or Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood.
"Everything goes to sleep"
Snow,Manipulation and Guilt combine to create a tense and emotional experience...Billy Bob Thornton does some of his best work here right up there with Sling Blade and Monster's Ball...Never mind the atmospheric resemblance to Fargo this is a solid thriller in it's own right...
This was surprisingly effective emotionally. Great performances all around and the tightening of the noose always makes sense and creeps along at the perfect pace. The snow setting is also used to full effect, something that should not be underestimated.
A Simple Plan is an impressive 180 turn from Sam Raimi. It was unfairly compared to Fargo, giving people at the time an excuse to dismiss this little gem. Fargo is the better movie in terms of originality and execution, but I found A Simple Plan to be just as unsettling.
During winter in a small-town, three buddies accidentally stumble upon 4 million dollars in an abandoned aircraft. Predictably, greed gets the best of these men, diving them to madness, or worse, evil. Maybe not pure evil, but Damn near close to it.
The similarities to Fargo couldn't be anymore visible, but whereas Fargo played of as a pure dark comedy, A Simple Plan doesn't spare a second for comedic…
Billy Bob Thornton is great here. He earned his Oscar nomination with his sad yellow teeth. Finding 4 million dollars is not always a good thing.
Don't get me wrong, I love the goofy, cartoonish Sam Raimi. But I never would have guessed he was capable of making a film with such maturity and pulling it off so well.
Would make an excellent double bill with Fargo.
Really disturbing and dark look at what (greed? stupidity? fear?) the worst within us does to us. Worth the praise, and worth catching up with if you haven't seen it before.
A lean, slight, and strangely bleak genre pic, effective for its restrained direction, quietly artful craftsmanship, and moral foreboding. Nothing really to criticize, but somewhat disappointing nonetheless. Where's Sam Raimi in all this? *tips hat to admirable diversification of style, sighs, reaches for Army of Darkness*
A simple plan, a simple story -- a trio of fellas happen upon a bag of a hell of a lot of money, and it proceeds to ruin their lives. These are easy scenarios to construct, and they always have the same moral (don't take the money, turn it in or leave it alone, heh) but the difference here is what Sam Raimi and Scott B. Smith do with the characterizations. The two main characters -- brothers played by Bill Paxton and (Oscar-nominated) Billy Bob Thornton -- begin at opposite ends of their consciences and steadily invert to the other side. One immediately knows what they're doing is wrong, but becomes weaker; the other initially sees no problem in taking…
I normally have an irrational hate for anything billy bob thornton does but he's so great in this movie.
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
A blend of personal favorites and films that I consider to be the "greatest." Top two-hundred is definitive. Only 1940-2015.