Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A Simple Plan
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
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.
"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 think Billy Bob just became my favourite actor.
Like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, but very little suspense or humor and in its place is just stone-cold tragedy. I started to worry about halfway through that I was actually Billy Bob Thornton; he's that good in this.
Imagine the logical halfway point between Fargo and Shallow Grave, as executed by Sam Raimi. It's exactly as good as the film that just popped into your head.
Terrific acting (especially from Bridget Fonda), some of the best (and most subtle) directing of Raimi's career and razorwire suspense throughout adds up to a wonderfly small and incredibly intelligent thriller.
A Simple Plan belongs to what might be my favorite subgenre - the "regular people get caught up in a crime that keeps getting worse and worse and also it's snowing" movie. But the artistry brought to the table elevates it beyond any categorization anyone could come up with for it.
The story in less capable, humane hands could have easily fallen onto the wrong side of the nihilism/tragedy divide, but the heartbreaking reality of the characters and their situation keeps that from even being a concern. The movie does what the best noir stories often do, and makes you feel sympathy for people doing terrible things. Not as some kind of trick, but because they're all human, making escalatingly…
Maybe my 4th or 5th viewing of this. I still find it so good and compelling, mostly because of the scenes between Paxton and Thornton.
This movie was really solid. Every note was hit well, the story was not convoluted yet compelling. However, while it all was done exceptionally well, it all felt really familiar, and because of that it is stopped from becoming a classic to revisit time and time again.
Out of the cannon of films that Rami has released in his career, this is his best film. A well-crafted thriller that rivals the likes of "Fargo". The story, which unfolds in a Chaucerian/Shakespearian manner, gives the audience a sense of menace throughout the film. As for Thorton's performance as the estranged brother Jacob, is his most complete portrayal of his career. Overall, the film is successful on how a thriller should unfold. Nearly Perfect!
Sam Raimi, along with screenwriter and original author Scott Smith, seem to be channelling the Coens by way of the frigid small-town setting of Fargo and the underlying currents of jealousy, betrayal and murder of Blood Simple. I finished the book not long before watching this, so naturally I wanted to check it out, and I think this is one of the stronger adaptations of a renowned thriller (certainly ended up better than most of Alex Cross's adventures, that's for sure...), changing a few things that in retrospect, were probably for the better. Especially true of the truncated but ultimately more streamlined third act in place of the convoluted goings-on near the end of the book. However, in snipping a…
Say what you will about him, like him or hate him, you gotta admit that Raimi knows the craft. Here, he puts Hitchcock's methods to good use, decades after the master died, and creates amounts of suspense that honor his memory. The tension is thick and impossible to ignore. This is exciting and engaging, and it's completely realistic, down to earth and human, to boot. The pace is spot-on, this never outruns the viewer, in spite of being fast and tight, and so much of the relationships and past being told to us through hints, the behaviour and how situations evolve. More thrillers should be like this. This also qualifies as noir and drama. The acting is beyond reproach, there's…
Likely the most quiet Sam Raimi has ever been on film, and I loved it. Very FARGO-esque in the best ways possible.
Interesting thriller, watching things come together, then fall apart, then come together and fall apart again. Ending's a punch to the gut. Billy Bob Thornton delivers an astounding, heartbreaking performance.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Out of the Past
- The Maltese Falcon
- Touch of Evil
aka The Big List of Noir Films and/or Films with Noir Elements
I decided to make a more comprehensive list…
- About Last Night...
- The Accidental Tourist
- Across the Universe
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.