A Simple Plan

December 11th, 1998


A Simple Plan

No valid json found

Still of Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Brent Briscoe in A Simple PlanStill of Bill Paxton, Bridget Fonda and Billy Bob Thornton in A Simple PlanStill of Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton in A Simple PlanSam Raimi in A Simple PlanStill of Bill Paxton and Bridget Fonda in A Simple Plan

Two brothers and a friend find $4 million in the cockpit of a downed plane. The pilot is dead. No one is looking for the money. To keep it, all they have to do is wait. IT ALL SOUNDED SO SIMPLE...

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 7.6/10 (32,884 voted)

Critic's Score: 82/100

Director: Sam Raimi

Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda

Three diverse characters, for the most part intellectually challenged, find a deserted plane with a bag full of millions of dollars inside. They devise a simple plan to keep the money if no-one claims it. Ofcourse, nothing turns out simple...

Writers: Scott B. Smith, Scott B. Smith

Bill Paxton - Hank
Bridget Fonda - Sarah
Billy Bob Thornton - Jacob
Brent Briscoe - Lou
Jack Walsh - Tom Butler
Chelcie Ross - Carl
Becky Ann Baker - Nancy Chambers
Gary Cole - Baxter
Bob Davis - FBI Agent Renkins
Peter Syvertsen - FBI Agent Freemont
Tom Carey - Dwight Stephanson
John Paxton - Mr. Schmitt
Marie Mathay - News Reporter
Paul Magers - Anchorman
Joan Steffand - Anchorwoman

Taglines: Sometimes good people do evil things.

Release Date: 11 December 1998

Filming Locations: Ashland, Wisconsin, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $390,563 (USA) (13 December 1998) (31 Screens)

Gross: $16,311,763 (USA) (16 May 1999)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sam Raimi learned some techniques about shooting in the heavy snow from the Coen brothers, friends of his who had been responsible for Fargo.

Continuity: When Hank shoots a chandelier, Jacob can be seen at the left of the screen, recoiling, his hand over his face as bits fly past him. A cut to Jacob, bits still flying, shows him perfectly still, staring down.

Sarah Mitchell: He's going to shoot all three of you, as soon as he sees the plane!

User Review

Twisted, but exceptionally crafted.

Rating: 9/10

This is not the film to see if you're looking for a feel-good Hollywood anesthetic to cope with the end of the holiday season. If, however, you wish to experience a great film, then I highly recommend *A Simple Plan*. Its disturbing twist on the American dream may be too difficult for some--especially the very dark ending--but that is part of what makes the film such quality fare. Scott B. Smith's screenplay is tight and flawless. Sam Raimi's inspired direction may finally reveal to the rest of the film industry what fans of the Evil Dead trilogy have known for years: that, though his tongue is often firmly in his cheek, Raimi is a fine and grossly underrated filmmaker. Especially impressive is the way he and cinematographer Alar Kivilo approach the snow-covered landscapes. There is an immensity to the frozen wastelands of the film's crucial scenes that is almost worthy of David Lean. Also commendable is Raimi's skillful use of animals (among them crows and foxes) for symbolic purposes.

But the cast, not to be outdone by their crew, is equally notable. Billy Bob Thornton gives his best performance to date, surpassing even his award-winning role in *Sling Blade*. Bill Paxton is phenomenal as a straight-laced-family-man- turned sociopath, and Bridget Fonda's convincing portrayal of Paxton's determined wife complements him well.

Audiences at the screening I saw were commenting on the film's similarities to *Fargo* as they exited the theater, and seemed to belittle *A Simple Plan* for its lack of "originality." Granted, *A Simple Plan* is not entirely original. There are indeed vague shadows of *Fargo*, as well as *Macbeth* and Robert Frost, among others. But there is no such thing as an entirely original work, as great art is made by standing on the shoulders of giants. Make no mistake, this is NOT a cheap replay of *Fargo*. The differences are too numerous to note here, but suffice it to say that *A Simple Plan* is a great work in its own right, and deserves to be appreciated as such.


Comments are closed.