davpoin.GIF (27809 bytes)Here is a mix of the Garden of Eden and the brothers Cain and Abel, in a modern day tale of temptation and the consequences of sin.
-Review by David Bruce

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Sometimes good people
do evil things.
Hank Mitchell: Bill Paxton
Jacob Mitchell: Billy Bob Thornton
Sarah Mitchell: Bridget Fonda
Lou: Brent Briscoe
Baxter: Gary Cole
Nancy: Becky Ann Baker
Carl: Chelcie Ross
Mr. Pederson: Jack Walsh

Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Scott B. Smith. Based on the novel by Scott B. Smith. Running time: 123 minutes. Rated R (for violence and language).
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     On a snowy cold New Year's Eve afternoon in a small, struggling Midwestern town, while tracking down a chicken stealing fox in the woods, 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 private plane, which holds a dead pilot (a drug dealer, perhaps?) and a duffel bag containing 4.4 million dollars in cash. There are black crows everywhere.
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     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 it 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 spirals 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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TM & Copyright © 1998 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

The whole conscience begins to unravel if a single stitch drops. One single sin makes a hole you can put your head through.
-Charles Buxton (1823–1871)

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe—the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
-Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)


Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
From: JT
I was very surprised to learn that I was to be the first person to review this movie. I found it to be one of my favorite movies of all time. It reminded me very much of Treasure of the Sierra Madre, another great film. A Simple Plan seemed to be even darker than the previously mentioned film and made better use of visual symbolism. I also greatly enjoyed the winter landscapes, as they remind me of my homestate, MN, which I recently moved from. I found the acting, writing, and directing in this movie to be superb. The message is clear and well-presented. This is definately a movie I would recommend to anyone. Avoid it only if you are disturbed by "depressing" movies. Nevertheless, I think it is a very powerful and entertaining in its visuals and a very important and relevant story.