Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Captivated by the lure of sudden wealth, the quiet rural lives of two brothers (Paxton, Thornton) 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. (Paramount Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 100
    One of the year's best films for a lot of reasons, including its ability to involve the audience almost breathlessly in a story of mounting tragedy.
  2. 100
    But [Raimi]'s instructed his fabulous Style to take a hike, and, working from Scott Smith's brilliantly reconfigured script from Smith's own (much darker) novel, delivers a piece that is severe and disciplined in its evocation of the cold terrors of fate.
  3. 90
    As straightforward in narrative as it is gut-wrenching in effect, A Simple Plan is a sort of slow-motion skid down an icy blacktop— it's a movie you watch with a mounting sense of dread...[It's] an extremely credible thriller and an affecting brother-story.
  4. Reviewed by: Jack Matthews
    The role of Jacob is greatly expanded from the book, and the unsatisfying way that Smith and Raimi resolve the brothers' relationship in the movie is the only major change--major compromise--made in transporting the novel to the screen.
  5. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    Thornton's Jacob initially comes across as the love child of Elmer Fudd and Butthead, but ends up as the best role he's ever had.
  6. Sensitive performances and intelligent storytelling keep the sometimes-violent tale involving from start to finish, marking a giant step for director Raimi, previously known for action stories and over-the-top fantasies.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    There's neither intricacy nor surprise in the narrative, and these dopes are tedious, witless company. Mostly you find yourself thinking, "How long until dinner?"

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Feb 26, 2011
    This absolutely fantastic film is one of my all time favorites, with the added benefit of being watchable a seemingly endless number of times. From the opening words of wisdom from the main character,and the subsequent disintegration of the fabric of normal life for everyone involved, it plays out, in a quiet, understated fashion, a sordid tale that bombards your senses with its seriousness, believability and stunning awfulness. Expand
  2. PatrickDunne
    Aug 23, 2005
    This is vertainly not a "feel good" film, but it certainlly is Raimi's best. His goal for Spiderman 2 was drama, but he already achieved it here. Expand
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    All the performances are very good but I thought Billy Bob Thornton was truly excellent in this. He really nailed his performance of this slightly dim-witted man who is, at heart, quite lonely. Also worthy of note were Bill Paxton and Bridget Fonda. Aside from the performances I did find this one didn Expand

See all 8 User Reviews