[box cover]

Best Laid Plans

This pleasing, if slight, B-movie from British director Michael Barker burns slowly and methodically to the heart of the '90s neo-noir movement. Heroes in this genre aren't the tough-talking, hard-nosed tough guys of the '40s — they're ineffective slackers whose romantic attachment to old crime films has convinced them that carefully crafted scams are the quickest ticket out of a dead end town. But in Best Laid Plans there's no accounting for human unpredictability. Poker-faced Alessandro Nivola has a quiet, thoughtful presence in the midst of the chaos, and Reese Witherspoon is again an empathetic heroine in unusual circumstances. Presented in a smooth 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with audio in both 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 Surround. Includes commentary by Barker, nine deleted scenes (including an awkward alternate ending), a short featurette, trailer, keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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