[box cover]

A Simple Plan

What would you do if you found an anonymous bag of some $5 million? Turn it in, or keep it? Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan suggests that even good people, like Hank Mitchell (Bill Paxton), would turn to murder to hold on to the moolah. I guess that depends on your definition of "good" — which shouldn't apply to this dull, logic-bending thriller written by Scott B. Smith, based on his best-selling novel. Hank, his socially retarded brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton), and Jacob's crude friend Lou (Brent Briscoe) stumble upon the loot in the snow-covered wreckage of a small airplane. They agree to sit on their booty until spring to see if anyone comes looking for it. Of course, in movies like A Simple Plan such simple plans never work out so simply. Greed leads to stupidity, stupidity leads to murder. Two hours is too long to rue such an obvious moral quandary, especially one that was handled so deftly a few years back in the Coen Brothers' brilliant Fargo. Surprisingly, for a creative director like Raimi, there is neither any humor, style, or originality on show to cover up the holes in this repellent tale — even Danny Elfman's score is uncharacteristically prosaic. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and either 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2.0 Dolby Surround. Trailers, keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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