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A Simple Plan

Year: 1998
Production Co: Mutual Film Company
Studio: Paramount
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Scott B Smith
Cast: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda, Gary Cole

Sam Raimi's always been a more or less fantastical filmmaker. He started in high comedy horror territory with the Evil Dead movies, and ended up at the helm of the biggest new blockbuster franchise of the post CGI age in Spiderman.

Somewhere in between he did great work too, with the eerily creepy The Gift and this cool little noir thriller about the evil men do, really his only 'serious' film.

One of the best cinematic devices for showing characters with their scruples stripped raw with greed is the sudden find of a large cache of money. It's worth remembering that the Oscar-baiting No Country For Old Men wasn't the first to use such a Macguffin, but nor was this film.

It's usually the ultimate temptation for a character. We all know enormous amounts of money usually have nefarious stories behind them, and a film will inevitably test the capacity a character has to try to disentangle themselves from moral complicity in the crime or suffering they know will most probably be attached to.

When a guy (Paxton) and his mentally disabled brother (Thornton) find a downed plane full of money, they know someone will be after it and if they can just execute the lockdown plan they come up with it's theirs.

Fate intervenes, mixes with greed and is drizzled with bad luck until the deception becomes too big to cover up without committing the inevitable dreadful act, one the character concerned would never dream of had it not been for the appearance of the money.

It's small and takes its time but is well plotted.

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