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A Simple Plan (1998)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  22 January 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 48,062 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 415 user | 124 critic | 28 from

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: A Simple Plan (1998)

A Simple Plan (1998) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Walsh ...
Nancy Chambers
Bob Davis ...
FBI Agent Renkins
FBI Agent Freemont
Tom Carey ...
Dwight Stephanson
Mr. Schmitt
Marie Mathay ...
News Reporter
Paul Magers ...
Joan Steffand ...


Three diverse characters, for the most part intellectually challenged, find a deserted plane with a bag full of millions of dollars inside. They devise a simple plan to keep the money if no-one claims it. Ofcourse, nothing turns out simple... Written by Filmtwob <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They've worked hard all their lives, but they still can't afford the American Dream. Stealing it is even better. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | | |


Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Miles  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$390,563 (USA) (11 December 1998)


£506,625 (UK) (11 June 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Billy Bob Thornton was cast when John Boorman was attached to the project. Boorman had been sufficiently impressed by Thornton's performance in Sling Blade (1996). See more »


There is no rear view mirror in Carl's truck. This is visible when the three men are on their way to the downed plane. See more »


Jacob Mitchell: Do you ever feel evil?
See more »


References The Birds (1963) See more »


Spirit in the Sky
Written and Performed by Norman Greenbaum
Courtesy of Trans/Tone Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

A study in desperation
17 July 2000 | by (Nashville, TN) – See all my reviews

A Simple Plan is certainly not a simple film, as some reviewers here had hoped it would be. The point is not how simple life is, but how horribly wrong and out of control things can get. This film takes you to the absolute depths of human greed, desperation, and frailty. It is amazing how many evil deeds one can rationalize by believing "and then it will all be over." A Simple Plan is a great character study which makes you think of what you would do in the same situation. At what point would you draw the line? How far would you go to keep millions of dollars all to yourself? The excellent photography adds to the sense of desperation that permeates the whole film. The vast, snowbound landscape is the perfect image for the feelings the main characters have for their station in life: cold, silent, lifeless, unending, and unrelenting.

Don't watch this movie unless you are prepared to see a group of people reach the end of their rope and make a series of life-changing decisions.

63 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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