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Best Laid Plans (1999)

A seemingly simple plan to steal money goes increasingly awry.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan McMurtry ...
Priest (as Father Terrance Sweeney)
Diner Waitress
Bar Waitress
Owen Bush ...
Roach Coach Clerk
Recycling Owner
Jimmy (as Terrence Dashon Howard)
Sean Nepita ...


Bryce (Josh Brolin) is a successful man who returns to his tiny hometown for a visit. While there, he runs into his old friend Nick (Alessandro Nivola). The two decide to go out for the night. When they enter a bar, Bryce encounters Kathy (Reese Witherspoon), a blonde temptress whom he eventually takes home for the night. When he awakens, Kathy informs him that she is underage and threatens to tell the police that Bryce has committed statutory rape. Bryce panics and decides to tie her up and hide her away in the basement. He then makes a call to Nick. Unbeknownst to Bryce, Kathy is actually Nick's girlfriend Lissa. The two had schemed to use Bryce's money to pay off a $15,000 debt they owe small-time hood Jimmy (Terrence Howard). Written by lament

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Ever feel like the world is conspiring against you... You don't have to tell me where you've been... Everyone sucks, but us... keeping a relationship alive can be murder. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 May 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El engaño  »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,872, 12 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,651, 19 September 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nick: I love you.
Lissa: Why do you think I'm doing this?
See more »


References Butts Afire (1992) See more »


Flowers In December
Written by Hope Sandoval and David Roback
Performed by Mazzy Star
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Music Secial Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Good, Underrated Cinema.
7 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

I just picked Best Laid Plans up at the video store simply because there was nothing that looked better. Well, even though this isn't a great film, it was probably better than all those other videos in the store that day!

Best Laid Plansd is a dark crime thriller about Nick (Alessandro Nivola) who needs to raise some cash urgently to pay off some mob debts. He enlist his girlfriend Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) to seduce an old college buddy, Bryce (Josh Brolin), out of his cash and to cry rape. However, things do not go to plan when Bryce takes Lissa hostage and asks Nick for advice on what to do.

Director Mike Barker has really gone for the Tarantino side of filmmaking, which he does impressively. Surprisingly, Best Laid Plans is actually better than some of the Quentin Tarantino projects, including Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown. It is more intriguing and clever than those two films due to an excellent screenplay and some really good performances; particularly from the rather unlikeable Alessandro Nivola and the stunning Reese Witherspoon.

Not faultless, but perfectly watchable and recommendable.

I rate Best Laid Plans 7 out of 10.

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