Once in the Life (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  27 October 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 584 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 7 user | 11 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

Once in the life (of drug dealing and organized crime), can anyone get out? During a brief jail stay, two half-brothers, who have rarely seen each other while growing up, connect. One of ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dominic Chianese Jr. ...
Freddie Nine Lives
Chino (as Tiger Chen)
Manny Rivera
Andres Titus ...
Hector (as Andres 'Dres' Titus)
Harsh Nayyar ...
Cab Driver
Sgt. Kneeley
Mike Murphy
Timothy W. White ...
Little Billy (as Tim White)
Little Mikey


Once in the life (of drug dealing and organized crime), can anyone get out? During a brief jail stay, two half-brothers, who have rarely seen each other while growing up, connect. One of them, called 20/20 Mike because he can sense people nearby, concocts a scheme in which the two of them will steal some dope from young couriers. The heist goes awry when Billy, the junkie brother, shoots the victims of the theft. The brothers hole up in an abandoned building, and 20/20 Mike seeks help from an old cell mate, Tony, whom he thinks is out of the life. It turns out that they have stolen Tony's dope, and Tony's boss wants the two thieves dead. Is there any way out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You're either in, or you're gone.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive languge, strong violence and some drug content | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

20/20 Target Criminale  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$28,358 (USA) (27 October 2000)


$53,454 (USA) (10 November 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Laurence Fishburne's directorial debut. As of 2014, he has made no other directorial efforts besides this. See more »


Referenced in Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty good, but a little choppy
27 March 2004 | by (Iowa, US) – See all my reviews

I caught this movie on IFC and I enjoyed it, although I felt like the editing job was a little rough, though it may have been deliberate. I had a little bit of a hard time figuring out what was going on at first because they seemed to be going for a little bit of a Pulp Fiction-style non-linear plot presentation. It seemed a little forced, though. I certainly think that the movie is worth watching, but I think it could have used a little cleaning up. Some scenes just don't seem to make sense after others.

I'm surprised to see the rating here as low as it is. It's not outstanding, but it doesn't have any really serious problems. I gave it a 7/10. The movie did show at least that Laurence Fishburne can act when he wants to. They must have just told him not to in the Matrix movies.

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