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Once in the Life (2000)

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

why I liked this movie
24 June 2002 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

As an old white housewife I can still appreciate that Laurence Fishburne is one of our finest actors. anyone who appreciates his work like in Deep Cover might enjoy watching the incredible acting range of this actor. Since I think this is his directorial debut it might prove even more interesting. All of the acting is quite good. If you can't take lower Manhattan junky worlds or the reality of crime life (not glorified action shoot-em ups) then this is not a film you would enjoy. It is Mr. Fishburne's usual contribution to incredibly subtle relationships. I would love to see Larry and Anthony Hopkins go at each other some day in a movie.

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