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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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Writers:

(play), (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tony
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Ruffhouse
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Buddha
Dominic Chianese Jr. ...
Freddie Nine Lives
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Chino (as Tiger Chen)
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Manny Rivera
Andres Titus ...
Hector (as Andres 'Dres' Titus)
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Torch
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20 / 20 Mike
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Cab Driver
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Sgt. Kneeley
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Mike Murphy
Timothy W. White ...
Little Billy (as Tim White)
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Jackie
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Little Mikey
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

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Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

20/20 Target Criminale  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,358, 29 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$53,454, 12 November 2000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
An intense drama packed in a stylish gangster movie
2 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

"Once in the life" is a very good movie. However it's not good for everybody, due to the extensive use of vulgar language and the violence of some of the situations. The movie manages to represent in an anecdotic, believable way the "life" in NYC neighborhoods where drug problems are important. This depiction is in turn used as the decor for a most thoughtful and suspenseful drama backed up by powerful dialogs (however I had a hard time understanding some of them because english is not my mother tongue. On video it's OK). There is a little overplay sometimes, but I think it fits quite well to the general orientation Fishburne gave to the movie, which gives matter for reflexion more than just being a good style exercise, notably in the time/action management. The characters, even though not simple, are easy to relate to and actors do a fine job at impersonating them. By the way I much enjoyed the soundtrack (B. Marsalis). If you're not too prude, you should enjoy seeing that movie once, twice, three times. I rated the movie 9/10.


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