6.1/10
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73 user 55 critic

Best Laid Plans (1999)

A seemingly simple plan to steal money goes increasingly awry.

Director:

Mike Barker

Writer:

Ted Griffin
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alessandro Nivola ... Nick
Reese Witherspoon ... Lissa
Josh Brolin ... Bryce
Gene Wolande ... Lawyer
Jonathan McMurtry Jonathan McMurtry ... Vet
Terrance Sweeney ... Priest (as Father Terrance Sweeney)
Rebecca Klingler ... Diner Waitress
Rocky Carroll ... Bad Ass Dude
Kate Hendrickson ... Bar Waitress
Owen Bush ... Vagrant
Jesse Woodrow ... Roach Coach Clerk
Jamie Marsh Jamie Marsh ... Barry
Michael McCleery ... Recycling Owner
Terrence Howard ... Jimmy (as Terrence Dashon Howard)
Sean Nepita Sean Nepita ... Freddie
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Storyline

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).

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you're not in on the plan, you're out. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The elephant and mouse joke Bryce tells Nick in the bar is later repeated in Centre Stage (2000). See more »

Quotes

Nick: We're fucked.
Lissa: You're telling me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD contains some deleted scenes:
  • Alternate Opening Titles featuring a vagrant named Cal, riding a bicycle decorated with recycling goods.
  • At the pool Nick and Bryce discuss what to do with Lissa.
  • Cal collects some tins.
  • Nick and Lissa sell the belongings of Nicks's deceased father.
  • An extended version of the scene where Nick and Lissa plan to leave Tropico. Here Lissa tells Nick that she wants to get out at all cost.
  • A longer version of the scene on the roof of the hotel which fleshes out Lissa's devotion to Nick.
  • An extended version of the scene where Nick and Lissa plan the robbery.
  • Nick kills some time, buys some cigarettes and inadvertently starts the bush fire.
  • An alternate ending which is not as clearly positive as in the final film, but is instead "hopeful".
See more »

Connections

References Airplane! (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Look On Down From The Bridge
Written by Hope Sandoval and David Roback
Performed by Mazzy Star
Couretsy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Music Special Markets
See more »

User Reviews

Not brilliant but distracting if you ignore that it should have been better in several areas
2 April 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Having met his old buddy Bryce for the first time in years for a drink, Nick gets a call from him in the middle of night asking for help. He goes to Bryce's place where he gets told that Bryce pulled a girl that night, took her home, started messing around and then had sex. However immediately after sex the girl says that she is going to the police to tell them that she was raped. Bryce then takes Nick downstairs where he has the girl tied to a billiard table to prevent her leaving. The two men try to work out what they are going to do, but are things what they seem?

Opening with an interesting set-up, this film jumps back in time and immediately undoes itself with a plot that is interesting but not as good as it really should have been. The plot follows the fall of Nick as he needs more money to cover firstly the dreams he has and then the problems he gets into when he tries to get the money by crime. Essentially this film could have been a mix of Tarantino, Mamet and Usual Suspects twists but it falls short of any of those targets but still manages to produce a reasonably good drama with elements of each. The plot isn't as good once it jumps back four months although it still has enough movement to keep things going. The twists are not that great and the plot itself doesn't make as much logical sense as it would like to think that it does. Nor is it as clever as it would like to think – the small town America was well painted but the work on the characters was not as good.

Nivola leads the cast well with a nice performance of subtlety even if the material isn't always there for him. Witherspoon walks the film rather easily with a simple role that only really gets interesting towards the end. Of the rest of the cast Brolin is OK, Howard makes a solid appearance and generally everyone else turns in solid performances. It was a film that I felt the characters could have been more important and better developed but they were still good enough for the cast to work with.

Overall this is a fairly typical thriller with a twist. It seems to want to be a bit like Tarantino with the dialogue edge of Mamet and the twists of things like Suspects but it doesn't really get close to any of them. Still, it produces an engaging thriller that, although not original, is distracting at least.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 May 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Best Laid Plans See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,872, 12 September 1999

Gross USA:

$27,816

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,816
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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