5.3/10
635
9 user 10 critic

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 »

Director:

Laurence Fishburne

Writers:

Laurence Fishburne (play), Laurence Fishburne (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eamonn Walker ... Tony
Gregory Hines ... Ruffhouse
Michael Paul Chan ... Buddha
Dominic Chianese Jr. Dominic Chianese Jr. ... Freddie Nine Lives
Tiger Hu Chen ... Chino (as Tiger Chen)
Paul Calderon ... Manny Rivera
Andres Titus Andres Titus ... Hector (as Andres 'Dres' Titus)
Titus Welliver ... Torch
Laurence Fishburne ... 20 / 20 Mike
Harsh Nayyar ... Cab Driver
Sue Costello ... Sgt. Kneeley
Nick Chinlund ... Mike Murphy
Timothy W. White Timothy W. White ... Little Billy (as Tim White)
Wanda De Jesus ... Jackie
Justin Pierre Edmund ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

20/20 Target Criminale See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,358, 29 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$53,454, 12 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Soundtracks

Fearless Misery
Written by William DuVall and Vernon Reid
Performed by William DuVall feat. Vernon Reid
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An intense drama packed in a stylish gangster movie
2 May 2001 | by comarSee 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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