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Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition)

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to Tropico, a gray little town smack dab in the middle of nowhere where nothing ever happens- until a botched robbery leaves Nick (Alessandro Nivola) 48 hours to pay up or die. Desperate, Nick and his girlfriend Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) undertake drastic measures to get their hands on some fast cash. Enter Nick's old college chum Bryce (Josh Brolin), a seemingly easy mark who holds the ticket to the couple's salvation. But before long, all three young people will find themselves entwined in a dangerous web of betrayal and seduction that L.A. Weekly calls "a treasure map of double crosses and hairpin turns."

Amazon.com

At first, Best Laid Plans comes off like yet another all-flash-no-substance crime thriller, but it's one of those rare films that end better than they start. Nick (Alessandro Nivola from Face/Off), broke and desperate to get out of his suffocating small town, agrees to take part in a drug heist. When his partners get caught, he has less than a week to come up with $15,000 or suffer the consequences. When his college buddy Brice (Josh Brolin--Flirting with Disaster) comes back to town, Nick and his girlfriend Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) hatch a plan to bilk Brice out of a rare collectible. Of course, things go wrong--which is where things get entertaining. The plot could use a few more twists to really crackle, but the surprises it does have work, and the ending is both clever and affecting. Along the way, the best scene features a drug dealer who quotes economic theory from the bible of capitalism, The Wealth of Nations. In the past few years, Witherspoon has turned in superb performances in such varied movies as Freeway, Pleasantville, and especially Election; Best Laid Plans doesn't make much use of her talent, but she's always watchable. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Alternate Ending
  • 8 Deleted Scenes
  • Maiking-Of Featurette (3:40 min.)

Product Details

  • Actors: Alessandro Nivola, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Gene Wolande, Jonathan McMurtry
  • Directors: Mike Barker
  • Writers: Ted Griffin
  • Producers: Alan Greenspan, Betsy Beers, Chris Moore, Mike Newell, Nancy Paloian
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630571486X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,916 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: DVD
This film was much better than I expected. I was expecting some mediocre teen movie but this is stunning. A great simple story: a couple try to rip someone off to pay back a debt. What could be simpler? How about when everything goes wrong? Do not want to give anything away but this story had a great and unexpected twist. The build up is very convincing and even when you think the story is going down one alley, it doesn't.
Reese Witherspoon and Alessandro Nivola are wonderful as the lovers trying to get out of Tropico: a dead end town and Josh Brolin does a convincing job as a hysterical up and coming yuppie who thinks he has committed the ultimate crime.
There are plenty of magic elements: the economics-major thug professing Adam Smith as a justification for violence, Nivola's way of avoiding a TV advert giving the game away and the cause of the brushfire are just three.
Watch this and enjoy the treat and if you see it on DVD see if you agree that the alternate ending is much better: positive but not as upbeat.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By fra7299 VINE VOICE on July 15, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Well, I think that thrillers often get a little overdone. Anyone who watches many movies will probably agree. I felt like this movie was one movie that stayed believable, yet still kept the audience enthralled in the storyline.
This movie started off kind of slow, which may irk some of the viewers who want to get into it. However, this movie had one of the best and unpredictable endings in a thriller I've ever seen. This alone made the movie worth it.
I thought the young actors, notably Reese Witherspoon, were admirable in their roles. There was not really any bad acting in this movie. The script was well founded, and I thought that this was an original and creative idea.
Many of the twists of the movie are explained through characters actions rather than overt telling of plot sequences. This is a movie that starts a bit of a ways in, then retraces its steps, and then continues on through the movie.
If you are a moviegoer that enjoys twists and unpredictable endings, then I think this is the movie to watch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erik Pack on March 21, 2002
Format: DVD
The film catches your attention immediately, and doesn't let go until the climax, which is after we've encountered a few surprising plot twists.This film is fresh, and unpredictable. I like that in a film. It doesn't even aspire to be hip, it just comes naturally. This film substitues your average "thrill" with an intense, intelligent plot. Perhaps the people who have written other reviews wanted the typical shoot'em up hollywood ending. I,on the other hand, prefer something better. The film is great as it is, and far from typical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LBC on August 21, 2003
Format: DVD
This film illistrates the human desire for freedom. A man (Nivola) has fallen in a hole and he needs cash fast. His girfriend (Witherspoon) goes to the extremes to dig him out. This is Witherspoons finest role yet. She takes you deep inside her characters mind and shows how love and compassion direct the character through her toughest decisions. Lissa (witherspoon) and her boyfriend (Nivola) need to get out of this town- find out what they will do to do so.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2005
Format: DVD
This mostly forgotten thriller starring Reese Witherspoon (Lissa) and Alessandro Nivola (Nick) suffers from a mightily contrived plot and a "Huh?--What happened?" ending. Nick is a guy who works at the local recycling plant (that's a new workplace for celluloid protagonists) who is about to inherit some big bucks from his father who has just kicked the bucket.

Meanwhile some of his coworkers are scheming up a plot to...well, no spoilers here. Let's just say that the viewer does not find out about this plot until the end, and then it seems a little...well, lame.

Along comes Lissa looking mighty fine and they fall in love, although I must say the chemistry certainly didn't spark up the screen. Now comes complication number one: the old man blew almost all his money and what he didn't blow the IRS is grabbing. Because of this Nick gets tempted into driving a get-away car for a drug rip off... Things go awry and Nick ends up in deep doo-doo, and in desperation gets Lissa to help him rip off an old school chum...which... Well, what these people do in desperation is a little on the unbelievable side.

I'm sorry that's all vague, but at least it's enough information to let you know if you actually saw this movie or not. Now, if you like probability-challenged, convoluted plots with loose ends and a lot of unlikely twists and turns, you might find this movie interesting. And if you like Reese, and you should, you might also find a reason for sticking around until the end. I know I did. She does a good job and looks good doing it.

Bottom line: although the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, it can also be said that the most meticulously contrived plots sometimes turn out about as convincing as pseudoscience. Incidentally the title is a paraphrase of the 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns's line: "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft a-gley."
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Format: DVD
Screenwriter Ted Griffin ('Ocean's Eleven', 'Matchstick Men', 'Rumor Has It', etc) has provided a story for this little film that is successful on many levels: it is a suspenseful mystery, an intelligent look at the Now Generation's unstable approach to life as hopefully handed to them on their parents' goodwill, a mind twister full of surprises, and most of all a metaphor for where we now stand as a consumer world contained in disposable vials. Working with director Mike Barker's keen sense of timing and comic relief, a fine young cast of notable actors drives this story of desperate turns of fate to an unsuspected ending. The trip is worth your attention.

The nowhere/somewhere town setting is Tropico, a dusty boring little place whose reason for existing is a massive recycling plant for discarded containers - just the right setting for a story about little town people who have discarded their dreams. Nick (Alessandro Nivola) works in the recycling plant, basing his hopes for something better on the death of his father and the Will through which he plans to gain a comfortable inheritance. But the Life Insurance policy is negated after an autopsy report reveals a 'preexisting condition' and the remaining assets of his father are owed to the IRS. Nick is broke and in his low state of esteem agrees to be a driver for a drug heist to make enough money to leave boring Tropico. The heist is a bust and Nick is threatened by the owner of the drug stash that he must come up with a large sum of money or else. Nick turns to his girlfriend Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) who also wants to leave Tropico and reluctantly agrees to a complex scam against Nick's old college chum Bryce (Josh Brolin).
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