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Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition) (1999)

Alessandro Nivola , Reese Witherspoon , Mike Barker  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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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: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630571486X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

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

Editorial Reviews

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

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."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does coca cola really irritate your sinuses? March 28, 2000
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ending alone makes the movie 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Contrived, convoluted, but somewhat watchable December 27, 2005
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling March 21, 2002
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Style, But Not Much Underneath November 25, 2000
I thought this movie would be a great thriller. I've seen Reese Witherspoon in enough movies to know she's a great actress, and it sounded interesting enough from reading the jacket. BUT, I have to say that, overall, although the film was visually stunning more often than not (very stylized sets, nice color combinations, costume colors, interesting shots, etc, etc), and the two main characters Nick (Alessandro Nivola) and Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) were likable, the film isn't much to write home about. My main complaint is that there wasn't enough plot to go around, and that when the chips finally fall, you're wondering why there weren't more of them! I also wonder why the writer (or director/editor), who ended up with a decent budget, nice sets, great actors, etc, didn't do more to flesh it out, or add a couple more twists/characters/background info. I think this quite easily could have been made into a great film. However, as it stands, its a stylish jaunt into film-making which, although not precisely shallow, per se, leaves a lot to be desired. Interestingly, after watching the deleted scenes and learning a bit more about the script and the changes that were made to the story/scenes, the film seemed richer and more complex, (better!) than I'd first thought. I think the DVD's deleted scenes really would have added enough to make this luke-warm film, not great, but maybe "good enough." The best thematic elements which explain the "why's" and "why-nots" of this film, inexplicably seemed to end up on the cutting room floor. Bottom Line: "Watch it before you buy it."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars lightweight, but engaging little thriller...
A scheme to deceive, doesn't quite go as intended, in Best Laid Plans (1999), an engaging little thriller that with a number of twists, takes you on an emotional ride. Read more
Published 6 months ago by trebe
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Laid Plans (Widescreen Special Edition)
this was awsome you dont get to much better of a movie, i suggest everyone see this movie! at least twice.
Published 12 months ago by dion hyden
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray quality just rocks and the story is there
What I love about this is the Quality that Blu ray gives us, this Movie on a regular dvd is so much darker looking. With this blu ray it really pops and is so much more defined. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Gil
2.0 out of 5 stars Make Other Plans
The only reason to watch this film is young Reese Witherspoon, who was 22 years old when the film was produced during 1998 by Dogstar Films. Read more
Published on March 2, 2012 by Edward Rasen Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad story...
Although the film had somewhat of a B movie aspect to it, the story was fun to follow, and the twist at the end was done well.
Published on June 2, 2011 by Historian
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Best Laid Plans" of mice and men often go astray
Typical thrillers take a few turns and then lead viewers on an obviously manicured path of eventuality. Read more
Published on April 17, 2011 by Jason
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Thriller - NO spoilers here
This is a very early move for Witherspoon and Josh Brolin. The film may not have the best script but the plot and charcters progress enough to make it interesting. Read more
Published on October 18, 2008 by JayTim
4.0 out of 5 stars A Seemingly Simple Story That Unravels Its Twists Surprisingly Well
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... Read more
Published on September 7, 2007 by Grady Harp
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Film du noir
I saw the scene,where they have Lissa chained to the pool table and gagged in the basement.I didn't understand most of the movie. Read more
Published on June 9, 2006 by Kim Possible Finicatata
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best laid film, but it gets extra points for originality
I must say that 'Best Laid Plans' is in a league of it's own. I have never seen a movie that took me for the turns this film did, and anyone who says that they guessed the ending... Read more
Published on March 21, 2006 by Damian Gunn
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