Nick is caught in a dead end job in a dead end town. About the only thing going well for him is Lissa, his new girlfriend. A chance to make some easy cash, and a way out of town, only leads to more trouble. Also caught in the web of sex, thefts, gangsters, kidnappings and murder is Nicks college friend, Bryce.
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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."
Just as American Beauty was overwhelmingly red, The End of The Affair overwhelmingly green, the photography of Best Laid Plans makes it an overwhelmmingly brown looking movie, which greatly helps creat a mood of the brooding thriller that it aspires to be. The film has the ingredients of a film noir. The lovers, the fall guy, the dead-end town, the mess the hero gets himself into. Thankfully the film has a heart in its centre in the form of the wonderful actor Allesandro Nevola. You may remember him as Castor Troy's brother in Face Off, you can also see him sporting two different(and perfect) English accents in I Want You (terrible film) and Mansfield Park(average film), but he's a an actor to watch. His character Nick is a deeply intelligent, quiet and observant young man with financial troubles. He is a person we can root for even when his actions start to become criminal, and in that way he similar to the main character of A SIMPLE PLAN Hank, i.e. good people doing bad things. Unfortunatley the movie is not as serious as Nivola and has two major flaws. The first which is near fatal is the structure, the completely unnessecary time shift gimmeckery makes it seem like a rip-off of the much better Pulp Fiction and Usual Suspects, it has absolutley no reason for existing. The second flaw is Josh Brolin as Brice, he seems like a brute. I know his character is meant to be one, but wouldn't it have been more intresting to have a real human being as the fall guy rather then this loud annoying oaf of a guy. We then come to the ending of the film which is ludicrous, lightweight and an illfit to the more hard edged stuff that has gone before. In truth the film as a whole never lives up Allesandro's terrific performance, the moody photography, or that intense musical score. Rent this movie for an entertaining evening alone, but sadly its not worth a purchase.
Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) accuses Bryce (Josh Brolin) of rape, and thenthe film unfolds in interesting ways as we see how Nick (AlessandroNivola) plays a part in her past and their future.The film relies on the universal desires for love, sex and money. Brycejust wants to get laid, Lissa pretty much just wants love but Nickwants both love and money. His plans to get that money get in the wayof other dead-end criminals also wanting money. As the film's titlesuggests, no plans go quite as according to plan. The various twists ingetting the plans foiled weren't particularly ingenious but they werewell done. I never quite knew what was coming next, but I always wantedto find out. A crime drama thriller with some crimes but minimalviolence, and although it seems a bit slow there is enough intrigue tokeep the suspense level, or at least interest, up."Best Laid Plans" stars three great actors at the beginning of theircareers, and each proved why they have become the respected-stars theyare. I recommend it to fans of crime drama thrillers and to fans ofReese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, or Alessandro Nivola.Follow my blog Napierslogs' Movie Expositions athttp://napierslogs.blogspot.com
I wouldn't have even given it a 1, but they made me.Don't waste your time. I did, but I can't get that time back, so thebest I can do is warn you not to waste your time on this film.It has by far the worst writing I've ever witnessed in film. You cansee better editing and directing on You Tube.In fact, this is the worst film I have ever had the misfortune ofseeing. It's amazing to me that this gets 6 stars.Either the cast is rating it, there are way too many bad moviesproduced, or people are really this stupid.So, I suppose it is possible that, if you're a moron, you'll love thisfilm.
This is such a great concept which really is untapped in the movies thatarearound. The acting is first rate, and Reese Witherspoon is perfect in arolethat got me in, and would get any of her fans in. Aside from that themovieis great, so there is nothing much more you need to be a10/10.
Wow. 'Best Laid Plans' is a great thriller. It has twice as many twists as 'Wild Things' and is much more intelligent. It is an awesome film that will really leave you speechless...
I thought I had Best Laid Plans figured out about a third of the way intothe movie. Thankfully I was wrong. This movie had an interesting plot toit, and it kept you guessing until the end. The acting was pretty good,butthe story and plot were great. What would you do for the one you love.What would you put yourself through. That is the question this movie asks.This movie should have done better in theaters, but studios want to spendtheir advertising on big name stars, and it's funny when they do that, andthen the big name stars movies don't deliver. Here is a small movie thatifthey would have spent more on advertising, it probably would have donebetter.If you like movies that keep you guessing until the end then this movie isfor you. Go rent it today, you won't be sorry.
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.
A mild-mannered blue-collar worker stuck in the minimum-wage bluesplots to steal a valuable document from the estate where an old collegefriend is currently housesitting; he gets his girlfriend involved, butwill vengeful thugs spoil their plans? Not so much a psychologicalthriller as a shaggy dog story, a black comedy filled with indecisive,unbelievable losers. Ted Griffin wrote the screenplay, and his dialogueis mind-bogglingly ludicrous (at one point, frustrated Josh Brolincries, "I just wanted to get laid, instead I got f****d!"). Thislow-level of wit permeates everything in the scenario, turning nearlyall the plot-points into dumb red herrings (the peanuts, the cigarettefire, the neon signs, even the song playing on the car radio!). ReeseWitherspoon co-stars, and she's green enough to go along butprofessional enough not to look very enthused about it. The male leadsare filled by Alessandro Nivola, a Jeremy Piven lookalike with a tightlittle smirk, and Brolin, who continually talks too loud and seemsunsure what to project with his body language (he alternately standsstock still or moves about waving his arms). There's always astupid-clause in pictures like these (with the proviso being, if therewasn't one--there would be no movie). Here it arrives with Nivolagiving Brolin a ride even though he doesn't want him along. Brolin'sexcuse for coming: he's hungry. I was, too, after watching this fatallyundernourished modern noir. *1/2 from ****
I was quite disappointed with this film when I first saw it recently. Ithink that the main problem I had was that I just didn't care whathappenedto any of the characters. Finding out what twist the plot was going topullon us next kept me watching, but it always seemed too far away, &, to befrank, I couldn't care what they were. The actual plot set-up was verygood, & could easily have made an excellent film, & I particularly likedthe"friends ripping off friends ripping of friends" scenario. However, thecharacters were flat & uninteresting, & the self-consciously stylishcinematography didn't help in getting into them, just leaving a hollowlystylish exterior.That said, Nivola & Witherspoon were both quite watchable, & the filmmanaged to keep me watching the screen rather than my watch, by ultimatelythe whole feeling was "So What?"
My first IMDB comment.Briefly; the Nick character, a protaganist, his Father is neversighted.There is the scene after the visit to the lawyer to hear about theFather'sassets being held in lien and Nick then burns all the textbooks. It isnotin view whether the Father's graduate paper is included among the booksburned or not. During my second run of the movie I heard the dialoguetwicethat the Father,s profession was art teacher but the thesis was in thedegree field of history.So I had to watch this film, Best Laid Plans, at least twice to catch moreof the story than just watching once.Which I always enjoy doing and think is a plus.The point of my comment is this: One important theme of the film is thatNick's Father was a better teacher than he was a father.And that Nick's problems at work and at the recycling business wererelatedto the situation that his Father was a better teacher thandad.The movie had several themes like this that though the themes are verysubtle it is not everyday that a production will plot thematic developmentat all.
The plot was a little weak, but the ending was outstanding. I liked the cast. DVD picture is good but sound could be better.
Real, real good. Everyone did well, Reese, Allessandro, Josh andparticularly the writer, Ted Griffen and director, Mike Barker.The key to movies like this (a good example would be "Usual Suspects"and "Blue Velvet") is to be plausible and provide twists that reallyshock you: it passed on both counts. Plausible means that the story,environment, and acting all fit. Check, check, and check. I wasdefinitely surprised by the plot twists and didn't call any of them.Directing is key in film noir and Mike Barker did OK. I guess if I haveany complaint is that there wasn't any strong stylistic force that Icould detect. One of my favorite films in this genre was "Blue Velvet"- I think this film could have come close to this level if it had thesame level of style that Lynch was able to spin into the experience of"Velvet".I join those who predict Allessandro Nivola to become a majorrecognized talent. I really enjoyed his performance in "Mansfield Park"as well. Josh Brolin was a convincing College "Friend"/Asshole. I hadto laugh at the end of the film - I knew people like him in collegetoo. I don't understand the comments that indicate that Josh was weakhere, I completely bought him in the character. Reese Witherspoon,well, she just can't be bad - at least I haven't seen it if she hasbeen.
Everyone seems to have stumbled across this film by accident, which isstrange because it should be better known. It's one of the best thingsthatI've seen this year, a film that really surprised me.Try to avoid hearing anything about the plot, go in and have fun.
I was very suprised with this movie. Didn't know anything going into it but found that I did enjoy the story.
I just picked Best Laid Plans up at the video store simply because there wasnothing that looked better. Well, even though this isn't a great film, itwas probably better than all those other videos in the store thatday!Best Laid Plansd is a dark crime thriller about Nick (Alessandro Nivola) whoneeds to raise some cash urgently to pay off some mob debts. He enlist hisgirlfriend Lissa (Reese Witherspoon) to seduce an old college buddy, Bryce(Josh Brolin), out of his cash and to cry rape. However, things do not go toplan when Bryce takes Lissa hostage and asks Nick for advice on what to do.Director Mike Barker has really gone for the Tarantino side of filmmaking,which he does impressively. Surprisingly, Best Laid Plans is actually betterthan some of the Quentin Tarantino projects, including Reservoir Dogs andJackie Brown. It is more intriguing and clever than those two films due toan excellent screenplay and some really good performances; particularly fromthe rather unlikeable Alessandro Nivola and the stunning ReeseWitherspoon.Not faultless, but perfectly watchable and recommendable.I rate Best Laid Plans 7 out of 10.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cutto the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get itat Amazon.)This mostly forgotten thriller starring Reese Witherspoon (Lissa) andAlessandro Nivola (Nick) suffers from a mightily contrived plot and a"Huh?--What happened?" ending. Nick is a guy who works at the localrecycling plant (that's a new workplace for celluloid protagonists) whois about to inherit some big bucks from his father who has just kickedthe bucket.Meanwhile some of his coworkers are scheming up a plot to...well, nospoilers here. Let's just say that the viewer does not find out aboutthis plot until the end, and then it seems a little...well, lame.Along comes Lissa looking mighty fine and they fall in love, although Imust say the chemistry certainly didn't spark up the screen. Now comescomplication number one: the old man blew almost all his money and whathe didn't blow the IRS is grabbing. Because of this Nick gets temptedinto driving a get-away car for a drug rip off... Things go awry andNick ends up in deep doo-doo, and in desperation gets Lissa to help himrip off an old school chum...which... Well, what these people do indesperation is a little on the unbelievable side.I'm sorry that's all vague, but at least it's enough information to letyou know if you actually saw this movie or not. Now, if you likeprobability-challenged, convoluted plots with loose ends and a lot ofunlikely twists and turns, you might find this movie interesting. Andif you like Reese, and you should, you might also find a reason forsticking around until the end. I know I did. She does a good job andlooks good doing it.Bottom line: although the best laid plans of mice and men often goawry, it can also be said that the most meticulously contrived plotssometimes turn out about as convincing as pseudoscience. Incidentallythe title is a paraphrase of the 18th century Scottish poet RobertBurns's line: "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft a-gley."
This is an excellent thriller, that's quite suspenseful and tense, withsome great plot twists, and top notch performances!. All the charactersare awesome, and the story is really good as well, plus ReeseWitherspoon is simply amazing in this!. Alessandro Nivola is fantasticas the main lead and had excellent chemistry with Reese, and JoshBrolin plays the irritating prick of a professor extremely well, plusIt's very unpredictable throughout. It's also nicely old fashioned, andit's very well written and made, plus the ending was completelyunexpected, as I absolutely loved it!. One part that was quite tenseand me cringe was when the main villain(Terrence Howard), spays pop upa guy's nose, and you are able to care for Nivola's and Reese'scharacters because you know there both good people and need to do thisto get out of a bad situation, plus it's a great film/noir film aswell. This is a true underrated gem in my opinion, and it's also quitecreepy at times as well, plus It's also quite clever as well. This isan excellent thriller, that's quite suspenseful and tense, with somegreat plot twists, and top notch performances, and I say it's a mustsee for everyone!. The Direction is excellent!. Mike Barker does anexcellent! job here with awesome camera work, very good angles, addingcreepy atmosphere and keeping the film suspenseful and at a very fastpace. The Acting is top notch!. Alessandro Nivola is fantastic as themain lead, he is extremely likable, had excellent chemistry with Reese,and was very intense in some scenes, I have never seen him In anythingbefore, but he was fantastic here, I loved him!. Reese Witherspoon isamazing as always and is amazing here, she is stunningly gorgeous, isextremely likable, had fantastic chemistry with Nivola, was incrediblysweet, as she is especially good in the opening segment as that was areal intense one, she was just a normal down too earth type of woman,and was very believable! (Reese rules!!!!!!!!!!). Josh Brolin isextremely convincing as the prick of a professor, he was veryirritating and only cared about himself, I hated him, he was reallygood. Terrence Howard is good in his scenes as the villain, and wasquite menacing. Rest of the cast are fine. Overall a must see foreveryone!. ****1/2 out of 5
Screenwriter Ted Griffin takes a page out of the David Mamet book with this story of the things we do for love and money, and how desperation has a way of leading even the most forthright among us into regions beyond the known. And the fact that there is no such animal as a sure thing is pointedly expressed in "Best Laid Plans," a drama/thriller directed by Mike Barker, and starring Reese Witherspoon and Alessandro Nivola. The film begins with a meeting in a bar between Nick (Nivola) and Bryce (Josh Brolin), old college chums who have not seen one another since graduation. Over a few rounds of drinks, they get reacquainted; Bryce is back in town to teach, while Nick has secured employment at the local recycling establishment. They do the good-to-see-you-again thing, and Nick leaves. But at about two o'clock in the morning, he gets a call from Bryce, who begs him to come over to his house (actually one he's watching for some friends who are out of town). Nick doesn't want to go, but Bryce sounds desperate and he can't refuse. What he finds when he gets there is something totally out of left field. Suffice to say, it involves a young woman named Lissa (Witherspoon), whom Bryce picked up in the bar just as Nick was leaving. It's not a pretty situation, and Bryce doesn't know what to do; so it falls to Nick to figure it out. And now, having crossed that proverbial line in the sand, Nick's involved, too. Or so it seems. But then again, maybe there's more to this than meets the eye. There's just something about this whole set-up that instinctively tells you that what appears to be, ain't necessarily so. The question is, what is it-- and who is doing what to whom exactly?Barker has fashioned a fairly involving film from a story that initially seems somewhat convoluted, but which evolves, and later can actually be regarded as having a plot that is quite intricate and credible, making the comparison to Mamet entirely valid. The difference between this film and one of Mamet's, however, lies in the fact that Barker simply doesn't have that Mamet touch when it comes to presenting the material. He does a decent job, but lacks the finesse, the eye for detail and the grasp of what it takes to achieve that necessary sense of mystery that could have taken it to a much higher level. It lacks that sense of fear and menace, and the urgency it needed to be really effective. Barker does manage to give you enough to sustain interest, but his pace is wanting; there are moments when the pulse of his film simply flatlines.Nivola is clearly the star of the show, and his performance is passable, but he lacks that extra something, that quality, that would have made his character anything special or memorable. Nick is believable, but too common; there's simply nothing distinctive enough about him to make you care much what happens to him one way or the other. On one hand, it's good acting-- the character is real-- but he's a guy who leaves you fairly nonplused; he needs a hangnail, as it were, a flaw that would have at least made him interesting.Witherspoon gives a good performance, but this character is certainly not a stretch for her, by any means. Lissa, like Nick, is rather nondescript, and Witherspoon does little to spark much interest in her. In her defense, however, Barker really doesn't afford her the time nor the opportunity to do much exploring by way of characterization. But she is watchable, and fans of hers, especially, will no doubt find her work here satisfying.As Bryce, Josh Brolin is disappointing, giving a one-note performance that is flat and forced. Granted, his character is supposed to be something of a nerd, but he puts nothing into it; a bit of nuance would have done wonders for his portrayal, and it's the kind of character that is ripe with opportunity, like a blank canvas just waiting to be shaded and textured. But Brolin dropped the ball, and Bryce ends up being completely forgettable.The supporting cast includes Gene Wolande (Lawyer), Jonathan McMurtry (Vet), Rocky Carroll (Bad Dude), Jamie Marsh (Barry), Michael McCleery (Recycling Owner), Michael G. Hagerty (Charlie), Terrence Dashon Howard (Jimmy) and Sean Nepita (Freddie). A very average movie, but with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting, "Best Laid Plans" nevertheless comes off as inexplicably lackluster, given the storyline. This one had the potential of being a real edge-of-your-seater, but instead fails to stir the blood much at all. Performances aside, the story alone makes it worth a look; just don't expect too much. It takes some effort to get into it initially, and by the end you'll be reflecting on what a great movie this "almost" was.
I expected this movie to be a teen movie,but it wasn't.I was surprised at how much I liked the movie .What helped was it made you care for the characters + plus it had nice plot twists. The plot does seem familiar though, seems like a mixture of other movies like Indecent Proposal,Requiem of a Dream plus some that I can't quite put my finger on.Anyway it's defenitely worth watching.Especially if you like Reese Witherspoon.