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Best Laid Plans

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Best Laid Plans

Starring: Alessandro Nivola, Josh Brolin
Director: Mike Barker
Rated: R
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: September 1999
Genres: Suspense, Thriller

Review by Suzdal
3½ stars out of 4

This is one of those movies that audiences and critics alike avoided like the plague for some reason. But it turns out to be a well acted and nicely plotted suspense thriller that deserves a second chance on video. Suspense thrillers are hard to pull off, since most audiences have seen enough of them to have a pretty good idea what's going to happen next, thus eliminated much of the suspense. Which is why Best Laid Plans gets extra points for keeping a couple of aces up it's sleeve. Sure there are a few contrivances, but overall the plot holds together well. Point are due also for gently subverting some genre conventions-no groundbreaking here, but a few of our expectations are nicely changed. But the cast can make of break a film of this type, and happily the casting here is perfect. Reese Witherspoon is one of the best young actresses out there, from the equally ignored at the box office Freeway and the critically acclaimed Election to the silly but guilty pleasure Cruel Intentions she's always great. Allessandro Nivola is a less familiar face but hopefully one who will be getting more attention-he's perfect in this role. Josh Broling has a less sympathetic character and pulls it off well. Also worth mentioning is Rocky Carroll as the Bad Ass Dude, with the best dialogue in the film.

For another unjustly ignored suspense thriller with a darker tone try Suicide Kings starring Christopher Walken. For a more lighthearted but noirish and similarly obscure (because it was made for TV but don't let that put you off) try A Slight Case of Murder, which stars and was co-written by William H. Macy.

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