Best Laid Plans

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Director:Mike Barker
Writer:Ted Griffin
Fox Searchlight Pictures; R; 90 minutes
Cast:Alessandro Nivola, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin

Best Laid Plans is late-1990s noir where plot turns and cinematographic flair take precedence over depth, but, like a rollercoaster, the twists and sudden drops are what it's all about. Old buddies Nick and Bryce (Alessandro Nivola and Josh Brolin) meet up or a drink, and Bryce heads off for a tryst with a tempting nymphet (Reese Witherspoon). Hours later he's calling Nick in a panic, with the girl handcuffed and gagged, and this three-person suspense film takes off.

The acting is good, with Alessandro Nivola (Nicholas Cage's brother in Face/Off) incorporating an intelligent untrustworthiness into his role. Reese Witherspoon shows versatility in this departure from her typical characters. Best Laid Plans lacks depth, and thus comes off as somewhat slight, but should not disappoint those intrigued by plots that snake around prevarication, blackmail, conspiracy, sex, and murder.

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