''A Simple Plan'' is a 1998 Neo-Noir thriller film directed by Creator/SamRaimi, starring Creator/BillPaxton, Creator/BillyBobThornton, and Bridget Fonda. It is based on the novel of the same name by Scott Smith, who also wrote the screenplay.

Hank Mitchell (Paxton) and his pregnant wife, Sarah (Fonda), live in rural Minnesota. Hank, one of the town's few college graduates, works in a feed mill, while his wife is a librarian. Hank's brother, Jacob (Thornton), is a dim-witted but good-hearted fellow. The story begins with Hank, Jacob, and Jacob's friend, Lou (Briscoe), chasing a fox into the woods, where they find a crashed airplane. The pilot is dead and the only cargo is a bag full of money totaling $4.4 million. The three decide to take the money and hide it for six months, enough time to see if anyone is looking for it. Of course, this simple plan unravels over that time, and everyone comes to regret ever finding the money.


!!This film provides examples of

* TheAlcoholic: Lou, the drunken friend who kickstarts the conflict.
* BlackComedy: At some points.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler: Hank kills Jacob after they discuss it as [[ShootTheDog something necessary]].]]
* DirtyCop: It turns out [[spoiler:the alleged FBI agent Baxter]] is after the money too.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Hank kills Jacob because the latter doesn't want to live with the guilt of his and his brother's crimes. Dually, Hank learns from real FBI agents that the money from the plane is marked, meaning he can't use any of it without the FBI learning he stole it; subsequently, Hank burns the money much to his wife's chagrin. Ultimately, taking the money cost him the life of his brother, caused the deaths of five other people, and cursed him with the guilt of sins to which he can't confess without jeopardizing the future of his wife and daughter.]]
* DownOnTheFarm: Hank lives on rural Minnesota and is one of the few college graduates of his town. Jacob wants to buy a farm with his share, but Hank thinks he is being ridiculous, as neither of them know anything about farming.
* {{Expy}}: Creator/GaryCole as Agent Baxter is [[Series/AmericanGothic1995 Lucas Buck]] in a different branch of law enforcement.
* FBIAgent: Agent Baxter shows up when the local sheriff seeks out help from the Bureau. Hank is debriefed by Renkins and Freemont later.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: An adaptation of the novel of the same name by Scott Smith.
* GoldFever: Two brothers find a downed airplane with a dead pilot and 4.4 million dollars and attempt to keep the feds from finding the money. Greed and crime ensue.
* GuiltRiddenAccomplice: [[spoiler:Jacob]] eventually begins to crack.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: The old man on the snowmobile who comes across the protagonists at the worst possible time.
* HotLibrarian: Sarah is a librarian played by Bridget Fonda.
* LadyMacBeth: Sarah plays this role for Hank.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: Hank suffocates a man who [[HeKnowsTooMuch knows too much]] and makes it look like an accidental death.
* PlethoraOfMistakes
* PlotTriggeringDeath: The dead pilot who was carrying the 4.4 million dollars.
* ShootTheShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler:The money is marked and has to be burnt.]]
* ASimplePlan: Played straight: what starts as a plan to split up a huge sack of money found in the woods ends up leaving a trail of bodies, including [[spoiler:two of the three guys who found the money, and at the end of it all, the money is marked anyway, and has to be burnt]].
* SnowMeansDeath: Among several other things. Death and snowy landscapes are seamlessly mixed.
* ThickerThanWater: Hank is very protective of Jacob. [[spoiler:But it's ultimately subverted.]]
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler:Sheriff Carl Jenkins assumes that Neil Baxter is an FBI agent without asking to see his badge.]] This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] [[PlayedForLaughs comically]] as Hank searches for ammunition to the sheriff's gun amongst his disorganized desk.
* WhamLine: Jacob has a couple of these lines to Hank throughout the movie.
** Revealing to Hank that their father losing the farm was not because he was a bad businessman, but because he was paying for Hank's college.
** Telling Hank that their father's death was really a suicide.