A Simple Plan ★★★★★

This is a perfect movie, zero false notes, suspenseful and tragic, and even though it's usually touted as a showcase for Billy Bob Thornton it wouldn't work nearly as well without Paxton, who conveys his character's descent into evil with a level of credibility that's normally taboo in mainstream entertainment. There's no hidden arrogance inside him that leads him to a life of crime, no sociopathic tendencies that comfortably remove him from audience identification, and it's Paxton's innate decency as an actor that makes this descent so heart-wrenching.

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