Sam Raimi is best known to general audiences as the creative mind behind the "Spider-Man" series, and he's most familiar to the indie crowd for his previous trilogy, the "Evil Dead" horror films. With two cultural icons like Spidey and Ash under his belt, it can be easy to forget that Raimi isn't merely a franchise filmmaker. In fact, his best work was done on a stand-alone film nearly a decade ago, long before Marvel's web-slinging super hero turned Raimi into a household name.
That film was "A Simple Plan," a criminally under-rated gem of a thriller that was released in 1998 to favorable critical notices but not much in the way of box office success. It's a shame it never reached a wider audience, because, in my estimation, this is one of the most well-acted, cleverly written, tautly directed suspense films ever made. It's a modern classic, and now that more people know of the filmmaker behind it, perhaps the film has a shot at garnering some of the word-of-mouth popularity that eluded it during its initial release.