5.3/10
642
9 user 10 critic

Once in the Life (2000)

Once in the life (of drug dealing and organized crime), can anyone get out? During a brief jail stay, two half-brothers, who have rarely seen each other while growing up, connect. One of ... See full summary »

Director:

Laurence Fishburne

Writers:

Laurence Fishburne (play), Laurence Fishburne (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eamonn Walker ... Tony
Gregory Hines ... Ruffhouse
Michael Paul Chan ... Buddha
Dominic Chianese Jr. ... Freddie Nine Lives
Tiger Hu Chen ... Chino (as Tiger Chen)
Paul Calderon ... Manny Rivera
Andres Titus Andres Titus ... Hector (as Andres 'Dres' Titus)
Titus Welliver ... Torch
Laurence Fishburne ... 20 / 20 Mike
Harsh Nayyar ... Cab Driver
Sue Costello ... Sgt. Kneeley
Nick Chinlund ... Mike Murphy
Timothy W. White Timothy W. White ... Little Billy (as Tim White)
Wanda De Jesus ... Jackie
Justin Pierre Edmund ... Little Mikey
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Storyline

Once in the life (of drug dealing and organized crime), can anyone get out? During a brief jail stay, two half-brothers, who have rarely seen each other while growing up, connect. One of them, called 20/20 Mike because he can sense people nearby, concocts a scheme in which the two of them will steal some dope from young couriers. The heist goes awry when Billy, the junkie brother, shoots the victims of the theft. The brothers hole up in an abandoned building, and 20/20 Mike seeks help from an old cell mate, Tony, whom he thinks is out of the life. It turns out that they have stolen Tony's dope, and Tony's boss wants the two thieves dead. Is there any way out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You're either in, or you're gone.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive languge, strong violence and some drug content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

20/20 Target Criminale See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,358, 29 October 2000

Gross USA:

$54,780

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,780
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laurence Fishburne's directorial debut. As of 2014, he has made no other directorial efforts besides this. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Fearless Misery
Written by William DuVall and Vernon Reid
Performed by William DuVall feat. Vernon Reid
See more »

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User Reviews

Engaging character study of losers
29 April 2004 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

ONCE IN THE LIFE (2000) **1/2 Laurence Fishburne, Titus Welliver, Eamonn Walker, Annabella Sciorra, Paul Calderon, Gregory Hines, Michael Paul Chan, Dominic Chianese, Jr., Tiger Chen, Sue Costello, Jim Breuer. Fishburne makes his big-screen directorial debut adapting his play 'Riff Raff' about two half-brother, petty criminal siblings (Welliver is memorable as the ne'er do well junkie with a short fuse) who meet unlikely after many years and after botching an improvised crime together sit and wait things out in a crack house recalling their pasts with Fishburne's former cell mate Walker who is equally in deep water.

Great acting and claustrophobic settings only mar in this rather stagy and staid film in an otherwise engaging character study of losers.


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