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The Iceman

  R HD Closed Captioning

Ariel Vromen

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Plot Summary

The true story of notorious mob hitman Richard Kuklinski, who killed more than 100 people.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 119
  • Fresh: 79
  • Rotten: 40
  • Average Rating: 6.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: It's a fascinating subject - the beast that lurks inside the family man - but the movie blows it. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, May 16, 2013

Fresh: As both violent drama and character study, Israeli director Ariel Vromen's film does everything it should. – John Anderson, Newsday, May 16, 2013

Fresh: A true-crime thriller directed with grit, gristle and punchy energy by Ariel Vromen, The Iceman is never less than fascinating, even if things get a little ham-fisted here and there. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 17, 2013

Fresh: Shannon gets at his character's pent-up torment as well as his efficient disconnect. When his two worlds start to converge -- on his daughter's sweet 16th birthday, no less -- you feel for him. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, May 17, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

The Iceman Killith

I’m behind on my other reviews, but after seeing this I had to put a rush on it before anybody else got the chance to lock down this blatantly cheesy, tacky, title, which I’m very proud of.

I consider this a long-overdue project. In an industry that is seemingly low on fresh ideas. I don’t know why this wasn’t done earlier. I wanted to see this since the 2003 HBO interviews with the Iceman Killer, “Richard Kuklinski.” And this 2012 film was worth the wait. I’m not a wannbe longing to be one of these characters, but I do have favorites in this genre. I enjoy films like, Goodfellas, Casino, Godfathers I, II and III, etc. However, when a story is real, it makes the cinematic presentation all the more special to me.

The overall story stays true to the best of my knowledge, per the interviews and documentaries. The storytellers here decided to start in 1964, bypassing Mr. Kuklinski’s childhood. This is a decision for which I’m grateful because although I don’t have Mafioso or other gang ambitions, I do sometimes admire the code of ethics that have amongst themselves. In Richard’s case, I started to empathize with him and that he had a strong aversion to killing women or children. However, he watched all this away as he revealed a childhood killing of an animal which I will spare the reader the gruesome details.

And the timeline is strongly represented by automobiles scenes which I appreciate. However, I noticed 2 continuity errors. Now, some errors like a windshield that’s cracked in one scene and undamaged in the next or a watch that mysteriously switches wrists from scene to scene can be forgiven. However, as someone who takes his automobile religion seriously, some errors are more serious blasphemies. The continuity errors. I noticed were: a steering column ignition switch in the first murder scene stated to be 1964. Such features were not available till 1969; and a 1976 New York St. scene with some 1980s cars and taxicabs. As logic follows you can always show an earlier car in a later timeline, but not vice versa publisher doing sci-fi with time travel elements.
However, the moviemakers did me a solid and earned their redemption. That is, they gave me the opportunity to leer and drool over plenty of 1960s, Mopar eye candy. Most notably was the 1968 2-door fast-top Dodge Monaco during a clandestine meeting scene. And to a lesser degree, because they were 4-doors, a couple of 68 Plymouth Fury’s. (I’m partial to the two door fast tops like my 1968 Plymouth Sport Fury with Center Console). Indeed, the cars gave me an adequate taste of nostalgia as I grew up in the Musclecar Era. Of

Other timeline examples were given equal attention. Those cheesy 70 mustaches, sideburns, mutton chops, hot pants, clogs, beanbag chairs, and a variety of styles and furnishings indicative of the times represented were just as abundant.

Playing the lead character is Michael Shannon, whose “Iceman” like style of acting was honed long before this feature, the highly successful HBO series Boardwalk Empire, or other movies such as Bug with costar Ashley Judd. In any of these you’ll see his mastery of the totally unreadable veneer between a cauldron of emotional complexities and the outside world that he can break and a millisecond to express a range of personalities. And yet, can employ a different style altogether to play the super villain Gen. Zod in Man of Steel. (Note: could this be our new Lurch for any future Addams Family remakes? Sorry reader, I love this guy, but I just couldn’t resist). Winona Ryder, who plays the Kuklinski housewife is definitely no hausfrau. So, she’s no longer the girl from Heathers, Mermaids, or Beetlejuice, she still has the same cuteness wrapped up in a more mature 41-year-old package. Winona and Michael have one of the most passionate love scenes, brief as it was being interrupted by their children that I’ve seen in a long time without nudity. To me, Winona always appears as a pleasant surprise. Whenever I am in one of those “whatever happened to” ponderings, I’ll see her again as Spock’s mom. Ray Liotta, whose no stranger to gangsta stories, whether playing the good or bad guy, is an excellent choice to support this story. A couple of scenes leaned towards the over conventional with the gun pointing. However, Mr. Liotta played it fresh enough that I wasn’t left feeling that I was watching one of his earlier films. If you want to see his diversity, he’s quite good comedic actor as well. Search for him in the 2002 episode of Just Shoot Me Liotta? Liotta! Or movies like Observe and Report. Surprising new to the silver screen gangsta squad is Chris Evans. I totally didn’t recognize him out of his Marvel comics uniform till I read the credits. He plays his role convincingly well as Kuklinski’s temporary employment recruiter and body disposal specialist. James Franco plays in what has to be one of the briefest scenes in the movie for someone of his current ranking. He’s definitely one of Hollywood’s workaholics. And yet, were all still patiently waiting for Pineapple Express 2!!! Friends star David Schwimmer is one of the first to sport the bushy, cheesy, 70s whiskers. He plays one of Ray’s protégés who, after some good scenes is given a typical Mafia retirement package. And lastly, Robert Davi. Ever see the 1989, 007 feature: License to Kill? Well, that’s him. He gives an excellent performance as a higher ranking, decision-making level boss. That is, until his own case of sudden lead poisoning in the aforementioned Dodge Monaco (Dad, can I have the car if you’re shot?) He’s another actor that I like to see working and keeps very busy, I just don’t notice as much as I do my other favorites.
The Iceman was worth the wait and worth the price.

Great cast, Bad movie.

The performances were all strong. The movie missed the mark on so many levels. Barely touching on what made him a sociopath in the 1st place. How could you skip the fact this guy killed 65 people by the time he was 24? The horrible abuse his Father and mother did to him? The way he beat his wife and the fact that his kids hated him?
In the movie it looks like the 1st kill was with the Gemini crew. And the stylized 80'sbackground music was horrible!! This story basically wrote itself and the director ruined it.

No good, no good, no good

The movie moved way too fast, didn't focus on the depth of Kuklinski's madness, ice cream guy didn't play that a big role in the books I've read, this movie did not do the story justice - not that Kuklinski served or deserved any. Watch the HBO documentaries and read the iceman A Mafia Killer for the real story...Sammy the Bull is the guy Kuklinski was going to testify against, he supposedly paid Kuklinski to kill a cop and Kuklinski wanted to expose the government for making a deal with a cop killer...his family did visit him in jail when he was dying from being poisoned so he couldn't testify!!

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