Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Frozen River is the story of Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the US-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for theirFrozen River is the story of Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the US-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila, a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray’s Dodge Spirit. (Sony Pictures Classics)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    100
    It's tough and cold and gives an inside look at poverty in America. Yet the film is also incredibly compelling and intense and I can't think of another film that's this small and powerful.
  2. 100
    Sometimes two performances come along that are so perfectly matched that no overt signals are needed to show how the characters feel about each other. That's what happens between Melissa Leo and Misty Upham in Frozen River.
  3. This is a debut feature, though you'd never know it from the filmmaker's commandingly confident style, or from the heartbreaking beauty -- heartbreaking, then heartmending -- of Melissa Leo's performance as a poor single mother who's living her whole life on thin ice.
  4. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    80
    Original, sad, suspenseful and involving: the kind of work that helps independent American cinema retain its good name.
  5. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    80
    If there's one thing this movie gets dead right, it's the desperation of impoverished single mothers trying to fend for their children.
  6. Most films about illegal immigration are set on the Mexican border, and Frozen River is free of the stereotypical characters and situations of that familiar setting. It also offers a rare look at modern Native American life, exploring the ambiguity of what it means to say that the laws of the white man cannot be enforced on Indian territory.
  7. Has moments of honesty, but more often the barren landscape - both outside and inside - drains the emotions out of the film.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. BeaR.
    Aug 23, 2008
    10
    At last ... a really great movie made in the last few years. (I had given up hope.) The fascinating tale was flawlessly written and directed. At last ... a really great movie made in the last few years. (I had given up hope.) The fascinating tale was flawlessly written and directed. It's neither plot nor character driven ... it's both ... as great literature should be. Amazing performances by Leo, Upham, and the kids. A beautiful, deadly setting in a frozen winterscape completes the artistic whole. (One reviewer felt the cold made the viewer listless ... what a stupid thing to say!). Expand
  2. FredA.
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    A stark and stunning look at poverty and prejudice in America, tempered by the gritty performances of the lead actors and their portrayals of A stark and stunning look at poverty and prejudice in America, tempered by the gritty performances of the lead actors and their portrayals of people who can still hope and strive, despite their personal fears and suspicions of "outsiders". Expand
  3. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    This is the greatest film I have seen in a long time. How didn't Melissa Leo win the Oscar for this? This is the performance of a lifetimeThis is the greatest film I have seen in a long time. How didn't Melissa Leo win the Oscar for this? This is the performance of a lifetime that will hopefully go down as a classic. Collapse
  4. JayH.
    Feb 8, 2009
    8
    Melissa Leo's performance is so genuine, she is wonderful and fully convincing. Great story. Very moving. Fine direction, the characters Melissa Leo's performance is so genuine, she is wonderful and fully convincing. Great story. Very moving. Fine direction, the characters are richly developed. Excellent atmosphere. Just a great movie. Expand
  5. TonyB.
    Apr 22, 2009
    7
    Here is a small film that delivers big. Let's see more of Melissa Leo.
  6. aideenm
    Jun 28, 2009
    6
    I stopped watching this movie after 10 minutes. Although the acting seemed fine, the movie was just too grim to watch with my grandchildren.
  7. SM
    Apr 16, 2009
    1
    This movie was pretty boring. The story was OK, but the acting and directing was really weak. I cannot accept such a high user rating.

See all 18 User Reviews

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