Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 29, 2012
    80
    It is an offbeat gem.
  2. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Feb 23, 2012
    50
    Film noir has seldom been so blanc.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 23, 2012
    75
    This is an uncommonly involving thriller. I could call it a film noir, except that the sun never sets in the film. That makes a perfect contrast with the only other feature filmed in Barrow, the vampire movie "30 Days of Night" (2007), in which it never rises.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 16, 2012
    40
    If "Ice" never really solidifies, it's nonetheless the work of a filmmaker whose seriousness is worth watching out for.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Feb 17, 2012
    50
    Barrow's frozen vistas are a perfect match for the noir tone of On the Ice. Unfortunately, the emotional landscape of MacLean's stoic main character, Qalli, is often as blank as the tundra.
  6. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Feb 21, 2012
    65
    In most respects, On the Ice is the kind of straight-ahead, underprivileged-teen drama beloved of Sundance audiences.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenji Fujishima
    Feb 16, 2012
    50
    The moral dilemmas in On the Ice ultimately fail to resonate, Qalli's concluding plea for his flawed humanity coming off as strangely hollow.
  8. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Feb 15, 2012
    83
    The performances, all from non-professional local actors, are noticeably uneven, but the film is as much a portrait of a place as it is a narrative, and cinematographer Lol Crawley shoots the white-on-white polar expanses like they're vistas stretching to the ends of the earth-which in a way, they are.
  9. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Feb 16, 2012
    50
    Glinting white vistas and endless light blanket On the Ice, a frigid drama that's tough to warm up to.
  10. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Feb 14, 2012
    40
    More than a moral dilemma is needed to make up for the uneven performances, slack pacing and wonky dialogue, and while MacLean certainly has a keen eye, the rest of his storytelling facilities haven't quite caught up with it yet.
  11. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Feb 14, 2012
    80
    On the Ice is a marvel of concentrated, classical storytelling. The flat, snowy landscape strips away all but the essentials from its tale.
  12. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Feb 16, 2012
    60
    Writer-director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, who in his feature debut has lashed together a sturdy vehicle for unadorned morality and pragmatic justice.

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