Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 16
  2. Negative: 7 out of 16
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 22, 2013
    63
    Cusack and Cage — who don’t have any scenes together until halfway through — do their best work in years, while erstwhile “High School Musical’’ star Hudgens shows off acting chops missing in “Spring Breakers.’’
  2. 63
    Cage, without having to play a ghostly motorcyclist or hot rod driver from Hell or sorcerer or sci-fi hero or kinky cop, reminds us that he used to know subtlety. So even if Frozen Ground breaks little new ground in the serial killer thriller genre, there’s hope Cage will leave the ham behind before Alaska freezes over.
  3. Reviewed by: Josh Winning
    Aug 1, 2013
    60
    It’s handsomely lensed, and when Cage and Cusack finally go nose-to-nose, the fur does fly.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Aug 1, 2013
    60
    With Cage as a harried cop, Cusack as a serial killer and 50 Cent as a pimp, we're assuming the casting department kicked off early on this one. Still, there's plenty in this taut thriller for you to stick around for, not least the reuniting of the Con Air duo.
  5. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Aug 1, 2013
    60
    This is an unambitious, old-school thriller, nothing more and nothing less.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Aug 1, 2013
    60
    Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack give solid performances in this Prime Suspect-like thriller.
  7. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Aug 21, 2013
    50
    Ultimately, the cumulative effect is deadening, just another chapter in an endless battle between overtasked and underpaid good guys, and cowardly baddies; the only real humanity in the film comes from Hudgens’ Cindy, who seems like a wild card of sorts, her character’s dimensions suggesting a world outside of the lurid details of this case. Refreshingly, she’s the only one in the film who refuses to be defined by the death and tragedy surrounding her.
  8. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Aug 1, 2013
    50
    [A] solid if unmemorable true-crime drama.
  9. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Aug 26, 2013
    40
    Unfortunately, writer-director Scott Walker's film is a muddled and strangely inert one, generating little of the suspense or anguish its subject requires; despite its high-profile cast.
  10. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Aug 22, 2013
    30
    The movie’s only fresh element is the wintry setting, which shrouds everything in a mood of weary fatalism. Otherwise, it’s the same old, same old, efficiently discharged and utterly disposable.
  11. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Aug 22, 2013
    30
    Although writer-director Scott Walker seems committed to not overly exploiting his lurid subject matter, the movie is just too dreary, disjointed and generically creepy to be persuasive.
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Staeger
    Aug 20, 2013
    30
    The climactic interrogation wraps up neatly and just in time, much more like a story "based on actual events" than the events themselves.
  13. Reviewed by: Matthew Kassel
    Aug 20, 2013
    25
    A vague and forgettable crime thriller that would have benefited from more character development or at least a grounding of the narrative in one central protagonist.
  14. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Aug 15, 2013
    25
    Taste and good intentions are only going to get one so far with a script this tone deaf and direction this ugly and monotonous.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 23, 2013
    20
    What’s more depressing: that John Cusack chose the junky, un-exciting serial killer drama The Frozen Ground as his latest step away from John Cusack-y roles, or that Nicolas Cage chose to, at long last, be as un-Cage-like as possible?
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jul 18, 2013
    20
    Fans of Cage and Cusack, previously paired as unlikely allies in Con Air (1997), may be looking forward to a bit of deranged actorly combat once Hansen is cornered in the interrogation room, but it’s here that this hopeless flick comes up especially short.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. Aug 25, 2013
    9
    Excellent movie, very well directed. I myself could not have picked a better cast of actors or actress to do the parts in this movie. WouldExcellent movie, very well directed. I myself could not have picked a better cast of actors or actress to do the parts in this movie. Would love to see Nicolas Cage and John Cusack do future movies. Full Review »
  2. Jul 2, 2014
    9
    this is one of the better "true story" movies I have seen. Very believable and very well acted. All parts were picked well for the characters.this is one of the better "true story" movies I have seen. Very believable and very well acted. All parts were picked well for the characters. Mr. Cage in his finest role in my opinion. I don't remember these abductions/murders, but Im from CA. Excellent movie. Makes me want to contact the sgt and thank him. Full Review »
  3. Apr 13, 2014
    7
    I find that the best thrillers come from films that are based on real life events. Some of these stories are just so twisted and crazy, thatI find that the best thrillers come from films that are based on real life events. Some of these stories are just so twisted and crazy, that even the best writer wouldn't be able to imagine them on their own. The story told in the film The Frozen Ground, is one such story, telling the world about serial killer, Robert Hansen. From the 1970s until 1983, Hansen was one of the nations most prolific serial killers. What makes Hansen's story unique is that he was able to do all this, without the police even connecting the cases, because of where he lived. Hansen's story begins in Anchorage Alaska, where he began preying on prostitutes. After torturing and killing them, he would dump the bodies in remote, unpopulated areas of Alaska, where they were ravaged by the weather and wild animals. This made finding the cause of death or even identifying the victims nearly impossible. Hansen would probably still be active today, if it wasn't for Cindy Paulson, the only victim in 12 years, to escape the madman, and that's where our film begins. Nicholas Cage stars as Jack Halcombe, a state police detective who comes up with a wild theory that all these missing people and strange deaths, could be connected. Halcombe has a tough time convincing anyone of this, especially since his only witness is a drug abusing prostitute. Nicolas Cage excels in movies like this and is again terrific. Cage was born to play a cop and in my opinion does it better than anyone else out there. In this film, he's paired with Zac Efron's ex, Vanessa Hudgens, who wasn't great, but was much better than I expected. It's difficult to make the transition from Disney cover girl to a legitimate movie star, but I'd say that Hudgens is well on her way. Finally, John Cusack rounds out this all-star cast, playing Robert Hansen. After all the films I've seen Cusack in, I really couldn't imagine him as the bad guy, but his performance is what really helps this movie stand out, and hopefully will lead him to other similar roles. The Frozen Ground is a little slow, but it is supposedly very accurate, and tells an interesting story that most people know nothing about. It's the kind of film that I really go for and hopefully you will too. Full Review »