Lionsgate | Release Date: August 23, 2013
6.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 59 Ratings
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26
Mixed:
27
Negative:
6
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8
S1r-R34lFeb 23, 2017
This is a great film based on real events surrounding a Serial Killer in Alaska. Nicholas Cage and John Cusack do an admirable job portraying their characters, Alaska State Trooper Jack Halcolmbe and Serial Killer Robert Hanson,This is a great film based on real events surrounding a Serial Killer in Alaska. Nicholas Cage and John Cusack do an admirable job portraying their characters, Alaska State Trooper Jack Halcolmbe and Serial Killer Robert Hanson, respectively. However, it's Vanessa Hudgens portrayal of runaway and prostitute Cindy Poulson, the only survivor of Robert Hanson's killing spree, that steals the show. Well worth a viewing. Expand
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5
SpangleJan 4, 2017
In the 21st century, John Cusack and Nicolas Cage do not purposefully make a good film. Instead, they accidentally stumble onto a set where people are making a good film. The Frozen Ground is not necessarily a good film, but it is an okayIn the 21st century, John Cusack and Nicolas Cage do not purposefully make a good film. Instead, they accidentally stumble onto a set where people are making a good film. The Frozen Ground is not necessarily a good film, but it is an okay one. Telling the real story about the hunt for brutal serial killer Robert Hansen (Cusack), the film fits him against John Halcombe (Cage), the cop who tracked him down. A pretty straight forward police procedural movie, The Frozen Ground is a largely entertaining and compelling film that is just too cliche and lacking in mystery to be a truly good film.

With Cage and Cusack both turning in good performances, this straight-to-DVD release is off to a good start already. Cage is largely a normal person here with a wife who gets two scenes and is a hard nosed cop who loves his job and family. Typical, but Cage does well. He is a great actor and this material is still beneath him, but it is closer than his traditional fare. Cusack, meanwhile, plays a well adjusted psycho. Seen as a normal guy with a Christian wife and two kids, Hansen is a regular guy except when he looks for oral sex. At this point, he is a monster and hungry for hunting prostitutes. Cusack plays this difference incredibly well, using a largely cool and icy demeanor in both. He seems to be going through the motions and is only in his element when killing somebody. Cusack, in the violent moments, keeps this icy demeanor but has a subtle twisted and dark element added that clues you into just how demented of a person Robert Hansen was.

However, The Frozen Ground is largely unchallenging. Halcombe protects a young prostitute and victim of Hansen, Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens), with cliched scenes involving her pimp (50 Cent) and a strip club. These moments add nothing to the film other than an excuse to hire girls with large breasts to appear nude briefly in the film. Otherwise, nothing is added to the film, even including a scene where Cindy sees Robert in the club. Maybe it was a real scenario, but of course he is scared of him and that is the only thing the scene communicates. The case is largely compelling, however, and scenes of Cage and Sgt. Lyle Haugsven (Dean Norris) tracking Hansen. With clues and close calls along the way, the film is largely engaging in these moments. Sure, it is stereotypical, but as somebody who mildly enjoys films of this type, it does work.

What does not work, however, is the camera. Director Scott Walker channels that scene of Liam Neeson jumping over a fence in Taken 3 during any scene with a degree of chaos. This includes the beginning and it made me want to question my decision to watch the film at all. Good directors do not need to use nearly as many cuts in quick succession as Walker does, leading me to conclude that the average status of the film is likely a fluke.

With a largely compelling true story to tell, The Frozen Ground is a cold and icy film about a cold and icy man. While largely feeling like an episode of Forensic Files or Deadline, the film is pretty engaging due to very good performances from Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Honestly, they must have been so appalled by the fact that the film turned out okay they had to fire their agents. How could they not give a horrible script instead? Compared to their usual films, The Frozen Ground is like an Oscar winner. Compared to other films, however, it is merely a run-of-the-mill true crime story that has good acting and follows the cliches closely enough to become passable entertainment.
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7
ydnar4Feb 8, 2015
Nicolas Cage has been more risk than reward over recent years but I'd give him props in this movie. I think he gave a pretty solid performance. Serial killer movies have always been films I've enjoyed. Robert Hansen is one of the most deadlyNicolas Cage has been more risk than reward over recent years but I'd give him props in this movie. I think he gave a pretty solid performance. Serial killer movies have always been films I've enjoyed. Robert Hansen is one of the most deadly American killers and I really didn't know that much about him. John Cusack was a character that wouldn't expect to see playing Hansen. He improved more and more as the film went on. I was not a fan of Vanessa Hudgen's role, she was sort of in the wrong company and they could've gone with someone else. She had two much camera time for the first hour and that is one of the major reasons I gave this movie a seven. The last half of the movie when Nick Cage took was what saved it. Expand
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6
oblique15Sep 17, 2014
People who hate it, need to remember It`s a "true story," so they can only work with what happened.The bad guy is on this one is twisted, and you can`t help, but to want him to be caught.This movie is pretty dark in every way. I think it`sPeople who hate it, need to remember It`s a "true story," so they can only work with what happened.The bad guy is on this one is twisted, and you can`t help, but to want him to be caught.This movie is pretty dark in every way. I think it`s worth watching, but nothing special. Expand
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10
Shane8537901Aug 23, 2014
I can't understand why this film would get such bad reviews, some even put a zero rating meaning it was terrible. In my opinion it was a great movie based on a true story and between meta critic and rotten tomatoes I'll never base reviews onI can't understand why this film would get such bad reviews, some even put a zero rating meaning it was terrible. In my opinion it was a great movie based on a true story and between meta critic and rotten tomatoes I'll never base reviews on wether I watch a movie or not. Even the critics are so off and inconsistent. Expand
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9
calmandoes2Jul 2, 2014
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 fromthis 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
Tss5078Apr 13, 2014
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, that even the best writer wouldn't be able to imagine them on their own. The story told in the film TheI 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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2
ScottMcKoneNov 5, 2013
There's really no excuse for this film being as bad as it is. Despite tons of on screen talent it's destroyed by poor story telling and paper thin characters. With this subject matter and being based in reality it should be a story that grabsThere's really no excuse for this film being as bad as it is. Despite tons of on screen talent it's destroyed by poor story telling and paper thin characters. With this subject matter and being based in reality it should be a story that grabs and never lets go. Unfortunately someone feels that shaking the camera is all it takes to hold an audience. The script is wordy to the point of dull and the concept of pacing is non existent. All in all, just a truly poorly executed film. My biggest movie let down so far this year. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
CommGhostSep 21, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie i found the story captivating and the acting refreshing i would definatley recommend viewing.
Big thumbs up to both Cage and Cussack job well done.
Scary stuff it was a true story
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
sd-tennisSep 14, 2013
I am not fan of both Cage and Cusack but in this movie they had great performances, not to say that the whole cast were great. I was surprised by other's low ratings, because I really enjoyed it.
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2
Alaskan121Aug 31, 2013
I have been waiting for this movie for 2 yrs. Actually saw N Cage and others at hospital I was working while it was being filmed. All of Alaska knows of this terrible true story.

Camera work ruined the film- shakey-jerking- sometimes
I have been waiting for this movie for 2 yrs. Actually saw N Cage and others at hospital I was working while it was being filmed. All of Alaska knows of this terrible true story.

Camera work ruined the film- shakey-jerking- sometimes showing the actor for 10 seconds before you can even focus in and they spin the shot somewhere else...often 5 times in a 60 second period !!
Most scenes are so close up that the chin and hair line is cut off of the picture.
Wasted opportunity for great Alaska scenery as it was snowing that Nov when they filmed
All Alaskans will be let down
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9
Roxie1971Aug 25, 2013
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. Would love to see Nicolas Cage and John Cusack do future movies.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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2
ThegodfathersonAug 23, 2013
It's been so long since Nicolas Cage has starred in a straightforward thriller playing a realistic character that "The Frozen Ground" feels like a shock to the system his, and ours. And Cage, without having to play a ghostly motorcyclist orIt's been so long since Nicolas Cage has starred in a straightforward thriller playing a realistic character that "The Frozen Ground" feels like a shock to the system his, and ours. And 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. Expand
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