The Iceman

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 116
  2. Negative: 1 out of 116
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  1. May 9, 2013
    4
    Beyond a disappointment. Shannon is a major talent, but he had a very flawed script to work with. There is zero empathy for the lead character. You could care less if he cares about his family, he's such a ridiculous psychopath and not clever enough to be interesting.. And the script, it sets up Ray Liotta's character as the antagonist and the narrative makes you want a climax between himBeyond a disappointment. Shannon is a major talent, but he had a very flawed script to work with. There is zero empathy for the lead character. You could care less if he cares about his family, he's such a ridiculous psychopath and not clever enough to be interesting.. And the script, it sets up Ray Liotta's character as the antagonist and the narrative makes you want a climax between him and shannon, but you never get it, instead you get melodrama asking us to try and feel sorry for a psychopath who killed over a hundred people.... Skip it. Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2013
    4
    I agree that it's rather disappointing. The acting is fine Shannon was great as the lead and his supporting cast is good as well. But the story is just god awful, It's a near 2 hour film and yet there is no sense of fulfillment what so ever. It doesn't go anywhere and that is the real killer of this movie. I mean it's watchable but that's about it.
  3. Sep 2, 2014
    5
    Going in, I was completely unfamiliar with the story of Richard Kuklinski. The Iceman outlines a predictable mafioso who hides his wrongdoing from his family. Aside from an awkward performance from David Schwimmer, The Iceman features a somewhat memorable portrayal of Kuklinski from Michael Shannon.
  4. Aug 31, 2013
    6
    "The Iceman" is an unremarkable, yet competent biopic of its title character, Richard Kuklinski, providing only a limited insight into what made him one of the most prolific hit men in history. Claiming to have pulled off over one hundred hits to his name, Richard Kuklinski was a legendary mafia contract killer known for his intimidating stature, and his cold-hearted, nonchalant approach"The Iceman" is an unremarkable, yet competent biopic of its title character, Richard Kuklinski, providing only a limited insight into what made him one of the most prolific hit men in history. Claiming to have pulled off over one hundred hits to his name, Richard Kuklinski was a legendary mafia contract killer known for his intimidating stature, and his cold-hearted, nonchalant approach to his craft. "The Iceman," based on a true story, is a fairly standard biopic that is only exalted beyond mediocrity by an imposing performance from Michael Shannon. Shannon's commanding performance is clearly the centerpiece of the movie, as he effortlessly exudes a cold-hearted confidence as a genuine, psychopathic hitman.

    Richard Leonard "The Iceman" Kuklinski was a Polish-American contract killer who worked his way up the chain of command, eventually landing a position as a hit man for the Gambino crime family. The 6'5", 300 pound "Iceman" claimed to have murdered over 100, or possibly 250 men (his recollections varied) between 1948 and 1986. Amidst all the murderous mayhem, Kuklinski found the time to marry and have two daughters as well, while successfully keeping his job as hit man a secret from them. Set primarily in the 1970s New Jersey, the film unfolds via episodic segments, chronicling Kuklinski's early beginnings editing porn movies and the marriage to his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder), to being recruited by the Gambino family by mob boss Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta), and finally his inevitable capture and conviction.

    Kuklinski was an impenetrable individual, and Shannon is first-rate in a suitably complex performance. Shannon bounces back and forth between family man and maniacal murderer with a sinister ease. Kuklinski exhibits an array of methods utilized to complete the task at hand, along with his trademark, freezing his victims for months before disposing of the bodies.

    An unusual collection for a supporting cast does a fine job overall. Chris Evans plays Robert, or Mr. Freezy, a cold-hearted killer who drives an ice cream truck who also works for the mob. James Franco plays Marty, a prospective hit. David Schwimmer plays Josh, Roy's right-hand man, and Stephen Dorff plays Richard's estranged, imprisoned brother Joey. Shannon does his best with the limited material, and Ryder gives a good performance as Richie's oblivious wife.

    Regrettably, a thin, all too familiar script of standard mob stories that span over decades undermines all efforts. The movie never offers anything new that hasn't been seen before, and the finale just kind of happens without much of a buildup. Unfortunately, besides seeing just how many era-appropriate hairstyles and beards its characters can model in one movie, this telling of Richard's story seems to care more about the body count above all else.
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  5. NFW
    Jun 25, 2015
    5
    Despite a good performance from Michael Shannon in the title role, and some entertaining scenes here and there, THE ICEMAN isn't really worth a recommendation. It's completely underdeveloped, a 2h 30min film screaming to get out of its 1h 45min run time, all topped off with uninspired, cliche crime dialogue.
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jun 7, 2013
    40
    There are cameos from James Franco, Stephen Dorff, a comically moustachioed David Schwimmer and an unrecognisably hirsute Chris Evans as various lowlifes. A pity, then, that nothing else in Ariel Vromen’s movie is remotely on Shannon’s level, from the plodding, Scorsese-clone script to the needlessly lifeless editing and cinematography.
  2. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Jun 3, 2013
    60
    This solemn, blood-soaked thriller lacks the dynamism of its star, but is an impressive showcase for him nonetheless: it’s as hard to look away from Shannon’s performance as it is to look directly at it.
  3. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    May 27, 2013
    80
    Kneel before shannon. His primal, powerhouse turn drives this criminal biopic. the film won’t win any prizes for originality, but its star proves he’s a real man of steel.