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Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 2, 2013
    90
    If the narrow biographical focus of “The Iceman” prevents it from being a great crime movie, on its own more modest terms it is an indelible film that clinches Mr. Shannon’s status as a major screen actor.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 16, 2013
    80
    The film is anchored by a searing, incredibly intense performance by Michael Shannon, whose remorselessness as a hit man is as relentless as Shannon’s portrayal of him.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 17, 2013
    75
    Because the sociopath at the center of this family portrait never asks for forgiveness, The Iceman is truly chilling.
  4. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    May 6, 2013
    60
    The problem might actually be (gasp) Michael Shannon himself — shocking, because he’s one of our greatest actors — who is only half-right for this film’s portrait of Kuklinski.
  5. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    May 1, 2013
    58
    Alternating scenes of the psycho-as-family-man with an increasingly grisly and desperate series of hits, it makes for a surprisingly monotonous sit for a movie that also features a killer named Mr. Freezy.
  6. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 2, 2013
    50
    The overall effect tends to be as chilly and monotonous as Shannon’s demeanor as Kuklinski — a real disappointment.
  7. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Apr 29, 2013
    38
    Michael Shannon has no interior to play with, since the film seems intent on ridding Richie of any emotion other than love for his family, and also no catharsis to build toward.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. WOW! I really liked this film (that's why I gave it a 10 out of 10!). The gritty story is interesting as can be thanks to the outrageous true story of Richard Kuklinski, the famed contract killer, but the real heart of the film is the amazing performances from the entire cast. While it's awesome to see David Schwimmer do a role he's never done before (and do it well), Ray Liotta play the same character he always plays (but do it well) and see Chris Evans--Captain America himself--play a killer in an ice cream truck, the best part is watching Michael Shannon once again prove that he is one of the best actors of this generation. He's no stranger to intensity but the level he brought to this film is enough to warrant my score! Expand
  2. May 4, 2013
    10
    There was a subtle development of a character I couldn't imagine possible with a figure like Richard Kuklinski. the performances were uniformally excellent. The writing and directing were especially strong. Kudos to Michael Shannon...if he's not nominated for an oscar, there's no justice. Expand
  3. Mar 25, 2014
    9
    Its essentially The Iceman Tapes - The Movie. But its well done and this michael shannon bloke is well cast. Be sure to search kuklinksy on youtube after you've watched Expand
  4. Oct 19, 2013
    7
    Good entertaining movie. Ray Liotta's performance as a gangster was spot on as usual. Also like Winona Ryder's performance was great as well. Not the depth of a Goodfellows but still well worth watching. Expand
  5. Dec 2, 2013
    7
    Between 1964 and 1986, Richard Kuklinski killed as many as 250 people for the mafia. His cold, callous style and willingness to do anything, earned him the nickname, The Iceman. In 1992, The Iceman granted HBO an exclusive interview, where he talked about his life and described his crimes, the way someone would describe their job. This film is the dramatization of Kuklinski's story, based entirely on what he said during his interview. Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon stars as Kuklinski and was absolutely the perfect choice to play him. Some actors, even ones like Shannon, seem to be destine to play certain characters, it's how they make a name for themselves. Shannon is often knocked for being too cold and emotionless in his other roles, so he was essentially the perfect choice to play the Iceman. Shannon is paired with Winona Ryder and all these years later, she still manages to annoy the hell out of me. I really don't get what people see in her. The cast of this film is rounded out by some terrific cameos, by the likes of Ray Liotta, James Franco, and David Schwimmer, all of whom are terrific and add to the mystique of this film. I really did enjoy this film, but it is confusing and somewhat slow at times, slower than you wouldn't expect a film about a mafia hit-man to be. This films throws so many names at you and jumps from scene to scene and time to time so quickly, that it is a little difficult to keep track of who's who. Other than that, the performances are terrific and it's amazing how they were able to piece together a film from a simple interview, definitely worth checking out. Expand
  6. 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 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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  7. May 27, 2013
    2
    So UPSET!! I have been dying for this movie to finally come out after I read the book some years ago. this movie was such a let down. left so much out and the stuff that was in was not even true or close to it. terribly disappointed. nothing like the book at all! will never understand why directors change from the book so much! decarlo should be turning in his grave for this disservice to him! I really wish that I did not see this movie at all! they even tried to make you feel sorry for the "Pollock!" I mean he was never sorry for anything he did, hence the name ICEMAN! grant it, maybe not everything that was in the book was true, but damn if they only followed half of the book it would have been a great movie! this movie seemed rushed, they skipped over so much and left out even more! if you read the book and you enjoyed the book, DO NOT go and see this movie then!!! you will be so disappointed as I am! what a crying shame! Expand

See all 12 User Reviews

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