The Iceman

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A distinctly average entry in the persistent 1970s mafia movie sub-genre (see ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Donnie Brasco’, ‘American Gangster’), ‘The Iceman’ comes packed with clichés: washed-out colours, rainy streets, distracting facial hair, tan leather jackets and Ray Liotta. Luckily, one of America’s more interesting younger actors, Michael Shannon (‘Mud’), plays Richard Kuklinski, a Polish-American in New Jersey whose emotion-free, psychopathic tendencies caught the eye of the Mob. Soon he was their go-to-guy for no-questions-asked slayings. We follow Kuklinski over two decades of hits as, in parallel, he holds down a life in the suburbs. Winona Ryder plays Kuklinski’s in-the-dark wife, so allowing for the perennial crime-versus-family conflict that drives so many of these tales. It’s lifted by a string of colourful side roles played by the likes of James Franco, David Schwimmer and Stephen Dorff. But even the always-watchable Shannon can’t give much life to Kuklinski’s two-dimensional presence: he’s little more than a series of murders and pained looks.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday June 7 2013
Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ariel Vromen
Cast: Michael Shannon
James Franco
Winona Ryder

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Poor excuse for an amazing story

I had just read the book and was blown away by the story, and Richards character. I realy rated it highly. This movie just ruined it all.. Boring and only vague snippets of what realy went on, and very inaccurate... Recommend the book, but definitely not this movie..


Most movies these days tend to run too long. Not this one. The Iceman would have benefitted from more back-story plus a slower pace and greater depth. I wonder why we, as film makers and viewers, are drawn to stories about characters like these. Shannon is as magnetically watchable as ever.