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The Iceman (2013)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 119
Fresh: 79 | Rotten: 40

While it deserved stronger direction and a more fully realized script, Michael Shannon's riveting performance in the title role is more than enough to make The Iceman recommended viewing.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 12

While it deserved stronger direction and a more fully realized script, Michael Shannon's riveting performance in the title role is more than enough to make The Iceman recommended viewing.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 23,280

My Rating

Movie Info

Inspired by actual events, The Iceman follows notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Academy Award (R) nominee Michael Shannon) from his early days in the mob until his arrest for the murder of more than 100 men. Appearing to be living the American dream as a devoted husband and father; in reality Kuklinski was a ruthless killer-for-hire. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.(c) Millennium


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Sep 3, 2013


Millennium Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (119) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (40)

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.

June 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shannon gets at his character's pent-up torment as well as his efficient disconnect. When his two worlds start to converge -- on his daughter's sweet 16th birthday, no less -- you feel for him.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A true-crime thriller directed with grit, gristle and punchy energy by Ariel Vromen, The Iceman is never less than fascinating, even if things get a little ham-fisted here and there.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As the body count mounts, the movie begins to spin out of control, but Shannon and Vromen don't let it derail. Their focus keep things from melting down.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Michael Shannon is an overpowering actor, and in The Iceman, the best that he can do is wrestle the movie around him to a stalemate.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a fascinating subject - the beast that lurks inside the family man - but the movie blows it.

May 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lack of originality and insipid screenwriting may soon be read as the autopsy of this actively tiresome genre.

February 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

It's as though they were in a rush to get so much killing in that they forgot all of the important elements that would make us care. As a consequence, a fascinating story and character have been flattened and turned into a hurried mess.

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source:

'Big bad' with a side dish of bats--t crazy is the specialty of Michael Shannon, and so scarily good he is in mining this wheelhouse that one does not dare to complain about him repeating himself.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source:

An exploitation film trapped in the stifling body of a respectable crime drama.

July 12, 2013 Full Review Source:

The Iceman rests on the power of one hell of a performance from Shannon, with this monster of an actor playing a monster of a man with frightening intensity.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

The killings quickly begin to bleed into one another and it's sometimes hard to sort out the identities and roles of everyone involved.

June 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Ariel Vromen doesn't do so much in terms of the story (which spans 20 years, with corresponding hair fluctuations), but he seems to know his violence, and he's a true artiste when it comes to the queasy polyester ambience that holds this thing together.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

The film is able to capture its period setting, but the script is a collection of generic Mafia dialogue and cliched violent shootouts.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source:

The Iceman is dark and gritty but there's not enough excitement or tension to really pull you in.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Shannon's mesmerising performance has a Frankenstein edge to it.

June 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Mistaking leaden atmosphere for gravitas, Vromen turns what could have been a vibrant period drama (it runs from the 1950s through to Kuklinski's arrest in 1986) into a sludgy ordeal ...

June 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Scotsman

A truly mesmerising turn by Shannon that allows him to cultivate all his ugly thoughts into one brooding menace ...

June 9, 2013 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys

As a chronicle of one of America's most infamous criminals, it's a chilling one. Much of that credit must go to Shannon however, who delivers inspired work sometimes in spite of the mostly conventional feature around him.

June 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Much more involving than the usual hitman thriller, this film takes a deliberately personal approach to its characters that makes it unusually involving.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source:

Both compelling character study and well crafted mob thriller ...

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

What makes it at all special is Shannon, who's terrific playing the human being behind the murderer, a man so psychopathic that he doesn't realise he's actually a monster posing as a man.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The Iceman is a welcome adult thriller and its neat period touches will help to transfix many from start to finish.

June 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

Unfortunately, the movie runs out of things to say about its monosyllabic hero within a half-hour, after which the killings become repetitive.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

The Iceman is like a gangster's cold locker: all the nutritive items have been taken out to make room for the dead bodies.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

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.

June 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for The Iceman

three stars...
August 6, 2014
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

The Iceman is a great biopic of Richard Kuklinski. Richard Kuklinski was a contract killer. Now this film is no Leon, in fact it's more of a gangster film by way of serial killer slasher. I think that's what I like about it, it never seems to fit. When it's serious it is serious but then you've got Chris Evans chasing after prostitutes in an ice-cream van and David Schwimmer wearing an ill fitting wig and fake mustache, it is hard to take too seriously. There is horror to the story that comes through but it is the odd, bizarre and utterly unbelievable that really entertains and carries the film above sea level. Michael Shannon was perfect in the lead role, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta and David Schwimmer all give good support. I think the film has legs and will gain popularity over time, the initial reaction was unfairly short.
February 10, 2014

Super Reviewer

Really good account of the real life mob hit man Richard Kuklinski aka "The Iceman". Michael Shannon excels! He has risen on my list of favorite actors...he really captures the conflict between the concerned family man, and the ruthless brutal killer in this film. There are many other small parts by some rather famous faces, which was quite fun to pick out. Very well done film....
November 28, 2013

Super Reviewer

Based on actual events, this is a dramatization of the life and career of Richard Kuklinski- one of America's most notorious contract killers.

Over the course of a few decades, the ruthlessly cold blooded Kuklinski claimed to have killed over 100 people. As fascinating as this is, he also managed to maintain a double life almost flawlessly (until he finally got pinched). When he wasn't out killing people, Kuklinski was a feverishly devoted husband and family man, keeping the dark half of his life secret until it was too late.

This film focuses on the heyday of Kuklinski's life and career, starting with his humble beginnings as a man who dubbed porn movies, and moving to his career as an ice cold killer until he finally got busted in the mid 1980s. There's a lot of condensation of the story, and plenty of omissions, but hey, when the film's only 105 minutes long, stuff has to be left out, unfortunately.

The film does hit the highlights though, and gets the point across, but I wanted more. I would have loved it had this been about 20-25 minutes longer, with more scenes of character development, story, and more scenes of people getting whacked. Call me a sicko, but if you're film's gonna ape from masters like Scorsese, you should probably go all the way or not at all.

This is a well made product, no doubt, but it really doesn't offer as much insight or depth, and that's a bummer since the real story and man are so fascinating.

Michael Shannon is solid as Kuklinski, and he's back by an equally sterling supporting cast that includes Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, a scene stealing Chris Evans, an atypical turn from David Schwimmer, and all too brief cameos from Stephen Dorff and (even more memorably) James Franco.

I had my issues and disappointments here, but, while this film is rather bare bones, it's still watchable, so sure, you might want to give this a look. Just don't expect the whole to equal the sum of the parts.
November 18, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Mr. Freezy: I only feel alone around other people. Couldn't be truer.
    – Submitted by ScubaSteve Walter M (12 months ago)
    1. Richard Kuklinski: You see the Iceman crying?
    – Submitted by Prattay S (13 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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