Frozen River (2008)



Critic Consensus: Veteran character actress Melissa Leo delivers a stunning performance in this powerful -- if grim -- indie film.

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Movie Info

Frozen River is the story of Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila, a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray's Dodge Spirit.
R (for some language)
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Michael O'Keefe
as Trooper Finnerty
Jay Klaitz
as Guy Versailles
Bernie Littlewolf
as John Canoe
John Canoe
as Bernie Littlewolf
Michael Sky
as Billy Three Rivers
Chen Li
as Chinese Girl
Li Wei
as Chinese Girl
Pun Bandhu
as Chinese Man
Mark Boone Jr.
as Jacque Bruno
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Critic Reviews for Frozen River

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (31)

Occasionally marred by contrivance and a crude internal logic that doesn't bear close scrutiny, 'Frozen River' works best as a knuckle-gnawing, blue-collar genre thriller.

Full Review… | July 16, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Frozen River let me forget I was watching a movie, something that didn't happen often in 2008.

Full Review… | February 10, 2009
Top Critic

There are moments of poetry on display.

Full Review… | September 5, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It moves and it heals, finding hints of redemption in the jagged face of life.

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

The miracle of filmmaker Courtney Hunt's tense, carefully understated debut is that it is made better by its few flights of fancy.

August 29, 2008
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Frozen River isn't just a good movie made by a woman; it's a good movie on anyone's terms, one of the year's best. To find hope beneath this ice, in this ugly terrain, is to dream big.

Full Review… | August 29, 2008
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Frozen River

I can't say exactly why this film so affected me, but it did. It was almost too real, viciously shot, plain and "boring" and heart-breaking enough that it could've been a Canadian film. Melissa Leo is believable, and from the opening shot - her smoking and crying in the car with the door hanging open, snow all around - you're hooked. Made me think of some of the bleaker films I've ever seen, and this one's just not uplifting in any way. A great, realistic story about the lengths people will go to for their children and their way of life, scrappy and well worth watching; strong, minimalist film-making that proves the budget isn't everything.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

A pointless film to say the least, More proof to the fact that being realistic is not enough for a movie to be good, The film depicts poverty & struggle without exploration or insight , It only tries to impress with its shallow bitterness & harshness and Fails

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

Morose tale of monstrous behavior among the desperate is ably but not expertly assembled. Leo's fearless performance is what stops Frozen from not melting into mediocrity.

Tony Gandía
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

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