The Ice Storm

Critics Consensus

Director Ang Lee revisits the ennui-laden decadence of 1970s suburban America with deft humor and gripping pathos.



Total Count: 64
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Movie Info

Set on Thanksgiving weekend of 1973, The Ice Storm looks into the lives of a wealthy Connecticut family who are calm and civil on the outside, but whose lives are quietly falling into chaos. Sixteen-year-old Paul Hood (Tobey Maguire) is home for the holidays from prep school; he'd just as soon have stayed at school, given the usual level of tension around the house and his desire to win the affections of Libbets Casey (Katie Holmes), a girl living in Manhattan. His 14-year-old sister, Wendy (Christina Ricci), is already a hardened cynic obsessed with the ongoing Watergate investigation, and she has begun acting out sexually with a neighbor boy, Mikey (Elijah Wood). Apparently, this runs in the family: Wendy's father, Ben (Kevin Kline), is having an affair with Mikey's mother, Janey (Sigourney Weaver), though Ben sees a future in the relationship and Janey does not. Elena (Joan Allen), Ben's wife, knows something is wrong with her marriage and her life, but she has no idea what she should do about it. As the teenagers surreptitiously experiment with drugs and alcohol, and the adults drift into mate-swapping, a dangerous blanket of freezing rain begins to cover New Canaan. The Ice Storm was adapted from the acclaimed novel by Rick Moody. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Kevin Kline
as Ben Hood
Sigourney Weaver
as Jane Carver
Joan Allen
as Elena Hood
Jamey Sheridan
as Jim Carver
Christina Ricci
as Wendy Hood
Elijah Wood
as Mikey Carver
Adam Hann-Byrd
as Sandy Carver
Tobey Maguire
as Paul Hood
Katie Holmes
as Libbets Casey
Henry Czerny
as George Clair
David Krumholtz
as Francis Davenport
Michael Cumpsty
as Philip Edwards
Glenn Fitzgerald
as Neil Conrad
Allison Janney
as Dot Halford
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News & Interviews for The Ice Storm

Critic Reviews for The Ice Storm

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (16)

  • Nothing less than one of the year's best pictures, a portrait of wealthy Connecticut suburbanites in the 1970s whose lives have no emotional or spiritual rudder.

    Mar 28, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The Ice Storm captures this place, this season, this garish and confused moment in history, with surgical precision...It's Lee's sympathetic detachment that gives the movie its paradoxical power.

    Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • A well-observed and deftly performed examination of upper-middle-class emotional deep freeze...

    Jul 28, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • A thoroughly enjoyable blend of comedy and melodrama...

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A remarkable film that takes us straight into John Updike territory, duplicating on screen exactly what the writer achieves on the page.

    Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The best film about family so far this year. Just don't think Disney.

    May 11, 2001

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