On the Ice (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Ice (2012)



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Shot entirely on location in Barrow, Alaska, On The Ice is the engrossing and suspenseful feature film debut by filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean about two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers go about their lives in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town. Early one morning, on a seal hunt with another teenager, an argument between the three boys quickly escalates into a tragic accident. Bonded by their dark secret, the two best friends are forced to create one fabrication after another in order to survive. The shocked boys stumble through guilt-fueled days, avoiding the suspicions of their community as they weave a web of deceit. With their future in the balance, the two boys are forced to explore the limits of friendship and honor. -- (C) Official Site

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Adamina Kerr
as Michelle
Denae Brower
as Darlene
Jack Packer
as Helicopter Pilot
Katie Roseberry
as Teen Girl
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Critic Reviews for On the Ice

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (11)

The effect is stunningly effective, submerging us in a snowy, frozen, barren land with few options but plenty of opportunities for trouble. It is an offbeat gem.

Full Review… | March 29, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

An authentic look at life in remote Alaska (the film was shot with a native cast in MacLean's hometown of Barrow) and at a people grappling with drugs, alcoholism, poverty and the limits of an unforgiving environment.

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

If only because of the setting, this is an uncommonly involving thriller. I could call it a film noir, except that the sun never sets in the film.

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Unfortunately, the emotional landscape of MacLean's stoic main character, Qalli, is often as blank as the tundra.

Full Review… | February 17, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

While Mr. Irelan and a few of the supporting players have some solid moments (the entire cast consists of nonprofessionals), the general vibe is too stilted to convince.

Full Review… | February 16, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

A sturdy vehicle for unadorned morality and pragmatic justice.

Full Review… | February 16, 2012
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for On the Ice

In "On the Ice," Aivaaq(Frank Qutuq Irelan) and Qalli(Josiah Patkotak) are the best of friends while living on the Arctic Circle. At the same time, their lives are heading in vastly different directions. Aivaaq is about to become a father for the first time while Qalli is on a path to college. Still, they go to a party together that Qalli leaves early to visit his grandmother(Rosabelle Kunnanna Rexford). When Qalli goes out to meet Aivaaq and James(John Miller) for hunting the following morning, he finds the two fighting which soon escalates into something much more serious. James knocks out Aivaaq with a shovel and tries to kill him which Qalli prevents, accidentally killing James in the process. You have to commend any movie that takes us any place that we rarely see to meet people we would never have any contact with otherwise which is what "On the Ice" does quite well. In this Alaskan village, there is a tight-knit community where traditions are starting to fade, just as the youth feel they are trapped by limited opportunities, leading to underage drinking. For the record, this is also kind of simplistic and if you want to shock me with teenage drinking, then you are thirty years too late. But the movie manages to just twist the usual pardigms enough to make it interesting. Just remember. Stay in school and don't do drugs.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Terriffic drama that is well acted character study that had me empathising with these characters.....we need more of these great little indies,very welcomed surprise.

bill secor
bill secor

Set in a remote Alaskan village, the film's greatest strength is making the landscape utterly extraordinary to the audience but painfully mundane to its protagonists.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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