The Frozen Ground


The Frozen Ground

Critics Consensus

Though this by-the-numbers true procedural seems basic, The Frozen Ground presents a welcome return for Nicolas Cage in a solid performance.



Total Count: 56


Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,512
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Movie Info

THE FROZEN GROUND is inspired by the incredible true story that follows Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) as he sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who has gone unnoticed for 13 years. As the bodies of street girls start to pile up in Anchorage, fear strikes a chord with the public. Risking his life, Halcombe goes on a personal manhunt to find the killer before the next body surfaces. When a seventeen year old escapee (Vanessa Hudgens) reveals key information about the case, Halcombe is finally on the trail of the killer. But will he catch him in time to save the next victim? (c) Lionsgate


Nicolas Cage
as Sgt. Jack Halcombe
John Cusack
as Robert Hansen
Vanessa Hudgens
as Cindy Paulson
Dean Norris
as Sgt. Lyle Haugsven
50 Cent
as Clate Jackson
Radha Mitchell
as Allie Halcombe
Katherine LaNasa
as Fran Hansen
Kevin Dunn
as Lt. Bob Jent
Olga Valentina
as Jodi Brandon
Michael McGrady
as Det. Gentile
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
as Chelle Ringell
Kurt Fuller
as D.A. Pat Clives
Brad William Henke
as Carl Galenski
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Critic Reviews for The Frozen Ground

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (22)

  • "The Frozen Ground" trucks in cliche, as most serial killer and police procedural films do, but the strength of the acting (from the leads down to people with only one or two lines) helps ground the film.

    Aug 27, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A taut procedural with atmospheric location work that traces Cage's clock-racing efforts to find evidence against Cusack ...

    Aug 23, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie's only fresh element is the wintry setting, which shrouds everything in a mood of weary fatalism. Otherwise, it's the same old, same old, efficiently discharged and utterly disposable.

    Aug 22, 2013 | Rating: 2/5
  • The movie's late-night cable feel and skeevy salaciousness grinds everything to a snowy slush.

    Aug 22, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Although writer-director Scott Walker seems committed to not overly exploiting his lurid subject matter, the movie is just too dreary, disjointed and generically creepy to be persuasive.

    Aug 22, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A vague and forgettable crime thriller that would have benefited from more character development or at least a grounding of the narrative in one central protagonist.

    Aug 21, 2013 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Frozen Ground

  • Mar 02, 2019
    Not the best acting, but very suspenseful.
    Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2014
    Shitty and really, really boring. I was watching this for its Nic Cage value, but he's neither over-the-top nor awful. He's actually pretty restrained here and does a decent job. It's the rest of the cast that's godawful. John Cusack delivers what is probably the worst performance of his career. He's so bad, and actually plays this role more like you'd expect from Nic Cage. Vanessa Hudgens is just as bad, and 50 Cent is even worse. So as bad as this movie is, none of this is Nicolas Cage's fault. I actually feel bad for him because he legitimately tried and did a pretty good acting job here.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2014
    I find that the best thrillers come from films that are based on real life events. Some of these stories are just so twisted and crazy, that even the best writer wouldn't be able to imagine them on their own. The story told in the film The Frozen Ground, is one such story, telling the world about serial killer, Robert Hansen. From the 1970s until 1983, Hansen was one of the nations most prolific serial killers. What makes Hansen's story unique is that he was able to do all this, without the police even connecting the cases, because of where he lived. Hansen's story begins in Anchorage Alaska, where he began preying on prostitutes. After torturing and killing them, he would dump the bodies in remote, unpopulated areas of Alaska, where they were ravaged by the weather and wild animals. This made finding the cause of death or even identifying the victims nearly impossible. Hansen would probably still be active today, if it wasn't for Cindy Paulson, the only victim in 12 years, to escape the madman, and that's where our film begins. Nicholas Cage stars as Jack Halcombe, a state police detective who comes up with a wild theory that all these missing people and strange deaths, could be connected. Halcombe has a tough time convincing anyone of this, especially since his only witness is a drug abusing prostitute. Nicolas Cage excels in movies like this and is again terrific. Cage was born to play a cop and in my opinion does it better than anyone else out there. In this film, he's paired with Zac Efron's ex, Vanessa Hudgens, who wasn't great, but was much better than I expected. It's difficult to make the transition from Disney cover girl to a legitimate movie star, but I'd say that Hudgens is well on her way. Finally, John Cusack rounds out this all-star cast, playing Robert Hansen. After all the films I've seen Cusack in, I really couldn't imagine him as the bad guy, but his performance is what really helps this movie stand out, and hopefully will lead him to other similar roles. The Frozen Ground is a little slow, but it is supposedly very accurate, and tells an interesting story that most people know nothing about. It's the kind of film that I really go for and hopefully you will too.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2014
    Based on actual events, The Frozen Ground tells a grizzly tale of the macabre. In his final days as an Alaska State Trooper Jack Halcombe discovers a serial killer case and peruses suspect Robert Hansen with the help of a prostitute that escape from Hansen's liar. Starring Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, and John Cusack, the cast is fairly strong; though the performances are somewhat subdued. The writing is also lackluster and overly procedural; making it fairly predictable. Still, despite its production issues The Frozen Ground is a fascinating story.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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