The Snowman

Critics Consensus

A mystery that feels as mashed together and perishable as its title, The Snowman squanders its bestselling source material as well as a top-notch ensemble cast.



Total Count: 188


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,152
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Movie Info

When an elite crime squad's lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

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Rebecca Ferguson
as Katrine Bratt
Val Kilmer
as Gert Rafto
J.K. Simmons
as Arve Støp
Chloë Sevigny
as Sylvia Ottersen
James D'Arcy
as Filip Becker
David Dencik
as Idar Vetlesen
Silvia Busuioc
as Beautiful Girl
Jakob Oftebro
as Superintendant Skarre
Ronan Vibert
as DCI Gunnar Hagen
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Critic Reviews for The Snowman

All Critics (188) | Top Critics (38)

Audience Reviews for The Snowman

  • Jul 23, 2018
    Had some potential and had good acting but the plot was so slow and the twists got overloaded and confusion set in. Well shot and edited and Fassbender is a great actor. Liked it somewhat not as mucha s I had Hoped. 07-21-2018
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2018
    Suspenseful and full of mystery, The Snowman is an atmospheric noir thriller. Based on an international bestselling novel, the film follows a police detective who investigates a serial killer who targets women. Starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, and J. K. Simmons, the film has a pretty strong cast; though the performances are rather lackluster. And the script is kind of weak, doing a poor job at constructing the mystery and investigation. Still, there are some intense scenes as the killer stalks his prey and crime scenes are discovered. It may not come together very well, but The Snowman is an engaging film with a fair amount of intrigue.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2018
    Michael Fassbender may be of the one of the most talented and reliable actors of his generation but the same can't always be said about some of his film choices. Assassin's Creed only added to another failed video-game adaptation and his work with Ridley Scott on Prometheus, Alien: Covenant and The Counselor also failed to impress (although, I was admittedly one of the few admirers of the latter film). My point being, though, is that he's now not quite as bankable as he once was. Over recent years, you're just as likely to catch a stinker as you are a work of quality and The Snowman doesn't do anything to remedy this issue. Plot: Alcoholic, crime squad detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) finds himself on the trail of an elusive serial killer who kills when the first snow of winter falls. With the help a new recruit (Rebecca Ferguson) he has to compare the new case with decades old ones to connect the dots and track down the a killer that's been on the loose for some time. Originally intended as another Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio project before then having Ridley Scott attached it. Due to delays, DiCaprio walked away, Scorsese ended up as executive producer and Scott walked as well. It could've been time constraints that led to them distancing themselves or just maybe these two experienced directors seen problems ahead and made a wise choice. There are undeniable problems and if truth be told, I fell asleep on the first viewing and went back to it again thinking that I hadn't given it my full attention and may have missed something. I hadn't. The film is sleep-inducingly dull and lacks so much narrative drive that it's hard to keep your eyes open. Put simply, it's a ridiculously lazy film with an insultingly lazy script. The sheer incoherence of it makes no difference whether you've slept through it or not. It's the quality involved that makes this a surprisingly awful endeavour though; there's Fassbender, of course, and also the usually reliable J.K. Simmons in the cast; there's Oscar nominated screenwriters in Frank's Peter Straughan and Drive's Hossien Amini penning the script to Jo Nesbø's taut crime novel and director Tomas Alfredson coming off the back of two solid critical hits in Swedish vampire film Let The Right One In and the labyrinthine adaptation of John LeCarre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. So what is the problem? The problem obviously stems from it being a rushed production. Apparently, Fassbender started shooting only two days after wrapping Assassin's Creed, and it shows. He looks absolutely exhausted; Jonny Greenwood actually created a score that ended up not getting used and Alfredson also claims that he came late to the production and that 15% of the screenplay was never actually filmed. You can tell. There are more plot holes here than you can shake a Harry Hole at and the narrative is so painfully slow that any snowmen getting built would've thawed out long before an investigation even got going. It's such a shame that this really didn't come together as all the ingredients are in place and had some genuine potential. In fact, it's astonishing how poor it is with the quality involved and it looks like any hope of a Harry Hole franchise could already be dead in the water while Michael Fassbender best be careful if he wants to retain his reputation. To be fair, the film's problems don't particularly lie with him but he needs to seriously take stock and be bit more discerning and choose projects more worthy of his abilities. Who knows? Maybe it's no one's fault and this is just a classic casualty of production difficulties and time constraints that led to no one being able to do their jobs effectively. What could've been a suspenful thriller ends up about as thrilling as eating yellow snow. Don't stay out in the cold too long with this one or you might catch a serious doze of incurable mediocrity. And never mind the misleading title of "The Snowman". It should've taken its name from its anatomy instead... Snow balls. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2018
    It's baffling how bad this is, even more so when you consider the talent involved both in front of (Fassbender, Simmons, Gainsbourg ) and behind (Thomas Alfredson, Thelma Schoonmaker) the camera. That said, given that seemingly everybody involved was fine with pronouncing the main character's name as "Harry Hole", perhaps a disaster was inevitable.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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