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Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer ... see more see more... , Danny A. Abeckaser , John Ventimiglia , Ryan O'Nan , McKaley Miller , Megan Sherrill , James Franco , Stephen Dorff , Hector Hank , Robert Davi , Zoran Radanovich , Shira Vilenski , Kelly Lind , John P. Fertitta , Erin Cummings , Jimmy Lee Gary Jr. , Johnny Martin , Nick Gomez , Vincent Fuentes , Brian Kinney , Ashlynn Ross , Weronika Rosati , Christa Campbell , Alexandra Doke , Bill Martin Williams , Lindsay Erin Clift , Katarzyna Wolenjino , Jay Giannino , Freddy Bosche , Tim Bell , Garrett Kruithof , Ray Gaspard , Juan Michael Konshuk-Mas , Ehud Bleiberg , Jonathan Vender , Tommy Alastra

Inspired by actual events, The Iceman follows notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Academy Award (R) nominee Michael Shannon) from his early days in the mob until his arrest for the murder of ... read more read more...more than 100 men. Appearing to be living the American dream as a devoted husband and father; in reality Kuklinski was a ruthless killer-for-hire. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.(c) Millennium

Flixster Users

63% liked it

23,270 ratings


66% liked it

119 critics

R, 1 hr. 45 min.

Directed by: Ariel Vromen

Release Date: May 3, 2013

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DVD Release Date: September 3, 2013

Stats: 956 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (956)

  • August 6, 2014
    three stars...
  • February 10, 2014
    The Iceman is a great biopic of Richard Kuklinski. Richard Kuklinski was a contract killer. Now this film is no Leon, in fact it's more of a gangster film by way of serial killer slasher. I think that's what I like about it, it never seems to fit. When it's serious it is serious ... read morebut then you've got Chris Evans chasing after prostitutes in an ice-cream van and David Schwimmer wearing an ill fitting wig and fake mustache, it is hard to take too seriously. There is horror to the story that comes through but it is the odd, bizarre and utterly unbelievable that really entertains and carries the film above sea level. Michael Shannon was perfect in the lead role, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta and David Schwimmer all give good support. I think the film has legs and will gain popularity over time, the initial reaction was unfairly short.
  • November 28, 2013
    Really good account of the real life mob hit man Richard Kuklinski aka "The Iceman". Michael Shannon excels! He has risen on my list of favorite actors...he really captures the conflict between the concerned family man, and the ruthless brutal killer in this film. There are many ... read moreother small parts by some rather famous faces, which was quite fun to pick out. Very well done film....
  • November 18, 2013
    Based on actual events, this is a dramatization of the life and career of Richard Kuklinski- one of America's most notorious contract killers.

    Over the course of a few decades, the ruthlessly cold blooded Kuklinski claimed to have killed over 100 people. As fascinating as this ... read moreis, he also managed to maintain a double life almost flawlessly (until he finally got pinched). When he wasn't out killing people, Kuklinski was a feverishly devoted husband and family man, keeping the dark half of his life secret until it was too late.

    This film focuses on the heyday of Kuklinski's life and career, starting with his humble beginnings as a man who dubbed porn movies, and moving to his career as an ice cold killer until he finally got busted in the mid 1980s. There's a lot of condensation of the story, and plenty of omissions, but hey, when the film's only 105 minutes long, stuff has to be left out, unfortunately.

    The film does hit the highlights though, and gets the point across, but I wanted more. I would have loved it had this been about 20-25 minutes longer, with more scenes of character development, story, and more scenes of people getting whacked. Call me a sicko, but if you're film's gonna ape from masters like Scorsese, you should probably go all the way or not at all.

    This is a well made product, no doubt, but it really doesn't offer as much insight or depth, and that's a bummer since the real story and man are so fascinating.

    Michael Shannon is solid as Kuklinski, and he's back by an equally sterling supporting cast that includes Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, a scene stealing Chris Evans, an atypical turn from David Schwimmer, and all too brief cameos from Stephen Dorff and (even more memorably) James Franco.

    I had my issues and disappointments here, but, while this film is rather bare bones, it's still watchable, so sure, you might want to give this a look. Just don't expect the whole to equal the sum of the parts.
  • November 5, 2013
    Loving husband. Devoted father. Ruthless killer.

    Decently good mob drama! Michael Shannon giving a strong performance as the hit-man with the calculating and creepy demeanor of a psychopathic killer with no conscience who can still flip the switch back to his life in the suburbs... read more with wife and kids. Ray Liotta a can't miss as a minor mob boss, all the acting first rate and the characters real. But the Iceman story is told without ice and without chasers, a gangster flick without sentiments real or phony thrown in. Viewers hoping to draw insights or conclusions from all the dead bodies might end up disappointed. It is a strong cast but a very plodding script that burns out after about 45 minutes. Were it not for the cast, the final judgment of the film would be dyspeptic.

    In the 1960s, Richard Kuklinski is working as a porn film lab tech until his mob bosses persuade him to change his career into that of a contract killer. For years, Kuklinski gains a reputation for cold blooded professionalism even as he raises a family who are kept in the dark about his true career. Unfortunately, mob politics ultimately forces him to secretly work independently with the psychopathic Robert 'Mr. Freezy' Pronge. As much as Kuklinski tries to keep his lives separate, circumstances and his own weaknesses threaten a terrible collision as the consequences of his choices finally catch up to him.
  • October 31, 2013
    The Iceman a biopic based on New Jersey hit-man Richard Kuklinski who managed to murder at least 100 and possibly up to 250 victims in a span of almost 40 years.
    Michael Shannon giving a strong performance as the hit-man with the calculating and creepy demeanor of a psychopathic ... read morekiller with no conscience who can still flip the switch back to his life in the suburbs with wife and kids. Yet a shade of subtlety and pathos in his portrayal of Kuklinski that we can actually identify and take some interest in his struggles. With the exception of Winona Ryder who fits seamlessly as naive suburban housewife (and the 2 daughters) very unlikely to feel sympathy for the victims with the exception of one senseless killing. Mostly wiseguys, mostly scumbags. We're not all that mad at Kuklinski for the nasty stuff he's doing.
    Ray Liotta a can't miss as a minor mob boss, all the acting first rate and the characters real. But the Iceman story is told without ice and without chasers, a gangster flick without sentiments real or phony thrown in. Viewers hoping to draw insights or conclusions from all the dead bodies might end up disappointed. The 'Iceman' moniker from his practice of freezing bodies to confuse the time of death.
    My biggest question for Kuklinski would be, how do you get away with so many murders, so many different methods, places, people over a span of almost 40 years? In the true crime shows the perp makes one little slip in his only perfect crime and ends up in the slam.
    The movie is what it is because I don't think there's all that much complex or new in a Kuklinski to learn. Abused growing up, turns to sociopathic super bully behavior as an adult to get what he wants and to survive. No genius but smart enough to know when to turn it down out in the suburbs. Kuklinski was an usher at mass every Sunday. They should have included that in the movie. 5 Stars 10-22-13
  • October 8, 2013
    A hard-edged instant classic. A powerful, razor-sharp and killer thriller that's filled with grit and energy. A vicious character study as well as an engaging drama that makes you fear and feel for this mesmerizing character that Shannon has brought to the screen. Michael Shannon... read more gives a tour de force performance, it rivals with the likes of Pacino and De Niro. Shannon is incredible to watch and see as he truly embodies this character and crafts a performance that is worthy of awards attention and truly crowns him as a star. The entire cast give impressive performances. Winona Ryder is outstanding, her best performance in years. Ray Liotta is terrific. Chris Evans is excellent. Director, Ariel Vromen crafts a fearless, well-made and outstanding movie. A darkly compelling and unforgettable film that you cant believe is based on a true story. It's truly ones of 2013's finest motion pictures. Movies of this caliber and raw intensity should not be missed and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end.
  • fb619846742
    September 27, 2013
    A stone cold, heavy drama based on true events of contracted killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) and how he tries to balance his unique career with a family. Shannon, one of the best actors out there, is phenomenal for what he is given, which is not much seeing how two-dim... read moreensional his character is and the source material does not really detail the psychosis for why he decides to start killing people, despite some last ditch effort at the very end given in a monologue to the viewer which feels forced. With that said, it is pretty well paced, it is often chilling in terms of the murders committed, and as said the acting is very good, but overall it is missable just because of how genuinely vague it is given why this character is the way he is. Shannon is one of those actors for me that I will see anything he does, but this is definitely one of his least impressive movies from a writing standpoint.
  • fb100000145236770
    September 25, 2013

    Michael Shannon is one weird, creepy actor and he is awesome for it. Here, he is at his creepiest as a serial killer hitman nicknamed The Iceman. Based on a true story, he kills over a hundred people. This isn't so much about his murders(although there are a lot of the... read morem). It's more about how he balances his home life as a husband and father of two, with his life as a killer. It's interesting and intense. The supporting cast is great with Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, James Franco, and Chris Evans, who is completely disguised. But this is Shannon's movie. If you enjoyed him in "Take Shelter" or on "Boardwalk Empire", then this is a must watch. I can see him getting award recognition for this. The biggest issue with the movie is the pacing. It's kind of slow and tedious in spots, but overall it's still entertaining. Worth a watch.
  • September 9, 2013
    I'd anticipated much better, only to get a life story of a criminal along with his efforts to keep his family away from it. Just kept hoping that it'd get better. Unfortunately, the level never rose quite enough to be exceptionally effective. Probably the performances managed to ... read morehold the flick together.

Critic Reviews

Dave Calhoun
June 4, 2013
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Even the always-watchable Shannon can't give much life to Kuklinski's two-dimensional presence: he's little more than a series of murders and pained looks. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
May 17, 2013
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Shannon gets at his character's pent-up torment as well as his efficient disconnect. When his two worlds start to converge -- on his daughter's sweet 16th birthday, no less -- you feel for him. Full Review

Steven Rea
May 17, 2013
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

A true-crime thriller directed with grit, gristle and punchy energy by Ariel Vromen, The Iceman is never less than fascinating, even if things get a little ham-fisted here and there. Full Review

Adam Graham
May 17, 2013
Adam Graham, Detroit News

As the body count mounts, the movie begins to spin out of control, but Shannon and Vromen don't let it derail. Their focus keep things from melting down. Full Review

Adam Nayman
May 17, 2013
Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail

Michael Shannon is an overpowering actor, and in The Iceman, the best that he can do is wrestle the movie around him to a stalemate. Full Review

Ty Burr
May 16, 2013
Ty Burr, Boston Globe

It's a fascinating subject - the beast that lurks inside the family man - but the movie blows it. Full Review

Moira MacDonald
May 16, 2013
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

It's often mesmerizing, primarily for Shannon's performance as a man who's a master of compartmentalizing ... Full Review

Colin Covert
May 16, 2013
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

It's as if one of the sideline characters from "Goodfellas" or "The Godfather" starred in his own spinoff. Full Review

John Anderson
May 16, 2013
John Anderson, Newsday

As both violent drama and character study, Israeli director Ariel Vromen's film does everything it should. Full Review

Ben Sachs
May 16, 2013
Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

This biopic sounds like a perfect vehicle for Shannon, who's come to specialize in playing psychopaths, but it doesn't give him much to work with. Full Review

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    • Mr. Freezy: I only feel alone around other people. Couldn't be truer.
    • Richard Kuklinski: You see the Iceman crying?

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