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The Iceman

Director: Ariel Vromen

Cast: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans


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Michael Shannon stars as notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski in this biopic from director Ariel Vromen (Rx, Danika). To his loving wife Deborah (Winona Ryder) and their growing family, Kuklinski was a caring father. But he was also a man with a dark


Michael Shannon stars as notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski in this biopic from director Ariel Vromen (Rx, Danika). To his loving wife Deborah (Winona Ryder) and their growing family, Kuklinski was a caring father. But he was also a man with a dark secret and an unusual talent for covering his tracks. For nearly three decades starting in the 1950s, the suburban family man worked as one of the Gambino crime family's chief executioners, earning the nickname "Iceman" for his use of freezers in obscuring the forensic details of his victim's deaths. By constantly varying his methods, Kuklinski made it virtually impossible for investigators to assemble an accurate profile of the killer credited with taking over 100 lives. A protégé of seasoned assassin Robert "Mister Softee" Pronge (Chris Evans), the elusive contract killer struggles to reconcile his relationship with his sociopathic brother Joseph (Stephen Dorff) while nurturing a close friendship with his Gambino contact Roy DeMeo (Ray Liotta). Then, in 1986, an arrest brings Kuklinski's violent career to a sudden end.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Richard Kuklinski was one of the most notorious killers in American history, a sociopath who felt so little emotion about what he had to do to provide for his family that his loved ones had no real clue about his gruesome profession. That kind of single-minded remorselessness makes The Iceman, a biopic of Kuklinski from director Ariel Vromen, fall short of compelling drama, even with the commanding presence of Michael Shannon in the lead role. As far as the plot of The Iceman -- the title comes from Kuklinski's nickname -- goes, it's a very straightforward telling of how he rose through the ranks of the criminal underworld, married his mousy, clueless wife Deborah (Winona Ryder), and eventually was apprehended after murdering more than 100 people. While the mechanics of criminal life have been covered to death in previous films, what makes this one stand out is Shannon. Few actors of his generation can express menace like he does, and this role gives him a ceaseless chance to glower and intimidate. Vromen gives the picture a washed-out, gritty '70s feel; it's an appealingly scuzzy look that seems wholly appropriate for the subject matter. In addition, he's cast the film quite well with other notable tough guys (such as Ray Liotta), as well as a couple of genuine surprises from actors you wouldn't expect to see in a movie like this. Chris Evans sheds any semblance of Captain America as a fellow criminal who helps give Kuklinski the modus operandi that leads to his nickname, and David Schwimmer not only leaves behind any traces of Ross from Friends, but is nearly unrecognizable behind some exquisite Serpico-esque facial hair. What keeps the film from blossoming into something great is the fact that Kuklinski never becomes three-dimensional, in part because the real person wasn't. Shannon is monstrous here, thoroughly unafraid of communicating his character's amorality. It's never quite love that he seems to feel for his wife; she almost feels like an excuse for him to traffic in bloodletting and mayhem -- and his relationship with his fellow criminally minded brother (Stephen Dorff) could best be described as having a Cain-and-Abel vibe. The script, by Vromen and Morgan Land, settles on showing what happened without ever asking why. The movie ends with a scene designed to explore how deeply denial can run in an individual, and while that level of pathology makes for a fascinating case study, it doesn't quite qualify as drama. The script is so straight-ahead, and Shannon's performance is so forceful, that The Iceman doesn't offer any real insight into this monster, but if you just want to glimpse a character capable of genuine evil, it's effectively chilling.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Alchemy / Millennium
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Making of "The Iceman"; "The Iceman" behind the scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Shannon Richard Kuklinski
Winona Ryder Deborah Pellicotti
Chris Evans Mr. Freezy
Ray Liotta Roy Demeo
David Schwimmer Josh Rosenthal
Danny A. Abeckaser Dino Lapron
John Ventimiglia Mickey Scicoli
Ryan O'Nan Terry Franzo
McKaley Miller Anabel
Megan Sherrill Betsy
James Franco Marty Freeman
Stephen Dorff Joey Kuklinski
Hector Hank Tender Bar Earl
Robert Davi Leonard Merks
Zoran Radanovich Jimmy
Shira Vilenski Coffee Shop Waitress
Kelly Lind Hospital Nurse
John P. Fertitta Uncle Bill
Erin Cummings Ellen
Jimmy Lee Homeless Man
Johnny Martin Marielli
Nick Gomez Alvaro
Vincent Fuentes JC
Brian Kinney Slick BMW Guy
Ashlynn Ross Alex
Weronika Rosati Livi
Christa Campbell Adele
Alexandra Doke Park Little Girl
Bill Martin Williams Club Maitre D'
Lindsay Erin Clift Club USA Dance Partner
Katarzyna Wolenjino Romy
Jay Giannino Dominick Provenzano
Freddy Bosche Detective Beaumont
Tim Bell Cop
Garrett Kruithof Stanley Kuklinski
Ray Gaspard Dennis
Juan Michael Konshuk-Mas Mr. Freezy's Son
Ehud Bleiberg Trial Judge
Jonathan Vender Trial Judge Voice
Tommy Alastra Documentary Interviewer Voice

Technical Credits
Ariel Vromen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Nathan Amondson Production Designer
Selena Arizanovic Musical Direction/Supervision
Kerry Barden Casting
René Besson Executive Producer
Ehud Bleiberg Producer
William Budge Art Director
Bobby Bukowski Cinematographer
Liz Coulon Casting
Boaz Davidson Executive Producer
Danny Dimbort Executive Producer
Nicholas Donnermeyer Associate Producer
Richard L. Fox Asst. Director
Philip Frost Production Designer
Mark Gill Executive Producer
Lati Grobman Executive Producer
Dick Hansen Sound Mixer
Morgan Land Co-producer,Screenwriter
Avi Lerner Producer
Juan A. Mas Co-producer
Haim Mazar Score Composer
Danny Rafic Editor
Laura Rister Executive Producer
Paul Schnee Casting
Trevor Short Executive Producer
John Thompson Executive Producer
Jonathan Wales Sound Mixer
Donna Zakowska Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Iceman
1. Any Regrets? [8:10]
2. Wife and Daughter [9:03]
3. First Hit [7:42]
4. Among Friends [10:09]
5. Loose End [8:09]
6. Decommissioned [7:14]
7. Road Rage [11:23]
8. Make It Look Natural [7:19]
9. Final Meeting [10:24]
10. Hit And Run [7:25]
11. Two Birds, One Stone [12:40]
12. Credits [5:35]


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