Iceman Movie Reviews
User reviews on Iceman
Why was this secret mob killer known as the Iceman? Because he was DEAD COLD on the inside and was able to lead a double life that is really creepy in terms of how his wife and daughter had like literally NO idea who this man was who they shared their lives with. His day job was a mild mannered banker (though to be honest, he looks way too hella crazy to ever be considered mild mannered, lol) but then in his spare time he would be contracted out by the mob to go and carry out hits against certain targets. The way he killed his victims was always different, but it was always brutal and monstrous. The fact that he was a real figure in the 80s who took down dozens of mobsters and innocent civilians makes this movie really compelling to watch. I would also say that the actor who plays Richard deserves an Oscar. His performance is to 2013 what Daniel Day-Lewis's performance as Lincoln was to 2012.
A lot of people will begin clamoring for Michael Shannon to get an Oscar nomination for his performance as killer-for-hire Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman - and with good reason: he is fantastic in it. It’s the kind of bone-chilling, unnerving portrayal we’re used to seeing from Daniel Day-Lewis or Al Pacino. The film, while not as even as Shannon’s towering portrayal, is still a worthy endeavor.
Kuklinski story was ripped from the headlines in 1986 when the seemingly innocuous Jersey banker, husband, and father turned out to be a secret assassin who murdered more than 100 people, often in gruesome ways that would put Freddy Cougar to shame.
The film doesn’t make any attempts to humanize Kuklinski’s behavior – rather, it tries to delve deep into his psyche and examine how and why a “good boy from the neighborhood” could become such a monster. In the end, it seems to blame not only a sociopathic psyche, but a religious upbringing that unintentionally squashed whatever compassion or humanity he may have had.
All of this is expertly conveyed by Shannon, who shows Kuklinski to be as remote from himself as he is ruthless to his victims. It’s an interesting portrayal, and one that the Academy will likely reward when it comes time to hand out the next round of nominations.
I think America has finally gotten over its obsession with mobster entertainment now that Tony Soprano has bid us farewell, but there are still mobster movies out there and this one deserves our attention. Every single one of the five stars I give this movie belongs to Michael Shannon who gives a truly terrifying, unnerving, and awesome performance as Richard Kuklinski. There's a palpable soullessness in him that just comes across the screen and it really gives you invaluable insight into the mind and motivations of a man who seemed to be a decent family guy but was in reality a ruthless killer for hire. The rest of the cast is good too, especially James Franco and Winona Ryder, but you'll be surprised by David Schwimmer. Everybody knows him from Friends but he turns in a remarkable and totally un-Ross-like performance in this movie.