Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Entertainment Weekly
In a season of bulging Movies Earmarked for Importance, it is almost startling to come across something as unhyped - and perfectly swell - as The Ice Harvest.
Village Voice
From the cast and location to the attitude and premise, many things in The Ice Harvest are inescapably reminiscent of the Coen brothers. But as a director, Ramis is far less flashy and not nearly as pleased with himself. This is one of the most sustained movies of the year, as classic in its structure as "Double Indemnity" or "No Exit."
The A.V. Club
Ramis is at his best when dealing with men facing a soul-defining crisis, and he finds plenty to work with in Russo and Benton's script, which offers Russo's trademark blend of colorful characters and slow-building dilemmas. The Ice Harvest finds them all operating in top form in as dark a territory as they've ever explored.
This often macabre comedy allows us to doff such civilized traits as taste and decency. We're free to laugh at anything, and we do. Oh, the shame -- and the good time.
Fine thesping in the service of characters as meaty as they are immoral makes this material a treat for grown up audiences with an ear for sardonic dialogue.
It never achieves the bleak poetry and tawdry tragedy of the best examples of the genre, but the understated humor is nicely played by Cusack and Thornton.
This is strictly B-movie fare. It tries to do some of the same things as "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" and suffers as a result of the comparison.
The Hollywood Reporter
A little more "Grifters" would have gone far here. Not toward making the film palatable for the mainstream, perhaps, but at least toward selling its neo-noir story to an audience already inclined toward such seedy material.
Ice Harvest's plot sounds like an antidote to the season's holiday sweetness. And it's being touted as this year's Bad Santa. But the only similarities are the holiday season, the criminal milieu and Thornton.
Chicago Tribune
The Ice Harvest is not "Bad Santa" redux. It has comic moments - primarily from Oliver Platt, in fine drunken stupor - but Ramis' tiptoe into film noir isn't really a comedy.

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