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Frozen River (2008)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 19,748 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 89 user | 180 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 40 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Trooper Finnerty
...
Jacques Bruno
...
...
Guy Versailles
John Canoe ...
Bernie Littlewolf
Dylan Carusona ...
Jimmy
Michael Skye ...
Billy Three Rivers (as Michael Sky)
...
Pakistani Mother
...
Pakistani Father
Azin Jahanbakhsh ...
Pakistani Dealer
Jack Phillips ...
Pakistani Baby
James Phillips ...
Pakistani Baby
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Storyline

Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be earning minimum wage. Two women - one white, one Mohawk, both single mothers faced with desperate circumstances - are drawn into the world of border smuggling across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River. Ray and Lila - and a New York State Trooper as opponent in an evolving cat-and-mouse game. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mohawk | money | river | new york | border | See All (166) »

Taglines:

Desperation knows no borders.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

31 October 2008 (Venezuela)  »

Also Known As:

Río helado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$70,234 (USA) (1 August 2008)

Gross:

$2,508,841 (USA) (13 March 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlie McDermott and James Reilly, who play brothers, are, in actual life, cousins. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, when the truck arrives, there is clearly no snow on the road surface. When the boy throws his snowball, there are traces beneath the truck of previous snowballs (previous takes). Then, when the truck leaves, there is again no snow. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Lila Littlewolf: Count it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Independent film-making at its best
17 May 2008 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

The town where Frozen River takes place is Massena, New York, a few miles from the Canadian border in the middle of a Mohawk reservation, and in the winter it's every bit as cold and grey as the film depicts. This is one of those films that depicts a slice of life that most of us aren't privy too and it seems to know its subject inside and out.

Frozen River is independent film-making at its best, both vital and timely. Writer/Director Courtney Hunt shows how otherwise law abiding people can be driven to do some shady things when there are no other options. While there may still be a great divide between Natives and non-Natives, the film depicts how economic hardship has no boundaries and in fact unites us. As Lila and Ray make those dangerous trips across the border with state troopers lurking all around them, Hunt pays considerable attention to the small details of human smuggling, and the result is a constant state of dread as if anything can go awry at any time. Leo is absolutely brilliant as Ray, and Upham (raised in Seattle) is a pure revelation as Lila. Frozen River shines a light on a dark corner of our nation, one that is an unfortunate result of a useless immigration policy and a failing economy.


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