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Frozen River (2008)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 19,458 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 88 user | 181 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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Title: Frozen River (2008)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 39 wins & 22 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 more »

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

When the state trooper is checking out at Yankee Dollar, Ray tells him the total is $3.76. Over his shoulder is a sign on the wall that says that all items are $1.00. In and around Messina, sales tax is seven or eight percent. That would make the total either $3.21 or $3.32. See more »

Quotes

Ray Eddy: What if a trooper stops us?
Lila Littlewolf: They're not gonna stop you, you're white.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Courtney Hunt brilliantly explores a rare genre: the humanistic thriller
18 October 2008 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Courtney Hunt's début feature, "Frozen River", winner of this year's Sundance's Grand Jury Prize, is as tense as a great thriller should be, and also a heartfelt, poignant drama.

Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo) was just abandoned by her druggie husband, having to take care of their two kids and pay for their house alone (otherwise, they'll be evicted). With her minimum wage job at a local store, Ray can't make enough money, but chance will introduce her to a young Mohawk, Lila (Misty Upham), who smuggles illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River (between New York State and Québec), and both will be forced to risk a lot in order to get the money they need.

Hunt's writing/directing is secure and reveals a very promising talent, but the film's major strength is the extraordinary performances of the lead actresses, in particular Melissa Leo ("21 Grams", "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada"), magnificent character actress turned lead. Totally deglamourized, her screen presence is real, visceral, almost organic. A flawless performance in a great film, that is at once sad, suspenseful and hopeful. It's not every movie that makes you feel for and really care for its characters, but "Frozen River" is one of those rare gems. 10/10.


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