26 user 59 critic

Thin Ice (2011)

The Convincer (original title)
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A dishonest insurance salesman's life quickly disintegrates during a Wisconsin winter when he teams up with a psychopath to steal a rare violin at the home of a reclusive farmer.



(as Jill A. Sprecher), (as Karen L. Sprecher)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Man at Coffee Shop
Bob Egan
Jennifer Edwards-Hughes ...
Sherri (as Jennifer M. Edwards)
Casino Emcee
Phil Peters
Judy Vandenhoevel
James Detmar ...
Glen Vandenhoevel
Chuck Stankel
Kathryn Lawrey ...
Hotel Clerk
Joe Minjares ...
Hotel Manager
Karla Gruenke
Frank Richie


A dishonest insurance salesman's life quickly disintegrates during a Wisconsin winter when he teams up with a psychopath to steal a rare violin at the home of a reclusive farmer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Greetings from Kenosha, WI! Where ordinary folks can make a killing. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and brief violent and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Convincer  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$183,527, 19 February 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$789,752, 20 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The violin shop featured in the film, Dahl Violins, is an actual violin shop in downtown Minneapolis. In the film, the shop is supposed to be located in Chicago. However, when Mickey and Randy break into the shop at night, the skyline which is prominently featured in the scene's initial shot is obviously Minneapolis, not Chicago. See more »


Leave Our Worries
Written by Christopher A. Corley and Jon D'Agostino
Performed by Serendipity
Published by Astonishing Music (BMI) /
Music Expressions ASCAP
Courtesy of Crucial Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fargo-esque in a way
2 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

I have to say I really enjoyed "Thin Ice" even though it had a few problems. It certainly didn't have any cast problems: Greg Kinnear, who somehow always surprises me; Billy Crudup, whom I adore; and Alan Arkin, an absolute treasure. Also on hand were Lea Thompson, David Harbour, and Jennifer Edwards Hughes.

The movie is compared to Fargo because it takes place in Wisconsin in the winter and the major theme is a guy doing something dishonest and getting in way over his head.

The comparisons really stop there. This is a good movie on its own. It's not perfect but it is entertaining.

Insurance agent Mickey (Greg Kinnear) is blackmailed by Locksmith Randy (Billy Crudup) over the theft of a valuable violin owned by Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin).

Mickey (Kinnear) is an insurance man, and when we first see him, he's giving a lecture at an insurance convention. While he's there his wallet is stolen and of course, it contained credit cards. But he gets the wallet back with the cash gone and the cards intact.

While he's at the convention, he meets a man, Bob Egan (Harbour) who hasn't taken his insurance exam yet. He has been offered a job with an unfavorable split; Mickey betters it and hires him.

Bob is good at his job and introduces Mickey to a potential client, Gorvy (Arkin) who lives on a farm. He has tons of stuff, a lot of which is from his ill sister, and Bob wants him to have insurance. While he's there, Mickey sees an appraisal for a violin of Gorvy's. The appraisal is $25,000. Mickey decides to steal it.

What follows is one complication after another, which involves Mickey with an ex-con (Crudup) and some other unpleasantness.

Apparently this film was taken from the director and edited without his input. The film has imperfections, but the script by the Sprechers is good, possibly inspired by Fargo and a couple of other films.

The acting was wonderful on all accounts, but I have to say Crudup was amazing. It was a showier role than Kinnear's, and though Arkin was excellent, I had seen him do that kind of thing before. Crudup as a bad-tempered sleaze was outstanding.

Highly recommended. You can pick a film like this apart but it's so entertaining, why bother.

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