7.2/10
23,267
99 user 154 critic

Frozen River (2008)

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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 »

Director:

Courtney Hunt

Writer:

Courtney Hunt
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 32 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa Leo ... Ray Eddy
Misty Upham ... Lila Littlewolf
Charlie McDermott ... T.J.
Michael O'Keefe ... Trooper Finnerty
Mark Boone Junior ... Jacques Bruno
James Reilly ... Ricky
Jay Klaitz ... Guy Versailles
John Canoe John Canoe ... Bernie Littlewolf
Dylan Carusona Dylan Carusona ... Jimmy
Michael Skye Michael Skye ... Billy Three Rivers (as Michael Sky)
Gargi Shinde ... Pakistani Mother
Rajesh Bose ... Pakistani Father
Azin Jahanbakhsh Azin Jahanbakhsh ... Pakistani Dealer
Jack Phillips Jack Phillips ... Pakistani Baby
James Phillips 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

Taglines:

Desperation knows no borders.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Chinese | Urdu | Mohawk

Release Date:

5 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Río helado See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$70,234, 3 August 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,508,841, 15 March 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,028,957, 31 December 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ray Eddy's name is spoken once. See more »

Goofs

When the state trooper checks out at Yankee Dollar, Ray tells him the total is $3.76. Over his shoulder, a sign on the wall that says that all items are $1.00. At the time, the sales tax in St. Lawrence County, which includes Massena, was 7%, so the total should've been $3.21. See more »

Quotes

Ray Eddy: I think we need to talk about this Troy... come on out. Troy?
[shoots gun]
Ray Eddy: ... I mean it Honey.
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Connections

Featured in The 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Independent film-making at its best
17 May 2008 | by mike_caccioppoliSee 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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