This is a flawed but still watchable film that seems to steal characters and plot from the Coen Brothers' Fargo, yet manages to succeed. At least to an extent.
The problem may be - as we were told at our cinema previewing club - that the director lost final cut here, and found herself with a movie she no longer can even comment on, with 15 minutes cut, the film re-edited, and a score she never intended - and one that doesn't work well.
The result is a somewhat uneven, too dark black comedy. Or is it a drama? Or perhaps a "caper" movie? I'm not quite sure.
When it comes to the acting, though, this is a great film. Greg Kinnear plays a character too reminiscent of Wm. H. Macy's turn in Fargo, but he makes the most of it, though - team player that he is - he's outshone by more spectacular performances. Alan Arkin, for one, who also did it to Kinnear in Little Miss Sunshine. But the "steal the show" performance is by Billy Crudup, always sexy (my wife says he's "hot") and interesting to watch, and here at his very best. Bob Balaban is spot on as a violin dealer, and the rest of the cast is excellent.
Worth seeing for many, but mostly for those performances.
"Thin Ice", much like Fargo, is a murder-story set in a snowy-midwestern town. The lead character is an immoral salesmen who's life is literally falling apart around him.
The good news is that "Thin Ice" provides the audience with an even-more-twisty-tale. The performances are steady across the board. Now, I'm not saying this is as good or better than Fargo, IT'S NOT! But, it's a good movie.
The twists in the last 30 minutes are hefty and hard to scrutinize. There are a few aspects of the plot that were a little predictable, but for the most part the twists in the end were well-concealed and somewhat believable.
The film moves fairly slow, but never came off to me as boring. It doesn't really have any style to speak of, and the other director elements are nothing special. Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, and Billy Crudip do a fine job with an average script that is completely void of comedic moments(style and comedy were two of Fargo's strengths).
The plot twists in the last third of the film DO set this one apart, and while the film DOES lack style and comedy, the acting helps keep it afloat.
I'd say this deserves a bit higher ranking than it's current 6.1 here, but it also isn't something that you should feel the need to move up to the top of your list.
A Coen Brothers story without some of the Coen Bro's trademarks.
I'm stuck between 6 and 7 here at 65/100, but rounding up and taking into consideration the low 6.1 score.
You might like this if you liked: American Gun(not as good), Fargo(better), Burn After Reading(about even), and Millions(not as good).
The swindle, the bamboozle, the big Con. A favorite subject for filmmakers for nearly a century now. The game is basically always the same, but the players are what makes for a great con movie. "Thin Ice" (previously titled at Sundance 2011 as "The Convincer") goes white-collar crime, the legal kind, just look in your phone book and you might find your own convincer, the local Insurance salesman.
"Thin Ice" directed by Jill Sprecher, is Sprecher's return to feature films after her well received "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing". Alan Arkin, returns to team up again with Sprecher and is joined on screen with "Little Miss Sunshine" cohort Greg Kinnear to create a thoroughly enjoyable tale of Midwestern simplicity and the everyday Con man with a silver tongue. An old man with an unfathomably rare violin crosses paths with an insurance salesman at the end of his rope, what unfolds across the frozen terrain of Wisconsin is a wonderful bit of storytelling The film has a solid cast of players, alongside Kinnear and Arkin, Billy Cudrup has a solid little role. David Harbour delivers a gem of a performance and the fantastic Bob Balaban is always a welcome addition to any movie.
Much of the effectiveness of the movie, which could easily have been a rehash of all the movies before it, is in its Midwestern point of view and ability take your average insurance man and peel away the layers to observe how the art of lying creates a life of constant deceit that will eventually take it's toll. Mickey the insurance man(Kinnear) trolls 24/7 for a mark to give his sales pitch, but when he crosses paths with the simple farmer Gorvy the amount of deceit he will need to get the big payday pushes him to cross even lines he never dreamt of going.
A unusual relationship forms between the insurance man and the farmer, as Mickey is forced into a role of caregiver as he circles the rare violin in hopes of selling it for big money. "Thin Ice" unfolds through these series of encounters between Mickey and Gorvey and tension builds at a detailed pace towards Mickey's eventual ultimate deceit. Mickey's life is falling apart around him, ultimately their is no back-up plan, at any and all costs his existence is tied to the old man and the violin.
The film maintains a steady pace, each detail is thoroughly absorbed and clearly never losing sight that its all building up to, not if, but when Mickey will cross the line from white-collar liar to criminal. Although "Thin Ice" is a fascinating take on the relationship between a simple Midwest farmer and convincing insurance man, it is foremost a story of the consequences of lying and when those lies will come back to haunt you.
Thus the story takes a dramatic turn as Mickey unwillingly teams with a local ex-convict locksmith(Billy Cudrup) to break into Gorvy's home to get his prize violin. Things don't go at all as planned and soon Mickey is dealing with a whole nother type of crime. The killing kind. What unfolds through the second half of the movie is a masterful touch of high tension and bumbling amateur criminal misbehaving.
Though the film will undoubtedly be compared to a few other con movies, Fargo comes to mind though that's primarily just scenery correlation, "Thin Ice" is very much original. The strength of this film is the wonderfully acted script that is sharp and nearly without flaw. The movie could not have had better pieces then Kinnear and Arkin who are brilliantly matched and thoughtfully reminiscent of their real life counterparts.
This thoroughly engaging and captivating little tale works from beginning to end. If one were to focus on possible weaknesses it would only be that true to it's Midwestern stylings its not overly flashy Nor particularly gritty compared to slicker studio productions. That being said "Thin Ice" is completely its own film and gives very little to dislike.
Even if I disliked Thin Ice, I'd still have major sympathy for co-writer/director Jill Sprecher, who seemed to have went through hell and high water just to get this film a release. Thin Ice was originally released to Sundance under the name "The Convincer," in a one-hundred and fourteen minute cut that received strong reception from audiences and critics. However, the studio that purchased the film insisted that the score be redundant, the editing reworked, and the pace of the film increased, making the picture ninety-three minutes instead of one-hundred and fourteen. Sprecher, obviously embarrassed and frustrated, has basically given up on Thin Ice and likely looks at it as a sore spot on her career.
That note alone should make one hesitate before publishing something negative about the film. It makes me consider my position as an online film critic deeper, too. Here I am, a viewer of many movies a year (last year almost five-hundred) by choice, and I don't always take into account the effort it takes to make a picture and the stress that numerous people likely go under. Thin Ice is a perfect example of a film I hesitate to review because I feel as if I have not seen the real thing. The ninety-three minute cut has received mixed reception, contrary to the original films near-acclaim.
Regardless, I find Thin Ice - in and of itself - a solid crime caper. The story centers around Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear), a third rate insurance salesman in a dire financial predicament, looking to invest in something that will increase his reliability, win back his wife, and get him out of the frigid, merciless conditions the Wisconsin cold has brought him. He teams up with another man to try and sell Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin), an elderly, senile farmer, insurance despite knowing the man doesn't have much money at all. When Mickey discovers he has an expensive-looking violin, he has it appraised only to realize it is slightly rare and valued at $25,000.
This seems all well and good until Randy Kinney (Billy Crudup), a local con-man with an unstable temper, discovers Mickey's plans and, in the process, kills one of Gorvy's neighbors. Now, in an effort to save his own skin, Mickey must work with Randy to cover up the murder, while trying to turn a profit from Gorvy, and sneakily sell his violin for what soon becomes an unruly amount of money.
One film that will cross nearly every mind that watches this film is Fargo, the Coen brothers classic. The entire picture seems like a spin off of the film, from the similar plotpoints to the locational weather to the darkly funny direction the film takes. Despite this, Sprecher and her sister Karen do a bold job of making this film stand on its own, simply because of the way events are piled on each other in a rapid-fire order and how the twist is tacked on at the end.
The acting, however, is the film's strongest feature, with Kinnear, Crudup, and Arkin being on top of their game in terms of convincing performances. Kinnear is a great everyman, but he has a way about playing a man who has a bigger, brasher internal view of himself in contrast to the way he actually appears. This kind of character's mannerisms are seen in the wonderful Little Miss Sunshine, where he played a father hellbent on selling success advice in a cheap twelve-step book. Here, he plays a deadbeat husband hellbent on selling insurance in a cheaply wrapped package and achieves the same level of success.
Meanwhile, Crudup's character is a tricky one to pull off. He is a character that requires the actor playing him to go from collective to explosive in a matter of seconds akin to a time-bomb. This works tremendously in contrast to Kinnear's "gotta keep everything subtle and cool" persona. Finally, it should come as no surprise Arkin is great here, but the role is made more special because it shows Arkin as something he rarely is - gullible.
Ultimately, there are issues in Thin Ice that need to be addressed. The pacing is a bit too fast and the opening is a tad sluggish when it should look to grab our attention. However, these are issues that I am almost certain wouldn't exist if the original cut had been released like it should've been. The product we are left with is pretty solid and an easy thing to recommend, but the entire thing almost feels like a cliffhanger that has no writer to complete it.
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, and Alan Arkin. Directed by: Jill Sprecher.
Great performances, average movie, that's basically what you can take away from THIN ICE, which wants to be taken seriously as a Midwestern con flick with a bit of Coens' Fargo feel to it but the way it reveals itself at the end is so abrupt and hasty, it jams itself down the audience's throat and it doesn't care whether or not the audience is fully prepared for it just yet. Interesting concept, a con film through the eyes of the marked man, but interesting at best is what this film would have to settle for
Greg Kinnear is a fantastic actor, I think I find myself saying that about all of his previous performances. There are certain occupations out there that are not liked by general public, lawyers and insurance agents are examples, and Kinnear plays an agent who's also a compulsive liar and he sees a golden opportunity that could be used to his advantage. The story is basically told through his perspective, his character, Mickey, is not necessarily a protagonist but then again, the story doesn't actually have a protagonist to root for, because even the ones that get away with the prize don't grant themselves something likable, and because Micky finds himself digging deeper and deeper into problems with every unwise choice he makes, part of you would feel a bit sorry for the fella. As I said earlier, THIN ICE sorta takes style from Coen Bros' crime drama/thriller/comedy, even Mickey reminds me of Michael Stuhlbarg's character in A Serious Man, situations for them just worsen, no matter what they do, there'd be times when they think they've got it all figured out but they actually don't.
One credit I'd give THIN ICE is that unless somebody tells you that it's a con film, you probably wouldn't have guessed it from the get-go but halfway trough the film, you can kinda start sensing something's off and start piecing it together. I'm a tropical boy, so I can only imagine how uncomfortable it must've been for Arkin, Kinnear, and Crudup to be out there in dead winter, I'd freeze my ass off and wouldn't be able to say my lines correctly. I think the film was poorly edited and it could've used a more chilling score. Crudup is a treat to watch here because his character is unpredictable, unstable, psycho scary and because of that he also comes off funny, I've never seen Crudup this way on screen and so to see him do it so well, is refreshing, definitely not an actor you'd underestimate. Perhaps if the writers, the Sprechers, where to give Mickey more depth, thus allowing Kinnear to showcase more. That would certainly compensate for everything else that's lackluster about THIN ICE.
Very similar to Fargo we have Thin Ice. A cocky convincing insurance agent (Kinnear) thinks he's found his answer to all his problems when he finds out that after making a sale with a senile, lonely, old man (Arkin) that the old man has a violin worth thousands. Everything goes to plan to steal the violin until he meets a locksmith.
So here's the thing. We have an engaging thriller. Each scene does an excellent job escalating keep you biting your fingernails. You don't think anything could get worst but it always seems to. In fact it's very awkward and nerve racking.
Kinnear does an excellent job playing a sleazy salesman where at times literally steals and manipulate his clients. He's ahead of the game and for some reason we root for him. (Not sure about the unnecessary voice over) Arkin does an excellent job as the lovable elder man whom seems to only have a few years left in the tank. And then there is Billy Crudup, the crazy psychotic locksmith.
I got to tell you I loved this film. Well that is until the last ten minutes which not only left my jaw drop in disgust but also to many critics. It completely ruins the great performances and tone of the film. In fact, I hated the ending.
It takes some time to get going, granted, but when it does it's good, real good. Greg Kinnear is fantastic as is Billy Crudup and Alan Arkin. It pulls you into it's eerie intensity and takes you on a bit of a ride, sometimes comical. This is listed as a comedy??? Somewhat, but more a crime drama with some comedy. I actually felt real uncomfortable with the tension created in this film and how it develops is really cool. btw -I know it was edited from the original version of "The Convincer" and people who seem close to, or fans of, the Sprecher's, knock it pretty bad. Understandably, I guess in a way , but for most of us seeing it in the newer edit, like I said it's a good movie. Jus' sayin'.
What I thought is going to be a black humor comedy with a twist, turned out to be something much more. First of all, as many movies before almost the entire movie is set in snow ridden Wisconsin (death trip), and I love just how that setting immediately sets the atmosphere of the flick. With two experienced leads Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, who already worked together in a similar movie Little Miss Sunshine, Thin Ice is a thriller comedy with a weird up vibe involving scams, murder and black humor. Most of all I enjoyed the character of Mickey Prohaska masterfully played by Greg Kinnear, an average shifty looking insurance salesman who finds himself in quite a pickle... Since I would like you to fully enjoy the movie, I will not bother you much with anything else in fear that I might spoil the viewing pleasure.
Mickey Prohaska is an insurance salesman looking to move from freezing Wisconsin to some sunnier state. He has a silver tongue and a well thought-out approach to his future customers. Self-confident and always in control he decides to show how it's done to his new employee by helping him lock a deal with a forgetful elderly gentlemen Gorvy Hauer. While at his house he accidentally discovers that Gorvy has a very valuable violin, that he currently uses to play fetch with his dog. And then and there the plan is born in Mickey Prohaska's head, a plan that will get him out of snowy Wisconsin but he did not realize that sometimes things go wrong, very wrong. As events unfold we see him losing control over the situation and accusations of murder, heist and embezzlement are pending... Will Mickey manage to talk his way out of this situation (and should we want him to?) is up to you to find out. Enjoy.
Check out my review site Rabbit-Reviews.com for movies that are worth watching, Rabbit out...
Set in the snowy Midwest like "Fargo", "Thin Ice" seems like "Fargo" light. The convoluted story-line piles on problem after problem for our somewhat sympathetic main character, played by Greg Kinnear. Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup are also involved in this "insurance caper". My main objection to the film is that upon reflection, or perhaps a second viewing, things just don't seem totally "Kosher". I can't put my finger on it, but sometimes believability is stretched like a violin string, if you can excuse the pun. The movie is entertaining, and certainly the script is clever, perhaps just a bit too clever to be believed. Recommended for fans of "Fargo", "A Simple Plan", and others of the type. - MERK
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.
I was a bit intrigued to see how the new, re-cut "The Convincer" would stack up to its predecessor. To be honest, I was a bit bias from the start, particularly given the title change to "Thin Ice"
Either way, this film lacks structure. I feel like that, in an attempt to make it to the 90 minute marker, it has sacrificed much of its plot. Scenes jump too quickly, and the characters are not allowed to develop as well as they were in "The Convincer". The most important thing to remember when making a suspenseful film is to allow the suspense to develop. Am I crazy to think this? Did the producers simply decide that this had to be a certain length, and then adjust the plot as such? That's how I felt while watching this film.
There is some true potential amidst all of this though - the chemistry between Alan Arkin and Greg Kinnear is only magnified by the addition of Billy Crudup, whose edgy character brings an "anything can happen" dynamic to the plot.
Unfortunately I still can't get past the jumpy editing and floundering sound track. I'm not well adversed on the business side of film, but this newer version left me disappointed. I'm going to go ahead and point my finger at Werc Werk Works. But that's just me.
I can't believe all the butter up tossed into the laps of the Sprecher sisters when they told critics more than 20 minutes of this film was re edited without their approval. Greg Kinnear is great as an insurance salesman pulled into a scheme to steal farmer Alan Arbus's violin worth 25,000 dollars only to have locksmith Billy Crudup murder the neighbor and blackmail Kinnear into helping him cover up the crime. The snowy streets, ice ponds and backwood bars provided a suspenseful atmosphere to this noir comedy/drama until just 90 minutes in a cheery narrative tells us the farmer staged the whole thing, a management office paid him to do it, etc. It just got me lost it was so long and talky. Like Roger Ebert noted, it was a great drama unfolding in the real and unplanned sense until the hokey voice over arrived. The Sprechers seem to have liked their characters so much they could not give them a negative resolution or denouement of any kind. It seems dad was selling insurance and maybe he wouldn't sign a life story release or they just couldn't hurt his feelings. I kept thinking "Push Billy Crudup into the ice pond, you idiot. Make up your mind about something." Unfinished film project rates a D plus.
This is one of those movies were what you see is not what is really happening. Everything that happens is to mislead you to the surprise ending. Mickey is an insurance salesman whom finds a new client with the help of a new employee. The new client, Gorvy, is an elderly man that is buying insurance for his house, but Mickey soon learns he also possesses a valuable violin. Mickey is in a lot of debt and so decides to swindle the old man.
What he learns days later, is that he was the only one whom was swindled. And everybody he thought he new was really someone else. I thought it was clever.
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).
The movie setting is winter in Wisconsin and although we see some ice and snow from time to time, we wished there were more wintry scenes. You see, they kind of help cool us when we are watching this in the summer heat wave we have now. Bummer.
Returning to our story, we see that Mickey is in debt and is willing to steal Gorvy's violin as Gorvy isn't aware of the true value. Enter Randy and the cover-up begins, but both are surprised by a neighbor who feels something isn't right and threatens to call the police. What to do? What to do?
That is as far as I will go because the rest is complicated. We like Mickey and hope he can find a way to make things right. However, because most of this happens in the beginning, we see that there is a lot more story (read movie) to go and things get even more complicated and go progressively worse for Mickey. Okay, okay, I went a little further but, we see there is enough time for Mickey to make things right. That is our hope.
There are many twists and turns in here and you need to keep up. We keep rooting for Mickey, but things go further and further south for him. Greg Kinnear plays Mickey to perfection. We feel his pain even though he did something wrong. The acting performances of the rest of the cast are perfect, but it is Mickey we care about and he needs to find a way out of the mess he helped create. We can only hope
We see Randy as a normal person, but when he gets surprised by something that doesn't go right, he loses it big time for a while and then he reverts back to being quiet and normal again. This happens 2-times in the movie. I guess this is the comic relief within. Pretty good though. Kind of reminds us of William H. Macy in FARGO when he beats the hell out of his vehicle when his plans are upset. These temper tantrums are great scenes. Kudos.
The key to the whole movie is Arkin's Gorvy, who is naïve and agreeable to insurance suggestions by Mickey's new agent hire, Bob (David Harbour). Alan Arkin is becoming a real acting treasure in his later years and we like his screen presence. Okay, okay, the real key to the movie is Mickey and his greed. You will see why. Okay? Tough room.
The sisters who wrote and directed this movie know their subject. They are from Wisconsin, and their father works in the insurance business. This movie is set in Wisconsin and centers upon a man in insurance, albeit I'm sure far removed from their father.
Greg Kinnear really is perfect as the slick Mickey Prohaska, versed in the ways of starting up a conversation to sell insurance, but with a debilitating affliction, he is a serial and habitual liar. He smiles and tells one lie after another, as if that's just the way the world works. Problem is after a while everyone who knows him no longer trusts him.
Now, as the movie gets going in the frozen north, and Mickey's schemes start to unravel, with the violin music in the soundtrack sounding strangely familiar, very reminiscent of "Fargo", I really started to feel I was watching a different version of "Fargo", with a little "A Simple Plan" thrown in. Mickey Prohaska could have been the fraternal twin of William H. Macy's Jerry Lundegaard, just working in a different industry. And that feeling lasts through most of the movie, as the trouble gets deeper and deeper for Mickey, until near the end we find out that almost nothing is as it appears to be.
David Harbour is really good as the new insurance agent, Bob Egan. But the veteran Alan Arkin brings a special life to the elderly immigrant Gorvy Hauer. Lea Thompson is good as always, as Mickey's somewhat estranged wife Jo Ann Prohaska. Bob Balaban is his usual competent self as antique violin dealer Leonard Dahl. But Billy Crudup shows again why he is one of the better, if under-appreciated, actors today, as Randy the locksmith and alarm system installer who goes completely crazy towards Mickey as debts rise and police get closer.
In all it is mainly a very dark comedy, and a lesson, even if fictional, in the pitfalls of trying to lie yourself through life and relationships. I enjoyed it, the story held my attention all the way.
SPOILERS FOLLOW: As the story develops it appears to be a simple case of Mickey seeing his way out of debt by conning the old man out of his old violin that eventually is appraised at $1.25Million. But his con goes horribly wrong when Randy has to apparently kill a witness, then he and Mickey apparently dispose of the body in ice covering a frozen lake. But it was all a calculated ruse, the old man, the witness, the other insurance salesman, and Randy were not who they said they were, the whole ruse was to get $1.25Million for a cheap violin by processing an insurance claim after it disappeared. Mickey was caught with his pants down, left the frozen north and, as the movie ends, was trying again in the warm south.
This is a must watch of fans of films such as Fargo and Usual Suspects, a roller-coaster ride which has you empathising with all the characters that surround the main character as he unveils his story and his underhanded and immoral plans which take him deeper and deeper into trouble. You soon forget that the protagonist is revealing a story of events and get caught up in the moment. Through most of the film I was merely content in the enjoyable storyline, it was only at the end sequence when all the components come together that you realise that this is actually a masterpiece of setting you up for a change in direction. Bravo to all concerned
With the exception of Billy Crudup's sensational psychopath locksmith who loves his dear mom and presents her with a clock,everybody seems to be walking on thin ice.Greg Kinnear ,dressed up to the nines ,tries his hand at swindling ,but everything he does backfires against him and he is soon overtaken by events: the actor's looks when he realizes he's been had are priceless;the rest of the cast rises to the occasion:veteran Alan Arkin I saw for the first time in "wait until dark" (1967)is a convincing old farmer,and David Harbour makes all his scenes count as a "serious" collaborator.
Borrowing a little from HG Clouzot's "Les Diaboliques" (1954) -the dead body in the water-the movie brings it all back home,adding excellent ideas:Kinnear sadly watching the snow slowly melting.Maybe the final "explanation" is too long,but many movies of today opt for an open ending and anyway it's a joy to see the unfortunate loser who urges his fellow men not to trust anyone and takes them at face value.
"I said no cops, why doesn't anybody listen." Mickey Prohaska (Kinnear) is a down on his luck insurance salesman stuck in Wisconsin. After finding out that a new client of his has a rare violin worth over $25,000 he thinks his problems are solved. When he finally finds a way to get it and sell it an unstable locksmith (Crudup) shows up and changes everything. This is a good movie but really could have been better. This is kind of a mix between "Ice Harvest" and "Fargo" but not quite as good as those. I have thought that Greg Kinnear is one of the most underrated actors and this is another fine performance. The only problem is that the entire movie seemed a little flat and was really lacking excitement. I'm not saying that this not a good movie, it is worth watching and I enjoyed it but it was missing something. The thing that really helped the movie was the end. I really liked the twist and that made the movie better then it could have been. Overall, a flat movie with good acting that is saved by the ending. I give it a B.
You need to know that this is a comedic crime movie with an intricate twist at the end.
The good actors and compelling plot held my interest from the start. The two movies that it reminded me of were Fargo because of the cold, snowy weather, and A Simple Plan for it's bumbling low-class crooks. Greg Kinnear plays the crooked insurance agent who plots to steal a million dollar violin from an old man for whom he is writing an insurance policy. Billy Crudup is very effective as the crooked locksmith who manages to get himself tangled up in the theft. Alan Arkin is great as the old man who plays the patsy but turns out to be the real brains behind a con that was so elaborate and intricate that I find it hard to believe they could actually pull it off. But it makes a great fun flick with a twist.
Many people don't like the ending. I thought the denouement was clever, but zipped by too fast to really get the beauty of the con. I wish they had given a few more minutes to the ending.
Better not to know too much about the plot before you see this fun movie. It's hard not to think of the Coen brothers and "Fargo" while watching.
Pitch perfect cast. Greg Kennear makes used car salesmen look good compared to isurance salesmen. Pleasant enough but seems a bit slow and dull until Billy Crudup shows up as the over the top locksmith. He speaks loudly and carries a big hammer. Crudup lights a rocket under everyone and the movie takes off.
There's a bright happy original score that shines light on this dark comedy. If you feel it is a tad slow at the start hang in there, it makes up for it as it races to a conclusion.
It may not get a wide distribution but it's worth seeking out. After you see it, don't tell your friends too much. Just send them.
Mickey, Mickey...what a prick you are! Greg Kinnear is fantastic in this film. He makes you practically hate this guy Mickey but plays the character so well that you actually feel bad for him as things develop. Billy Crudup is superb as well as the great Alan Arkin and Lea Thompson. Wish her character could have been developed more.
The way this movie progresses it's in such a away there's two levels of patience required to fully enjoy it. This cast is incredible, actors actors. Granted, rumors have pointed towards this film being cut by twenty minutes from the original writer/director cut and these minutes carried character and story development, I'm sure. Either way the performances and hanging in there to watch the whole thing, it's worth it. With all the below average movies out there, this one was really good.
Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) is a small-time insurance agent looking for a way to jump-start his business, reunite with his estranged wife (Lea Thompson) and escape the frigid Wisconsin weather. This self-proclaimed master of spin believes that salesmanship is about selling a story — all he needs is a sucker willing to buy it. He hits pay dirt with a lonely retired farmer (Alan Arkin) who is sitting on something much bigger than an insurance commission. But Mickey's attempt to con the old man spins out of control when a nosy, unstable locksmith (Billy Crudup) with a volatile temper dramatically ups the stakes, trapping him in a spiral of danger, deceit and double-crossing. Blending dark comedy and delirious Midwestern noir, THIN ICE reaches a breaking point that no one — least of all Mickey Prohaska — could ever see coming. I thought this movie was very entertaining. I loved the ending.
It was interesting and entertaining, even if just for the acting alone, which is superb. The movie pulled you into its uncomfortably edgy, eerie and yet comical approach. A good mix of turmoil, tension and comedy.
Greg Kinnear is fantastic as is Billy Crudup. Alan Arkin is great but not in it as much as the other two. Lea Thompson should have had more of a role, really like her.
Agreed, some of the way part of the film was handled is questionable but overall I liked it a lot. Though, I would like to see the original version (cut) too as it's supposed to answer some of the complaints some have had with the film. The opening scene reggae song and closing credits tune are really good as well.
I really liked this movie.It did remind me of Fargo in some ways and Greg Kinear was excellent as the bumbling,slightly crooked insurance agent.There were many twists and turns as the plot unfolded.It plays out in a manner that leads you to believe very bad things are in store for most of the characters.Of course, the old man with the valuable violin seems to be the perfect foil as the story develops.Instead of a simple case of theft,things turn violent with the appearance of the security system installer.Our insurance agent continues his string of bad luck and personal disasters as the story leads to murder,a ice burial and a missing violin.The violin has suddenly become worth 1.25 million and our hero keeps finding ways to screw up his theft.As the movie climaxes,we learn the whole thing is a well designed sting that leaves our cheating insurance man holding the bag.As the movie ends,he is a whole lot poorer but reverting back to his roots.I found the movie to be very enjoyable and full of interesting twists and turns.The acting was very believable and I would highly recommend this movie.
A good flick, I love a homage to any flick that does good dues, and this surely dos it in bucket fulls.
Great cast, good direction, beautiful scenery and a plot (well if you seen Fargo you know the score).
But what's not to like? Greg Kinnear really selling himself(which he really does not have to do! ) David Harbour a great role here, the goodie.
The film really revolves around these two main characters. A Great movie, well cast, and a great send off... Grab your bag of popcorn or your Onion rings (UK) and you will not regret the next 2 hours of your miserable couch potato lives.