Starring: Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, James Franco, Stephen Dorff
Directed by Ariel Vromen
Run Time: 106 mins
Genre: Drama/Crime/ Thriller
Opens May 17th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week as a Harkins Shea 14 Exclusive is the thriller “The Iceman” starring Michael Shannon, Chris Evans and Winona Ryder. Based on a true story chronicling the life of contract killer Richard Kuklinski, the main plot focuses on the years prior to his arrest in 1986.
When Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) met his future wife Deborah Pellicotti (Winona Ryder) in Spring of 1964, he was completely smitten. Within a year of their first date, they were married and had their first child together. Deborah thought he dubbed Disney cartoon as a profession when he was actually dubbing pornography films for a local mob boss Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta).
When Demeo and his thugs shut down the porn business, Richard was recruited by the crime boss to do “collections” and carry out contracts on those would not pay up. For many years, Richard was very successful working for one of the mafia members associated with the Gabino crime family, Roy Demeo, making a lot of money and building a name for himself due to his cold, unfeeling nature of his persona.
Sometime in the 1970’s, Richard’s employment with Roy came to a freeze due to a hit put out on one of Demeo’s other thugs. Josh Rosenthal (David Schwimmer). Demeo couldn’t take Jake out and not wanting to take any chances, fires Richard for not taking care of a possible witness. Demeo warns Richard that he can't work for anyone else during his unemployment period, but needing money to support his family, teams up with contract killer Mr. Freeze (Chris Evans).
Between Freeze and Kuklinski, business is good until Demeo catches wind of Richard's extra curricular activities. Will Richard be able to avoid Roy Demeo's wrath or will he meet a worse fate?
Although it's not a gory slasher film about a contract killer, the performances are what make "The Iceman" stand out as a film not to miss in theaters. Michael Shannon's performance as Richard Kuklinski is so chilling and hypnotic that it's a stand out role for this understated actor. His brilliant subtle undertones speak volumes of depth for a rather complicated character living this twisted double life. Chris Evans is unrecognizable as fellow contract killer, Mr. Freeze; almost chameleon like in his performance. You may hear a voice that you recognize and then realize that it's David Schwimmer glammed up all 70's thug style. Winona Ryder tones down her performance matching Shannon's intensity perfectly. Be sure to catch "The Iceman" in the theater starting Friday May 17, 2013.