Release Date: May 17, 2013
Running Time: 103 minutes
A hit man with something to lose is a hit man destined to end up in prison or in a coffin. This gripping biography of Richard Kuklinski presents the notorious Mafia contractor killer as a man of few precious words who would kill without pause but remained a gentle soul around his wife and children. It is this study in contrasts that intrigues director Ariel Vromen, and it allows him to examine in unflinchingly fashion how, being betraying his former employees, Kuklinski’s fear of reprisal against his family resulted in the mistakes that led to his 1986 arrest. Michael Shannon depicts the hit man as a remorseless cold-stone killer who only reveals the barest hint of emotion when in the company of his family. Despite this, Shannon and Winona Ryder, who plays Kuklinski’s unsuspecting wife Deborah, share a strong connection. This allows The Iceman to dissect the double life that Kuklinski leads with intense scrutiny that only occasionally veers into morbid curiosity. As Deborah, Ryder offers a sympathetic portrait of a wife who wrongly believes she knows her closed-off husband better than anyone could. Kuklinski’s partnership with a fellow hit man, played by a freewheeling Chris Evans, produces some welcome moments of dark humor. Vromen keeps The Iceman moving at a steady pace as it details Kuklinski’s criminal career and his inability to control his violent tendencies, but Vromen steers clear of Kuklinski’s claim that he killed Jimmy Hoffa and doesn’t delve deep into the circumstances surrounding his death in prison. The Iceman’s only misstep is an anticlimactic ending that fails to shed light on the impact of Kuklinski’s actions on his devastated family.
Aired: May 16, 2013
Web site: http://theiceman-movie.com/