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      The Ice Harvest

      R Released Nov 23, 2005 1h 28m Comedy Drama List
      47% Tomatometer 135 Reviews 43% Audience Score 50,000+ Ratings As the attorney for a mobster (Randy Quaid), Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) has access to some not-so-clean money, which he readily embezzles with the help of an associate, Vic (Billy Bob Thornton). On Christmas Eve, the two partners decide to hightail it with the money, but an ice storm sweeping through the area delays their departure. Stuck in town, Charlie visits strip club owner Renata (Connie Nielsen) and lets on about the money. But the longer he stays, the more trouble builds. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      The Ice Harvest offers a couple of laughs, but considering the people involved, it should be a lot funnier.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Empire Magazine Rated: 2/5 Apr 1, 2006 Full Review Stanley Kauffmann The New Republic Robert Benton and Harold Ramis, put on dunce caps and go stand in the corner. Jan 3, 2006 Full Review Sara Michelle Fetters MovieFreak.com But these moments are few and far between, the majority of the picture nothing more than a nice idea tied to bits and pieces I've seen far too many times before in far better movies. Rated: 2/4 Dec 21, 2005 Full Review Nick Rogers Midwest Film Journal Harold Ramis has gone from high-concept to no-concept. He confuses bared breasts, broken fingers and blown-out brains for edgy existential comedy in a conventional film-noir story that snappy quips from Oliver Platt and Billy Bob Thornton can’t save. Rated: 1.5/4 Nov 9, 2023 Full Review Chris McCoy Memphis Flyer Ramis' existential take on the material is strangely infectious. Life sucks, and all is corruption, he seems to say. We might as well have a laugh about it. Jan 8, 2020 Full Review Debbie Lynn Elias Behind The Lens [Harold] Ramis caters to the story and the actors with a style of old-fashioned directing that makes you feel comfortable watching the movie, even as the sarcasm devilishly spins and spirals into places one wouldn't normally dare to go. Nov 9, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      A.L.Jude P It is a story with icy calm humor, somewhat tragic end. But the movies is sadly indurated. It deserves 8 Stars. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/07/23 Full Review Jithin K It's enjoyable in parts, and the cast is great to watch, but it feels like an episode from a show that has better to offer. It feels like there are a lot of things missing here. Connie Nielsen's character could have been even more intriguing but they must have thought the mystery better. There are a lot of places that could have been helped with a bit more brevity than it had. It feels like the film could have worked if it was a more laugh-out-loud comedy with crime elements than the simpler, almost dead-pan kind they were going for. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 07/24/23 Full Review matthew d Frostbitten nihilism in Harold Ramis' cold slow burn black crime comedy. Director Harold Ramis' neo-noir black comedy The Ice Harvest (2005) is outstanding. It has all the visual hallmarks of a neo-noir film and works best as a serious crime drama more than a decently funny black comedy honestly. Ramis lets the heavy rainfall, brisk icy winds, and freezing cold atmosphere enshroud his shadowy neo-noir style as director. The Ice Harvest feels cold in its slow burn pacing and deliberately standoffish anti-heroes. The Ice Harvest is similar to Killing Them Softly or Mikey & Nicky with a Fargo feel. It feels sleazy, seedy, gritty, and grim with a bleak outlook and morbid sense of humor. Ramis gets the strip clubs should feel sleazy and sexist, while the family houses should feel cozy for Christmas occurring in the backdrop of The Ice Harvest. I like how Harold Ramis ends things on an upbeat note after all the darkness and black comedy. All beautifully shot by cinematographer Alar Kivilo in the suburbs of Chicago, supposed to be desolate and depressing Kansas. It feels dark with The Ice Harvest all basically taking place over one miserable night of pain and mistakes. Ramis' use of dark shadowy streets at night with Kivilo's striking wide shots and gripping close-ups is really something special. Lee Percy's editing feels purposefully slowly cut for such a short 88 minutes, I was enthralled by his slick cutting choices within scenes. Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer) and Richard Russo's script is smart, funny, and dark enough to feel serious at all times until there's a burst of laughter as they cleverly adapt Scott Phillips' novel. John Cusack is quite funny and understated as the cool and miserable mob lawyer Charlie Arglist. Cusack understands how to act with a subtle seriousness that can also be funny in his stunned reactions to the awful things happening to Charlie on this night. He's touching as Charlie, who is down in the dumps. Billy Bob Thornton's selfish thief Vic is hilarious opposite Cusack with his needless cruelty and violence. Connie Nielsen is gorgeous as The Ice Harvest's sultry femme fatale Renata Crest. She is captivating with every smoky gaze or deeply felt line delivery. Randy Quaid shows up at the end of The Ice Harvest as the mob boss villain Bill Guerrard for a creepy, sleazy, and frightening short appearance. Oliver Platt is a riot as the disgusting alcoholic friend Pete Van Heuten. His portrayal of a raving drunk feels pretty realistic. Mike Starr's mob henchman Roy Gelles is great in his supporting role. Ned Bellamy's raging strip club bartender Sidney is hilarious and a great character. T.J. Jagodowski's friendly police officer Officer Tyler gets funnier every time he appears during his nightly rounds. Production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein creates dingy strip clubs, desolate bars, comfy family homes, and sparse chic modern abodes for that chilling gritty feel Harold Ramis is going for in The Ice Harvest. Gary Baugh's art direction is neat with lone characters wandering at night after a robbery covered in shadows and streetlights. Tricia Schneider's set decoration makes each place look lived in and raw. Composer David Kitay's dark and moody film score is pretty and melodic with a drawn out menace. Sound designers Paul Hsu, Ron Bochar, Michael Barry, and Scott D. Smith emphasizes each scream or gunshot against quiet ambiance during this long night. I loved costume designer Susan Kaufmann and Jennifer Jobst's outfits. Putting John Cusack in an all black suit with a red tie brought me back to Cusack's ultra cool look in Grosse Pointe Blank. In all, The Ice Harvest is awesome and a neat surprise. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Serge L Very well done film noir that is silly and funny at times. It has a real feel and is adult. The characters are well camped and unique. The story has proper enigma and twists. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/12/22 Full Review Chuck P Great performances make this neo-noir comedy thriller a must-try for Cusack and Oliver Platt fans. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 12/25/21 Full Review Audience Member Just an unclear, unfocused, mess of a movie despite the names involved. I don't know what else to say about this. It may have felt underwhelming if I saw it around the time it was released, but since I didn't hear of it until fifteen years after it's release I wasn't expecting much so how could it underwhelm? There's professionalism in it, there's craftsmanship, there's decent acting but... that's about it. 2 of 5 Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis As the attorney for a mobster (Randy Quaid), Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) has access to some not-so-clean money, which he readily embezzles with the help of an associate, Vic (Billy Bob Thornton). On Christmas Eve, the two partners decide to hightail it with the money, but an ice storm sweeping through the area delays their departure. Stuck in town, Charlie visits strip club owner Renata (Connie Nielsen) and lets on about the money. But the longer he stays, the more trouble builds.
      Director
      Harold Ramis
      Producer
      Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
      Screenwriter
      Scott Phillips, Robert Benton, Richard Russo
      Distributor
      Focus Features
      Production Co
      Focus Features, Bona Fide Productions
      Rating
      R (Nudity|Language|Sexuality|Violence)
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 23, 2005, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 19, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $8.8M
      Runtime
      1h 28m
      Sound Mix
      Dolby SR, DTS
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.85:1)
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