|2013||105 Min||Crime . Thriller . Biography . History|
An Alaska State Trooper partners with a young woman who escaped the clutches of serial killer Robert Hansen to bring the murderer to justice. Based on actual events.
|Actors:||John Cusack , Vanessa Hudgens , Nicolas Cage , Radha Mitchell , Jodi Lyn O'Keefe , Katherine LaNasa , Dean Norris , 50 Cent , Gia Mantegna , Kevin Dunn|
Cusack and Cage — who don’t have any scenes together until halfway through — do their best work in years, while erstwhile “High School Musical’’ star Hudgens shows off acting chops missing in “Spring Breakers.’’
Cage, without having to play a ghostly motorcyclist or hot rod driver from Hell or sorcerer or sci-fi hero or kinky cop, reminds us that he used to know subtlety. So even if Frozen Ground breaks little new ground in the serial killer thriller genre, there’s hope Cage will leave the ham behind before Alaska freezes over.
It’s handsomely lensed, and when Cage and Cusack finally go nose-to-nose, the fur does fly.
With Cage as a harried cop, Cusack as a serial killer and 50 Cent as a pimp, we're assuming the casting department kicked off early on this one. Still, there's plenty in this taut thriller for you to stick around for, not least the reuniting of the Con Air duo.
This is an unambitious, old-school thriller, nothing more and nothing less.
Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack give solid performances in this Prime Suspect-like thriller.
Ultimately, the cumulative effect is deadening, just another chapter in an endless battle between overtasked and underpaid good guys, and cowardly baddies; the only real humanity in the film comes from Hudgens’ Cindy, who seems like a wild card of sorts, her character’s dimensions suggesting a world outside of the lurid details of this case. Refreshingly, she’s the only one in the film who refuses to be defined by the death and tragedy surrounding her.
[A] solid if unmemorable true-crime drama.
Unfortunately, writer-director Scott Walker's film is a muddled and strangely inert one, generating little of the suspense or anguish its subject requires; despite its high-profile cast.
The movie’s only fresh element is the wintry setting, which shrouds everything in a mood of weary fatalism. Otherwise, it’s the same old, same old, efficiently discharged and utterly disposable.
Although writer-director Scott Walker seems committed to not overly exploiting his lurid subject matter, the movie is just too dreary, disjointed and generically creepy to be persuasive.
The climactic interrogation wraps up neatly and just in time, much more like a story "based on actual events" than the events themselves.
A vague and forgettable crime thriller that would have benefited from more character development or at least a grounding of the narrative in one central protagonist.
Taste and good intentions are only going to get one so far with a script this tone deaf and direction this ugly and monotonous.
What’s more depressing: that John Cusack chose the junky, un-exciting serial killer drama The Frozen Ground as his latest step away from John Cusack-y roles, or that Nicolas Cage chose to, at long last, be as un-Cage-like as possible?
Fans of Cage and Cusack, previously paired as unlikely allies in Con Air (1997), may be looking forward to a bit of deranged actorly combat once Hansen is cornered in the interrogation room, but it’s here that this hopeless flick comes up especially short.
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