Conclusion: There's a flatness to 'The Iceman' that holds it back from being a true crime classic. Michael Shannon, however, makes up for a lot of the movie's failings with his performance. The man just knows how to act. He knows exactly how to command the viewer's attention, and his role as Richard Kuklinski is no exception. With solid audio and video presentations 'The Iceman' is worth a look.
Excerpt: What is it about mob movies? Since the 1930s (and before that, really), film lovers have been riveted by tales of bosses, capos, vendetta, omerta, and—above all else—family. The Iceman —the latest in the crime genre, mob subgenre, based-on-real-life sub-subgenre—brings all of those things, but the most important family in the life of its subject is not necessarily that family. New Jersey, 1964.
Conclusion: The Iceman offers a fascinating portrait of a deadly criminal with two contradictory lives. Ariel Vromen's film impresses with visual flair, meticulous period production design, and strong performances from the well-assembled cast led by a frighteningly (yet expectedly) effective Michael Shannon. While films about real murderers are an iffy proposition, this one acquits itself nicely as a sharp and gripping drama.
Conclusion: The Iceman does feel a bit rushed and definitely could have fleshed things out more than it did given the scope of the real life Kuklisnki's career but movies have to take liberties and can't always tell the whole story. So judged as a film and not as an epic documentary, yeah, this works rather well. Shannon is excellent in the lead, he's chilling and convincingly cold hearted and the supporting cast all do great work too.
Excerpt: The Iceman tells the true story of Richie Kuklinski (Michael Shannon), a hired killer for the mob estimated to have offed at least 100 people and whose nickname, which gives the film its title, originated from his calculated manner of disposing bodies: freezing them so that the time of death couldn't be ascertained.
Summary: Recommended for Michael Shannon's performance THE ICEMAN is a solid crime picture. A bit scattershot and rushed at times compared to it's voluminous source material, it is nevertheless worthwhile viewing.
Excerpt: By the time Richard Kuklinski was captured in 1986, he was said to have murdered more than 100 people. Reportedly a killer even before he turned pro for the mob, he was also so cagey his wife and daughters apparently had no inkling of what he did for a living. No film could make sense of a personality like that, and The Iceman , a true-crime thriller from Israeli-born director Ariel Vromen, doesn’t exactly try.
Conclusion: This solemn, blood-soaked thriller lacks the dynamism of its star, but is an impressive showcase for him nonetheless: it’s as hard to look away from Shannon’s performance as it is to look directly at it.