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The Ice Harvest Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… intentionally nasty and mean-spirited … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Ice Harvest's plot sounds like an antidote to the season's holiday sweetness. And it's being touted as this year's Bad Santa. But the only similarities are the holiday season, the criminal milieu and Thornton.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    A little more "Grifters" would have gone far here. Not toward making the film palatable for the mainstream, perhaps, but at least toward selling its neo-noir story to an audience already inclined toward such seedy material.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I liked the movie for the quirky way it pursues humor through the drifts of greed, lust, booze, betrayal and spectacularly complicated ways to die. I liked it for Charlie's (Cusack) essential kindness, as when he pauses during a getaway to help a friend who has run out of gas.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    In a season of bulging Movies Earmarked for Importance, it is almost startling to come across something as unhyped - and perfectly swell - as The Ice Harvest.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Ice Harvest reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Dark comedy about a mob lawyer who steals $2 mil.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie isn't for kids. A holiday comedy of the Bad Santa type, it shows repeated arguments among friends and family members: one man argues with his wife; a young boy yells at his father; another man shoots his wife (off screen); two best friends eventually bond over their mutual hatred of the woman they have both married, one after the other. Characters lie, cheat, fight, and vomit. They drink to drunkenness (one from a flask while driving), smoke cigarettes, and hang out in strip clubs. Acts of violence involve handguns, shotguns, knives, and cars.

  • Families can talk about Charlie's limited vision. Though he feels angry, frustrated, and in his way, ambitious, he's unable to imagine his way out of Wichita except by the very means he despises: betrayal and violence. How does Charlie look relatively rational, compared to his mostly crazed associates? How is he positioned between other male characters (who are miserable and not-so-smart) and women (selfish, conniving, and mean-spirited)?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Cheating, lying, stealing, killing, vomiting.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Stabbing, shooting, fighting -- all as " comedy."

  • sex false5

    Sex: Sexual slang (references to acts and genitalia); strippers pole dancing; seductions as means to other ends.

  • language false5

    Language: Many, many f-words; crude language used in anger, frustration, and drunkenness.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: References to Subway, liquor brands, car brands (Lincoln, Mercedes).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Several characters drink, most often to the point of drunkenness (including while driving); cigarette smoking.