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THIN ICE, review by John Delia

A SLIPPERY

PLOT

DECEIVINGLY

DELIGHTFUL

THIN ICE

Review by John Delia

 

 

It seems like ages that a movie featuring a good cunning tale has unraveled on the big screen and I’m happy to say Thin Ice fits the bill.  A smartly written well-acted story with so many twists and turns I found myself wondering, “How did I not see that coming”?  It’s a deceiving, manipulative and funny film played out in a quick tempo that kept me spellbound throughout. 

The story centers on Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) a small-time insurance agent looking for a way to increase his business and escape from the Wisconsin snow. A salesman who can sell as long as he can find someone to believe his smooth tongue delivery and there’s money to be had. At a conference where he gives a speech he meets Bob Egan (David Harbor) who gets hired by Mickey to get leads for his insurance business.

 

Mickey hits pay dirt when Bob gives him a lead involving a lonely retired farmer Gorvy (Alan Arkin) who is sitting on something much bigger than an insurance commission. But Mickey’s attempt to con the old man spins out of control when a nosy, unstable locksmith Randy (Billy Crudup) with a volatile temper dramatically ups the stakes, trapping him in a spiral of danger, deceit and double-crossing.  

 

Greg Kinnear as Mickey and Billy Crudup as Randy at a frozen lake with a body

Director Jill Sprecher handles the dark comedy very well intriguing her audience with several interesting characters and keeping the interest high as the scheming Mickey works out his dirty deed.  Using the small town flavor, winter’s chilling weather and remote farm house as her stage, she spins the sordid tale bit by bit providing comedy and mayhem in just the right amounts to distract the audience from her ultimate surprise.

I can’t see the film working without the excellent performances by a first rate acting troupe lead by Greg Kinnear as Mickey the scheming insurance salesman who tries to pull the wool over the eyes of Arkin’s receptive farmer character.  The two are perfect opposites and when you throw in the unsuspecting locksmith Randy played aptly by Crudup the mix becomes even more interesting, especially when the value of the Mickey’s mission starts to rise.

But, the film would not have worked if it were not for two poker-faced actors David Harbour as Bob Egan Mickey’s new protégée and Bob Balaban as Leonard Dahl a violin appraiser who ups the challenge for a big score.   The two are the catalysts that suck you into the extremely deceptive story till the very end.

Thin Ice has been rated R by the MPAA for language, and brief violent and sexual content.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very keenly written and highly deceptive piece of entertainment. (A)

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • Cast: Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, David Harbour, Michelle Arthur,
  • Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban
  • Directed by: Jill Sprecher
  • MPAA Rating: R for language, and brief violent and sexual content.
  • Genre: Drama, Crime, and Dark Comedy
  • Running Time: 1 hr 34 min
  • Opening Date: Now In theaters
  • Distributed by: ATO Pictures

Please follow John Delia on Twitter @staragent1 and Your  Entertainment Ticket @yeticket

 

 

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